Thera tears vs Restasis – When tears don’t flow!

Some things in life come magically. Knowing the brand of eye drops to use, from the numerous options in the market, isn’t one of them. Can this Thera tears vs Restasis comparison replace ‘abracadabra?’

If life were a fairy tale, I would be living happily ever after! When I finally manage to move town to be nearer my boyfriend Joash, I don’t get an engagement ring on my finger. Instead, I get teary, itchy, red, and stinging eyes. Joash says it is dry eye since the town is quite windy. There are so many varieties of eye drops out there, I don’t know one which to try. And we are getting so many conflicting recommendations. Can a Thera tears vs Restasis comparison end my misery, before Joash pull’s an eye drop brand right out of his hat?

What are the differences between Thera tears and Restasis? How do they compare?

Comparison Chart of Thera tears and Restasis

Eye drop
Thera tears
Available in 15ml and 30ml in convenient multi-use bottles
Single use vials available in packs 60 or 180. (Restasis multi Dose is also available in 5.5ml multi-use bottles).
Preservative-free in the eye
I or 2 drops as needed
I drop twice a day (12 hours apart)
Active Ingredient
Sodium carboxymethylcellulose 0.25% (Lubricant)
Cyclosporine 0.05%
Inactive ingredient unique to eyedrop
Borate buffers, Dequest, sodium bicarbonate, sodium perborate, Sodium phosphate.
Glycerin, castor oil, polysorbate 80, carbomer copolymer A, sodimum hydroxide to adjust pH.
Lubricant for relief of dry eye symptoms, including those as a result of exposure to the sun and wind. It’s also a protectant against irritation of the eye further.
An ophthalmic emulsion used in the treatment of chronic or severe dry eyes, by enhancing the eye’s natural ability to produce tears.
A prescription medicine

Thera tears vs Restasis – How do they compare?


Thera tears’ packaging consists of both the 15ml and the 30ml convenient multi-use bottles. Restasis, on the other hand, comes in containers with either a 30-day (60 vials) or 90-day (180 vials) supply of single dose vials. The brand has another product, Restasis multiDose, which comes in a 5.5ml multi-use bottle for a 30-day prescription, or 3 such bottles for a 90-day prescription.


Thera tear’s unique preservative disintegrates to oxygen and water when it reaches the the tear film. For this reason, it is called a vanishing preservative. It is a relatively safe preservative since water and oxygen are harmless – they cannot set off allergy reactions.

Restasis is preservative free. Without preservatives to accost bacteria, non preserved eye drops should not stored after opening. Each Restasis vial contains 0.04 ml solution which should be used immediately the vial is opened, and the vial discarded.


The active ingredient in Thera tears is Sodium Carboxymethylcellulose 0.25%, a lubricant that works by changing the composition of compromised tears in dry eye patient, to match that of the natural tear. Cyclosporine is a powerful immune suppressor used in oral and injectable forms, to minimize organ rejection in transplant surgeries. In Restasis, however, it works differently – as a local immune modulator that reverses the accumulation of dead lymphocytes in tear glands, thereby increasing tear production. Generally, cyclosporine controls inflammation on the eye surface.

Thera tears non-active ingredients constitute the varnishing preservative and the hypotonic solution, which is important in maintain the pH that balances the osmotic pressure (concentration or saltiness) of the tears. If tears are left to become too salty, the eye is damaged. Glycerin, Castor oil, Polysorbate 80, and Carbomer copolymer in Restasis are lubricants that also help reduce tear evaporation.

How Thera tears and Restasis Compare – A Quick Review

Thera tears

TheraTears Eye Drops for Dry Eyes, Dry Eye Therapy Lubricant Eyedrops, Provides Long Lasting Relief, 30 mL, 1 Fl oz Value Size

Thera tears boasts of being able to bring immediate and long-lasting relief to dry eyes. The packaging offers variety to the consumer. The convenient multi-use bottle can be easily contaminated if not properly handled.

Thera tear’s vanishing preservative makes it a relatively safe preservative. In addition, the non-active ingredients make the solution hypotonic (having a lower osmotic pressure). This improves the concentration or saltiness environment of tears (osmolarity). Hyperosmolarity (high salt concentration) is common in most forms of the dry eye syndrome and if unchecked leads to eye damages.


  • Variety of bottle sizes to choose from
  • Hypotonic solution helps osmolarity
  • Vanishing preservative safe and cheaper than having no preservative


  • Multi-use bottle can be easily contaminated.
  • A vanishing preservative is not as a guaranteed no-preservative


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Restasis is not an artificial tear – eye drops moistening the eyes and bringing relief for dry eye symptoms. It is a prescribed medicine that works to increase the patient’s production of their own natural tears. It works by reducing inflammation in the tear glands, which is the underlying cause of dry eye in some people. This enables the person start making their own tears. Restasis effects take 3-6 months to be apparent.

Restasis can be used with other artificial tears under the doctor’s advisement. Allow 15-minute interval between instilling the 2 products. It should not be used while wearing contacts. It does not improve tear production in patients with tear ducts or those using anti-inflammatory tear drugs.


  • Variety of sizes to choose from
  • Restores natural tear production


  • Cannot be bought over the counter
  • Takes long to produce results
  • Causes burning sensation in the eye
  • Once opened, vials must be discarded even if the solution is not exhausted.


What amazing insights from Thera tears vs Rectasis! There is the chance to get healed on one hand , though it takes longer, and the chance getting immediate relief, on the other hand. Thera tears is good for mild dry eye symptoms. Why, oh why, do I need a doctor to determine whether my symptoms are ‘Rectasisiable?’ Which option would you take if you were me?


How long does it take for Restasis to kick in?

It can take several weeks to produce a therapeutic effect. It may take up to six months to feel the maximum benefit.

Can you overdose of Restasis?

A Restasis overdose is not expected to be dangerous. Seek urgent medical attention in case of accidental swallowing of the drug.

How many times can you use a vial of Restasis?

1 drop of Restasis is instilled twice a day (12 hours apart). Use a fresh vial every time and discard it after use.

What are the side effects of Restasis?

Common side effects include: eye burning, tearing, redness, pain, discharge, stinging, itching, vision blurring or feeling like something is in the eye. No serious side effect is expected during treatment.

Is Restasis permanent?

Some people recover tear production after using the drug for long. When tear glands are irreversibly damaged, a patient has no tear production and is given tear duct plugs. Restasis can’t help in such a case.


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