Restasis (cyclosporine ophthalmic emulsion) is an eye drop used to treat chronic drying of the eyes caused by inflammation. It is an immunosuppressive agent if administered systemically. For those whose tear production is suspected to be suppressed because of ocular inflammation, specifically in cases like keratoconjunctivitis sicca, cyclosporine emulsion acts as a partial immunomodulator.
It is available in 0.5 mg/mL strength, but it is has two forms:
-Restasis Single-Use Vials
This type of Restasis is intended for one dose of the drug. It contains 0.4 mL/vial.
Each vial of this contains 5.5mL of Restasis and could be used for multiple doses.
You should use Restasis only as prescribed by your doctor and read the prescription label as well. Do not use it in smaller or larger amounts than what is recommended. Additionally, avoid using it longer than prescribed.
Here are the steps in applying Restasis:
- Make sure to wash your hands before applying Restasis drops into your eyes.
- Note that the color of Restasis eye drops should be white. To lightly mix the bottle, turn it upside down a few times. Do not shake the bottle.
- Slightly tilt your head backward and gently pull down your lower eyelid.
- Look up and away from the dropper and squeeze a drop.
- Close your eyes for 2 minutes. Avoid blinking or squinting.
- Softly press the inside corners of your eyes to prevent Restasis from draining into your tear duct.
If you have other eye drops or artificial tears that you also need to apply, wait for at least 15 minutes after the Restasis application.
Be sure not to touch the tip of the eye drop bottle. If your hand is contaminated, this could lead to infection.
Single-Use bottles are meant for one-time application. Discard the bottle immediately, regardless if there is still some liquid left inside.
Some common side effects of Restasis include:
-burning or itchy sensation in the eye
-feeling like there is something in your eye
Mild symptoms usually go away on their own. On the other hand, it is important to watch out for serious side effects like persistent eye pain, trouble seeing, or eye swelling. Eye infection is also possible if the application and storing of the eye drop are unsanitary. Signs of an eye infection are eye redness and thick discharge from the eye. Call your doctor right away if any of these severe reactions occur.
Talk to your doctor about your medical history and if you have any allergy to this kind of medication or any active ingredients this may contain.
After applying this drug, temporary blurring of vision is common. For your safety, avoid doing activities that require clear vision, such as driving or using machinery.
If you wear a pair of contact lenses, remove them before you administer Restasis. It may be reinserted 15 minutes after the application of the emulsion.
Be sure not to touch the tip of the eye drop to your eye to avoid eye injury. If such an incident occurs, seek medical help right away.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which is more effective – Xiidra vs Restasis?
On Restasis vs Xiidra, both are effective in easing chronic eye dryness. However, these two are from different drug classifications.
Do I need a prescription when buying Restasis?
Restasis is a prescription treatment for dry eyes.
Can Restasis damage your eyes?
This is unlikely. If administered with caution, it is safe and effective.
Is Restasis safe for pregnant women?
Restasis is under Pregnancy Category C. You should only use this emulsion if the potential benefits are greater than the potential risks.
Can you get withdrawal symptoms from Restasis?
It is unlikely that you will get withdrawal symptoms after you stop using Restasis. However, your eye dryness might return once you stop using this.