Restasis is a prescription medication used to treat chronic dry eyes. While some individuals may use artificial tears, Restasis can provide long-term relief by doing more than just adding moisture to the eyes. Restasis works to increase your eye’s natural ability to produce tears, using the active ingredient cyclosporine. The drug can help to promote tear production and also reduce inflammation caused by dry eyes.

Restasis Products

There are two types of products for Restasis. It comes in either eye drops or a vial. The eye drops are the most common selection and are typically easier to acquire.

Restasis Eye Drops

Restasis eye drops can be purchased in a multidose bottle. The bottle comes with an inserted eye dropper that you use to apply the medicine directly to your eyes. These drops are typically used twice daily – morning and evening with one drop per use.

Restasis Vials

Restasis vials are less common and come in a single-use container. The formula is preservative-free and still used as an eye drop. The single-use selection allows you to treat dry eye symptoms with a sterile and convenient option when on the go.

Precautions and Warnings with Restasis

It is essential to consult with your doctor before using Restasis or any other medication. Share with them your medical history as well as any medications, supplements, vitamins, over-the-counter drugs, and herbs that you are using. This allows the doctor to best understand whether it is a good fit for you.

You should not use Restasis if you have an active eye infection or if you have a known allergy to cyclosporine. If you have a history of eye infection or have recently fought an eye infection, tell your doctor.

Get to know the inactive ingredients as well and avoid use if you are allergic to these ingredients. Follow the instructions and dosage recommendations of your doctor closely to get the best results from using Restasis.

While using Restasis, you may experience temporary vision blurring. Do not do any activity that requires clear vision, including driving or using heavy machinery, until the blurriness has cleared so you can do so safely.

If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, consult with your doctor to determine if you should use Restasis. This medication should only be used as needed in these situations.

Restasis Side Effects

Side effects may vary and you may not experience any at all. However, you should be aware of the side effects. Contact your doctor if you experience any allergic reaction or prolonged side effects.

If you experience a serious side effect, stop using the medication and consult with your doctor immediately. If you experience any signs of an allergic reaction, call your doctor right away.

These are the most common side effects:

  • Temporary blurry vision
  • Watery eyes
  • Itchy eyes
  • Red eyes
  • Feeling as if something is in your eye
  • Burning feeling in the eye

Drug Interactions with Restasis

There are very few known interactions of Restasis. However, it may affect how other medications work or increase your risk of side effects with the crossing of other medications.

Speak to your doctor about any medications you are using, regardless of whether or not they are prescriptions. Your doctor may advise you to adjust your medications temporarily while using Restasis, but don’t stop, start, or change dosage without checking with the doctor first.

Restasis Cost in America

The cost of Restasis will vary depending on your location as well as the type of Restasis that you get. A Restasis vial contains a single dose and will be cheaper, while a multi-dose bottle will be significantly more expensive.

Restasis Vial (Single-use)$20 – $30
Restasis Eye Drops (multidose)$300 -$500

Why Is Restasis Expensive?

Restasis is a specialized name-brand medication, which largely contributes to the cost. Most eye medications do not have a high demand so they are sold at higher prices to cover the cost of development, manufacturing, and marketing needs. You may be able to save money by working with a drug discount program or using the generic version of Restasis instead.

Strengths and Dosages of Restasis

You can get Restasis in two different strength options.

  • .05%
  • .09%

Multidose Vs. Single-Dose

You can also get it in two different dosage options – the multidose drops or the single-dose vial. In most cases, you will use one drop in each eye twice per day. The recommended times are morning and evening. However, your doctor will determine the appropriate strength and dosage. Follow your doctor’s instructions for the use of Restasis.

Restasis Alternatives

There are some suitable alternatives to Restasis. Speak to your doctor about the possible options so you can agree as to what may work best for your needs. You may also be able to use over-the-counter artificial tears for mild to moderate dry eyes and temporary relief of your symptoms.

Here are some alternatives.

FAQs of Restasis

What is Restasis?

Restasis is a prescription eye medication used to treat dry eyes.

How Does Restasis Work?

Restasis uses cyclosporine to encourage your eyes to increase their natural tear production. It will also help to reduce inflammation and discomfort related to dry eyes.

How Long Will It Take for Restasis to Work?

You will notice some relief from dry eyes within a few minutes of using Restasis. To experience the full benefits of this medication to produce more tears, it is recommended that you continue use for 2-3 months.

Who Makes Restasis?

Restasis is made by Allergan, Inc., which is a subsidiary of AbbVie Company.

Does Restasis Burn?

You may experience some temporary burning or stinging when you use Restasis, but this should be temporary at application. If it does not resolve, you need to contact your doctor quickly.

Is There a Generic for Restasis?

Yes, there are generic options for Restasis. Cyclosporine Ophthalmic Emulsion is the top choice for an alternative. There are additional alternative solutions as well.

How Do I Use Restasis?

Restasis is applied as an eye drop. The most common use is to apply one drop to each eye twice per day.

Which is Better – Xiidra or Restasis?

Both are very similar and used to treat dry eyes. They have similar applications as well.

 XiidraRestasis
What is It?Active ingredient: Lifitegrast
Lymphocyte function-associated antigen-1 antagonist
Active ingredient: cyclosporine
Calcineurin inhibitor
How it WorksBlocks LFA-1 protein from attaching to ICAM-1, reducing inflammation that causes dry eyesDirectly blocks the actions and growths of T cells to make it more difficult for inflammation to occur. Also, improves tear production.
UsageOne drop twice daily into each eye, doses about 12 hours apartOne drop twice daily into each eye, doses about 12 hours apart
DosageAvailable in single-use vials onlyAvailable in single-use vials or multidose eye drops
EffectivenessNoticeable benefits after about 2 weeks. Approximately 84 days to best results.Noticeable benefits within a few hours. Approximately 90 days to best results.
Side EffectsGenerally mildGenerally mild

What Happens When I Go Off Restasis?

You should not experience any type of withdrawal. You may not notice any issues when you stop using Restasis. However, dry eye symptoms may return at some point if you stop treatment.

How Do I Store Restasis?

Store Restasis at room temperature. Avoid any areas with exposure to direct sunlight as well as high heat, humidity, or moisture.

What Happens if You Stop Taking Restasis?

Dry eye symptoms may recur at some point if you stop using Restasis.

What Tier is Restasis?

Restasis is generally classified as either a Tier 3 or 4 depending on your prescription drug plans or medication coverage.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The information provided here is for educational purposes only and is not intended to serve as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment recommendations. It should not be taken as an endorsement of any specific medication or treatment. Individual health conditions and responses to treatment can vary greatly; therefore, this information should not be seen as a guarantee of safety, suitability, or effectiveness for any particular individual. Always consult with a healthcare professional for personalized medical advice and before making any decisions regarding your health or treatment plans.

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