Effect of Metformin on Visual Function in Patients With Glaucoma

  • End date
    May 25, 2024
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    Zhongshan Ophthalmic Center, Sun Yat-sen University
Updated on 25 March 2022
platelet count
ophthalmic solution
intraocular pressure
primary open angle glaucoma
filtration surgery


The purpose of this study is to determine whether Metformin could prevent the progression of glaucoma in a safe and effective manner.


Primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) is a serious blinding disease characterized by irreversible damage to retinal ganglion cells (RGCs). At present, there is no effective treatment for the rescue of visual function loss caused by POAG.

Metformin is the classic first-line therapy for diabetes. Recently, it has been found that Metformin may have other beneficial effects such as promoting weight loss and reversing age-related neurodegeneration. Importantly, retrospective case-control studies found that there were associations between Metformin treatment and a reduction in the incidence of glaucoma. Specifically, diabetic patients treated by Metformin had a 25% lower risk to develop open-angle glaucoma. In addition, previous animal experiments have preliminarily shown that Metformin can play a neuroprotective role by activating AMPK kinase, regulating methylation levels and promoting ganglion cell survival. Therefore, the investigators hypothesize that Metformin can prevent visual function deterioration via rescuing retinal ganglion cells.

The main objective of this study is to assess the progression of visual field loss in patients with POAG after treatment with Metformin versus placebo. The secondary objectives include the followings: RNFL thickness, vision, cup/disk ratio, safety, and biochemical tests to determine the alteration of AMPK and methylation parameters associated to the use of Metformin.

Approximately 40 study subjects will be randomized in a 1:1 ratio to each treatment group. The treatment group will be assigned to the study intervention (oral Metformin) for 12 months while the placebo group will receive placebo containing fructose and starch for 12 months. Throughout the 12-month study period, progression of visual function and systematic safety examinations will be measured. At 18 months, there will be one additional follow up visit.

Condition Primary Open Angle Glaucoma
Treatment Metformin, placebos
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT04155164
SponsorZhongshan Ophthalmic Center, Sun Yat-sen University
Last Modified on25 March 2022


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