Xiidra eye drops are an ophthalmic anti-inflammatory medicine that reduces the symptoms of dry eye disease. They contain the active ingredient lifitegrast 5%, which is a lymphocyte function-associated antigen-1 antagonist. Xiidra doses come in single-use, disposable plastic vials. Patients typically apply Xiidra to each eye, two times a day.

Dry eye disease describes a condition where patients don’t produce enough tears to keep their eyes lubricated. In some cases, a patient does naturally make enough tears but these don’t keep their eyes moisturized. Dry eye disease causes irritation and pain. It can also lead to vision problems and eye infections.

Xiidra is available as a brand-name medication made by Novartis AG. There is not currently a generic version of Xiidra.

How Does Xiidra Work?

Xiidra is a lymphocyte function-associated antigen-1 (LFA-1) antagonist, also known as an LFA-1 antagonist. Lymphocytes are white blood cells that respond to outside pathogens, fight cancer cells, and manage immune responses. Lymphocyte function-associated antigens are proteins that regulate how white blood cells leave the bloodstream and enter other body tissues. LFA-1 is found on the surface of white blood cells.

LFA-1 typically bonds with ICAM-1 proteins which are found on the surface of other cells throughout the body. The ICAM-1 protein also manages immune responses because cells produce more of it during injury, illness, and inflammation. The more ICAM-1 proteins a cell produces, the more receptors it has for white blood cell LFA-1 proteins. Therefore ICAM-1 proteins attract white blood cells.

Xiidra’s mechanism of action in dry eye disease is unclear. However, it seems to block ICAM-1 and LFA-1 proteins from interacting with each other. Dry eye disease may be caused, or worsened, by over-expression of ICAM-1 protein on the eye. Xiidra seems to bond with the eye’s ICAM-1 proteins, which prevents them from bonding with white blood cell LFA-1 proteins. This reduces inflammation and further immune response that seems to worsen dry eye disease.

Xiidra Precautions and Warnings

Don’t use Xiidra if you’re allergic to lifitegrast or any of Xiidra’s inactive ingredients. Tell your doctor about all your allergies to make sure you’re a good candidate for using Xiidra.

As with any medical condition, your doctor needs to know your complete medical history before prescribing Xiidra. Be sure to mention any previous eye injuries, illnesses, and procedures. Your doctor may also ask about any eye conditions that run in your family.

Xiidra and other eye drops can cause blurry vision after application. Don’t drive or use heavy machinery until your vision returns to normal.

Xiidra is safe to use with contact lenses in most cases. Always take your contacts out before giving yourself eye drops. Wait at least 15 minutes before putting them back in. While Xiidra should be safe to use with contacts, wearing contacts may make your dry eye symptoms feel worse. Ask your doctor if contacts are a good choice for you.

Side Effects of Xiidra

Xiidra’s most common side effects are caused by temporary irritation after application. Most patients find that these side effects fade shortly after applying their eye drops. Side effects may also stop occurring once you get used to the medication.

Since Xiidra alters your immune response, it could keep you from responding normally to an eye infection or injury. Let your doctor know about even minor eye problems or injuries to make sure they don’t get worse.

Xiidra side effects include:

  • Blurry vision
  • Eye discomfort
  • Feeling like something is stuck in your eye
  • Strange taste in the mouth

Allergic Reactions

Allergic reactions to Xiidra are rare but possible. Get medical attention immediately if you notice:

  • Trouble breathing or swallowing
  • Numbness, tingling, or swelling in the face, throat, or neck
  • Hives

Drug Interactions with Xiidra

Xiidra is applied directly to the eyes, so it doesn’t come into contact with most of the rest of your body. Oral drugs, which are metabolized in the digestive tract, rarely interact with Xiidra. Xiidra also shouldn’t interact with topical medications and creams for skin care. The main concern is for interactions with other eye care medications.

Tell your doctor about other eye drops, creams, contact solutions, and ointments you use. This includes over-the-counter eye moisturizers and artificial tears. You can also ask about eye makeup and skincare products if you use these products. Your doctor will let you know which other treatments are safe to keep using.

Xiidra drug interactions are rare, but they are possible. Let your doctor know about all the medicines you take to make sure Xiidra is a safe choice.

Alternatives to Xiidra

Xiidra is the only LFA-1 antagonist medicine for dry eye disease. However, there are other treatments available for this condition.

MedicineType of MedicineMechanism of ActionAvailability
XiidraLFA-1 antagonistReduces immune response and inflammationPrescription
Cyclosporine, RestasisImmunomodulatorReduces swelling to increase tear productionPrescription
Artificial tearsMoisturizing dropsSurface lubricationOver-the-counter or prescription

Questions and Answers About Xiidra

Why did my doctor prescribe Xiidra?

Xiidra is a prescription medicine that helps with dry eye disease. The exact way Xiidra works is unclear. However, it seems to reduce your body’s immune response around the eyes, which then reduces inflammation and dryness. Your doctor prescribed Xiidra to address your dry eye disease.

Is there a generic for Xiidra?

No, there is not a generic Xiidra.

Can I use Xiidra with contacts?

Yes, you can use Xiidra if you wear contacts. Make sure to take out your contacts when you put in your Xiidra eye drops. Then wait at least 15 minutes before putting the contacts back in. You should also talk to your doctor or ophthalmologist to make sure you’re using the best products for dry eyes. Switching to a moisturizing contact solution while you use Xiidra might help you feel even better.

How long does Xiidra take to work?

Unfortunately, Xiidra isn’t a fast-acting cure. It can take three to six months to see the best results from Xiidra. Ask your doctor about other treatments in the meantime that might help you feel better before Xiidra is at its full effect.

How do I use Xiidra eye drops?

Learning to give yourself eye drops can be a challenge. You may already have experience with moisturizing eye drops to treat your dry eyes. Some patients struggle with the process since their eyes are already dry and irritated. Whatever your situation, you can learn to use Xiidra with some practice.

Always wash your hands before applying eye drops. Take out your contacts if necessary, then open a Xiidra vial. Tip your head backward or to the side and pull down on your bottom eyelid. Hold the vial above your eye, aiming for the small “pocket” created by your bottom eyelid. Squeeze one drop into your eye. Close your eye and gently press on your tear duct to keep the eye drop from running out of your eye. Keep your eye closed for one to two minutes, then repeat on the other side. Throw away the dropped after treating both of your eyes, even if some solution is still inside.

When should I take Xiidra?

Take Xiidra every 12 hours for the best results. Depending on your schedule, you can also take Xiidra when you wake up and before you go to bed.

What is the cost of Xiidra in America?

Xiidra is a brand-name medication that does not currently have a generic alternative. A one-month supply of 60 vials costs between $800 and $1000 without insurance coverage, discounts, or coupons.

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.

Product was successfully added to your cart!