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What is the difference between Cequa and Restasis?

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Sep 11, 2018.

Official Answer


Both Cequa and Restasis are cyclosporine ophthalmic eye drops used to increase tear production in patients with dry eye disease (keratoconjunctivitis sicca). However, Cequa incorporates a novel nanomicellar technology of cyclosporine A to allow delivery of high concentrations of the medication into the eye, whereas Restasis is not manufactured using nanomicellar technology.

Cequa (cyclosporine ophthalmic solution 0.09%) from Sun Pharma, and Restasis formula (cyclosporine ophthalmic emulsion 0.05%) from Allergan, are both classified as calcineurin inhibitor immunosuppressants.

In clinical studies with Cequa, roughly 17% of Cequa-treated patients compared to about 9% of vehicle treated patients demonstrated increases of ≥10 mm from baseline in Schirmer wetting of the eye (the primary endpoint) at about 3 months, a significant effect. Restasis also showed significant increases in Schirmer wetting (15% of patients) versus the vehicle (5% of patients) at 6 months. The drugs can cause eye pain (Cequa, 22%) or burning upon instillation into the eye (Restasis, 17%), commonly reported side effects. Cequa is also noted to cause conjunctival hyperemia/eye redness (6%).

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