Dry Eye Medications

There are many Dry Eye medications on the market, especially different forms of eye drops. Restasis is the only FDA approved eye drop that has been proven to work for people suffering from dry eyes. There are many different products available over-the-counter, as well as products that require a prescription to help alleviate the symptoms.

Available Dry Eye Medications

Anti-Inflammatory Drops

  • Restasis - This is the only FDA approved medication for Dry Eye Syndrome. Recommended doses are 1 drop twice a day. It’s important to note that this medicine is not intended for instant relief, but rather a long-term medication that doesn’t have the side effects of steroid-based eye drops. Restasis is noted to help in the production of more tears that do no dry up as fast.

Hypotonic Drops

  • TheraTears- TheraTears provides a comprehensive, science-based solution for a dry eye problem. TheraTears brand includes a range of topical drops for dry eye, an omega-3 nutritional supplement for eye comfort, and a gentle & effective eyelid cleanser.
  • HypoTears- HypoTears is an OTC artificial tears product, indicated for temporary relief of burning and irritation due to dryness of the eye or to exposure to wind or sun. It also helps protect against further eye irritation.
  • AkwaTears- This product is used as a lubricant to prevent further irritation or to relieve dryness of the eyes.

Bicarbonate Drops

  • Bion Tears- Bion Tears is only available with your doctor’s prescription and is used to relieve dryness and irritation caused by reduced tear flow. It also helps prevent damage to the eye in certain eye diseases.
  • Murine Tears- These lubricant eye drops are designed to soothe and lubricate dry, irritated eyes. This product contains six of the 11 major ingredients found in natural tears. It temporarily relieves burning and irritation due to dryness of the eye. At the same time, it protects against further irritation.

Gelling Agent Drops

  • Systane- Systane is a brand that includes lubricant eye drops, nighttime lubricant eye drops, and preservative-free eye drops. It’s for the temporary relief of burning and irritation due to dryness of the eye, as is known as the best eye drops you can buy without a prescription.

Preservative Drops

  • GenTeal- GenTeal lubricating eye drop with GenAqua are for moderate dry eye relief symptoms and is manufactured by CIBA.
  • Blink Tears- This product is made by AMO and adapts to your dry eye needs for longer lasting relief. It’s “ocupure” preservative disappears in your eye, reduces blurring, replenishes tear film each time you blink and is clinically shown to improve tear film stability.

Oil-Based Drops

These eyedrops will replenish the lipid layer or tear film.

  • Refresh
  • Endura
  • Soothe

Steroid-Based Drops

It’s important to know that long-term use of steroid eye drops can cause a rise in eye pressure and development of a cataract. None of the eye drops listed below should be taken without the consent of your eye care professional. They are Alrex, Lotemax, FML and Vexol.

Serum Eye Drops

The use of serum eye drops has been shown to help. Natural tears contain many growth factors like antibodies. Since these growth factors are present in serum, using serum eye drops provides the surface healing properties of natural tears.

Medications in the Works

As medicine advances, so do the products that are available. Although none of these products are available now, hopefully they will be soon.

  • Cationorm - Novagali Pharma is an ophthalmic pharmaceutical company that develops and commercializes innovative products and has recently commercialized the product Cationorm, which is to help with dry eye symptoms. This product will hopefully gain worldwide recognition soon, as a clinical study was initiated in the United States during the 3rd quarter of 2008.
  • Secretagogues - These agents increase mucin production and, when applied to the cornea, cause the secretion of mucin from the epithelial layer. There are two secretagogues under investigation by major drug companies for dry eye treatment: diquafosol tetrasodium and hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid.
  • Mucomimetics – MILCIN is being researched for use in the treatment of dry eye symptoms. It supplements the tear film by acting as a mucomimetic. More specifically, MILCIN becomes incorporated into the mucin layer and mimics secreted mucin.
  • Carbomer Gels – These are also in FDA clinical trials for the treatment of keratoconjunctivitis sicca and have achieved some success in the improvement of dry eye symptoms.
  • Immunosuppressive agents-Prograf is an immunosuppressive agent being evaluated for the treatment of dry eye and seasonal allergic conjunctivitis.
  • Androgens - Androgens seem to have a positive influence on the lacrimal gland. Topical beta-estradiol and topical testosterone eye drops are being investigated for the treatment of dry eye syndrome. The hormones seem to enhance lacrimal gland secretory function and have some positive effects for healing of the ocular surface.
This article was last updated on 11/2013