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Is Restasis a steroid eye drop?

Medically reviewed by Leigh Ann Anderson, PharmD. Last updated on June 3, 2022.

Official answer


No, Restasis is not a steroid eye drop. Restasis contains cyclosporine 0.05% ophthalmic, an eye drop used to treat chronic dry eye (also called keratoconjunctivitis sicca) that may be caused by inflammation.

Restasis works by decreasing eye inflammation and increasing your tear production. It helps you to make more of your own tears and is classified as a calcineurin inhibitor immunosuppressant.

The recommended dose is one drop of Restasis in each eye twice a day, every day, at least 12 hours apart. Follow your healthcare provider’s directions.

Chronic dry eye disease can be caused by advanced age, wearing contact lenses, some medicines, other eye conditions, the environment around you, or reduced tear production due to inflammation.

Do not combine Restasis with a steroid anti-inflammatory eye drop unless your doctor has prescribed this regimen. Long-term use of steroid eye drops can lead to serious side effects like glaucoma or cataracts. Also, in studies, the manufacturer reported that Increased tear production was not seen in patients currently using topical anti-inflammatory drugs.

Learn more: What are ophthalmic steroids?

What if Restasis is not working?

If your symptoms of dry eye are not improving, talk with your eye doctor. It can take several weeks to months for Restasis to begin to relieve your chronic dry eye symptoms. In general, you should not stop treatment unless approved by your doctor. Chronic dry eye has no cure and you may need to continue Restasis long-term.

Related: How long does it take for Restasis to work?

This is not all the information you need to know about Restasis (cyclosporine ophthalmic) for safe and effective use and does not take the place of your doctor’s directions. Review the full product information and discuss this information and any questions you have with your doctor or other health care provider.


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