Restasis is a prescription eye drop that is used in the treatment of dry eyes. Dry eyes are usually caused by problematic tear production or inflammation of the eye. This eye drop addresses these issues. It can be an important component in a treatment plan to protect they eye and relieve symptoms that decrease quality of life.
Restasis is made up of a substance called cyclosporine. Cyclosporine is created by a fungus called Tolypocladium Inflatum. This is a potent medication that is used to prevent organ rejection in transplant situations. It works on eyes because it suppresses T-cell production. T-cell production is important in immune reactions, so if T-cell growth is suppressed, inflammation may also be reduced. It also can keep eyes healthy by keeping epithelial cells alive. This is important because due to eye stress they often commit apoptosis (cellular suicide).
Restasis was found to be effective in 15 percent of patients (versus five percent for patients who were treated with artificial tears). This finding came from four multicenter, randomized, controlled studies involving 1200 patients. These studies were reported by Allergan in a 2000 issue of Opthamology.
Managed Care Journal (2000) reported another benefit of Restasis. This is a higher reported patient satisfaction than other treatments. It required fewer ophthalmologist visits and less ancillary drop usage.
There are other tools in the treatment of dry eyes. Use a lid wipe morning and night to clean your eye lids. They can be found in any drug store or pharmacy. Take flax seed oil, which seems to help increase moisture in the eye. Keep your environment as dust free as possible and use a humidifier to keep moisture in the air.
Restasis can be effective, but it takes time. The maximum positive benefit can take up to six months to achieve and it will take a few weeks to begin to see improvement. Since this is a powerful medication, it should be used only if other treatments don't work. If you are satisfied with your current regimen, there is no need to switch unless you are on steroid drops. Restasis may be effective for you, but it is just one of many options in the treatment of dry eyes. Work with your provider to find the plan most effective in making your discomfort manageable.