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Generic name: cyclosporine ophthalmicSYE-kloe-SPOR-een-off-THAL-mik ]
Brand names: Cequa, Restasis, Restasis multidose
Drug class: Miscellaneous ophthalmic agents

Medically reviewed by Kaci Durbin, MD. Last updated on Apr 23, 2024.

What is Restasis?

Restasis eye drops contain cyclosporine which is an immunosuppressant. Cyclosporine can increase tear production that has been reduced by inflammation in the eye(s).

Restasis eye drops are used to treat chronic dry eye that may be caused by inflammation.

Restasis ophthalmic emulsion may also be used for treating eye disease not listed in this medication guide.


Do not touch the Restasis dropper on to any surface, including the eyes or hands. The dropper is sterile. If it becomes contaminated (dirty), it could cause an infection in the eye(s).

Do not use this medicine while wearing contact lenses. Contact lenses may be reinserted 15 minutes following the administration of Restasis eye drops, unless otherwise directed by your doctor.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use Restasis if you are allergic to cyclosporine.

Restasis is likely safe in pregnancy. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

It is not known whether Restasis passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby, although it is likely safe. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

This medicine is not approved for use by anyone younger than 16 years old.

How should I use Restasis?

Use Restasis eye drops exactly as directed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not use the eye drops in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

The usual dose is 1 drop in each eye twice daily. Use Restasis eye drops every 12 hours (approximately).

Read all patient information, medication guides, and instruction sheets provided to you. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

Wash your hands before using the eye drops.

To apply the eye drops:

Do not touch the tip of the eye dropper or place it directly on your eye. A contaminated (dirty) dropper can infect your eye, which could lead to serious vision problems.

Do not use the drops if the liquid has changed colors or has particles in it. Call your pharmacist for new medicine.

Each single-use bottle of Restasis is for one use only (in one or both eyes). Throw away the bottle after one use, even if there is still some medicine left in it.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Do not freeze. Keep the bottle tightly closed when not in use.

Dosing information

1 drop 2 times a day in each eye approximately 12 hours apart

Restasis can be used concomitantly with artificial tears, allowing a 15 minute interval between products.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Apply the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

An overdose of Restasis is not expected to be dangerous. Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222 if anyone has accidentally swallowed the medication.

What should I avoid while using Restasis?

You should not put Restasis in your eyes while wearing contact lenses. Wait at least 15 minutes after using this medicine before putting in your contact lenses. It may be best not to wear contact lenses if you have dry eyes. Talk with your doctor about your own risk.

Restasis side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to Restasis: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using this medicine and call your doctor at once if you have:

Common Restasis side effects may include:

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect Restasis?

It is not likely that other drugs you take orally or inject will have an effect on cyclosporine used in the eyes. But many drugs can interact with each other. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all medicines you use, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

Popular FAQ

The generic option for Restasis eye drops known as cyclosporine ophthalmic emulsion. The generic product contains the same active ingredient as the brand name product. It comes as a 0.05% strength in a package that contains 30 or 60 single-dose vials. Continue reading

Xiidra (lifitegrast) and Restasis (cyclosporine) are prescription eye drops used to treat dry eye disease, but they work differently and have distinct characteristics. Continue reading

Restasis (cyclosporine 0.05% ophthalmic emulsion), from Allergan, was formerly only available as a brand name prescription product. Cyclosporine 0.05% ophthalmic emulsion, made by Mylan, is now available as a more affordable generic option in the U.S. Continue reading

No, Restasis (cyclosporine ophthalmic) eye drops require a prescription from your doctor, you cannot buy them over the counter (OTC). An optometrist or ophthalmologist are eye doctor specialists that usually prescribe this medicine. This drug is approved to treat dry eye disease. Continue reading

Restasis withdrawal symptoms do not usually occur, but clinical studies have shown your persistent dry eye symptoms may return if you stop treatment. Depending upon your symptoms, you may need 3 to 6 months of Restasis treatment before your dry eyes start to improve. Restasis is typical meant for long-term use, but some patients may be able to stop treatment after 6 months. Continue reading

Both Cequa and Restasis are eye drops that contain cyclosporine. They are used to increase tear production in patients with dry eye disease (medically called keratoconjunctivitis sicca). However, Cequa incorporates a novel nanomicellar technology of cyclosporine A to allow delivery of high concentrations of the medication into the eye. Restasis is not manufactured using nanomicellar technology. Nanomicellar technology can help deliver poorly water-soluble drugs into the eye and protect the drug molecule. Continue reading

Medicare Part D prescription drug plans usually cover the costs of Restasis (cyclosporine ophthalmic solution) or the generic equivalent, a prescription eye drop approved by the FDA to treat chronic dry eye disease caused by inflammation. You may receive the generic at the pharmacy depending upon your Medicare plan coverage. Continue reading

One bottle of Restasis MultiDose (cyclosporine ophthalmic emulsion) contains a little over 120 doses/drops. One drop of Restasis MultiDose should be administered into each eye twice daily, amounting to 4 drops total, which means that one bottle should last a little longer than 30 days. For a 90-day supply, patients will be given 3 bottles at a time.

A prescription of non-multidose Restasis (cyclosporine ophthalmic emulsion) comes with 30 or 60 single-use vials. One single-use vial can be used to administer two drops, one in each eye, immediately after opening. Patients are intended to use two vials per day about 12 hours apart. Thirty single-use vials provide a 15-day supply, while 60 vials provide a 30-day supply.

Restasis is the same price whether it is supplied in multidose bottles or single-use vials. Prices will vary depending on the pharmacy and your insurance coverage. Continue reading

Only use Xiidra and Restasis together if your doctor has recommended this treatment. Both drugs are used to treat dry eye disease and inflammation and you would not usually need to combine them. Both Xiidra and Restasis can be linked with similar side effects such as eye burning, stinging and irritation. Continue reading

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Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Restasis only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.