Thyroid eye disease—which can occur as a complication of the autoimmune disorder called Graves’ Disease—is characterized by progressive inflammation and damage to tissues around the eyes, especially the extraocular muscle and connective and fatty tissues. Nearly half of those with Graves’ disease develop some form of thyroid eye disease. Thyroid eye disease is characterized by an active disease phase in which progressive inflammation, swelling and tissue changes occur.
Thyroid eye disease happens most often in people with too much thyroid hormone, or hyperthyroidism. Less commonly, the condition can happen if you have an underactive thyroid. Rarely, however, are people with normal thyroid levels susceptible to thyroid eye disease.
Symptoms of thyroid eye disease include dry eyes, watery eyes, red eyes, bulging eyes, staring eyes, double vision, difficulty closing the eyes, dulling of colors and other problems with vision. Inflammation and tissue enlargement in the orbits, or eye sockets, can cause the eyes to protrude or push forward. For those with severe inflammation from thyroid eye disease, the treatment options historically have been limited, requiring a series of complex steps involving multiple specialties. These steps included oral or IV therapy steroids and surgical removal of some of the bones or fat in the eye socket for orbital decompression.
Recently, however, an IV therapy medication was approved by the FDA for the treatment of thyroid eye disease. The IV drip drug is teprotumumab, trade name Tepezza. This IV therapy medication binds to specialized receptors in the tissues of the eye socket and blocks them, thereby decreasing the inflammation in the orbit. Tepezza is administered by intravenous infusion every three weeks for 24 weeks and has shown to be effective for the treatment of thyroid eye disease for a year after the therapy.
Teprotumumab is not necessarily appropriate for every case of thyroid eye disease, however. Because it takes time for the IV drip medication to work and sometimes the insurance approval process takes several weeks, dire cases of thyroid eye disease where vision loss is actively occurring don’t have that kind of time. But in cases of thyroid eye disease that have not yet progressed to that point, treatment using the intravenous infusion medication Tepezza has been shown to be quite effective.
At Heartland Infusion Pharmacy, we can procure Tepezza for your infusion therapy treatment of thyroid eye disease as well as other physician-prescribed infusion medications quickly and cost effectively. If infusion therapy for thyroid eye disease interests you, please contact us for information about our services or to inquire about this IV infused medication.