If you have dry eye disease, your doctor may recommend that you use the prescription drug Xiidra.

With dry eye disease, your body doesn’t make enough tears. This may cause discomfort, burning, or pain in your eyes. It can also cause blurry vision.

Xiidra can help relieve symptoms of dry eye disease. It’s used in adults and some children with this condition.

Xiidra basics­­

The active ingredient in Xiidra is called lifitegrast. Xiidra is used as an eye drop, and it comes in single-use vials.

At this time, Xiidra is only available in a brand-name form. There isn’t a generic form of Xiidra.

Read on to learn more about Xiidra’s cost, side effects, and more.

Costs of prescription drugs can vary, depending on many factors. These factors include what your insurance plan covers and which pharmacy you use. To find current prices for Xiidra in your area, visit GoodRx.com.

If you have questions about how to pay for your prescription, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. You can also visit the Xiidra manufacturer’s website to see if they have support options.

Like most drugs, Xiidra may cause mild or serious side effects. The lists below describe some of the more common side effects that Xiidra may cause. These lists don’t include all the possible side effects.

Keep in mind that side effects of a drug can depend on:

  • your age
  • other health conditions you may have
  • other medications you may be taking

Your doctor or pharmacist can tell you more about the potential side effects of Xiidra. They can also suggest ways to help reduce side effects.

Mild side effects

Here’s a short list of some of the mild side effects that Xiidra can cause. To learn about other mild side effects, talk with your doctor or pharmacist, or read Xiidra’s patient information.

Mild side effects of Xiidra that have been reported include:

Mild side effects of many drugs may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. But if they become bothersome, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

* For more information about this side effect, see the “Side effect focus” section below.

Serious side effects

Serious side effects of Xiidra can occur, but they aren’t common. If you have serious side effects of Xiidra, call your doctor right away. However, if you think you’re having a medical emergency, you should call 911 or your local emergency number.

Serious side effects of Xiidra that have been reported include:

* For more information about this side effect, see the “Side effect focus” section below.

Side effect focus

Learn more about some of the side effects Xiidra may cause.

Burning eyes

You may develop eye irritation or burning eyes when you’re using Xiidra eye drops. This was one of the most common side effects in people using the drug during studies.

Be sure to tell your doctor if you have this side effect.

What might help

If you have burning in your eyes or other eye discomfort that’s bothersome, tell your doctor or pharmacist. They may be able to recommend ways to use Xiidra so that your eyes don’t burn as much. They can also check to see if your eye discomfort is caused by another factor.

Sinusitis

It’s possible to have sinusitis (a sinus infection) while you’re using Xiidra. But this isn’t one of the most common side effects of the drug.

Because of this risk, you should be aware of possible symptoms of sinusitis. These may include:

  • nasal congestion
  • pain or tenderness in the area of your cheeks, eyes, or nose
  • yellow or green discharge from your nose
  • postnasal drip (nasal drainage that flows down your throat)

What might help

If you have any symptoms of a sinus infection, tell your doctor. In some cases, you may need an antibiotic to treat the infection. Your doctor will be able to recommend the best treatment option for you.

Headache

You could experience headaches while using Xiidra. Headaches weren’t very common side effects during studies of the drug. But they were reported in some people using Xiidra.

What might help

If you have headaches while you’re using Xiidra, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They may suggest ways to help your headaches occur less often. Or, they may recommend over-the-counter medications to treat your headaches.

Allergic reaction

Some people may have an allergic reaction to Xiidra.

Symptoms of a mild allergic reaction can include:

  • skin rash
  • itchiness
  • flushing (temporary warmth, redness, or deepening of skin color)

A more severe allergic reaction is rare but possible. Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction can include swelling under your skin, typically in your eyelids, lips, hands, or feet. They can also include swelling of your tongue, mouth, or throat, which can cause trouble breathing.

Serious allergic reactions have rarely been reported in people using Xiidra. Call your doctor right away if you have an allergic reaction to Xiidra. But if you think you’re having a medical emergency, call 911 or your local emergency number.

Both Xiidra and Restasis are eye drops that can be used to treat dry eye disease. Both medications come in single-use vials, and they’re used twice daily.

In some cases, your doctor may recommend that you use Xiidra and Restasis together for your condition.

To learn more about how these drugs compare, see this detailed breakdown. You can also discuss these medications with your doctor to see what’s right for your condition.

If you have dry eye disease, your doctor may recommend that you use Xiidra.

With dry eye disease, your body doesn’t make enough tears, or you don’t have enough tears to keep your eyes as moist as they should be.

This condition may cause symptoms of eye discomfort, such as:

Xiidra is an eye drop that’s used to help relieve symptoms of dry eye disease. It’s prescribed for adults and children ages 17 years and older.

It’s not known exactly how Xiidra works to treat dry eye disease. But it’s thought that Xiidra may decrease inflammation, which may cause dry eye symptoms. In studies, Xiidra was an effective treatment option for people with dry eye disease.

If you have more questions about how Xiidra is used, talk with your doctor. Also, to see more detailed information about the effectiveness of Xiidra, see the drug’s prescribing information.

Find answers to some commonly asked questions about Xiidra.

Can Xiidra make your dry eye disease worse?

No, Xiidra shouldn’t make your dry eye disease worse. But it’s possible that Xiidra may cause side effects such as blurry vision, eye irritation, and other eye discomfort. If you have these symptoms, you may experience worsening vision.

If your condition is getting worse while you’re using Xiidra, tell your doctor. They may recommend a different medication to treat your condition.

Does Xiidra cause hair loss or dry mouth?

No, you shouldn’t have hair loss or dry mouth from Xiidra. Neither of these were seen as side effects in studies of people using the drug. But some people did have a metallic or weird taste in their mouth during studies.

If you experience hair loss or dry mouth during treatment with Xiidra, tell your doctor. They may be able to find out what’s causing your symptoms and recommend the best treatment.

How does Xiidra compare with Systane?

Xiidra and Systane are both eye drops. Xiidra is a prescription medication, but Systane is available over the counter.

Xiidra is approved to treat a condition called dry eye disease. It’s typically used twice daily. And it contains the active drug lifitegrast. It’s believed that Xiidra works over time to decrease symptoms of dry eye disease by reducing inflammation in your eyes.

In comparison, Systane is approved to temporarily treat symptoms of eye dryness, such as burning or irritation. The active ingredients in Systane, polyethylene glycol and propylene glycol, are both lubricants. Systane works by lubricating your eye, making your symptoms of eye dryness less bothersome. But it doesn’t treat the cause of eye dryness.

Because of this, you may have to use Systane more often than you would have to use Xiidra. You can use 1 to 2 drops of Systane as needed to treat your symptoms.

Xiidra and Systane also differ in their possible side effects.

If you have more questions about similarities and differences between Xiidra and Systane, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Is Xiidra used for Sjögren’s disease?

At this time, Xiidra is only approved to treat symptoms of dry eye disease. It’s not approved to treat Sjögren’s disease.

With Sjögren’s disease, your immune system attacks your tear and saliva glands. This can cause a variety of symptoms, including dry eyes, dry mouth, or dry skin.

Xiidra is approved to treat dry eye disease. But, your doctor may recommend that you use it off-label to treat dry eye symptoms from Sjögren’s disease. With off-label use, a drug is used for a condition other than what’s it’s approved to treat.

If you have questions about using Xiidra for dry eye symptoms related to Sjögren’s disease, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

How does Xiidra work?

Xiidra is an eye drop that’s approved to treat dry eye disease. With this condition, your body doesn’t make enough tears. Dry eye disease may cause discomfort, burning, or pain in your eyes. It can also cause blurry vision.

Xiidra helps relieve symptoms of dry eye disease. It’s not known exactly how Xiidra works to treat this condition. But it’s thought that Xiidra may work by decreasing inflammation in your eyes, reducing your symptoms of dry eye disease.

If you have more questions about how Xiidra works, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Is there a certain way Xiidra needs to be stored?

You should store Xiidra eye drops at room temperature, between 68°F and 77°F (20°C and 25°C). Be sure to keep the single-use Xiidra vials in the original foil pouches that they come in until you’re ready to use them.

If you have more questions about storing Xiidra, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Your doctor will explain how you should use Xiidra. They’ll also explain how much to use and how often. Be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions. Below are commonly used dosages, but always use the dosage your doctor prescribes.

Using Xiidra

Xiidra comes in single-use vials. There isn’t a bottle size of the drug available.

When you’re ready to use Xiidra, remove a single-use vial from its foil packaging. You should tap the vial a few times to mix the solution inside.

Then twist off the top of the vile, and look up while pulling down on your bottom eyelid. Put the vial near your eye, but don’t touch your eye, and squeeze the bottle to release a drop of medication. Then repeat these steps with your other eye.

If you miss your eye with the drop of Xiidra, it’s OK. There’s some extra Xiidra solution in each vial, just in case.

Be sure to throw away each Xiidra vial when you are done with each dose. It’s possible that bacteria can grow on the vials, leading to eye infections in some cases. So, you don’t want to reuse vials of Xiidra.

For more information about using Xiidra eye drops, see the “How to Use Xiidra” guide. If you have more questions about how to use Xiidra, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They’ll recommend the best ways for you to place these eye drops.

Note: If you wear contact lenses, remove the lenses before using Xiidra. Then, wait at least 15 minutes before putting in your contacts again.

Dosage

You’ll place one drop of Xiidra into each of your eyes twice daily. You should try to have your doses about 12 hours apart.

Using Xiidra with other drugs

In some cases, your doctor may recommend that you use multiple medications to treat your dry eye disease. For example, they may recommend using Xiidra and cyclosporine (Restasis) together for your condition.

Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for your condition.

Questions about using Xiidra

Here’s a list of common questions related to using Xiidra.

  • What if I miss a dose of Xiidra? If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you remember. But if it’s almost time for your next dose of Xiidra, skip the missed dose and use your next dose at the scheduled time. If you have any questions about when your next dose should be after a missed dose, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
  • Will I need to use Xiidra long term? If Xiidra works to treat your symptoms of dry eye disease, you’ll likely use it long term. Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you.
  • How long does Xiidra take to work? Xiidra will begin to work as soon as you use your first dose. But it may take a few weeks before you notice a reduction in your symptoms of dry eye disease. Talk with your doctor about when to expect relief from your symptoms.
Questions for your doctor

You may have questions about Xiidra and your treatment plan. It’s important to discuss all your concerns with your doctor.

Here are a few tips that might help guide your discussion:

  • Before your appointment, write down questions such as:
    • How will Xiidra affect my body, mood, or lifestyle?
  • Bring someone to your appointment if doing so will help you feel more comfortable.
  • If you don’t understand something related to your condition or treatment, ask your doctor to explain it to you.

Remember, your doctor and other healthcare professionals are available to help you. And they want you to get the best care possible. So, don’t be afraid to ask questions or offer feedback on your treatment.

It’s important to discuss certain things with your doctor when considering treatment with Xiidra. These include:

  • your overall health
  • any medical conditions you may have
  • other medications you’re taking

Interactions

Taking medications or having vaccines, foods, and other things with a certain drug can affect how the drug works. These effects are called interactions.

Before using Xiidra, be sure to tell your doctor about any medications you take, including prescription and over-the-counter types. Also describe any vitamins, herbs, or supplements you use. Your doctor or pharmacist can tell you about any interactions that these items may cause with Xiidra.

Interactions with drugs or supplements

Xiidra isn’t known to interact with other types of drugs. But it’s still important to tell your doctor about any prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, or supplements you’re taking.

Your doctor or pharmacist can tell you more about possible interactions while you’re using Xiidra.

Warnings

Xiidra may not be right for you if you have any contraindications to its use or certain medical conditions or factors that affect your health. (Contraindications are reasons a drug shouldn’t be taken.)

Talk with your doctor about your health history before you use Xiidra. Factors to consider include those in the list below.

  • Allergic reaction. If you’ve had an allergic reaction to Xiidra or any of its ingredients, you shouldn’t use Xiidra. Ask your doctor what other medications are better options for you.

Xiidra and alcohol

Xiidra isn’t known to interact with alcohol. If you have any questions about drinking alcohol while using Xiidra, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

It’s not known if Xiidra is safe to use during pregnancy. It’s also not known if the drug may pass into breast milk, or if a breastfeeding child would be affected by it.

If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, talk with your doctor before using Xiidra.

Xiidra and Cequa are both brand-name eye drops used to treat dry eye disease. Both medications come in single-use vials and are typically used twice daily.

If you’d like to know more about the similarities and differences between Xiidra and Cequa, check out this side-by-side comparison. Also, ask your doctor which treatment is best for your condition.

Don’t use more Xiidra than your doctor prescribes. Using more than this can lead to serious side effects.

What to do in case you use too much Xiidra

Call your doctor if you think you’ve used too much Xiidra. You can also call 800-222-1222 to reach the American Association of Poison Control Centers, or use its online resource. However, if you have severe symptoms, immediately call 911 (or your local emergency number) or go to the nearest emergency room.

If you have dry eye disease, your doctor may recommend that you use Xiidra.

But before you start using Xiidra, talk with your doctor about the drug. Your doctor will discuss with you any concerns you may have. And they can help you decide if Xiidra is a good treatment option for your condition.

When you talk with your doctor, here are some questions that you may consider asking:

  • How should I prevent or treat side effects of Xiidra?
  • If Xiidra is too expensive for me, what other medications can I use to treat my condition?
  • Where can I find reviews from people who’ve used Xiidra?
  • Is it OK for me to use Xiidra, even though I have other medical conditions?
  • How quickly should I expect symptom relief from Xiidra?

If you’d like to learn more about treatment options for dry eye disease, see this article. If you’re interested in possible home remedies for dry eyes, check out this article.

In some cases, your doctor may recommend surgery as an option for dry eye disease. If this is a possibility for you, read this article for more information.

Disclaimer: Healthline 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.