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Can Xiidra eye drops cause diarrhea?

Medically reviewed by Sally Chao, MD. Last updated on Aug 24, 2023.

Official answer


Xiidra (lifitegrast ophthalmic) will not cause diarrhea. Diarrhea is not listed as a potential side effect of using Xiidra, and there is no indication that proper administration of Xiidra in the eyes is associated with diarrhea.

Xiidra is a prescription ophthalmic solution, meaning it should be applied directly to your eyes. It is not intended to be swallowed. Oral ingestion of Xiidra may be harmful.

Xiidra contains lifitegrast. Over-the-counter eye drops containing a different compound, tetrahydrozoline, are well-known to be poisonous when swallowed, including Eye-Sine, Visine Original, Visine Advanced Relief and Opti-Clear. There is a common belief that consuming these eye drop solutions will cause diarrhea. While ingesting eye drops could result in diarrhea, it is not the primary or most common outcome. Swallowing eye drops containing tetrahydrozoline is harmful and potentially life-threatening. Symptoms of tetrahydrozoline poisoning include:

  • Blood pressure changes
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Coma
  • Difficulty breathing

Xiidra does not contain tetrahydrozoline, but is still considered potentially harmful when swallowed.

  1. U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). XIIDRA (lifitegrast ophthalmic solution) 5%, for topical ophthalmic use. June 2016. Available at: [Accessed August 24, 2021].
  2. U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Deputy Division Director Review: Xiidra (lifitegrast ophthalmic solution) 5%. October 5, 2015. Available at: [Accessed August 24, 2021].
  3. Shire. Safety Data Sheet: Xiidra. August 10, 2016. Available at: [Accessed August 24, 2021].
  4. Australian Department of Health. Australian Public Assessment Report for Lifitegrast. November 2019. Available at: [Accessed August 24, 2021].
  5. U.S. National Library of Medicine MedlinePlus. Tetrahydrozoline poisoning. January 1, 2021. Available at: [Accessed August 24, 2021].
  6. National Capital Poison Center. Swallowing Eye Drops is Dangerous. Available at: [Accessed August 24, 2021].

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