Intro to Xiidra
Since 2003, the newest FDA-approved eye drop on the market to treat dry eye syndrome was Restasis. Now, Xiidra, a new player has entered the scene. What are the differences between Restasis and Xiidra? To help you understand these treatment options for dry eye, your Parker, CO, eye doctor, Dr. Michael Vaske, explains:
Definition of Dry Eye Syndrome (DES)
DES refers to a range of eye conditions, including an inadequate amount of tears and a low quality tear composition. When left untreated, dry eye can cause uncomfortable symptoms that go from mild to extreme. It can also lead to corneal ulcers and scars. In general, DES interferes with many common daily tasks, such as viewing a computer, reading and driving. Medicated eye drops are one form of dry eye treatment that is proven effective.
Intro to Restasis
Restasis is composed of cyclosporine, which suppresses your immune response. In turn, this increases the production of tears and diminishes eye inflammation. Restasis is most effective to treat DES when inflammation is the cause of the condition.
Numerous scientific studies have shown that Restasis alleviates the pain of dry eye in many people. Side effects include stinging, itching, burning, the sensation of a foreign body in the eye and blurred vision. Some people experience allergic reactions, with symptoms of discomfort and swelling. Statistics show that only about 15% of people using Restasis experience significant relief.
The active ingredient of Xiidra is Lifitegrast, which improves both the signs and symptoms of dry eye. In many large-scale studies (with more than a thousand patients), people who used Xiidra twice a day for 12 weeks showed significant improvement. Side effects include irritated eyes, discomfort, blurry vision and dysgeusia (a change in taste sensation). Approved by the FDA in July, 2016, this drug is new and its long-term efficacy must still be tested.
Primary Differences Between Restasis and Xiidra
- Xiidra is FDA-approved to treat both the symptoms and signs of DES. Restasis does not share this achievement and works only to help patients recover eye moisture eventually. Xiidra also treats the symptoms, such as redness, irritation and headaches.
- Xiidra works more rapidly than Restasis, which can take up to 16 weeks to show effects. In contrast, Xiidra has demonstrated improvements within 6 to 12 weeks, and as quickly as 2 weeks. This is explained by the way in which Xiidra works earlier on T-cells in the inflammatory cycle.
- With Xiidra, there are less reports of burning and stinging as a side effect. Many people complain about using Restasis due to terrible eye pain after inserting the eye drops. Often, this dissipates after a few weeks of use, but for some patients it never improves.
- Contact lens wearers can continue using their lenses with Xiidra, as long as they remove their contacts when putting in the eye drops – and then wait at least 15 minutes before reinserting them. Restasis users are not advised to wear contact lenses.
The only reliable way to find out which medicine is best to treat your dry eye syndrome is by visiting our experienced eye doctor in Parker, CO. Dr. Vaske will examine your eyes to determine the most appropriate dry eye treatment for your condition.