CCOG for OMT 103 archive revision 201403

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Effective Term:
Summer 2014 through Winter 2016

Course Number:
OMT 103
Course Title:
Ocular Pharmacology
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:

Course Description

Details major classifications of ophthalmic drugs, mechanisms of action, side effects, first aid techniques for acute ophthalmic drug reactions. Explores the relationship of ocular pathology and medications used to treat. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon successful completion, the student should be able to:

  1. Use knowledge of ocular pharmacology to effectively educate patients and gain patient compliance in the clinic setting.
  2. Recognize adverse reactions to ocular drugs and apply the appropriate response.
  3. Safely administer ophthalmic pharmaceuticals under physician supervision.

Course Activities and Design

The class will be presented by means of lecture/discussion, audio-visual presentations, handouts and demonstrations.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

At the beginning of the course, the instructor will detail the methods used to evaluate student progress and the criteria for assigning a course grade. The methods may include one or more of the following tools: examinations, quizzes, homework assignments, research papers.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

1.      The student will demonstrate understanding of the following themes, issues, concepts, and development of the following skills:

Introduction to Medications

1.      Define and pronounce vocabulary terms

2.      List and briefly describe the uses, names (generic and brand), classifications and types of drugs.

3.      Interpret abbreviations and symbols commonly used in written prescriptions.

4.      Describe normal tear pH and symptoms of higher and lower pH eye drops.

5.      List three factors that may affect medication stability.

6.      Describe the need for preservatives in eye medications and name two preservatives.

7.      Describe proper technique for instillation of topical ophthalmic drops and ointment.

8.      List the advantages and disadvantages of methods of drug delivery including drops, ointment, gels, sustained release medications and other topic routes as well as injections and systemic medication.

9.      Describe the difference between solutions and suspensions in eye drops.

10.  Explain the technique and rationale for using punctual occlusion.

11.  List the four parts of a written prescription for drugs.

12.  Demonstrate how to read the physicians written prescription.

Autonomic Nervous System

1.      List the two branches of the autonomic nervous system.

2.      Describe the effects of stimulation of both the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems.

3.      List the neurotransmitters responsible for each system.

4.      Terminology for drugs that either stimulate, enhance or block the stimulation of each system.

5.      Uses of adrenergic agents in ophthalmology

6.      Uses of cholinergic agents in ophthalmology.

Ophthalmic Drug Identification

1.      Commonly used cap colors in drug classification.

2.      Types, strengths, actions, contraindications and complications of anesthetics, mydriatics, cycloplegics, epinephrine, beta-blockers, miotics, steroids, antibiotics, carbonic anhydrase inhibitors, vasoconstrictors, antihistamines, osmotic agents, non-steroidal anti-inflammatories.

Diagnostic Pharmaceuticals

1.      Differentiate between mydriatics and cycloplegics.

2.      Cycloplegics in order of decreasing strength.

3.      Medications in the diagnosis of Horner’s syndrome.

4.      Mydriatic reversal drops.

5.      Most useful topical diagnostic dyes including fluorescein, rose Bengal and trypan blue.

6.      Most useful injectable diagnostic dyes including fluorescein and indocyanine green.

Ocular Lubricants, Artificial Tears, Coupling Solutions, Visco-elastics

1.      Benefits and drawbacks of using preserved ocular lubricants and artificial tears.

2.      Commonly used artificial tears.

3.      Difference between artificial tears and ocular decongestants.

4.      Uses of gonioscopic solutions.

5.      Use of extra-ocular irrigating solutions in chemical exposure.

6.      Use of visco-elastic agents in intraocular surgery.

Vasoconstrictors, Antihistamines, Mast Cell Stabilizers

1.      Allergic response.

2.      Signs and symptoms of allergic response.

3.      Difference in usage and patient response when treating with antihistamines versus mast cell stabilizers.


1.      Four cardinal signs of inflammation in the body.

2.      Four substances produced during inflammation.

3.      List uses of ophthalmic corticosteroids.

4.      Systemic side effects and complications of steroid use.

5.      Symptoms of “steroid withdrawal”.

6.      Reasons to taper steroid usage.

7.      Commonly used ophthalmic topical corticosteroids.


1.      Commonly available oral OTC NSAIDS.

2.      Uses for oral OTC BSAIDS.

3.      Uses of ocular administration of NSAIDS

4.      List ocular NSAIDS


1.      List 3 groups of anesthetics.

2.      Location of injection for retrobulbar block.

3.      Use of topical anesthetic in an office setting/minor surgery suite.


1.      Difference between bacteriocidal and bacteriostatic antibacterials.

2.      Three common gram-positive bacteria in ocular infections.

3.      Three common gram-negative bacteria in ocular infections.

4.      Three additional infections treated with anti-biotics that are not classified as either gram-positive or gram-negative.

5.      Common side effect after oral antibiotic therapy.

6.      Three drugs classified as aminoglycosides.

7.      Two 4th generation fluoroquinolones.

            Anti-Viral and Anti-Fungal Therapy

  1. Four types of herpes virus.
  2. Main anti-viral therapeutics.
  3. First FDA approved anti-fungal for ophthalmic use.

Glaucoma Medications

  1. Four different types of glaucoma medications – example of each.
  2. Relationship of elevated intraocular pressure to damage of the nerve fiber layers at the optic nerve head.
  3. Types of glaucoma medications and their mechanism of action.
  4. Direct acting adrenergic drugs.
  5. Alpha 2 adrenergic drugs
  6. Beta-blockers.
  7. Contraindications to using beta-blockers.
  8. Serious side effects of cholinergics (miotics).
  9. Topical carbonic anhydrase inhibitors.
  10. Systemic carbonic anhydrase inhibitors.
  11. Use of hyperosmotic agent in the office setting.
  12. Oral hyperosmotics.
  13. Prostaglandin analogues and their side effects.

Side Effects, Toxicity and Hypersensitivity

  1. Ocular side effects of prednisone, chloroquine (Plaquenil) and gold salts.
  2. Classification of drugs that can increase IOP.
  3. Technique used to avoid systemic absorption of ophthalmic medications.
  4. Systemic side effects of topical sulfa drugs.
  5. Systemic side effects of topical beta-blockers.

 Retinal Therapies

  1. Wet versus dry ARMD.
  2. Currently available treatments for ARMD.
  3. Side effects of Visudyne therapy.
  4. Off-label use of mediation.

  Acute Drug Reactions and Emergencies

  1. First aid techniques for acute ophthalmic drug reactions.
  2. Items necessary on a “crash cart”.

 Nutritional Supplements for the Eyes

  1. Vitamin recommendations from the AREDS (Age Related Eye Disease Study).
  2. Vitamin supplements for eyes available OTC.

 Patient Education

  1. Punctal occlusion.
  2. Installation of drops and ointment
  3. Importance of compliance.