Kala Eye Drops - Coupon Info, Side Effects, Cost, Reviews, Dosage
Kala Eye Drops for Dry Eye
Although it doesn’t have a name yet, Kala Pharmaceuticals has recently submitted a new dry eye medication to the FDA. KPI-121 (0.25%), as it is lovingly called at this time, is indicated for the treatment of dry eye disease after undergoing one successful Phase 2 trial and two successful Phase 3 FDA trials. These clinical treatment trials, STRIDE 1 and STRIDE 2 (Short Term Relief In Dry Eye), showed promising results.
The Phase 3 trials enrolled nearly 2,000 patients, and each indicated statistical significance for the treatment of dry eye disease. Compared against placebo, measured endpoints were conjunctival hyperemia (redness) and ocular discomfort severity, so it’s great to know that this new medication seemed to make an improvement in those two areas over the course of two weeks of treatment.
If approved by the FDA, KPI-121 would be the very first pharmaceutical medication indicated for the temporary relief of the signs and symptoms of dry eye disease, with a large benefit being for use during flare-ups. The agent uses the company’s AMPPLIFY drug delivery technology, which they state is best for penetrating the target tissues of the eye. The third Phase 3 clinical trial, STRIDE 3, has been ongoing and data is expected to be released later in 2019.
About the Company
Kala Pharmaceuticals is a biopharmaceutical company which uses their proprietary mucus-penetrating particle (MPP) technology to bring treatments for eye diseases to the market. Their name was inspired by the famous Hawaiian hiking trail, the Kalalau Trail, which is located in Kauai. This hiking trail is known for not only its difficult terrain, but also for its breathtaking beauty.
MPPs are nanoparticles with proprietary coatings that allow medications to better penetrate mucosal layers, including those of the eye. This can significantly increase the rate of drug absorption in target tissues by preventing the drug particles from being trapped in and eliminated by the mucus. Mucus does this trapping and eliminating naturally, as it protects the eyes from bacteria, allergens, and viruses, but it can also limit the absorption of medications coming into contact with this protective mucosal layer.
This more efficient delivery to target tissues means that less drug may be able to be used, in lower doses, and at a lower frequency (all good news for those who use multiple medications and eye drops daily!) Kala has applied this technology to loteprednol etabonate (LE), a topical steroid often used to fight inflammation in those with dry eyes, and this application led to the formation of both INVELTYS (KPI-121 1.0%) for use post-ocular surgery and KPI-121 0.25% for the temporary relief of dry eye.
For those with dry eye disease, it can be frustrating because there is no cure. There is no one treatment that is going to be the holy grail and cure all symptoms. Dry eye disease was not built overnight and therefore, treatment is going to take time. Thankfully, companies such as Kala are diligently researching into new medications and delivery systems that may be more beneficial than what we already have available.
Kala Coupon Information
At this time, there are no coupons for this new Kala Pharmaceuticals medication because it is still going through clinical trials and is not available to the public yet. Once it is, we will update you on any coupons or savings available.
Kala Side Effects
KPI-121 has been shown to be well tolerated thus far, in both STRIDE 1 and STRIDE 2 trials, and no clinically significant adverse events occurred during the course of either trial. Elevations in IOP also remained similar to placebo, with no significant events occurring.
That being said, we know from experience that most prescription (and non-prescription) eye drops have side effects, even if they’re only minor. A few of the most common include burning or stinging upon instillation, blurry vision, redness, and even extra dryness.
Anyone with any degree of redness and inflammation on their eyes (i.e. nearly ALL dry eye patients) will experience a temporary burning or stinging sensation when they put eye drops in. This is especially true for pharmaceutical medications that contain substances other than just lubrication. This is normal and should not be a cause for concern. As the eyes begin to heal, you will notice that the medication burns less and for shorter periods of time.
Blurred vision is also a common side effect of nearly all eye drops. Depending on the thickness of the drop, an eyedrop will spread over the front of the cornea and create an extra layer of “tears”. This will cause your vision to blur for a few minutes (and up to 30 minutes or more if an ointment was used). This is simply the nature of eye drops and is not something to be alarmed by unless the blurriness sticks around much longer.
While we have no information on the pricing of this medication yet, we do have experience with previous new medications that have been released. For example, purchasing Restasis at the cash price (without insurance) will cost a bit more than $500/month, and this medication is over 15 years old. Xiidra will also run you a bit over $500 for a one month supply, so we can only guess that Kala’s new medication will be similar. However, insurance will often pick up a large chunk of this cost for many, and it’s likely that Kala will have coupons or savings for the patient once the medication is released.
Kala Generic and Alternatives
Currently, Restasis, Xiidra, and Cequa are really the only other prescription medications available for the treatment of dry eye disease. Restasis (cyclosporine ophthalmic emulsion 0.05%) is a prescription medication FDA approved in late 2002 to help treat dry eyes by making more of your own tears. Cyclosporine is a calcineurin inhibitor immunosuppressant, which helps strengthen your body's natural ability to produce the tears it should, which is often an issue when dealing with inflammation from chronic dry eye. Cequa (cyclosporine ophthalmic solution 0.09%), brand new in the US in 2019, is simply a higher dosage of cyclosporine using a different delivery vehicle.
Xiidra (lifitegrast ophthalmic solution 5%) became FDA approved in mid-July 2016 and is FDA approved to treat the signs and symptoms of dry eye disease, or keratoconjunctivitis sicca. We know this can get a little confusing, but it basically works by inhibiting the binding of inflammatory cells. This mechanism decreases inflammation mediated by T lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell that plays a critical role in your body’s immunity), therefore improving dry eye signs and symptoms.
All three of these medications are available through a prescription from your eye doctor’s office, and all of them will run you at least $500 per month without insurance. Unfortunately at this time, there are no generic versions of these medications available in the United States.