Eyes Home > Restasis Uses

How Does Restasis Work?

Restasis belongs to a group of medications known as immunosuppressants, which work by decreasing the activity of the immune system. It is thought that Restasis works by decreasing inflammation in the eye. When inflammation is reduced, the eye can make more tears.
In clinical trials, Restasis did not increase tear production in people with dry eyes who were using anti-inflammatory eye drops or punctal plugs (small devices inserted into the tear ducts to treat dry eyes).
Normally, this medication does not start to work immediately. In fact, it may take a month for your eyes to start making more tears. Sometimes, it can take three to six months to notice a difference in tear production.
You might want to use artificial tears for your dry eyes in addition to Restasis. Just remember to separate the two medications by at least 15 minutes. As Restasis starts to work, you may notice that you need to use the artificial tears less often.

Can Children Use It?

Restasis is approved for use in people 16 years old and older. It has not been adequately studied in children younger than 16 years of age. Talk with your child's healthcare provider about the benefits and risks of using Restasis in children.

Can Older Adults Use It?

Yes -- older adults can use Restasis. In fact, many older adults suffer from dry eyes. There are no known differences in the effectiveness of this medication or in Restasis side effects between older and younger people.

Off-Label Uses for Restasis

On occasion, your healthcare provider may recommend Restasis for something other than treating dry eyes. Restasis may sometimes be used off-label to treat the following conditions:
  • Dry eyes after laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) surgery
  • Glaucoma
  • Atopic keratoconjunctivitis, a severe form of eye allergy
  • Prevention of corneal transplant rejection
  • Corneal melting syndrome, a rare disease in which the cornea becomes very thin
  • Keratitis (inflammation of the cornea)
  • Uveitis (inflammation of the uvea)
  • Mooren's ulcer, a rare inflammatory condition of the eye.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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