What is Xiidra Uses, warnings & interactions
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Xiidra (lifitegrast) is a prescription eye drop that is manufactured by Novartis Pharmaceuticals. It was approved in 2016 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat the symptoms of dry eye disease (DED) in adults. It is not indicated to treat pediatric patients under 17 years of age.
If your doctor has prescribed Xiidra to you, you may want to know more about what it is and how it works. Here we’ll explain what Xiidra is used for, how it works, its side effects, and more.
What is Xiidra used for?
Xiidra (lifitegrast) is a lymphocyte function-associated antigen-1 (LFA-1) antagonist that is used to treat the signs and symptoms of dry eye disease (DED) in adults.
How does Xiidra work?
The exact way Xiidra works in dry eye disease is not known. It is thought that this prescription medication works on your immune system by blocking a specific protein (LFA-1) from attaching to certain cells. This helps reduce inflammation and increase tear production in patients with chronic dry eyes.
What are the most commonly prescribed doses of Xiidra?
- Lifitegrast ophthalmic solution 5% in single-use containers
Before taking Xiidra
Before beginning Xiidra, tell your doctor about your medical conditions, including:
- Are currently using other eyedrops
- Are pregnant, plan on becoming pregnant, or are breastfeeding
How to take Xiidra
- Read the Full Prescribing Information, Patient Information, and Medication Guide that comes with Xiidra.
- Use Xiidra exactly as your doctor prescribes it to you. Do not change your dose or stop this medication without discussing it with them.
- The usual dose of Xiidra eye drops is 1 drop in each eye twice a day, approximately 12 hours apart.
- You should keep the Xiidra container in the original foil pouch until you are ready to use it. Once opened, use Xiidra right away and throw any unused solution away after using it in both eyes. You should not save any unused Xiidra solution for later use.
- If you miss a dose of Xiidra, take it as soon as possible. If it’s almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at its scheduled time. Do not take extra doses of Xiidra to make up for a missed dose.
- Store Xiidra single-use containers at room temperature between 68°F and 77°F (20°C and 25°C) in the original foil pouch.
You should not use Xiidra if you have an allergy to lifitegrast or any other ingredients in Xiidra.
- Be sure to wash your hands before each use of Xiidra to prevent eye infections. Xiidra does not contain a preservative. Do not let the tip of the single-use container touch your eye or any other surface to reduce the risk of contamination.
- If you wear contact lenses, remove them before using this medication. They can be put back in 15 minutes after using Xiidra.
Xiidra drug interactions
When Xiidra is taken with other medications, it may change the way they work or increase the frequency and severity of side effects. Discuss with your doctor whether any of the prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and herbal supplements you take may interact with this medication.
Xiidra side effects
The most common side effects of Xiidra in clinical trials include:
- Eye irritation
- Eye discomfort
- Blurred vision or other changes in vision
- Eye redness
- Unusual taste sensation (dysgeusia)
- Increased tear production
- Sinus infection
Xiidra can sometimes cause more serious side effects, including:
- Allergic reactions (hives, swelling of the face or throat, and difficulty breathing)
Contact your healthcare professional for medical advice about any possible side effects you experience while taking Xiidra. You can report your adverse reactions to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or www.fda.gov/medwatch.
Your healthcare professional can prescribe other medications for your condition if Xiidra is not right for you. These other treatment options will vary by different factors such as the condition being treated, side effects, and costs. Some FDA-approved alternatives to Xiidra include:
- Restasis (cyclosporine ophthalmic)
- Lacrisert (hydroxypropyl cellulose)
- Tyrvaya (varenicline)
- Lacrilube (artificial tears)
- Systane (propylene glycol ophthalmic)
Can you take Xiidra while you are pregnant or breastfeeding?
There is not any data on the use of Xiidra in pregnant women or if it is found in breast milk during lactation. Since it is poorly absorbed into the bloodstream, the unborn baby or breastfed infant will more than likely not be exposed to the medication. You should always discuss the risks and benefits of any medication with your healthcare provider if you are pregnant, plan on becoming pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
How long does it take Xiidra to work?
According to Novartis, clinical studies showed Xiidra provided relief of eye dryness for some patients after 2 weeks. The majority of people using Xiidra saw symptom improvement in 6 to 12 weeks.
Is Xiidra a steroid?
No, Xiidra is not a steroid. Instead, it blocks the activity of a protein (LFA-1) which helps reduce inflammation in your eye and increase tear production.
Can Xiidra damage your eyes?
When taken as prescribed, Xiidra should not damage your eyes or worsen your condition. Some side effects of Xiidra such as blurred vision or eye discomfort may have you think it is causing damage but they will usually go away pretty quickly. If you have these symptoms and they don’t go away or if your vision worsens, contact your doctor immediately.
What is the cost of Xiidra?
The average cost for #60 single-use containers of Xiidra 5% ophthalmic solution is almost $900.
Is there a generic for Xiidra?
Currently, there is no generic Xiidra available on the market. However, you can still save on brand-name drugs like Xiidra through NiceRx if eligible for assistance.