Restasis vs Xiidra: Here’s What You Need To Know

Xiidra 60 single use containers


The second prescription medication that treats the signs and symptoms of dry eye disease is called Xiidra® (pronounced Zy-dra, like Hydra). This medication contains lifitegrast ophthalmic solution and was recently FDA approved in July of 2016. Similar to Restasis®, Xiidra® works to reduce the inflammation that is present in dry eye.

How often do I take it?

Xiidra® is a preservative-free eye drop that is used twice a day in each eye approximately 12 hours apart. Like Restasis®, it’s important to note this eye drop should not be used while wearing contact lenses. Instead, wait 15 minutes after using Xiidra® before you put in your contacts 

Do I need to take it forever?

In most cases, yes (sound familiar). Dry eye disease is a chronic disease. Therefore, like Restasis®, when the medication is stopped, symptoms of this disease often return.

What are the side effects?

The most common side effects of Xiidra® include eye irritation, discomfort or blurred vision, and an unusual taste sensation (5-25%).

How does it work?

Xiidra® works by inhibiting part of the inflammatory process associated with dry eye. It is similar to Restasis® in that it has an anti-inflammatory effect.

Tell me about the clinical trials.

There were four multi-center, randomized clinical trials involving more than 1,000 patients. The trial results showed that the patients using Xiidra® had a significant clinical improvement in the signs and symptoms of dry eye.

How long does it take to work?

In the clinical studies, symptoms were shown to improve as early as the two-week mark.

Related: “Dry Eye Disease: Here’s Why Your Eyes Water All the Time”

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