All About Dry Eye Blog

RESTASIS & Dry Eye, a 50/50 solution

glass vial RESTASIS dry eyeFor many dry eye patients, Restasis is the difference between a “good” dry eye day and a “shut the blinds, leave me alone” dry eye day. Unfortunately, it does not seem to help all dry eye patients equally.

Restasis belongs to a class of medicines known as immunosuppressants. It increases tear production in people who have an eye condition preventing them from producing tears themselves. Thus, it is continually used to treat not only Dry Eye Disease but also Sjogren’s Syndrome, Lupus, Blindness & Visual Impairment and even Panic Attacks.

How to use Restasis?

This medication is applied to the affected eye twice a day, with 12 hours in between, or as director by your doctor. Remove any contact lenses and do not replace them until 15 minutes following the use of Restasis. Same thing applies to artificial tear drops, wait 15 minutes to reapply.

Mix the contents of the vial by turning it upside down a couple of times before use. Make sure you wash your hands first and avoid touching the tip of the vial or let it touch your eye to avoid contamination. Open the vial and tilt your head back, look upwards while you pull down on your lower eyelid with both index and thumb fingers to create a ‘pouch’. Place the tip of the vial directly over the affected eye and apply one drop, look downward and close your eye for 2 minutes. Don’t blink or rub your eye[1].

Some patients may experience some light burning and discomfort when first applying Restasis. Try waiting 15 minutes after applying the medication and then rinse out your eyes with chilled saline solution vials. This will refresh your eyes and remove any irritating Restasis residue. Consult with your doctor if symptoms continue.

Who should use Restasis?

Restasis helps increase your eyes’ natural tear production, which can be reduced by inflammation due to Chronic Dry Eye. It has not provided help for patients using anti-inflammatory eye drops or tear duct plugs.

The effects of Restasis therapy can be felt within a month of therapy, but it takes 3 to 6 months to see an increase in tear production. Many patients continue using artificial tears after starting Restasis but the use may decrease as they start producing more tears of their own. As with any other medical treatment, individual results may vary.

Who shouldn’t use Restasis?

As previously mentioned, Restasis did not increase tear production in patients already using anti-inflammatory eye drops or who had tear duct plugs inserted. In addition, certain patients can experience symptoms similar to an allergic reaction to Restasis: prolonged discomfort, severe redness, yellow discharge from the eye. Patients with active eye infections should avoid it too.

Some patients have experienced severe burning/stinging when first applied. These symptoms seem to go away for the majority of patients; however, if symptoms persist and redness and discharge occur, please consult with your doctor as Restasis may not be right for you.


Do you have any Restasis stories to tell? We’d love to hear about them!





  1. I have severe dry eye syndrome, was tested for Sjogren’s Syndrome, but it came up negative. I got permanent punctal plugs but I continue to suffer. Tears are only a temporary fix and by temporary, I mean for about 10 minutes. I squint ALL day long. I have mutli image vision, due to the dry spots in my eyes. At night the stop lights look like a triad of redlights and the closer I get they converge almost to one light. I tried Restatsis but it did not bring me any relief, so I stopped wasting my money on it. I have to get botox in the muscles under ,my eyebrows because the cramping pain in my forehead from squinting all day long is unbearable.

    • Hi MonicaP, I’m sorry to hear you’re in such a tight spot! As I mentioned on the post, the chances of RESTASIS working for a dry eye patient are almost 50/50, I’m sorry it did not work for you. How long did you try it for? Also, what other treatments have you tried? What about moisture goggles, warm compresses at night, omega3’s in your diet? You can ask a question on our forum and see if anyone else is in your same situation or one of our accredited doctors might be able to offer suggestions as well.

      • Hi,

        I used Restasis for about 6 months, but I am one of those that falls into the permanent plugs category… doesnt seem to work for me. It really came on after my Lasik surgery. I never heard of moisture goggles… do you have a link to info on those? Maybe I should consider an omega 3 supplement? What about other anti infamatory eye drops? I just am getting the feeling there is no relief in sight.

        • Hi MonicaP! There are various types of dry eye glasses designed to fit different patients. I recently wrote a post on one of these goggles that seals moisture around your eyes providing long lasting comfort
          Omega 3’s help reduce any inflammation on the glands to allow for more tears to flow. I would ask your doctor to recommend you a brand and the amount to take.
          With regards to drops, some patients go through 5 or 6 drops until they find one that helps, it may be your case.

    • I was almost blind until i met Dr Otas who helped me to get my eyes back,in a good condition,now i can now see with my two now one of the happiest man.
      Any one having relatives with such problem can contact him on +2348054454982 or

  2. Dale Bratlund says:

    I absolutely DETEST the new Restasis lady (who speaks her mind) that you now have on Restasis ads! I cannot stand to watch or listen to her. I turn the TV off or change channels whenever she comes on, I want you to know! I liked your old Restasis lady, but absolutely detest your new one!

    • Hi Dale, I have to admit I have not seen the ads you are referring too, so I can’t comment on them. I would like to point out that is not affiliated with Restasis.

  3. Gail McIntyre says:

    Restasis is very expensive here in Canada. And though I bought a month’s supply ($200) and it is still before its due date am hesitant to take up Restasis as artificial tears are now and have been used by mesince first diagnosed with Sjogren’s some 8 years ago, and are still effective. Can you comment.


    • Hi Gail, thanks for your comment, which are you saying has been effective for you? If you have already purchased the Restasis, why not try it, and if you feel any discomfort speak with your doctor.

  4. Talha Gokmen says:

    What is the effect of Restasis on post-LASIK dry eyes? I had LASIK 2 years ago and developed dry eyes after that. I thınk my condition is mild but some days are terrible. I did not have dry eyes before the surgery. Now my doctor recommends Restasis for 1-1,5 year. Should I start?

    • Hi Talha, I see no reason for you not to try it. I’ve heard that they say Restasis works better for people whose condition is bad, but not terrible- so it sounds like it could help you..

      Are you worried about having to use it for the rest of your life? The cost? What’s making you unsure?

      By the way — get multiple answers to this & all your other dry eye questions by posting them in our brand new forum: ..You’ll also be automatically entered to win free stuff JUST by posting! Good luck!

      • Well, I am more worried about having to use artificial tears for the rest of my life. Actually having dry eyes for the rest of my life is the biggest worry.

        I want to see all the options before starting a treatment that long.

        I will check your forum out

  5. Lynnea Seidlinger says:

    I want to know why eyes become dry?
    Can medications cause eyes to become dry?
    I have been taking Tamoxifen for 3 years and have another two years before I can stop taking it.
    I also take omega 3, calcium, a multi-vitamin, a low dose aspirin, vitamin D and nefedipine for Reynaud’s syndrome.
    I have been using Restasis for several weeks.
    According to my opthalmologist, my eyes are extremely dry.

    • Hi Lynnea. Thanks for reading our blog. Many medications and prescriptions can cause dry eye disease. Restasis takes quite a while to become effective, so stick with it! In the mean time, could you visit your family doctor and ask whether Tamoxifen has drying effects and is there anything you could take in its place? Keep us updated!

  6. hi my name is rosa,i have suffered from severed dry eyes,since last year , a year lets say…n 4 days ago i stared using restasis ,at first it burn my eyes for a few minutes …n today i noticed that i put restasis on n i didnt feel no burning at all ,its my 5th day ,but i feel like its working ,cause im not feeling the eyes that dry as before ,wat has me concern is that ,just now i put the restasis n my eyes looks real red , its that normal…???

    • Hey Rosa – you’ve come to the right place! As for the Restasis- did your doctor mention any potential side effects? If you feel the results are worrying, be sure to consult your doctor. otherwise- could it be your current diet or habits causing the appeared redness?

  7. Susan terry says:

    I have extremely sticky eyes especially the right one , no discharge . My eyes lids are glued shut during the night and morning . I have an appointment with an eye specialist in 8 months!! In the meantime I use gel drops without much success. This came out if nowhere at 54yrs old. For a few years ago my eyes watered in the corners and down my cheeks especially the right one but not anymore. My doctor suggested that the specialist might prescribe Restasis but that’s a long wait, any suggestions in the meantime? I’ve also tried taping my eyes shut in case I am sleeping with them open but that didn’t work either.

    • Hi Susan! Sorry to hear about this. Dry eyes are such an excessive pain.. I would suggest changing your nutritional habits.. Perhaps eating more oily fish and/or implementing an omega-3-6-9 capsule into your daily diet. Furthermore, I’m surprised to hear you say the onset of this condition has been so sudden. Are you perhaps using a different eye cream, makeup or face wash than normal? I recently changed my face cleanser and found it irritated my eyes and extreme amount. Just some things to consider! Keep us updated on your progress :)

      • Susan Terry says:

        thank you for your reply, initially this started 2 years ago I would wake up with swollen eyes my lids would be swollen shut, I eliminated make up , creams and all the of obvious irritations, nothing changed , I saw several doctors basically said I have dry eyes, the only relief is when I take Benadryl before bedtime, which worked for a while and then all was good for a year, which was awesome, now my eyes are glued shut, again I’ve tried all of the obvious I use eye gel drops but the only thing that seems to work is Benadryl which just keeps the swelling down, but doesn’t help with the sticky eyes. Really stumped, I will try omega capsules, thanks again

      • susan terry says:

        I finally found a product that actually works for my sticky eyes, Tear Gel -Alcon, out of desperation I thought I would try it, I found it at Shoppers Drug Mart, I have tried several products this is the only one that works for a long period, I use it 2 times a day, before I go to bed , and once in the middle of the night, now when I wake up my eyes are still a little sticky but not glued shut, I can actually open them, what a relief , I thought I would share hopefully it will help somebody else.
        ps I have been taking Omega Oils too but no change noted. I still have dry eyes but at least the Tear Gel helps to manage it.


  1. […] 8.RESTASIS & Dry Eye, a 50/50 solution Mar 9, 2012 … For many dry eye patients, Restasis is the difference between a “good” dry … This medication is applied to the affected eye twice a day, with 12 hours in between, or as director by your doctor. … In addition, certain patients can experience symptoms similar to an … Notify me of follow-up comments by email. […]

  2. […] 3.RESTASIS & Dry Eye, a 50/50 solution Mar 9, 2012 … For many dry eye patients, Restasis is the difference between a “good” dry eye … Some patients may experience some light burning and discomfort when first applying Restasis. … What about moisture goggles, warm compresses at night, omega3’s in your diet? … Notify me of follow-up comments by email. […]

Leave a Reply