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Posted on 12-21-2016

New Medication Xiidra
May Offer Relief to Those Suffering from Dry Eye

dry eye

For the first time in over 13 years, the FDA has approved a new drug to treat dry eye disease (DED).  Xiidra, a lifitegrast ophthalmic solution 5% manufactured by Shire pharmaceuticals, is now on the market, the first in a new class of drugs called lymphocyte function-associated antigen-1 antagonists.  

Of course as with all new drugs, the trial and testing phases were extensive, but the drug has now been available since mid-July is this year.  According to these studies, most people who begin using Xiidra will notice an improvement in their dry eye symptoms within two weeks (this will depend on the severity of your DED, with those with milder cases noticing improvement more quickly).  Even if you’ve just been diagnosed with DED, you could be a candidate for Xiidra, or other prescription medications.  It is sometimes recommended that newly diagnosed patients begin with an over-the-counter treatment such as artificial tears, but a medication like Xiidra may be more effective in treating the cause of DED, inflammation. 

Note that if you are already taking Restasis for DED, as long as your condition is managed well, there’s probably no reason to switch medications, and studies focusing on the combined effects of Restasis and Xiidra for newly diagnosed patients or those still trying to manage the disease are yet to be completed.  

If you’d like more information on Xiidra, feel free to check out this article from Review of Optometry, or better yet, talk to one of our four optometrists.  Drs. Hawks, Besler, Rogers, or Stoppel will be more than happy to discuss this or any other possible dry eye treatments with you!  

Source:  Review of Optometry 

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