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Xiidra (lifitegrast) and Restasis (cyclosporine) are prescription brand-name medications. They’re approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat dry eye disease in certain people.

There are many similarities and differences between Xiidra and Restasis that are noted in this article. If you’re thinking about using one of these medications, discussing this information with your doctor can help you decide if Xiidra or Restasis may be better for you.

Note: For more comprehensive information about these two drugs, you can refer to our Xiidra and Restasis articles.

Key differences between Xiidra and Restasis

These are a few of the main differences between Xiidra and Restasis:

  • Use in children: Xiidra may be used in children ages 17 years and older. Restasis may be used in children ages 16 years and older. (See “Uses of Xiidra vs. Restasis” below.)
  • Form: Xiidra and Restasis come in single-use containers. Restasis is also available in a multidose vial. (Refer to “Dosages, forms, and administration” below.)
  • Side effects: Xiidra may cause headaches and sinus infections, while Restasis is not known to cause these side effects. (See “Side effects of Xiidra vs. Restasis” below.)

How much Xiidra or Restasis costs depends on the treatment plan your doctor prescribes, your insurance plan, and your pharmacy. You can visit Optum Perks for price estimates of Xiidra and Restasis.

Both Xiidra and Restasis are brand-name drugs. Xiidra does not have a generic version. Restasis is available as a generic drug called cyclosporine.

Brand-name medications are often more expensive than generics. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist to learn about the generic form of either drug.

To learn more about Xiidra and cost, see this article.

Below are answers to some common questions about Xiidra and Restasis.

What’s the difference between Xiidra, Restasis, and Cequa?

Xiidra, Restasis, and Cequa are all eye drops approved to treat dry eye disease. Below is a table of some of the similarities and differences between the three drugs:

XiidraRestasisCequa
Active druglifitegrastcyclosporinecyclosporine
Formsolution in single-use containeremulsion* in:
• single-use vial
• Restasis MultiDose bottle
solution in single-use vial
Strength5%0.05%0.09%
Dosageone drop in each eye twice per dayone drop in each eye twice per dayone drop in each eye twice per day

* An emulsion is an oily liquid mixture.

Restasis and Cequa contain the same active drug, so they have the same mechanism of action. This refers to the way the drugs work, and it’s not exactly known. However, it’s believed Restasis and Cequa decrease the swelling in the eye. This can increase tear production, which eases dry eye symptoms.

Xiidra is believed to work by preventing your body from making chemicals that cause inflammation. This can help decrease the swelling that may cause dry eye disease.

For more information about the similarities and differences between Xiidra, Restasis, and Cequa, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They can help determine whether any of these medications is the right treatment option for you.

Are there any reviews comparing Xiidra and Restasis?

At this time, there haven’t been any studies or reviews of studies that directly compare Xiidra and Restasis. However, both drugs have been proven safe and effective to treat dry eye disease.

In some cases, Xiidra or Restasis may be a better treatment option for you. Although the drugs are not the same, they work in similar ways.

Your doctor can help determine what medication will work best for your condition. For information about the effectiveness of these drugs, see “Effectiveness of Xiidra vs. Restasis” below.

Can Xiidra and Restasis be used together?

It’s possible that your doctor may prescribe Xiidra in combination with Restasis to treat dry eye disease. These drugs work in different ways to ease dry eye. So your doctor may recommend using them together to relieve your symptoms further.

Your doctor can advise you on the right treatment plan for you.

Xiidra and Restasis are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat dry eye disease. This means both drugs have been shown to be safe and effective treatment options for this condition.

Prescribing information. Here’s a brief look at how effective Xiidra and Restasis were found to be in clinical trials.

For information about how these drugs performed in clinical trials, see the prescribing information for Xiidra and Restasis. Keep in mind that trial results may not apply to your individual health situation.

Treatment guidelines. Another way to see whether a drug is considered effective is to look at treatment guidelines.

When an organization includes certain drugs in treatment guidelines, this means that research has shown the drug to be safe and effective. Both Xiidra and Restasis are recommended as treatment options for people with dry eye disease in guidelines from the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

Here’s information about the generic status of Xiidra and Restasis, as well as details on their active ingredients.

XiidraRestasis
Generic availablenoyes
Active ingredientlifitegrastcyclosporine
Drug classlymphocyte function-associated antigen-1 (LFA-1) blockercalcineurin inhibitor immunosuppressant

Xiidra and Restasis have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat dry eye disease.

Xiidra or Restasis and children

To treat dry eye disease in children:

  • Xiidra is approved for use in children ages 17 years and older.
  • Restasis is approved for use in children ages 16 years and older.

Note: For more information about the drugs’ uses, see our articles about Xiidra and Restasis.

Here’s a quick look at the dosage and administration for Xiidra and Restasis for the condition both drugs treat.

Dosage for dry eye disease

Xiidra for dry eye diseaseRestasis for dry eye disease
Formsolution in single-use containeremulsion* in:
• single-use vial
• Restasis MultiDose bottle
Strength5%0.05%
Doseone drop in each eyeone drop in each eye
Frequencytwice per day (about 12 hours apart)twice per day (about 12 hours apart)

* An emulsion is an oily liquid mixture.

Note: For more information about dosage, see our articles about Xiidra and Restasis.

Both Xiidra and Restasis are used to treat dry eye disease. These drugs can cause some of the same side effects, as well as some different ones. Some of the side effects reported for these medications are mentioned below.

For more information about side effects of the two drugs, see our articles about Xiidra and Restasis. You can also refer to the Xiidra prescribing information and Restasis prescribing information.

Mild side effects

The following table lists some of the more commonly reported mild side effects of Xiidra and Restasis. The table may also include mild side effects that are less common but that you might have concerns about in some cases.

Mild side effectsXiidraRestasis
eye irritation or burningxx
changes in tastex
blurry visionxx
eye rednessxx
headachex
increased tearingxx
eye dischargexx
itchy eyesxx
sinus infectionx
mild allergic reaction*xx

These side effects may be temporary, lasting a few days to weeks. If the side effects last longer than that, bother you, or become severe, be sure to talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Serious side effects

The following table lists the reported serious side effects of Xiidra and Restasis.

Serious side effectsXiidraRestasis
eye injury (from touching your eye with the eyedrop container)xx
eye infectionxx
severe allergic reactionxx

If you have serious side effects while using Xiidra or Restasis, call your doctor immediately. If the side effects feel life threatening or you believe you’re having a medical emergency, call 911 or your local emergency number right away.

Xiidra and Restasis may not be right for you if you have certain medical conditions or other factors that affect your health. The drugs share some of the same precautions, but they also have different ones. Some of these precautions are mentioned below.

Precautions

If any of the following medical conditions or other health factors are relevant to you, talk with your doctor before using Xiidra or Restasis.

PrecautionXiidraRestasis
if you’ve had an allergic reaction to either drug or any of its ingredientsxx
if you’re pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnantxx
if you’re breastfeeding or thinking about breastfeedingxx

Note: For more comprehensive information about these drugs, you can refer to our Xiidra and Restasis articles.

Switching between Xiidra and Restasis is possible.

If you’d like to know more about switching between Xiidra and Restasis, talk with your doctor. They can give you additional details and help determine the best course of action for your personal situation. Even if two drugs treat the same condition or are in the same drug class, your body can still respond differently. It’s important that you do not stop, start, or switch any of your drug treatments without your doctor’s recommendation.

Some key points to remember when comparing Xiidra and Restasis include:

  • Both Xiidra and Restasis are eye drops that are typically taken twice daily.
  • Xiidra comes in one form: a single-use container. Restasis is available in two forms: a single-use vial and a multidose bottle.
  • Xiidra may cause changes in taste, sinus infection, and headache. These side effects have not been reported with Restasis.
  • Xiidra is approved for use in children ages 17 years and older, while Restasis is approved for use in children ages 16 years and older.

If you’d like to learn more about Xiidra or Restasis, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They can help answer any questions you have about similarities and differences between the drugs. They can also help determine whether one drug or the other might work well for you.

Note: For more information about dry eye, see our eye health hub.

Disclaimer: Medical News Today has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.