Dry eye is caused by either reduced tear production or increased tear evaporation. Can a Thera tears vs Xiidra comparison help understand what an eye drop does about the tears?
As I age gracefully, I am learning that not every rickety ache or strange sensation is a medical emergency. So, when I started experiencing unexplainable itchy, painful, red eyes, I stoically gulped my ‘soon-going to-be-blind’ panic and did a little digging. Results? I discovered I have dry eye symptoms, which a simple eye-drop could relieve. My biggest problem now is knowing which brand to choose, from the thousands available. Is there any difference from one to the next, or is it a case of same solution different names? Maybe a Thera tears vs Xiidra comparison will be helpful.
What are the differences between Thera tears and Xiidra? How do they compare?
Comparison Chart of Thera tears and Xiidra
Available in 15ml and 30ml in convenient multi-use bottles
Single use vials available in packs 60 packed in foils containing 5 vials.
Preservative-free in the eye
I or 2 drops as needed
I drop twice a day (12 hours apart)
Sodium carboxymethylcellulose 0.25% (Lubricant)
Inactive ingredient unique to eyedrop
Borate buffers, Dequest, sodium bicarbonate, sodium perborate.
Sodium phosphate dibasic anhydrous (buffer), sodium thiosulfate pentahydrate (stabilizer) sodimum hydroxide and hydrochloric acid (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 solution that treats both the signs and symptoms of the dry eye.
A prescription medicine
Thera tears vs Xiidra – How do they compare?
Thera tears’ packaging consists of both the 15ml and the 30ml convenient multi-use bottles. For Xiidra, 60 single dose vials are packed in a box in sealed foil pouch carrying 5 vials. Each vial holds approximately 0.2ml solution.
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.
Xiidra is preservative free. Without preservatives to stop bacteria, non preserved eye drop must be used as soon as the vial is opened, and the vial discarded immediately. Each vial contains 0.02 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. Xiidra is an immune suppressor. The active ingredient Lifitegrast prevents inflammation of the eye cells, a condition thought to reduce tear production.
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. In its inactive ingredients, Xiidra has Sodium phosphate dibasic anhydrous (buffer), which is important in balancing the osmotic pressure. Sodium thiosulfate pentahydrate is a stabilizer for the active ingredient.
How Thera tears and Xiidra Compares – A Quick Review
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 in osmolarity
- Vanishing preservative safe and cheaper than having no preservative
- Multi-use bottle can be easily contaminated.
- A vanishing preservative is not as guaranteed as no-preservative in sensitivity reactions
Xiidra is not an artificial tear that only brings relief for dry eye symptoms. It is a prescribed medicine aimed at treating both the signs and symptoms of dry eye. It works by blocking the interaction of 2 proteins that can cause inflammation in dry eye. Inflammation is a leading cause of reduction of tear production. Xiidra is only used under doctor’s advisement. Its effect takes 6 weeks to manifest. It is beneficial to sjogren’s syndrome – an autoimmune dry eye disease.
- Addresses both signs and symptoms of dry eye
- Prescribed for healing of dry eye.
- Takes a short time to work.
- Cannot be bought over the counter
- Can’t be used with contacts lens on
- Once opened, vials must be discarded even if the solution is not exhausted.
This appears to be one of those win-win situations. Both brands relieve dry-eye symptoms, which is my immediate concern. However, Xiidra offers a possibility for healing in only 6 weeks. Who knew that runaway tears could actually be recalled? It is good to know that some situations in a gracefully aging body can be reversed! Of course, the doctor has the final say!
What are the side effects of Xiidra?
Common side effects include blurred vision, eye irritation and discomfort, and an unusual taste in the mouth (dysgeusia). Consult your doctor if the side effects persist.
How long does it take Xiidra to work?
Being a long term treatment because of the chronic nature of dry eye, relief can be felt about 6 weeks after starting the treatment.
Can Xiidra cure dry eye?
Xiidra is a drug used in the treatment of dry eye. Effects are felt in 6 weeks.
Can I take Xiidra and Xiidra together?
Both drugs are prescription drugs designed to treat dry eye. Studies on the impact of combining the two are on-going. You could however speak to your doctor about it.
How often do you use Xiidra?
Instill one drop of the solution in each eye, twice a day, at least 12 hours apart.