Restasis Eye Drops: Dry Eye Medication

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Restasis Eye Drops comprises an active medicament, Cyclosporine. It is an immunosuppressant medication. Cyclosporine is useful for increasing the production of tears decreased by inflammation in the eye(s). Restasis eye drops are helpful for treating chronic dry eye resulting from inflammation.

Cyclosporine falls under the class of medications known as calcineurin inhibitor immunosuppressants. Restasis exerts its action by enhancing the natural ability of the eyes to produce tears.

How does Restasis work?

How does Restasis work
How does Restasis work

Restasis Eye Drops are recommended in the treatment of chronic dry eye. This eye problem results in irritation or inflammation in the eye resulting in dryness.

What does Restasis do for your eyes? Restasis containing Cyclosporine is found to calm down inflammation in the eyes and tear ducts. This is useful for improving the body’s natural ability to produce tears. And, this helps to relieve the signs of chronic dry eye.

How long does Restasis take to act?

How long does Restasis take to act
How long does Restasis take to act

Based upon the severity of the dry eye, Restasis might take 4 to 6 months to relieve the signs. However, for individuals with mild dry eye, the medication is useful for improving the signs of dry eye within a month.

The ophthalmologist might suggest a lubricating eye drop for the person to use when he or she begins with the Restasis Eye Drops treatment. A lubricating eye drop aids to relieve the signs of dry eye instantly while a person waits for Restasis to begin working.

Restasis Uses:

The FDA approves prescription medications like Restasis eye drops to treat various conditions. Restasis might be utilized off-label for other health problems. Off-label use is when a medication which is recommended to treat one health problem can be utilized to treat a different problem.

Restasis Uses
Restasis Uses

Restasis Eye Drops for Chronic Dry Eye:

Restasis Eye Drops for Chronic Dry Eye
Restasis Eye Drops for Chronic Dry Eye

The FDA approves Restasis to treat the issue of chronic dry eye. In this condition, a person suffers from irritating or inflamed eyes that results in dryness. This often produces redness, stinging, burning, or irritation around the eyes. Moreover, it may result in difficulty with wearing contact lenses. The eye problem is known as “chronic” as it lasts long.

Chronic dry eye causes poor production of tears by the body. There are a number of factors that might add to the signs of dry eye including:

  • Being an older age
  • Environmental conditions like wind, smoke, or dry weather
  • Other health problems like Sjogren’s syndrome

Efficacy of Restasis for Chronic Dry Eye:

Restasis Eye Drops is proven to be efficacious in the treatment of chronic dry eye. The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) issued some guidelines stating that Cyclosporine is efficacious in the treatment of dry eye. Moreover, they state that for a few individuals, the medication might work effectively so that signs of dry eye leave for a long-time.

Restasis and Children:

Restasis is approved by the FDA for use in kids with age 16 years or above. Yet, it’s not recommended for use in kids below 16 years of age. The safety and efficacy of Restasis is not approved in this age group.

Restasis Generic:

Restasis consists of the active medicament, Cyclosporine. Restasis Eye Drops come as a brand drug. Currently, the eye drop does not come in a generic form. Yet, other types of cyclosporine come as generic medications. People take these types of cyclosporine via oral route or via intravenous (IV) infusion. An IV infusion is an injectable medication given into vein for some time duration.

A generic medication is an exact copy of the active medication in a brand drug. The generic drug is equally as safe and efficacious as the original medication. Moreover, generic drugs are expected to have a lesser price than brand drugs.

Directions for use of Restasis Eye Drops:

  • Apply Restasis eye drops as per doctor’s guidelines. Follow all instructions available on the prescription label. Avoid using Restasis eye drops in larger or smaller quantities or for a long time than suggested.
  • The recommended dosage is one drop in each eye two times on a regular basis. Make use of this medication every 12 hours.
  • Wash hands prior to using the medication.

To use Restasis Eye Drops:

Directions for use of Restasis Eye Drops
Directions for use of Restasis Eye Drops
  • Turn the bottle upside down some times to mildly mix the drug. The eye drops must appear white in color.
  • Incline the head back to some extent and pull down the lower eyelid to produce a small pocket. Grasp the dropper above the eye with its tip down. Look in the upward direction and ahead of the dropper. Then, exclude a drop.
  • Close eyes for two to three minutes with head in downwards direction, without blinking or glancing. Mildly press the finger to the internal eye corner for nearly one minute. This keeps the fluid from moving into the tear duct.
  • Wait for at least 10-15 minutes before making use of the artificial tears, or any other eye drops.

Avoid touching the tip of the eye dropper or put it directly in the eye. A polluted (dirty) dropper may cause eye infection. And, this might cause severe vision issues. Avoid using the drops if the fluid has changed colors or particles appear in it.

Each single-use Restasis bottle is for one use only (in one or both eyes). Discard the medication bottle after using it once, even though it contains some medication.

Store at room temperature and keep the medication away from heat, light, and moisture. Avoid freezing the medicine. Keep the medication bottle tightly closed when it is not used.

Dosage of Restasis Eye Drops:

Restasis is a liquid emulsion utilized as eye drops. It comes in one dose strength: 0.5 mg/mL. Restasis is available as two products:

  • Single-Use Vials: These Restasis vials may be used for one medication dosage. Each vial comprises 0.4 mL of Restasis.
  • Restasis MultiDose: These Restasis bottles may be used for multiple doses of the medication. Each bottle comprises around 5.5 mL of Restasis.

Whether a person uses single vials or MultiDose vials of Restasis, he or she would use the medicine two times daily by putting the eye drop into the eyes.

Dose of Restasis Eye Drops for Chronic Dry Eye:

The normal Restasis dose for chronic dry eye is one drop into each eye two times daily. A person must use the drug every 12 hours.

Note: If a person utilizes other eye drops in combination with Restasis, he or she may still use those drops while a person is on Restasis. But ensure to check with the concerned healthcare provider regarding which eye drops are safe to use with Restasis.

In any case, just ensure to wait for a minimum of 15 minutes between utilizing Restasis or any other eye drops.

In case of a Missed Dose:

Use the missed dose of Restasis Eye Drops as soon as you remember. Leave out the missed dose if it is nearly the time for the next dose. Avoid using an additional medication to constitute the missed one.

In case of Restasis Overdose:

An overdose of this medication is not likely to be risky. Look out for an emergency medical help or call the Poison Help line if any person unintentionally swallows the drug.


  • Avoid touching the dropper of Restasis on any surface, such as the eyes or hands. The dropper is sterile in nature. If it gets infected, it might lead to eye infection.
  • Avoid the use of Restasis Eye Drops while wearing contact lenses. Contact lenses might be reused 15 minutes after this medication, unless otherwise as per doctor’s directions.

Before using this medication:

  • Restasis is expected to be safe in pregnancy. Inform a doctor in case of pregnancy or a female plan to get pregnant.
  • It is unidentified whether Restasis passes into breast milk or if it might damage a nursing baby, even if it is likely safe. Inform a healthcare provider if a female is breast-feeding a baby.
  • Avoid the use of Restasis if a person is hypersensitive to Cyclosporine.
  • This medication is not safe for any person below 16 years of age.

Restasis Side Effects:

Get instant medical help if a person notices any symptoms of a hypersensitive reaction to Restasis Eye Drops. These signs can be breathing problems, hives, inflammation on the face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop the use of these eye drops. And, call the concerned healthcare provider if a person notices:

  • Eye pain or Eye inflammation,
  • Redness
  • Serious uneasiness,
  • Crusting
  • Drainage (might indicate infection).

Common problems with Restasis eye drops might include:

  • Mild irritation or redness
  • mild burning or stinging in the eyes
  • Hazy vision or Feeling like something is in the eye.

There are no Restasis long term side effects. Also, this is not a whole list of side effects and others might crop up. Call the concerned healthcare provider for suggestions about side effects. A person might also report the side effects to the FDA at their helpline number.

Substitutes to Restasis Eye Drops:

Other medications are available that are used for treating chronic dry eye. A few might be a better option for the person than others. If a person needs to find a substitute to Restasis, discuss with the concerned doctor. They might inform a person regarding other drugs that might work well for him or her.

Note: Some of the medications stated below can be used off-label to treat these particular conditions. Off-label use means when a medication recommended for treating a particular condition can be used for treating a different condition.

Examples of medications except Restasis Eye Drops that might be helpful for treating chronic dry eye include:

  • Cyclosporine 0.09%
  • Lifitegrast
  • Loteprednol Etabonate
  • Lubricating eye drops including dextran/Hypromellose, and polyethylene glycol/propylene glycol

Other chronic Dry Eye Remedies involve:

  • Making use of homeopathic options
  • Cleansing the eye region with diluted baby shampoo
  • Another chronic dry eye treatment is punctal plugs. In these, place the tiny tubes into the tear ducts. The tubes produce a barrier to aid natural tears and lubricants remain on the eyes. This aids in keeping the eyes moist.

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What is Restasis used for?

Restasis Eye Drops is a prescription brand medication recommended for treating chronic dry eye. It’s recommended for individuals with age 16 years and above. Chronic dry eye leaves the eyes without moisture. And, the condition is known as chronic since the problem is long-lasting.

Is there a cheaper alternative to Restasis?

Systane, Cequa, Lifitegrast eye drops, Eysuvis, Tyrvaya, Loteprednol eye drops all are good alternatives to Restasis Eye Drops.

Is Restasis a steroid?

Cyclosporine is a steroid-sparing medication. It is usually safer to use topically for extended time duration.

Is there a generic for Restasis?

The FDA has approved the foremost generic version of Restasis Eye Drops as per recent press release. Cyclosporine ophthalmic emulsion 0.05% enhances the production of tears in people with dry eyes. The sponsor of this generic alternative is Mylan Pharmaceuticals.

Does Restasis need to be refrigerated?

No, Restasis Eye Drops do not require refrigeration. The medication can be stored at room temperature. Hence, it is better to avoid areas with high heat or humidity.

How long does it take for Restasis to work?

Based upon the severity of the dry eye condition, Restasis might take four to six months to relieve the signs. However, for a few individuals with mild dry eye, the medication might improve dry eye signs within one month. The ophthalmologist might suggest a lubricating eye drop for the person to use when he or she begins the Restasis treatment.

Compare Xiidra vs Restasis?

Xiidra and Restasis are equally efficacious in treating the signs of chronic dry eye. Yet, Xiidra might ease the signs more rapidly than Restasis. Xiidra begins to work within 14 days while Restasis Eye Drops generally takes up to 3 months to ease dryness signs in the eyes.

Why is Restasis Eye Drops so expensive?

There is no single federal health insurance system in the U.S. Rather, Americans get health insurance via a number of private companies. Insurance companies meet with medication organizations. Then, it tries to negotiate the medication costs to keep the prices low for its receivers.

Inappropriately, insurance firms don’t have much power to negotiate. An insurance company may refuse to cover a medication if the pharmaceutical firm does not agree with its cost. This leads to steep increases in the drug costs. And, that is why Restasis Eye Drops is so expensive.