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Xiidra: The New Go-To Dry Eye Drug?

The treatment of dry eye disease has become a primary and necessary focus of many Optometrists.

Studies show that dry eye affects 5% of 30-40 year olds and 10-15% of adults over age 65.1

It is estimated 16 million people have dry eye.3

Xiidra is the newest drug to treat the signs and symptoms of dry eye, and may find its way into the tool-bet of optometrists.

Will it be used in conjunction with other treatment options like Restasis, or can and will it be used in place of these treatment options?

Time will tell.

In the meantime, here are some things you should know about Xiidra.

optometry dry eye xiidra

What is the mechanism of action?

  • 1st in the new classification of drugs called lymphocyte function-associated antigen (LFA-1) antagonist.1
  • Inhibits secretion of inflammatory cytokines in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells.”2
  • Key: Decrease the inflammation that causes dry eye. (Sound familiar?)

Side effects:

  • Eye irritation
  • Discomfort
  • Blurred vision
  • Unusual taste sensation.1
  • 1% to 5% of the patients report headache, increased lacrimation, eye discharge, irritation, discomfort, eye pruritus and sinusitis.
  • No data for use during pregnancy.
  • Safety & efficacy in children unknown.2


  • Ophthalmic solution containing lifitegrast 5% (50 mg/mL)
  • 1 gtt BID OU (12 hours apart) using a single use container.
  • Remove contacts prior to installation.
USA launch is planned for Q3 of 2016.


Signs and symptoms were assessed at baseline, week 2, 6 and 12.

Symptoms were based on Eye Dryness Score (EDS) and signs based on the Inferior Corneal Staining Score (ICSS).

  1. In all four studies, a larger reduction in EDS was found with Xiidra at 6 and 12 weeks.
  2. In half the studies, an improvement in EDS was seen as early as 2 weeks.
  3. At 12 weeks, a larger reduction in ICSS  was observed in three of the four studies.3

Will Xiidra become the go-to drop for our dry eye patients? If you have had any experience with this medication, please comment below.


1.”U.S. Food and Drug Administration.” FDA Approves New Medication for Dry Eye Disease. Food and Drug Administration, 12 July 2016. Web. 12 July 2016. <>.

2. “Xiidra.” 12 July 2016. Web. 12 July 2016.

3. “FDA Approves Shire’s Xiidra™ (lifitegrast Ophthalmic Solution) 5% – The Only Treatment Indicated for the Signs and Symptoms of Dry Eye Disease.” FDA Approves Shire’s Xiidra™ (lifitegrast Ophthalmic Solution) 5% – The Only Treatment Indicated for the Signs and Symptoms of Dry Eye Disease. Shire, 11 July 2016. Web. 13 July 2016. <>.

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About Courtney Dryer

Courtney Dryer
Courtney Dryer is a 2011 graduate of SCO. She opened 4 Eyes Optometry in her hometown of Charlotte, NC in February of 2013. After 5 years, the practice name was changed to Autarchic Spec Shop to renew the practice's commitment to independent optometry. In addition to consulting with new graduate optometrists on start-up practices, she contributes regularly to New Grad Optometry and has guest blogged for Invision Magazine. The unique design of her boutique practice was featured in Women in Optometry. In 2015, Vision Monday named her a Rising Star, and one of the most influential women in optical.

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