Atropine eye drops are FDA approved for dilating pupils, and are routinely used for in office dilated eye exams and in the treatment of amblyopia (lazy eye) in pediatric patients. The use of atropine drops at a much lower concentration than what is required to dilate the pupil has been extensively studied in the ATOM and LAMP studies with significant results in slowing down the progression of myopia without causing significant pupil dilation. The LAMP study found that compared to placebo control, children treated with nightly 0.05% atropine had approximately a 64.5% reduction in myopic progression rate. Atropine compounded to 0.05% had a negligible effect on dilating pupil size, and no effect on near visual acuity in this study.
At this time Atropine is not FDA approved specifically for myopia management, so the drop is not yet available from most commercial pharmacies. Our doctors work with local and mail order compounding pharmacies if this is the treatment option that you select to pursue after discussing all options with your doctor.
Children that use atropine drops will continue to wear their glasses and/or contact lenses during the day and just use the drop once before bedtime each night. As a part of the myopia management program your doctor will assess your child’s unique visual system and needs in determining the best concentration of atropine for success.