Natamycin Ocular Delivery: Challenges and Advancements in Ocular Therapeutics

Mabel Mascarenhas, Pinal Chaudhari, Shaila A. Lewis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Fungal keratitis, an ocular fungal infection, is one of the leading causes of monocular blindness. Natamycin has long been considered the mainstay drug used for treating fungal keratitis and is the only US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA)-approved drug, commercially available as a topical 5% w/v suspension. Furthermore, ocular fungal infection treatment takes a few weeks to months to recover, and the available marketed antifungal suspensions are associated with poor residence time, limited bioavailability (< 5%) and high dosing frequency as well as minor irritation and discomfort. Despite these challenges, natamycin is still the preferred drug choice for treating fungal keratitis, as it has fewer side effects and less ocular toxicity and is more effective against Fusarium species than other antifungal agents. Several novel therapeutic approaches for the topical delivery of natamycin have been reported to overcome the challenges posed by the conventional dosage forms and to improve ocular bioavailability for the efficient management of fungal keratitis. Current progress in the delivery systems uses approaches aimed at improving the corneal residence time, bioavailability and antifungal potency, thereby reducing the dose and dosing frequency of natamycin. In this review, we discuss the various strategies explored to overcome the challenges present in ocular drug delivery of natamycin and improve its bioavailability for ocular therapeutics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3332-3359
Number of pages28
JournalAdvances in Therapy
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 08-2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmacology (medical)


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