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How long does it take Cequa to work?

Medically reviewed by Sally Chao, MD. Last updated on March 30, 2022.

Official answer


Cequa (cyclosporine ophthalmic solution) and other cyclosporine eye drops will usually reach their full effect after 4 to 6 months of use. Most dry eye patients will need to apply Cequa consistently for 4 to 6 months to experience significant symptom relief. However, a minority of people using Cequa, especially those with a mild form of dry eye, may begin to see their symptoms ease within the first month.

The usual dose is one drop of Cequa twice daily (approximately 12 hours apart) into each eye. It is sometimes used along with artificial tears, with 15-minute intervals between products.

There may be ways to accelerate Cequa’s effect for patients with more severe dry eye or those who are still experiencing symptoms after several months of treatment. One option is to administer the drops more frequently—3 to 4 times per day—instead of twice a day. Studies have suggested that upping the dosage in this way may help alleviate symptoms more quickly without causing significant or adverse side effects.

Short-term use of topical corticosteroids, including 0.5% loteprednol or 1% methylprednisolone, may also speed up the process. Patients may be advised to administer a topical corticosteroid for 2 to 3 weeks before or during treatment with Cequa. Briefly adding a topical corticosteroid to a long-term treatment protocol with Cequa may accelerate symptom relief and alleviate irritation or other potential side effects of cyclosporine eye drops.

Be sure to ask your health care provider before making any changes to your dose or treatment plan.

  1. de Oliveira RC, Wilson SE. Practical guidance for the use of cyclosporine ophthalmic solutions in the management of dry eye disease. Clin Ophthalmol. 2019;13:1115-1122. Published 2019 Jul 1.
  2. U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Cequa. August 2018. Available at: [Accessed March 2, 2022].

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