Current Environment:


Amblyopia is the leading cause of monocular visual impairment in children and adults. Despite conventional treatment with patching or eye drops, many older children and adults do not achieve normal vision in the amblyopic eye. Donepezil is an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor that increases levels of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine in the brain. Use of acetylcholinesterase inhibitors has been demonstrated by the Hensch lab (Department of Neurology, FM Kirby Neurobiology Center) at Boston Children's Hospital to improve vision and reverse amblyopia in animal models. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the efficacy of oral donepezil as treatment for residual amblyopia (20/50 - 20/400) in patients 8 years of age and older.



Recruitment Status


Eligibility Criteria

Inclusion Criteria:

Age ≥8 years
Amblyopia associated with strabismus and/or anisometropia
Amblyopic eye visual acuity of 20/50 - 20/400
Sound eye visual acuity of ≥20/25
For 8 to 17 year olds, current amblyopia treatment of at least 2 hours of daily patching for at least 4 weeks during the pre-enrollment period with no improvement in best-corrected amblyopic eye visual acuity (<5 letters or 1 logMAR line between 2 consecutive visual acuity measurements at least 4 weeks apart while on current treatment)
For ≥18 year olds, history of prior amblyopia treatment with patching
Wearing optimal optical correction with stable amblyopic eye visual acuity (<5 letters or 1 logMAR line of improvement during 2 consecutive visual acuity measurements at least 4 weeks apart)
Complete eye examination within 6 months prior to enrollment
Available for at least 6 months of follow-up, have access to a phone, and willing to be contacted by clinical staff
Likely to comply with prescribed treatment and unlikely, if applicable, to continue to improve with 2 hours of daily patching alone

Exclusion Criteria:

Myopia more than -6.00 D spherical equivalent
Presence of associated findings that could cause reduced visual acuity
Previous intraocular or refractive surgery
Strabismus surgery planned within 22 weeks
Current vision therapy or orthoptics
Treatment with topical atropine within the past 4 weeks
Presence of cardiac condition, asthma, obstructive pulmonary disease, seizure disorder, urinary incontinence, and/or peptic ulcer disease receiving concurrent NSAIDs
History of gastrointestinal bleeding from peptic ulcer disease
Known psychological problems
Known skin reaction to patch or bandage adhesives for 8 to 17 year olds
Known allergies or contraindications to the use of acetylcholinesterase inhibitors
Prior acetylcholinesterase inhibitor treatment
Current use of medication for the treatment of ADHD or psychological disorders
Inability to swallow pills equivalent in size to the 5 mg donepezil tablet
Females who are pregnant, lactating, or intending to become pregnant within the next 6 months


Intervention Type

Intervention Name






Phase 1



Min Age

8 Years

Max Age


Download Date

June 18, 2021

Principal Investigator

Carolyn Wu

Primary Contact Information

For more information on this trial, visit


For more information and to contact the study team:

Treatment of Residual Amblyopia With Donepezil NCT01584076