Medications are an additional treatment option for patients suffering from dry eye.
Medications remain an effective tool for treating dry eye. Two of the biggest brand names in that group are Restasis and Xiidra. What are each of these medications best at, and what other important information about them is there to know? Keep reading to find out.
Both Restasis and Xiidra are eye drop medications meant to be used daily to keep dry eyes lubricated.
Restasis, manufactured by Allergan and also known by its generic name, cyclosporine, was approved by the FDA in 1983. It works by regulating the inflammatory processes in the eyes which can impact tear production and lead to dry eye.
It is recommended to use Restasis twice daily, or every 12 hours. It can take up to 3 months to experience relief from symptoms with Restasis, and in some cases it can take as long as 6 months.
Xiidra, also known by its generic name, lifitegrast, is manufactured by Shire and was approved by the FDA in 2016. It is classified as a different type of medication known as lymphocyte function-associated antigen 1 (LFA-1) antagonists. While it is not known exactly how it works, it is believed to decrease inflammation and increase tear production through the blocking of a protein called LFA-1 from interacting with another protein in the eyes called ICAM-1.
Xiidra is also to be used twice daily (12 hours apart), and has been found to help relieve dry eye symptoms within two weeks. However, it can take as many as six to 12 weeks for some patients to experience complete relief from symptoms.
Both Restasis and Xiidra are used as long-term treatments for dry eye through the reduction of inflammation on the surface of the eyes and increasing tear production. Along with dryness, both of these medications can relieve other dry eye symptoms, including redness, blurry vision, itchiness, and eye fatigue.
At present, there are no clinical trials which directly compare the effectiveness of Restasis against Xiidra. However, clinical trials have found both of these effective when compared to placebo.
Your doctor will be best able to recommend which medication might work best for you.
Restasis is typically covered by insurance, while Xiidra is not, so that might also factor into decisions on which to take.
As with all medications, there are both common and rare side effects for both Restasis and Xiidra.
Common side effects of Restasis include redness and irritation of the eyes, along with blurry vision.
Common side effects of Xiidra include redness and irritation of the eyes, eye discharge, blurry vision, and headaches. It can also lead to an unusual taste in the mouth, referred to as dysgeusia.
Serious side effects of both include hypersensitivity reactions, including itching, rash, swelling, and shortness of breath.
There have not been significant drug interactions reported with either Restasis or Xiidra.Generally speaking, other medical eye drops should be avoided while using either Restasis or Xiidra, unless directed by your healthcare provider. If you are considering taking either of these medications, be sure to tell your doctor about other medications you are taking, including prescriptions, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Restasis and Xiidra are two prescription eye drops for dry eye which have been found to be effective at treating its symptoms. If you have additional questions, or think either Restasis or Xiidra might be helpful for treating your dry eye symptoms, you can contact Amplify EyeCare Chattanooga at (423) 710 3965.