What is Restasis (cyclosporine)?
Restasis (cyclosporine) is an ophthalmic medication prescribed to increase tear production in patients with chronic dry eye or keratoconjunctivitis sicca. Chronic dry eye is a condition where the eyes swell or become inflamed, resulting in a decrease in tear production. Chronic dry eye is treatable with medication but cannot be cured.
Restasis may be prescribed by your doctor for other indications.
Restasis belongs to the drug class immunomodulators. These types of medications work by decreasing the inflammation or swelling in the eye, allowing for tear production.
Restasis is not recommended:
- For patients under 16 years of age
- If you are allergic or have had an allergic reaction to Restasis (cyclosporine) or ingredients in Restasis.
How is Restasis used?
Restasis is an ophthalmic emulsion that comes in a single-use vial or multidose bottle.
Restasis should be stored in the original container between 59°F and 77°F (15°C and 25°C).
Keep out of reach of children.
Before using Restasis, turn the vial upside down and squeeze the emulsion out until it produces a white, opaque substance. Place one drop in each eye, careful not to touch the tip of the eye drop with your finger or your eye, to avoid contamination.
After application, close your eyes for 2-3 minutes tipping your head down. Do not blink or squeeze your eyes. Wipe any excess liquid with a tissue.
Use twice a day, approximately 12 hours apart. Do not use more drops than prescribed. If you missed a dose, take it as soon as you remember and ensure that your next dose is 12 hours later.
Single-use vials should be discarded right away after use. Do not reuse single-use vials once opened.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist for further direction if you do not understand the instruction.
Restasis ophthalmic emulsion contains 0.5 mg/mL of cyclosporine.
It’s important to understand that although Restasis is FDA approved, it comes with side effects that may or may not affect you.
Before starting Restasis, you should discuss possible side effects with your doctor or pharmacist.
Common Side Effects
Not all side effects require medical attention. As your body adjusts to Restasis, side effects may go away.
Tell your doctor if you experience the following symptoms, and they become severe or do not go away on their own:
- Burning and stinging
- Eye redness
- Watery eyes
- Eye pain
- Blurred vision
- Feeling of something in your eye
Serious Side Effects
Severe adverse reactions while taking Restasis may occur. Seek emergency medical care or call 911 if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Severe allergic reaction: severe rash or itching, swelling in the face, lips, tongue, or throat, rapid heartbeat, fainting or dizziness, or problems breathing or swallowing.
The information above does not list all possible side effects. Contact your doctor or pharmacist if you experience any side effects not listed. You or your doctor may report side effects to the FDA by calling 1-800-FDA-1088.
WARNINGS & PRECAUTIONS
Before using Restasis, tell your doctor or pharmacist:
- If you are allergic to Restasis, cyclosporine, or any other medications
- If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant
- If you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed
Eye Injury and Contamination
To avoid contamination and potential eye injury, do not touch the tip of the vial to your eye, with your hands, or any other object. For single-use vials, discard immediately after use. For multidose vials, immediately place the cap back on and store.
Restasis can be used even if you wear contact lenses. Before using Restasis, take out your contact lenses. Do not place Restasis drops in your eyes while you are weaning your contacts. Wait 15 minutes after administering Restasis before placing the contact lenses back in.
Restasis has not been established to be effective and safe for patients under 16 years of age. Consult with your doctor to determine if Restasis can or should be prescribed.
Pregnant or Planning to Become Pregnant
During clinical trials, it was determined there were minimal traces of Restasis remaining in the system of patients including pregnant patients. It is expected that Restasis will not pass on to the fetus of a pregnant patient.
Breastfeeding or Planning to Breastfeed
There is insufficient data to determine if Restasis (cyclosporine), which is administered ophthalmically, will pass through to breastmilk. Cyclosporine administered systemically (e.g. orally) has been known to have passed through to breastmilk. Consult with your doctor to evaluate the benefits and risks of taking Restasis while breastfeeding.
INTERACTIONS & CONTRAINDICATIONS
Before using Restasis, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you take any medications, herbal supplements, or vitamins.
During clinical trials, the most commonly observed adverse reaction with Restasis was ocular burning, an irritating or stinging feeling in the eye.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS