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This article is the author's final published version in PLoS ONE, Volume 18, Issue 10, October 2023, Article number e0293066.

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Copyright © 2023 Wakabayashi et al.


PURPOSE: To assess public awareness, interest, and concerns regarding Vuity (1.25% pilocarpine hydrochloride ophthalmic solution), an eye drop for the treatment of presbyopia, based on Google Trends.

METHODS: We used Google Trends that provides a relative search volume for queried terms, to evaluate searches for Vuity from June 30, 2021, to June 30, 2022, in the United States. The data for this study were downloaded on June 30, 2022. Main outcome measures were changes in relative search volumes for the terms "Vuity," "Eye drops for reading," "Eye drops for near vision," "Presbyopia," "Pilocarpine," and related popular search terms, such as "Vuity side effects," and "Vuity retinal detachment".

RESULTS: Since the approval of Vuity on October 29, 2021, notable increases in the relative search volumes occurred for Vuity in October 2021, December 2021, and from March to April 2022, which coincided with its approval, availability, and subsequent direct-to-consumer advertising based on positive results of clinical trials. The direct-to-consumer advertising had the greatest impact on the search volume for Vuity. Specific interests included Vuity cost, where to buy it, and its side effects. Retinal detachment was the most highly searched Vuity side effect. Geographic variation was evident, with the relative search volumes highest for "Vuity" in Wyoming, followed by North Dakota.

CONCLUSION: Google Trends is a useful tool for monitoring increases in public interest in Vuity for presbyopia. Public concerns regarding side effects warrant further real-world investigations of the causal relationship between Vuity and retinal detachment.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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