Xiidra (Lifitegrast) Ophthalmic: Uses, Side Effects, Dosages

What is Xiidra?

Xiidra (lifegrast) is an eye drop solution used to treat symptoms of dry eye in adults.

Xiidra belongs to a class of medications called lymphocyte function-associated antigen 1 (LFA-1) antagonists. It works by reducing the swelling of the eye tissues.

It is available as a prescription eye drop.

Medication Facts

Generic name: Lifegrast

brand names): Xiidra

Administrative route: Ophthalmic

Availability of drugs: Order

Therapeutic classification: Lubricant, eye

Available generically: Nope

Controlled substance: N / A

active ingredient: Lifegrast

Dosage form(s): The solution

What is Xiidra used for?

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Xiidra to treat the signs and symptoms of dry eye disease (DED).

A 2017 study suggested that approximately 16 million adults in the United States have been diagnosed with DED. DED generally occurs more in women than in men and tends to increase with age.

Common dry eye symptoms can include:

  • Eye discomfort
  • Tingling or burning
  • Eye redness
  • Grainy feeling
  • Stringy mucus in or around the eyes
  • Pain when wearing contact lenses
  • Difficulty seeing at night
  • tearing
  • Blurred vision
  • Pressure behind the eyes

How to take Xiidra

To use Xiidra, instill one drop in each eye twice a day, approximately 12 hours apart, and discard the single-use container immediately after using it in each eye. If you wear contact lenses, remove them before using Xiidra. You can put your contact lenses back in 15 minutes later.

Storage

Store Xiidra at room temperature and keep single-use containers in foil wrappers to protect them from light. Do not open the foil pouch until ready to use and return unopened single-use containers to the foil pouch, refolding the pouch to protect from light until ready to use.

Keep your medications out of reach of children and pets, ideally locked in a cupboard or cupboard.

If you plan to travel with Xiidra, familiarize yourself with the regulations of your final destination. In general, be sure to make a copy of your Xiidra prescription. If possible, keep your medicine in its original container from your pharmacy with your name on the label. If you have any questions about traveling with your medications, be sure to ask your pharmacist or health care provider.

Throw away all unused and expired medicine, but do not flush it down the drain or down the toilet. Ask your pharmacist or health care provider about the best ways to dispose of this medication. And check out the drug take-back programs in your area.

How long does Xiidra take to work?

Some people notice an improvement in dry eye symptoms after two weeks of use. However, it may take longer for some. Contact your eye doctor (optometrist or ophthalmologist) or other health care provider if your symptoms do not improve in six to 12 weeks.

What are the side effects of Xiidra?


This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. A health care provider can advise you about side effects. If you experience any other effects, contact your pharmacist or healthcare provider. You can report side effects to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) at fda.gov/medwatch or at 800-FDA-1088.

Common side effects

Common side effects of using Xiidra can include:

  • eye irritation
  • Reduced ability to see clearly (visual acuity)
  • Changes in your sense of taste

Serious side effects

Call your healthcare provider right away if you experience any serious side effects. Call 911 if your symptoms are life-threatening or if you think you have a medical emergency.

Serious side effects can include hypersensitivity reactions such as anaphylaxis (severe allergy) and angioedema (swelling under the skin).

Report side effects

Xiidra can cause other side effects. Call your healthcare provider if you have any unusual problems while taking this medicine.

If you experience a serious side effect, you or your healthcare provider can report it to the FDA’s MedWatch adverse event reporting program or by phone (800-332-1088).

Dosage: How much Xiidra should I take?

Contents of the drug supplied and reviewed by

IBM Micromedex®

The dose of this drug will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor’s orders or label directions. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you.

The amount of medicine you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time between doses, and how long you take the medicine depends on the medical condition for which you are using the medicine.

  • For the ophthalmic dosage form (eye drops):

    • For dry eye:

      • Adults—One drop twice daily (12 hours apart) in each eye.
      • Children—Use and dose should be determined by your doctor.

Amendments

The following modifications (changes) should be kept in mind when using Xiidra:

Severe allergic reaction: Avoid using Xiidra if you have a known allergy to it or any of its ingredients. Ask your pharmacist or health care provider for a complete list of ingredients if you are unsure.

Pregnancy: The safety of Xiidra has not been studied in pregnant women. Since Xiidra is administered as eye drops, it is thought to have poor absorption into the systemic circulation. Tell your health care provider if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

Breastfeeding: It is unknown whether Xiidra passes into breast milk, but is not expected to cause adverse effects in nursing infants due to minimal absorption through the eyes.

Children: The safety and effectiveness of Xiidra have not been established in people under 17 years of age.

Missed dose

Take a missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and take the next regularly scheduled dose. Do not double the dose to make up for the missed dose, as this may increase the risk of serious side effects.

Try to find ways that work for you to help you remember to keep your appointments and take your medications regularly. If you miss too many doses, Xiidra may be less effective in treating your condition.

Overdose: what happens if I take too much Xiidra?

There is no information on overdoses with Xiidra. Using too much Xiidra in the eyes is not expected to cause serious or life-threatening side effects.

Precautions

Contents of the drug supplied and reviewed by

IBM Micromedex®

Your eye doctor will want to examine your eyes during regular visits to make sure this medicine is working properly and not causing side effects.

If your symptoms do not improve within a few days or if they get worse, see your doctor.

What are the reasons why I should not use Xiidra?

Xiidra is generally safe to use in most cases. However, you should not use Xiidra if you have a known hypersensitivity (allergy) to the medicine or any of its ingredients.

Additionally, Xiidra is not approved for use in people under the age of 17.

What other medicines interact with Xiidra?

There is no information on drug interactions with Xiidra, including other eye drops. Since it is an ophthalmic eye drop, it is not expected to interact with other medications. When using with other eye medications, space them from Xiidra by at least five to 10 minutes.

Which drugs are similar?

Other medications commonly used to treat dry eye include:

  • Artificial tear drops: Your primary care provider can prescribe these, usually before you move to Xiidra.
  • Cyclosporine drops: Prescribed and monitored by an ophthalmologist.
  • Varenicline nasal spray: Prescribed and monitored by an ophthalmologist.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How does Xiidra work?

    Xiidra helps relieve dry eye symptoms by reducing inflammation. It binds to special cells and prevents others (T cells) from binding to corneal and conjunctival tissue. Xiidra can also prevent white blood cells from secreting inflammatory cytokines.

  • What side effects can I expect from using Xiidra?

    The most common side effects of Xiidra are eye irritation, reduced visual acuity, and altered taste sensation. Less common side effects are blurred vision, conjunctival redness, increased tearing, headache, and eye discharge.

  • How long does Xiidra take to work?

    Some people notice an improvement in dry eye symptoms after two weeks of use. For others, it may take longer. If your symptoms do not improve within six to 12 weeks, talk to your eye doctor (optometrist and ophthalmologist) or other health care provider about whether you should continue taking this medication.

  • Can I take other eye drops or eye medications with Xiidra?

    You should try to space out different eye medications throughout the day. If you need to take Xiidra at the same time as another eye medication, wait at least five to 10 minutes between medications.

How can I stay healthy while using Xiidra?

Medications, such as Xiidra, can help control dry eye symptoms.

Before administering Xiidra, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. To avoid contamination and infection, do not touch the tip of the single-use container with your hands or to any surface, including your eyes, eyelids or face. Discard your single-use container after placing one drop of Xiidra in each eye. Do not try to save the rest of the drops for later use. This means that you will probably use two single-use containers per day.

If you wear contact lenses, remove them before using Xiidra. You can reinsert your contact lenses 15 minutes after using Xiidra.

Medical Disclaimer

Verywell Health medication information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a healthcare provider. Consult your health care provider before taking any new medications. IBM Watson Micromedex provides drug content as indicated on the page.

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