The FDA has approved a new eye drop for dry eyes called Xiidra, manufactured by a BioTech company called Shire. Interesting name. With many artificial tear solutions already in market, such as Restasis and over-the-counter offerings that work for some and not for others, what sets Xiidra apart from the bunch?
Xiidra Eye Drops
Xiidra eye drops are the first prescription eye drop FDA-approved to treat both the signs and symptoms of dry eye disease
“Shire expects to launch Xiidra in the United States in the third quarter of 2016”
The clinical program supporting the release of the new Xiidra eye drop included over 2500 patients. The safety and efficacy of Xiidra for dry eyes was tested in close to 1200 patients, of which a little over a 1000 participants received the lifitegrast ophthalmic 5% solution in four sets of 12 week trials.
Results showed promise. In all four studies a reduction in EDS (Eye Dryness Score) was noted after 6 and 12 weeks.
Similar to Restasis, some report improvements and favourable outcomes, others do not. Typical adverse reactions in up to 25% of patients included irritation in the eye (common with Restasis also), altered taste sensation (unusual) and problems with visual acuity – blurry vision.
So how is Xiidra different ?
The inflammation associated with surface dryness is commonly associated with cytokines, a number of small proteins that affect cells in varying ways and are part of the normal inflammatory reaction.
It is stated that Xiidra helps to down-regulate the inflammatory cycle by mediating the release of cytokines to the affected area.
The exact mechanism is somewhat unclear, however.