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When should I use Restasis eye drops?

Stacy Wiegman, PharmD
Pharmacy Specialist

Restasis eye drops (also known as cyclosporine ophthalmic) are used to treat a chronic dry eye condition. Restasis eye drops are usually used twice a day. To space the doses equally in a 24-hour day, it is good to use them about 12 hours apart. To help you remember to use your Restasis eye drops, apply them around the same time every day. For example, you might take them at 7 o'clock in the morning and again at 7 o'clock in the evening. Artificial tears may be used during treatment with Restasis; however, you shouldn't use them both at the same time. Instead, you should wait 15 minutes after applying one product before using the other product. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist for instructions on when and how to use Restasis.

Dr. Gary S. Hirshfield, MD
Ophthalmologist (Eye Specialist)

Dry eyes is usually a chronic condition that tends to remain or get worse over time. Restasis works through suppressing inflammation in the glands that make tears, and this inflammation is believed to be a major cause of dry eye. If a patient finds that Restasis is effective, it needs to be used continually to maintain the benefits.

However, in a moderate dry eye, due to patients' wishes because of the inconvenience and/or expense of chronic medicines, doctors have stopped Restasis after six months to a year of seeing beneficial effects. In many cases the symptoms remain improved for quite some time after stopping the Restasis.

In a severe dry eye where corneal damage and loss of vision is a possibility, Restasis should be continued indefinitely. Other common treatments for dry eyes include non-preserved lubricant drops, punctal occlusion and omega fatty acid supplementation.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.