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Many topical and OTC products are recommended when treating chronic dry eyes, including omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil or n−3 fatty acids) to relieve symptoms; the NEJM reports that the DREAM trial shows no clinical benefit of n−3 fatty acids for 12 months when compared to placebo.
Patients (n=535) with moderate-to-severe dry eye disease were randomized (2:1) to receive daily oral dose of 3000 mg of fish-derived n−3 eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids or an olive oil placebo (placebo group). The primary outcome was the mean change from baseline in the score on the Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI; scores on a 0 to 100 scale.
At 12 months, the mean change in the OSDI (dry eye) score was not significantly different between the active supplement group and the placebo group (−13.9 points and −12.5 points, respectively (P=0.21). Likewise there were no differences in secondary outcomes (conjunctival staining score, corneal staining score, tear break-up time or Schirmer’s test).
Rates of adverse events were similar in the two trial groups.
Patients with chronic dry eys treated with n-3 fatty acids failed to achieve significantly better outcomes than those on placebo. (DREAM ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02128763.)