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Xiidra vs Restasis - Costs, Side Effects, Benefits, and More

Dr. Travis Zigler Discusses the Benefits of Xiidra Over Restasis

Xiidra has just been introduced to dry eye sufferers, the first new prescription eye drops for dry eyes in 13 years. Restasis was the last new one and was approved by the FDA in 2003. But there has been a lot of research in those years and 2003 when Restasis was first introduced, people didn’t really know much about dry eye as a condition. What they knew of it was more of a description of its symptoms. So what does Xiidra provide that Restasis doesn’t, and vice versa?

Xiidra’s Benefits Over Restasis

Restasis is a pharmaceutical-grade product but is only approved for the treatment of dry eye and it’s primary benefit is that it helps people with dry eye eventually begin to recover higher quality eye moisture. Xiidra has been approved not just for the treatment of dry eye signs, but for its symptoms as well. It sounds like a technicality, but it’s a big one!

Xiidra treats the symptoms such as dryness, redness, pain, headaches, irritation, and the like, and some patients experience improvements within two weeks, more by six weeks, and most by 12 weeks of use. That’s a big improvement on Restasis, which is recommended to be used for six months before most patients see improvement, and then it is only in increasing tear production. The six-month issue has been one of the big problems for those using Restasis and many quits using it before they reach the benefit stage. Buying Restasis at the cash price (not considering insurance coverage) usually, runs about $400 per month for people using two drops per day per eye.  Xiidra costs can be comparable, but they offer a coupon program here Xiidra Coupon.

You can also learn more about What to Expect When Using Xiidra and other important info here.

Restasis and Xiidra Side Effects

As mentioned, some using Restasis experience a burning sensation when they apply the drops. There are some who have a similar response to Xiidra, but the numbers appear lower – at least from the trials run to get FDA approval. Those numbers could climb as Xiidra begins to see more widespread use, but it does not seem to be a huge factor.

Other side effects experienced by those using Xiidra during the trial phase, but at a much lesser level, include a strange or bad taste in the mouth and blurry vision right after application of the drops. Also, no tests were done with women who were pregnant or breastfeeding. For those who are breastfeeding or pregnant, check with your doctor, but it’s probably better to avoid the use of any medications during that time. Learn more about Xiidra's contraindications and side effects here!

Contact Lenses

Restasis users are generally told not to wear contact lenses while using their eye drops. Xiidra users can still wear contacts; they just have to remove them before putting the drops in their eyes and then wait at least 15 minutes before putting the lenses back in. Even easier, you can just use Xiidra before inserting the lenses in the morning and then again after taking them out at night. Read here for more tips on contact lens-related dry eye.

Most people believe Xiidra is a step up from anything else available, and time will tell if this is the case. Have you tried Xiidra yet? What about Restasis? Any success stories out there? Want to forget about all these drops and cure your dry eye naturally? Click Here to learn how to cure dry eye naturally!

One Love,

Dr. Travis Zigler

Dr. Travis Zigler
SeeEO of Eye Love
Director of the Dry Eye Syndrome Support Community
Click Here to learn how to cure dry eye naturally

 

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Comments

Dr. Jenna Zigler on August 14 2018 at 01:44PM

Hey Susan – Sure! If you’re feeling better on our products, there’s no reason not to try. you’ll save some money too :)
One Love, Dr. Jenna Zigler

Susan Dailey on August 14 2018 at 12:51PM

Of course with the diet you recommend. Have already started that. 😆

Susan Dailey on August 14 2018 at 01:27PM

I’ve been using Restasis for about 4 years. Can I ween myself off of it after using your product ie omega, lid and lash spray, warm compress, tea tree oil soap?

Diane Brennan on May 16 2018 at 02:26PM

I have been on Restasis for almost a month, and I have come to the conclusion that these drops cause more harm than good. When I take the drops, my eyes hurt all day long. It makes my eyes sore and it causes a dull throbbing pain. Not worth it! I may ask to try Xidra – my insurance company initially rejected it and forced me to use Restasis, but I cannot tolerate that medicine. My eyes feel best after a course of Lotemax, can I stay on those drops long term?
Thank you for this forum.

Jenna Zigler on April 24 2018 at 02:11PM

Hey Maribel. We are definitely not blowing off dry eyes as a secondary problem! We always say that dry eyes are a symptom of a bigger problem, of which you are suffering (RA, fibromyalgia, sjogrens). I would highly suggest reading Travis’s book and looking into your diet, hydration, and other things that may be underlying your inflammation. Best of luck!
Here is the link to Dr. Travis Zigler’s Book, Rethinking Dry Eye Treatment: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B076CLZ198/ref=redir_mobile_desktop?encoding=UTF8&dpID=516JI2AqqLL&dpPl=1&keywords=Dry%20eye%20book&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_QL65&qid=1507740010&ref=plSrch&ref_=mp_s_a_120&sr=8-20

Maribel on April 16 2018 at 02:38PM

I have Rheumatoid Arthritis, Fibromyalgia, and Sjogrens. I’m on Pilocarpine pills 4 times a day with no real success and oral Prednisone. I have been on DMARDs for my RA as well but can no longer take them. I tried Restasis twice and could not tolerate the pain it caused. I have just been given Xiidra by my eye doctor and it’s causing more dryness and pain. I have commercial insurance and the doctor gave me a coupon for 1 month free and 10.00 a month afterwards. This is even if I can tolerate it. The doctor also gave me a prescription for Bromide which is very expensive even with insurance so I called to ask for Diclofenac Sodium eye drops instead. I’m waiting for a response from the doctors office now to see what will happen next. My eye pain has been so bad the past 8 years that I have even wanted my eyes removed at the time. I know that sounds extreme but the pain has been that bad. I was a nurse for a little over 24 years but due to my health I have had to stop. My joint and muscular pain is painful enough but add the eye pain and dryness and it can be unbearable at times. Since I’m not working, I get the chance to close my eyes more and I’m not around chemicals or smoke that irritates my eyes more. My eye doctor told me their Are other treatments such as plasma that is used to create your own tears but the treatment can be expensive. Dry eyes is a serous and painful condition and should not be blown off as a secondary problem.

Shirley Saunders on December 09 2017 at 10:21AM

My doctor prescribed Restatis but the Pharmacist gave me Xiidra. Is this a generic alternative. The first time I used it the drops stung for quite a while, is this normal, should I be concerned?

LORI on August 10 2017 at 09:31AM

I used Restasis for about 4 years. It helped with tear production, but I still had the grit feeling in my eyes most days along with other dry eye symptoms. My Optometrist recently suggested Xiidra. I have used it for about a week and I am already THRILLED at the result! No more gritty feeling! It’s amazing! I find the eye drop vials are sufficient with (2) drops, one for each eye, with no waste left over. I only have a slight stinging feeling, and a bit of blur shortly after using the drops, and then, just relief! I can’t wait until a few weeks go by to see how much more improvement I get. #EyeLove Xiidra!! So far, so very, very good!!!!! Also, I received a card for first month absolutely free from my Optometrist, and additional refills for 12 months at only $10/month. I was paying $80/month for Restasis after insurance. I am beyond happy with Xiidra! :)

LORI on August 10 2017 at 09:26AM

I used Restasis for about 4 years. It helped with tear production, but I still had the grit feeling in my eyes most days along with other dry eye symptoms. My Optometrist recently suggested Xiidra. I have used it for about a week and I am already THRILLED at the result! No more gritty feeling! It’s amazing! I find the eye drop vials are sufficient with (2) drops, one for each eye, with no waste left over. I only have a slight stinging feeling, and a bit of blur shortly after using the drops, and then, just relief! I can’t wait until a few weeks go by to see how much more improvement I get. #EyeLove Xiidra!! So far, so very, very good!!!!! Also, I received a card for first month absolutely free from my Optometrist, and additional refills for 12 months at only $10/month. I was paying $80/month for Restasis after insurance. I am beyond happy with Xiidra! :)

Mary Ann Gilman on May 01 2017 at 09:55AM

The amount of fluid in the vial is not enough to do the job!! Price is too high!!!! Come on, this is ridiculous!!

mary brennan on April 26 2017 at 03:40PM

I love xiidra! Relief finally after years of suffering with dry eye and consulting many doctors and exhausting all treatments. I could not use restasis. My eyes literally hurt all day with restasis. Thank you !

Liz on April 14 2017 at 09:37AM

I used Restasis and it seemed to help. Due to cost i stopped.
Big mistake
Tried Xiidra. The blurry eyes lasted for quite a while. Not acceptable. Contents of viles too little.
Restasis might cost more but viles have more priduct and can be used until drops are gone. Im going back to Restasis!

Ali on April 08 2017 at 09:05AM

I have Sjogrens & Raynauds autoimmune disease. I have extremely dry eyes and have experienced corneal damage as a result. I used Restasis and took myself off it. It aggravated my eyes and made them worse then they are. I began Xiidra last December, using it twice a day for a month. It is a miracle drug. Because of the cost even with insurance, $208.92 a month, I now only use it once a day in the morning. It helps tremendously. I can only imagine the effect if I were able to use it twice a day as prescribed. I agree with others who say there is very little medication in the vial to truly deliver a complete drop/dose. I use Thera Tears as needed to compensate for the once a day dosage.

Donna on April 01 2017 at 01:04AM

The price of xiidra is ridiculous as well as the amount that comes in each vial. I will be calling my eye doctor and going back to Restasis. No way this drug is beneficial to me. Have been a Restasis user for years with no problems.

Rosiet on March 29 2017 at 10:29PM

Will be starting xiidra tonight. Restatis was a big flop for me…used for years… and actually aggravated my eyes ALL day. Took myself off once I figured that out. My eyes are bad enough. I have very severe dry eye. All tear ducts have been cauterized and use steroid drops and fish oil. Corneas are damaged. I have have two autoimmune diseases contributing to problem. I am really hoping to get good results with this and at least get off steroid drops.

David on March 24 2017 at 12:10AM

My eyes produce 1/20th of normal tear production , i.e. Severe dry eye . My transplanted corneas are likely correlated to this condition . I need drops every 15 min , 30 min max or I can’t see and it’s very uncomfortable
I tried restasis for 8 months , I wish I could say it helped , I didn’t notice any changes .
Xiidra has been helpful . I’ve noticed I can go almost 60 minutes sometimes even 2 hours without drops on occasion .
However , xiidra has an insidious eye dropper , they give you a tiny amount and you can’t reuse the dropper. It’s very annoying how little they provide in each dropper , restasis doesn’t do that , they give you enough .
I don’t use corporate health Insurance , unfortunately many of those plans are terrible. Based on having good health insurance , both drops are affordable , but still a go pay . Fight for single payer health care

Tamie on March 20 2017 at 09:31PM

Who can afford either of these medications? I was given a prescription for Xiidra and even with insurance it is $252.00 a month. Needless to say, I did not get it.

Dr. Travis Zigler on March 17 2017 at 11:02AM

Hey Kathy,

Unfortunately we have nothing to do with the drops but we would be more than happy to show you our omega 3 supplements, which is healthier and less expensive option. You can go to the link below to check it out! Have a great day!

Omega 3 Formula – https://eyelovethesun.com/collections/dry-eye-syndrome/products/dryeyesupplement

Also, it might be worth it for you to check out our “Subscribe and Save” option that saves you 30% off. Products are automatically delivered on your schedule. No obligation, modify or cancel your subscription anytime.

One Love,
Dr. Travis Zigler

Kathy on March 16 2017 at 07:06PM

I have dry eye and my Dr prescribed this. I did receive the first prescript free. However I was shocked to hear after that it would cost $400 and must be preaapproved because my insurance is Tricare prime. People on fixed income can’t afford this if not approved. I just see why it cost so much.

Joan S. on February 06 2017 at 10:57AM

To avoid Xiidra’s bad taste, put your finger on the inside corner of your eye and press lightly for about a minute after you put in the drop. This is in the instructions, and my eye doctor told me to do this, too. It prevents the drop from going down your throat. I have absolutely no problem with the bad taste, when I do this. It’s simple. I started using Xiidra about two months ago, and had improvement within a week. It’s expensive, but I am now starting to use just one drop a day. It still works and I can stretch out the vials this way.

Dr. Jenna Zigler on January 31 2017 at 09:15AM

Sandy- Do whatever your doctor has recommended for you. Xiidra will take at least 2 weeks to a couple months to notice positive changes. Hope that helps!

Sandy Beebe on January 30 2017 at 04:43PM

Can I use both Restasis and Xiidra; On Xiidra for one week and symptoms are worse.

Dr. Jenna Zigler on January 28 2017 at 11:13AM

Emma – This is, unfortunately, a major side effect of Xiidra. It does taste super bad to some people. Try using it and then drinking water or a smoothie to help soothe the off-putting taste!

EMMA JEANNE BERGFELS on January 26 2017 at 03:21PM

my main problem with xiidra is the taste that comes with it. I gag every time I put the drops in, it makes me dread putting them in my eyes

Dr. Jenna Zigler on January 18 2017 at 12:19PM

Joseph- Dry Eye Disease is unfortunately something that requires lifelong treatment. Whether it is Restasis or Xiidra, treatment will need to continue for you to see benefits from it. Neither of these medications will cause dependency, though, so you should feel free to try either of them and see how they work for you!

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