There are several prescription medications available to treat dry eye disease.  Each has their own benefits and possible limitations.  If treatment using a prescription medication is selected for you,  your experienced Matossian Eye Associates eye doctor will determine which one best suits your individual needs.

Below are some common prescription medications used to treat dry eye disease:

Cequa    Restasis    Xiidra


Cequa (cyclosporine 0.09% ophthalmic solution) is an eye drop that helps to restore tear production in your eyes.

What Makes Cequa Different than Other Prescription Eye Drops?

Cequa a prescription cyclosporine eye drop used to treat dry eye disease. Cequa contains a unique delivery vehicle, called NCELL technology, that helps get more of the medicine into your eye where it is needed most. Over time natural tear production will increase relieving the symptoms of dry eye disease.

If prescribed Cequa for to treat dry eye, it is important to follow your eye doctor’s instructions precisely to get the most from your treatment. Cequa has to be used two times a day. Dry eye symptoms will reoccur if treatment is stopped.

How to Use Cequa

  • Follow all directions on your prescription label including number of drops and times per day.
  • Remove contact lenses and wash your hands before use
  • To apply the eye drops: Tilt your head back slightly and pull down your lower eyelid to create a small pocket. Hold the dropper above the eye and squeeze a drop into this pocket. Close your eyes for 1 or 2 minutes.
  • Wait at least 15 minutes before inserting contact lenses or using artificial tears.
  • Do not touch the tip of the eye dropper or place it directly on your eye.
  • Each single-use bottle is for one use only (in both eyes). Throw the bottle away after one use, even if there is still medicine left inside.
  • Store at room temperature and in keep single-use vials in their original foil pouch.


Restasis (cyclosporine ophthalmic emulsion 0.05%) by Allergan Pharmaceuticals is a prescription eye drop used for the treatment of chronic dry eye. Restasis is one of the only prescription eye drops approved for long-term use to increase the eye’s ability to produce natural tears.

How Restasis Works

restasisPatients with chronic dry eye have more inflammatory T-cells that produce by-products, which decrease the nerve signals to the lacrimal gland resulting in dryness.  Restasis inhibits the activation of T-cells, which results in increased tear production by the lacrimal gland.

The recommended dosage of Restasis is one drop twice a day (1 drop in the morning and another drop in the evening approximately 12 hours apart). Some patients may begin to experience increased tear production in the first month of use, however for others, it may take several months to begin noticing results. It is essential that Restasis be used consistently, twice a day, every day to achieve maximum effectiveness. Since there currently is no cure for chronic dry eye, Restasis is a long-term treatment and its benefits will cease if the product is discontinued.

Side Effects of Restasis

The most common side effect is ocular burning (17% of patients).  Other possible side effects (1-5% of patients) of Restasis include conjunctival redness, stinging, pain, foreign body sensation, itching and blurred vision. The use is contradicted with patients who have an active eye infection or for those who have a known or suspected hypersensitivity to any one of its ingredients. The safety and efficacy has not been established for patients under the age of sixteen.  There are also no well controlled or adequate studies for Restasis in pregnant women and caution should be exercised in nursing mothers.  Restasis should not be used while wearing contact lenses.


xiidra Xiidra (cyclosporine ophthalmic emulsion 0.05%) is the first and only prescription eye drop approved for both the signs and symptoms of dry eye disease. Matossian Eye Associates was one of the premier clinical trial sites to offer valuable contributions and interest in this important milestone, playing an instrumental role in making this new treatment available for our patients.

Founder, Medical Director of Matossian Eye Associates and Principal Investigator in the Xiidra clinical study Cynthia Matossian, MD, FACS said, “With the epidemic of dry eye disease, we are fortunate to have an additional medicine like Xiidra™ to bring relief to the millions who suffer from dry eye symptoms daily.”

If you are experiencing stinging or burning eyes, a gritty or scratchy sensation, discomfort in contact lenses, blurred vision, light sensitivity, redness, excessive tearing, and a reliance on artificial tears to get through the day, Xiidra may be an option for you.

To learn more please call us at 1-800-708-8800 to schedule a dry eye consultation by a fellowship trained, board certified physician in our Certified Dry Eye Center of Excellence!