FDA approves first drug to treat thyroid eye disease

Lynne Adkins
February 05, 2020 - 4:00 am
A doctor giving a patient medicine.

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The FDA has approved the first drug to treat thyroid eye disease.  

Thyroid eye disease can make the eyes bulge because of inflammation behind the eye. Until now, corrective surgery was the only option. Dr. Robert Penne, chief of oculoplastics at Wills Eye Hospital, says former First Lady Barbara Bush was a classic patient.

"Their eyes look bulgy, they almost look like they're staring at you, the eye lids become too wide open. It's sort of the thing you notice with patients, and a significant number of them will develop double vision looking straight ahead, and the most devastating part of this disease and a small percentage will lose vision," Penne explained. 

Now, the FDA has approved the drug Tepezza, and Penne says it not only stops the progression of the bulge, it can also reverse it.