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Can you use other eye drops with Restasis?

Medically reviewed by Sally Chao, MD. Last updated on Aug 2, 2021.

Official answer


Yes, it’s OK to use artificial tears or lubricant eye drops while you’re using Restasis (cyclosporine), but make sure to apply these drops at least 15 minutes before or after you use Restasis. Restasis is a safe and effective treatment for dry eye syndrome.

Unlike artificial tears, which help lubricate and moisten the eyes, Restasis works by decreasing swelling in the eye and increasing your eye’s ability to produce its own tears.

  • Restasis comes as an eye drop in a single-use vial, and it should be used twice a day about 12 hours apart.
  • The drops should only be used in the eyes and never swallowed or applied to the skin.
  • Be careful not to let the dropper tip touch your eyes, fingers, face or any other surface, since this can allow bacteria to get into the eye drops.
  • If you wear contact lenses, they should be removed before applying Restasis.

Restasis is a safe medication, but, as with any drug, it can have side effects. The most common one is a temporary burning sensation, but others can include:

  • Eye redness
  • Discharge
  • Watery eyes
  • Eye pain
  • Itching
  • Stinging
  • Blurred vision

Restasis should be stored at room temperature. Don’t keep it in the bathroom or other areas with high humidity. As with all medications, keep it tightly closed in the container it comes in and away from children.

Dry eye disease is a common disorder that impacts more than 15 million people in the U.S. It is more prevalent among people over 40 and especially women, likely due to hormonal factors.

The condition can impair your quality of life. In addition to eye pain, dry eye syndrome can have adverse effects on mental health, such as depression and anxiety. It can also affect your ability to perform common daily activities, such as driving, watching television and computer work.

  1. U.S. National Library of Medicine MedlinePlus. Cyclosporine Ophthalmic. October 15, 2018. Available at: [Accessed July 12, 2021].
  2. Schultz C. Safety and Efficacy of Cyclosporine in the Treatment of Chronic Dry Eye. Ophthalmology and Eye Disease. 2014; 6: 37–42.
  3. U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Restasis. November 2012. Available at: [Accessed July 12, 2021].
  4. Allergan. Restasis is different from artificial tears. Available at: [Accessed July 12, 2021].

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