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Cequa Eye Drops

Generic name: cyclosporine ophthalmicSYE-kloe-SPOR-een-off-THAL-mik ]
Drug class: Ophthalmic anti-inflammatory agents

Medically reviewed by Philip Thornton, DipPharm. Last updated on May 3, 2022.

What is Cequa?

Cequa is an immunosuppressant. Cequa can increase tear production that has been reduced by inflammation in the eye(s).

Cequa is used to treat chronic dry eye that may be caused by inflammation.

Cequa eye drops are packaged in sterile, preservative-free, single-use vials.


Follow all directions on your medicine label and package. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all your medical conditions, allergies, and all medicines you use.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use Cequa if you are allergic to cyclosporine.

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Cequa is not approved for use by anyone younger than 16 years old.

How should I use Cequa?

Use Cequa eye drops exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets.

Use the medicine about every 12 hours. Remove contact lenses first.

Wash your hands before using eye medication.

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.

Use only the number of drops your doctor has prescribed.

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. A contaminated dropper can infect your eye, which could lead to serious vision problems.

Cequa eye drops should be clear and colorless.

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. Store Cequa single-use vials in their original foil pouch.

Dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca:

1 drop 2 times a day in each eye approximately 12 hours apart

-This drug can be used concomitantly with artificial tears, allowing a 15 minute interval between products.

Use: To increase tear production in patients whose tear production is presumed to be suppressed due to ocular inflammation associated with keratoconjunctivitis sicca

What happens if I miss a dose?

Use the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not use two doses at one time.

What happens if I overdose?

An overdose of Cequa is not expected to be dangerous. Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222 if anyone has accidentally swallowed the medication.

What should I avoid while using Cequa eye drops?

It may be best not to wear contact lenses if you have dry eyes. Talk with your doctor about your own risk.

Cequa side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to Cequa: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using Cequa and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • severe eye pain, burning, or stinging after putting in the drops;

  • swollen eyelids; or

  • signs of eye infection - swelling, redness, severe discomfort, crusting or drainage.

Common Cequa side effects may include:

  • mild eye pain, redness, or other irritation;

  • watery eyes;

  • blurred vision; or

  • feeling like something is in your eye.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect Cequa?

Medicine used in the eyes is not likely to be affected by other drugs you use. But many drugs can interact with each other. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all medicines you use, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

Where can I get more information?

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Cequa eye drops only for the indication prescribed.

Popular FAQ

Is Cequa covered by Medicare?

Cequa is not covered by most insurance plans as less expensive alternatives are now available for chronic dry eye. A similar generic cyclosporine eye drop is now available at US pharmacies and may be preferred by your insurance company. If you prefer brand name Cequa, your cost with Medicare will depend upon your specific insurance coverage. If you have commercial insurance, you may be eligible for a copay card from Sun Ophthalmics.

Is Cequa available on a copay card?

Yes, the Cequa copay card is available from Sun Ophthalmics by calling 1-855-268-1426 or accessing online. Present the activated copay card to your pharmacist with a valid prescription. If you have commercial health insurance and are a US resident, you may pay as little as $0 per month for each 60 vial box of Cequa. The maximum benefit is $250 per prescription.

Why is Cequa so expensive?

Cequa is expensive because it was approved in 2018 and is not yet available as a generic. Cequa also uses a special nanomicellar technology to help deliver poorly water-soluble drugs into the eye. The generic for Cequa may not be available for many years due to patent protection. There are other options: the manufacturer offers a copay card if you are eligible that may reduce your Cequa cost to $0, or a generic cyclosporine eye drop option for Restasis is available. Talk to your doctor.

Both Cequa and Restasis are eye drops that contain cyclosporine. They are used to increase tear production in patients with dry eye disease (medically called keratoconjunctivitis sicca). However, Cequa incorporates a novel nanomicellar technology of cyclosporine A to allow delivery of high concentrations of the medication into the eye. Restasis is not manufactured using nanomicellar technology. Nanomicellar technology can help deliver poorly water-soluble drugs into the eye and protect the drug molecule. Continue reading

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.