Important Contraindications and Side Effects of Xiidra

Important Contraindications and Side Effects of Xiidra


The FDA says Xiidra's safety was assessed in four separate studies. Over 1,000 mostly female patients, ages 19 to 97, participated. This might have been because other studies show that dry eye mainly affects women. They received either placebo eye drops or Xiidra eye drops to be used twice a day for twelve weeks. Those treated with Xiidra had a lot more improvement in the signs and symptoms of dry eyes than those who received the placebo.  There were no differences between older and younger patients.

No matter how safe a drug appears, there are always side effects. Xiidra is no different. Common side effects include eye irritation, eye discomfort, blurred vision, and an unusual or unpleasant taste in the mouth. The experience of the taste is called dysgeusia. None of those symptoms are cited as reasons to discontinue the medication, even by the FDA, and side effects can be expected with any medication!

Though Xiidra’s trials used 76% women, none of them were pregnant or breastfeeding mothers so it may be included amongst contraindications. There is no evidence to support or deny that it may be harmful to pregnant women, so those who are pregnant or plan to become pregnant should consult with their doctor. It is also unknown if Xiidra can harm a baby through breast milk. Breastfeeding mothers should talk to their doctors as well.

People who wear contact lenses can use Xiidra, with a few caveats. They should take the lenses out before use and should also wait 15 minutes before putting their lenses back in. The same sanitary measures that apply to wearing contacts, like having clean hands and not contaminating anything that will touch the eye, applies to the use of Xiidra.

Allergic reactions to Xiidra are more serious than the side effects, but they are few. They include breaking out in hives, difficulty breathing, and swelling of the face, lips, tongue, and/or throat. Any such reaction should be reported to emergency medical personnel and to the company. If persistent vision problems or severe redness or irritation occur, a person is advised to discontinue use of Xiidra and call their doctor to discuss what to do next.

When left untreated, dry eye syndrome can lead to pain, ulceration, and scars on the cornea. It can also make everyday tasks difficult or nearly impossible. Xiidra can help with those things, but it is advisable to know the risks of any drug one takes to cure symptoms. Only a doctor can prescribe it and any concerns should be discussed with them. Have you tried Xiidra? If not, what excites you about this new medication option?

One Love,

Dr. Travis Zigler

P.S. Don't forget to join our Dry Eye Syndrome Support Community on Facebook!


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Kate on February 07 2019 at 04:04PM

I had very bright flashes of light too. Very scary. Not taking this anymore!!!

Connie Borozenski on January 14 2019 at 11:52AM

I just starting taking Xiidra about 5 days. I get pressure in my head but it goes away after an hour. My sinuses bother me I also get bumps that appear in the back of my tongue. Some go away and some are still there. I don’t know if I should stop taking it or it will go away.

Ruby on December 11 2018 at 01:39PM

I have temporary burning on instillation of Xiidra and blurred vision which seems to be getting increasingly worse. I plan to contact my Dr.for a replacement due to above mentioned side effects and also due to the excessive cost.

Wendy on August 23 2018 at 04:08PM

I have developed a rash on both my lower legs since starting this……is this normal or related?

Georgia on March 22 2018 at 11:13AM

I have been using Xiidra for three weeks, accompanied by a steroid drop for the first ten days. In addition to the mild eye irritation and unpleasant taste in the mouth, the side effects I am experiencing are unusual pain/sensitivity at the inner corners of my eyes and dry throat.

Jenna Zigler on January 17 2018 at 01:05PM

Hey Margaret. Sounds like you’re reacting to the Xiidra so you should probably discontinue (you could try wiping it, but it likely won’t help). I would also, like to suggest our Heyedrate Lid & Lash Cleanser! Sounds like it could really help you out! Click the following link: https://eyelovethesun.com/collections/dry-eye-syndrome/products/heyedrate-for-blepharitis

One Love,
Dr. Jenna Zigler

Margaret on January 17 2018 at 07:12AM

I have been using Xiidra for 3-4 weeks, and my dry eye has improved dramatically. However, an uncomfortable side effect has caused me to discontinue use. My skin of my eyelids (especially the inner corners, top and bottom) have become very dry and scaly and puffy. Any suggestions to reduce this? I stopped using Xiidra because of that, but by eyes became very dry again. It may be that the drops came in contact with the eyelid skin and sat there for a while, and over time, caused dryness/scaliness. I discontinued Xiidra, but my eyes got very dry again. I am wondering if I immediately wipe off any excess off my lids, will this help? Any suggests, comments are welcomed. M.

Dr. Travis Zigler on January 12 2018 at 12:02PM

Hey Nell. Consult your doctor. We don’t usually prescribe Xiidra for our patients until all other natural remedies are tried. You can learn more at www.dryeyecommunity.com
One Love,
Dr. Travis Zigler

Nell on January 11 2018 at 09:05PM

I have been using xxidra for about 2 months. The past month I’ve noticed my eyes draining pale yellow mucus for about 2 hours after using the drops. My eyes seem to water excessively (which was occurring in only one eye prior to starting these drops). Overall I would say the drops are helping, but this mucus production and watery eyes are bothersome. What do you think???

ashley - operations manager on December 30 2017 at 12:51PM

Hey Diane. you really need to contact your doctor about the side effects. Since we don’t make Xiidra we can’t give advice. You could also contact the company.

Diane on December 28 2017 at 02:12PM

Since using xiidra for about 3-4 months …I always get burning and blurry vision and increased tearing immediately after instillation along with bad taste in mouth ..but I also have noticed that my vision seems to be worse overall ..can’t read smaller print as well ..also the blurriness sometimes continues for an hour, in addition I am wondering if this drug can cause post-nasal drip since my “snortiness” is really bad and had improved when I ran out of my prescription for a couple days. I am having to pop cough drops constantly and I do think my constant clearing of throat Andy nasal passages is annoying to myself and others.

Angela R on December 10 2017 at 12:40PM

Hello, I have been taking this for 3 weeks and this constant bad taste is all the time in my mouth. My drainage and phlegm taste like it also. It tastes salty. Has anyone else experienced this? Having the bad taste all the time .

Bridgette on December 07 2017 at 08:00PM

I started taking xiidra about 4 days ago. Since starting the eye drops, I have noticed my tongue has become itchy (mainly on the tip) it’s not red or swollen but I’m curious if this would be classified as an allergic reaction or if my mouth may just be more sensitive and needs time to adjust.

Ashley Operations Manager at Eye Love on December 06 2017 at 10:47AM

Hey Sue. These do sound like common side effects that we have heard before. However, you should really check with the company Xiidra and visit your doctor to be sure. One Love, Ashley

Sue McLaughlin on December 05 2017 at 03:28PM

I have been using xiidra since September. About two weeks after I started, my eyelids have been swollen, and under my eyes has been very puffy. Are these side effects? I also still experience stinging when put the xiidra in and the unpleasant taste in the back of my throat. Can anyone help?

Seven S. on November 02 2017 at 10:48PM

I had the EXACT same experience as Wendy! And I was also VERY nauseous! Glad I too figured out it was the Xiidra! I agree about TOO BAD because my eyes felt so much better! But I can’t live with the nausea and other symptoms Wendy listed. It feels like my Adrenals are freaking out! Bad, bad feeling! I’m sure this is rare but when it happens to you it’s very scary. So glad Wendy posted this!

Wendy on October 29 2017 at 06:28PM

I have been using Xiidra for almost three months, and my eyes are much better. I can tolerate the bad taste, that’s a tradeoff. But my head pounds, my sinuses are stuffy, my chest is tight and I feel pressure. My throat feels swollen, and my breathing doesn’t have the same rhythm. This is hard to explain, at first I thought there might be something wrong with my heart. I feel generally unwell and uneasy. A couple of days ago I forgot to use the Xiidra. Later that day I started to feel better, but did not make a connection with the Xiidra until a few days later, when I forgot to use it again. I felt better physically and decided to skip the Xiidra a second time. Again, I felt a lot better. Now I hestitate to go back to using the Xiidra, which is disappointing because it makes my eyes so much better. But the way my head and chest felt was very disturbing, and I don’t feel normal. has anyone else reported something like this while using Xiidra? I’m not someone who complains about every little side effect. In fact, I didn’t even read the literature that came with the Xiidra, and didn’t make the connection with symptoms for weeks.

laura bernard on October 10 2017 at 12:28PM

DO NOT TAKE XIIDRA!!! I had perfect long distance vision all my life up until I took Xiidra. After only 4 days of taking these drops as prescribed , everything Iong distance was suddenly out of focus ! Thought it was only temporary , but its been a year and my vision grows worse. I’ve had to have my lenses changed twice. This has been documented by my ophthomologist and I’m now seeking legal counsel. Please beware of this drug !

Dr. Jenna Zigler on October 09 2017 at 08:35AM

Laura – The burning, blurriness, and odd taste are known side effects. They should contact their doctor about any other side effects.
Dr. Jenna Zigler

Dr. Jenna Zigler on October 09 2017 at 08:33AM

Amy and Maura – That’s not a known side effect. Any time someone has flashes of light, for any reason, we tell them to head to their optometrist to get it checked out.- Dr. Jenna Zigler

Laura Corkadel on October 09 2017 at 08:03AM

Is it normal to have a white discharge from my eyes right after using my xiidra? This has been happening, along with the burning, blurry vision and odd taste. None are bothersome enough to stop taking it though! The la:)

maura on October 07 2017 at 12:57AM

I had bright flashes of light after using as Amy did. HOwever, it does not look like her question was answered and whether this was normal and what the cause would be

Dr. Jenna Zigler on September 21 2017 at 04:15PM

Barbara – No, not that I’ve ever heard. It’s not a known side effect.

Babara on September 19 2017 at 09:33PM

Is there an is increased risk in glaucoma by using Ziidra?

Dr. Jenna Zigler on September 14 2017 at 08:52PM

Great question Beth! Excess tearing is often due to dry eyes and not the medication. This is something that should improve with the use of Xiidra, so I would not decrease the amount you’re using but make sure to speak with your doctor.

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