Is Lacrisert Good for Dry Eye?

March 11, 2009

A Lacrisert rep came to the office today. He stated that the Lacrisert gets great results- much more dry eye relief than taking drops four or five times a day. And many of my patients complain bitterly of taking drops so often, and many of them simply don’t respond to Retsasis. I am not sure if my patients will like the idea of inserting this thing into their conjunctival fornix, but I am willing to try. I wonder what others have found?

 

 



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67 Responses to “Is Lacrisert Good for Dry Eye?”

  1. MHG on March 16th, 2009 11:52 pm

    Dear Doctor,

    I am a patient who can answer your question and relieve your concerns.

    Lacrisert has saved my vision and quality of life. Diagnosed with “mucous-maker” eyes as a teen, I eventually found an exceptional Board Certified Eye Surgeon when my disease evolved to severe dry eye syndrome. Simply, I have no tear production. Having tried every imaginable therapy available at the time, my doctor prescribed Lacrisert as a last option; I believe it was a fairly new drug at the time. There is not a day that goes by when I do not mentally thank this physician for having the awareness to consider new options and the compassion to share a relatively unknown drug and offer a possible solution.

    This drug therapy has been part of my life for almost 20 years and without it, I could not imagine life as it once was…a daily challenge with scratchy, grainy, painful infected eyes. I have often wondered why Lacrisert is not a common household name for those who suffer from dry eye syndrome and severe dry eyes, as in my situation. In my opinion, to NOT recommend this therapeutic option to a patient is not an option. Your rep has presented you with a medical solution that will change lives.

    There is no pain inserting Lacrisert (it takes seconds), and the only discomfort is mild blurry vision that occurs late into the ‘melting’ process, usually after 10 hours. The solution to that mild discomfort is to replace the old Lacrisert insert with a new one. Other than that, I am not aware Lacrisert is in my eyes. But I am VERY aware of life without this drug and encourage you to provide this same resolution to your patients, colleagues, and the medical community that often searches for solutions to diseases, without success. In this case, success is held in the hands of your pharmaceutical rep. Please give that person a call today, and give your patients the ‘gift’ and quality of life they deserve.

    Best Regards, MHG

  2. Dr. Weitzner on March 17th, 2009 8:19 am

    that is certainly a compelling endorsement and will motivate me to offer it to my severe dry eye sufferers. incidentally, a patient called me several times yesterday to whom i gave a lacrisert sample, and she was distraught as the lacrisert didnt quite stay deep in her eye and she could see it in the mirror and it was bothering her/blurring her. oh well- not for everyone, but i will keep trying!

  3. MHG on March 17th, 2009 12:57 pm

    Dear Dr. Weitzner,

    It may be helpful to your patient if she carefully reviews the Lacrisert instructions with insert diagram, and gives it another try. If the Lacrisert insert is placed into the deepest section of outer/lower lid, it is secure and will not float and shouldn’t be seen or felt. If I may offer another suggestions to a new user: Be patient and allow your eye to adjust to Lacrisert, in the same way an eye adjusts to a contact lens or eyeglasses.

    Also, since I have extensive experience with Lacrisert, I have learned on certain types of weather-days, i.e. higher humidity vs lower humidity, I cut one insert in half prior to placing it in my eye, using a half-dose. This half-dose of Lacrisert is more effective on a humid day and blurry vision symptoms are lessened. To maintain effectiveness, I simply replace the insert with a new one, halfway through the day. Also, I have learned to adjust for wind conditions, and for hours of time spent on the computer. Again from my experience, a half-insert works best in these scenarios, replaced halfway throught the day. And on the days when my eyes are feeling especially dry or at night, a full-size insert relieves the dryness completely. And finally, I use eye drops to relieve redness when necessary, without evidence of degrading the effectiveness of either product.

    Thank you for initiating this discussion; it is very much appreciated.

    Best regards, MHG

  4. Dr. Weitzner on March 17th, 2009 3:55 pm

    thanks so much for your input. i will surely pass it along to my patient!

  5. Naaz on April 22nd, 2009 4:09 pm

    Hi MHG,

    Can you please tell me what do you use to cut the lacrisert in half??
    I would like to try that.

    Thanks in advance.

  6. BENAMARA on November 18th, 2009 5:17 pm

    BONJOUR,

    Le lacrisert a également sauvé le confort de ma vie quotidienne. Simplement, il coûte désormais très cher : 169,00€ !

  7. Luci on December 9th, 2009 9:59 pm

    I suffer from profound dry eye which had a temporal relationship to lasik, Within a month of Lasik surgery and prior to Restasis coming on the market I have suffered with a number of health issues. It is very important to wet the product prior to insertion. The product is easily dropped and I would suggest it eventually be dyed with an inert material as it is difficult to see. Finally, I would suggest a paper towel be placed below the area where the patient inserts the product since it is easy to drop. I find the product absolutely wonderful but would love to see improvements in having the insert actually stay in my eye. I cry not infrequently and find I am losing inserts. Also, noting some itching in my eyes.
    Overall, this product can change the quality of one’s life. Sometimes my eyes actually shine again. Finally, if you use it twice a day be sure to put it in well before bedtime. I am a disabled R.N. and would be happy to discuss this product with you if interested. The cost is $503.00 per month on a BID usage. I thank-you and hope this helps. I would like to know what can be safely used for itching and to remove leftover inserts in the eye which sometimes cloud vision.
    My Best,
    Luci

    Sincerely,

    Luci

  8. ari weitzner on December 10th, 2009 12:09 pm

    pataday is a good anti-itching drop.
    i have no good advise about removing left over lacrisert except to moisten a qtip with some saline, pull down the lid, and sweep the area while looking in a mirror.

  9. ellen on December 18th, 2009 6:40 pm

    I have been using Lacrisert for the past three days and am thrilled with the change in my eyes- they finally have lubrication again, for the first time in years. As background, Restasis and eye lid scrubs/compresses were controlling my dry eye during most daytimes but I was waking 4-6 times a night to have to insert eyedrops and “pry open” my eyelids from my dry eyes, which caused constant discomfort, actual pain, jaw clenching and sleep disruption. So I tried Lacrisert as a last resort and it has cured the night-time dry eye problem. I can now sleep all the way through the night with no eye drops, for the first time in years – yeahhh!. I found Lacrisert relatively easy to insert, although it can stick to the applicator and refuse to come loose in eye when I am ready for it to do that. One of my doctors didn’t want to prescribe it for me, saying it was like “putting rocks in your eyes,” but I have completely the opposite experience. Even with sensitive eyes, I have had no pain or discomfort with the pellet in place. My only side effect so far has been blurry vision and photosensitivity during the day (when I have inserted Lacrisert the night before). I can’t find the pellet anymore when I wake (8+ hours after insertion) and assume it is largely melted away at that point, but I would like to get the residue out of my eyes to prevent the blurring and photosensitivity. I will try the moist q-tip idea above, and flushing water into my eyes, to see if I can get the residue out in the morning. If there are any other good ways to address those side effects for those of us who use Lacrisert only for nighttime, i would love to hear more. I totally agree with the top comment above, that doctors would not be serving their patients well if they fail to mention this option to people with dry eyes for whom other remedies are not working.

  10. ellen on December 19th, 2009 5:49 pm

    as a followup to my comment above, I have found that the insert becomes transparent in the eye pocket after several hours, which is why I could not see it to remove it when it was causing blurriness/photosensiitvity. This morning I followed the package insert instructions for how to remove the insert (what a novel idea) and found that it worked fine. After 10 hours in my eyes, The insert had become 5+ times its original size, was very soft and completely transparent, and came out easily with pressure on the lower lid pocket. And even after removal, my eyes stayed more moist than before. So life is good. I highly recommend a trial of these inserts to anyone having unrelieved dry eye problems.

  11. Luci on January 2nd, 2010 8:54 pm

    Hi, Some further questions about Lacrisert. I am having trouble sleeping with them especially if one falls out mid-day there does not seem to be enough eye moisture to dissolve the disc. When asleep they appear to migrate into other areas of my eye and in the morning I usually have a dry eye without a disc or one that is gunky with Lacriset.
    Now I am just using them during the day and using Systane P.M. lubricant at night. Have others experienced this problem? How do you prevent them from falling out when you cry? Also, how are people supplementing the Lacrisert for me it is not lasting through the night even if it does not migrate. I have been using an eye rinse with cup to clear the eye and then add Lubricant before bed. All of this is expensive and does not alwalys work are there other ideas? Thanks so much, Luci

  12. Angela on January 6th, 2010 12:44 am

    I have been using Lacrisert for the past 6 months. I use them at night and have no problem sleeping with them. Unfortunatley i do have to remove them in the morning. because as they melt they break up in my eye and cause blurry vision and my eye lids stick together.
    There are times that I have trouble removing them.
    It would be great if the company made Lacrisert in an 8 hour size to eliminate the need to remove them in the AM.

    I am concerned about long tem use. Are there any known long term effects to be concerned about?

  13. Luci on January 9th, 2010 3:25 pm

    Angela, I brought Walgreens “Soothing eye wash” it cups with a tiny cup. If I have leftover gunk in the morning I fill the cup no more than 1/4 fill and rise my eye. I then apply Systane and wait a few miniutes. My doctor added Genteal gel which is wonderful. If my eyes are too dry the Lacrisert pellet will not dissolve. First, I put a drop of Genteal gel in my eye and then insert the Lacrisert.

    I am still having trouble crying and losing the lacrisert in that way. Also, if I inadvertently touch my eye I lose them. This would not be a problem but for the fact that our insurance now has a copyay of 20% of drug price. I did find coupons for up to $60.00 of 20.00 for each script.

    I continue to appreciate all ideas. Has anyone cut them in 1/2. I did not understand the last answer. Thanks to all.

    Luci

    Sincerely,

    Luci

  14. Lynne on February 28th, 2010 5:40 pm

    Due to scarring on my cornea as a result of a shingles episode last summer, my right eye has had a dry, burning sensation that eye drops helped only on a very short term basis. I have tiny tear ducts, so plugs would not stay, and my ophthomologiest asked if I would try Lacrisert as a rep had brought in some samples. I did, and after a couple of attempts, was able to effectively insert the Lacrisert. I do NOT feel it when it is properly inserted, and it keeps my eye moist all day. My only issue is with the residue after it melts. I cannot find it in my eye and I have had to flush my eye out using Theratears. I will try the moistened QTip as that seems like a good idea. This morning, the excess was gunked up in my upper lashes. I’ll keep you posted.

  15. Luci on March 9th, 2010 1:19 pm

    When my eyes are very dry some problems with Lacrisert not dissolving and creating a very red air on inner lower eye lid. Thoughts? Thanks to all.

  16. Janel on April 23rd, 2010 10:46 pm

    I have been using Lacrisert inserts for about a year now through the recommendation of my opthamologists. I was in a car accident in 1996 and my eye lid does not close completely when I am asleep. I have used many different drops during the day and many different gels for the night for this condition. Nothing has worked like Lacrisert. They work like a charm and have eliminated the need for drops of any kind.

    My only problem, like so many above, is that they melt after so many hours the next day after inserting them. I can not see and gunk is all over my eyelid. I have used a q tip and/or kleenex to move the melted insert out of my eye. I will try the suggestion of inserting another lacrisert in the eye after the old one has melted after about 10 hours. Thanks!!

  17. Miriam on June 1st, 2010 1:16 pm

    I am interested in cutting them in half, too! The Lacrisert inserts are very comfortable UNTIL they swell up and I have to take them out–after about 8 hours. How would you cut them, and maintain sterility?

  18. MHG on June 19th, 2010 1:07 pm

    Please read my 3/16/09 post re long-term use: In my personal situation, 20 years of daily use has been only a positive experience. My eyes produce no tears – absolutely a very severe case of dry eye disease. Annual exams do not show evidence of internal eye damage as a result of Lacrisert, and in fact, initial corneal damage (resulting from no tear production) was halted. My vision was saved.

    Many years ago, to minimize the AM and afternoon ‘gunk’, I began cutting the insert in half. This helps in many ways to control the ‘melting’ residue. When your eyes begin to feel dry again, simply remove the old insert from your lower outer lid area and replace with another half-insert. (Wash your eye area at the same time with a gentle scrub and re-apply eye make-up ;) . I have noticed the weather and humidity level effects how often I need to replace Lacrisert during the day. In summer (I live in a warm-weather climate), my daily routine is to add one half before bedtime (or early evening if necessary), remove in the AM and replace with a new half for the day. In winter and on higher-humdity days, the half-insert can last most of the day.

    I have also found that I can use, with success, Lacrisert with Clear Eyes drops to remove the associated redness if necessary; and it can also be used (with good results) at bedtime with a product called ‘Clear Eyes PM Tears Ointment’ an over-the-counter eye ointment. The combination works well for me on very dry nights and eliminates waking up with eye pain.

    For the occassional eye infection that can result from airborne micro-materials that cannot be washed out of your eye b/c of the thickness of melting Lacrisert, I have used Rx Erythromycin Opthalmic Ointment with success. Applied to your outer eyelids, it also helps with redness that can be associated with the melting Lacrisert residue and irritation. On average, I use this once per week on outer lids and once per month to eliminate an eye infection.

    Re residue: a moist cotton ball or moist Q-tip suggestions are all good. Carry them in your handbag to use during the day if necessary. Sometimes a little inconvenience but I never forget the alternative!

    These are my personal notes from two decades of Lacrisert ‘trial and error’ and finding the combination of therapy that works well in my situation. Everyone’s challenge is different but my hope is to provide you with ‘tried and true’ solutions and another combination of proven treatment.

  19. Miriam on June 21st, 2010 3:42 pm

    I appreciate your notes very much (and everyone else’s!). I am still curious, however, as to exactly HOW you cut the insert in half. What do you use?

  20. MHG on June 24th, 2010 1:14 am

    Miriam,
    I use a small pair of scissors (inexpensive sewing-type scissors) that you can manage close to the Lacrisert. If you’re concerned about sterility, you can wipe the ends with an alcohol rub first, and let it dry, or rinse in hot water and dry with a clean dry cloth before you cut. (I don’t use alcohol wipes but do rinse in hot water after each use and store the scissors in a container in my bathroom cabt).

    Then I open the wrapper on my counter, slowly, so the Lacrisert stays near or in the center of the wrapper, and snip it in half, keeping the scissor tips close to the wrapper so the Lacrisert doesn’t ‘pop’ off the wrapper after it’s cut. You can also use the index finger of your free hand to place over the scissor tip to keep the Lacrisert from moving while you’re cutting it.

    Usually I apply each half without the applicator and use the tip of my index finger to ‘drop’ it into my lower/outer lid; I moisten it with a drop of water first so the Lacrisert sticks and I don’t ‘lose it’ from my fingertip. This has become my preference since I don’t always have the applicator with me and I’ve just found it a little easier – really, a personal preference of mine and not in the Lacrisert Rx instructions.

    When at home, I also use a lighted magnifying mirror (the type on a stand with two sides) and this helps the entire process of applying the Lacrisert. Overall, after you get into a routine, it takes less than a minute to cut the Lacrisert in half and apply to both eyes. I hope this helps!

  21. Miriam on June 25th, 2010 12:20 pm

    That helps very much. Thank you!!

  22. Jennifer on July 5th, 2010 3:23 am

    MHG,
    I was delighted to read your comments on Lacrisert. Like you I am very long time user of Lacrisert. There is not a day goes by when I don’t give thanks for this wonderful product. It has saved both my sight and my sanity. To save money I have been experimenting with using a pellet in one eye and drops in the other on one day and then alternating eyes the next day. This has some success but means that one eye is always slightly uncomfortable. It never occurred to me to cut it. However since reading your comments I have tried this and have now worked out a method which works for me. I start with a small cutting board and place the carefully opened wrapper on this. I secure the pellet at each end with the back of a small dessert fork with flat prongs, handle facing away from me. I then cut the pellet with a surgical scalpel. This must be completely dry or the pellet sticks to it. I then insert the pellets using the applicator. I use a combination of alcohol wipes and boiling water to maintain sterility.
    As you would know it’s a matter of finding what works in one’s own circumstances. I prefer to remove the pellets at night and use ointment in my eyes. Some days I need a whole pellet and I wouldn’t bother cutting them if I was travelling. Thanks for your comments. They have certainly helped me.

  23. MHG on July 25th, 2010 8:27 pm

    Jennifer,

    I read your comments with great interest and also appreciate the fact someone else has found the same long-term relief that Lacrisert has given me.

    In my city of 60,000, several pharmacists told me I am an ‘only’ user of the drug treatment (in our area) they are aware of. That in itself always concerns me especially when I experience such comfort compared to life without this drug…and wonder how many others are suffering because their docs are not aware. This blog has been supportive since it’s a rare discussion to be had in daily life.

    On a personal note, I have written to senior managment of ATON regarding my positive experience with Lacrisert – I remember when Merck owned this drug and at times it was rationed and I qualified for ‘emergency’ shipment each month but I always wondered if that month would be a final shipment. Without this daily treatment, my vision could not have been saved. I stay current with ATON and their corporate mission – and am very thankful they are investing in global outreach to those with ‘orphan diseases’. They are to be commended and valued.

    Please keep us posted on your progress and I’ll do the same!

  24. Jennifer on August 14th, 2010 2:34 am

    MHG,

    I’m sorry for not responding sooner. I also qualified for the emergency supply of Lacrisert under the Special Access Scheme and like you I worry about future supply. I am persevering with the process of cutting the pellet in half but find that I can only do this for a maximum of two days running and then need to put a full pellet in each eye for comfort. I guess there is a good reason why they are made the size they are. Tonight I am going to a play so I have put half in each eye this morning and will put a fresh half in tonight before I go out. ( It will be interesting to see how I cope in the air conditioned theatre.)This should prevent the occasional problem which I have at night with blurred vision while driving. This was a big problem for me during the first few years of use but I must say it is not a great issue now as my eyes seem to have adjusted or perhaps they have just got dryer.
    I am happy to stay in touch and will follow your example of writing to ATON to express my appreciation for this product. I tell any doctor I can about it and am amazed that even doctors who work with patients with dry eye problems have not heard of it. I am so grateful that my eye specialist had read about the product and suggested that I try it about 15 years ago. My GP said that that she had a patient who would really benefit from it but there was no point in telling her because there was no way that she could afford it. I figure that I may have to start going without other things in order to pay for it as this is right near the top of my expenditure priorities.
    I will keep in touch.

  25. Drew on October 13th, 2010 8:38 pm

    I have had dry eye from Lasik for about 5 years now. Lacrisert is the best solution I have found and I have tried everything from Restasis to putting honey on my eyelids. Unfortunately, my insurance is not great, so it is very expensive, so I can’t afford to use them every day. Many times I only do one eye at a time. I never thought about cutting them in half, so I may try that next. To put them in, I just wet my finger and easily stick them into the corner of my eye. After that I don’t have problems unless I rub or my eye. They do blur your vision later, but since I do only one eye at a time, I usually just leave it in while I watch TV. My eye still burns sometimes with them in, but it’s still better than any eye drops. Every single eye drop I’ve tried has been amazingly inadequate.

  26. Marilyn on October 27th, 2010 11:18 pm

    Hi
    I just got Lacrisert today from my doctor. I am confused. My Lacrisert did swell but I kept it in. Am I suppose to remove it when this happens? Is everyone saying that these have to be removed after so many hours? I thought they were just to dissolve away and then the next day you put in a new one? I can not see or feel where this pellet went! Please I need help!!

    Thank you

  27. Dr. Ari Weitzner on October 28th, 2010 8:18 pm

    please simply call your doctor. the lacrisert is not removed- allow it to dissolve slowly in your eye.

  28. Marilyn on October 28th, 2010 9:33 pm

    Hi, just wanted to let everyone know that I learned the answers to my questions. Lacrisert is really helping my dry eye, and I can read the computer screen again (only 24 hours after 1st dose) I have been able to read the blogs and learn. I am thankful for the blogs. I am also thankful to my husband who searched the computer and found out about Lacrisert. I had been to a number of “dry eye specialists” who told me nothing else could be done. It was until I had the name and insisted that I wanted to try it that the doctor gave me a sample. I can not believe the medical doctors are so cruel as to not let their patients know about this medication.

  29. Dr. Ari Weitzner on October 31st, 2010 12:01 am

    not cruel- its just that most eyedocs dont know about it, as its not pushed hard by the drug reps- i have seen them only once. and they dont advertise much.

  30. Daniela Manuel on November 5th, 2010 2:01 am

    Hello All, i have dry eye syndrome and i currently use restasis. It has not been working so my doctor gave me lacrisert but when i woke up the next morning it was swelled up into two balls in my eye lid and my eye was bruised from where it had been resting all night.. normal??? please help!

  31. Dorai on November 5th, 2010 2:30 am

    Hi Marilyn and all. Really excited to read the positive commentary re: Lacrisert and have actually ordered a box to be shipped to me. One thing I am curious about is if the inserts need to be removed ? I thought they were just supposed to dissolve away. Can someone enlighten me? Many thanks.

  32. Jennifer on November 28th, 2010 11:50 pm

    Dear Daniela Manuel,

    I have never experienced the problem you describe but I imagine it could occur if you insert the Lacrisert shortly before going to bed. If I use Lacrisert overnight I would have inserted it sometime during the day so it is already quite gel like by bedtime. It can be quite gunky in the morning and can cause blurred vision if the residue has made it’s way onto the cornea. I usually clear it by moving my eyelid manually over the cornea, sometimes aided with drops. There is also often some gel like residue left in the pocket under the eye which causes no discomfort but which I remove with a tissue before inserting a new pellet in the morning. If you continue to have problems at night another alternative which I used for years is to remove the Lacrisert at bedtime and use a preservative free eye ointment such as Duratears. I have just returned from a long overseas holiday during which I used Lacrisert every day and they were WONDERFUL. I could not have done the trip without it. I hope this helps.

  33. BARBARA ALLEN on December 6th, 2010 11:26 am

    LACRISERTS HAVE CHANGED MY LIFE.I DON”T KNOW WHAT I WOULD DO WITH OUT THEM. I WAS JUST INFORMED THAT MEDICARE WOULD NO LONGER PAY FOR THEM.I HAVE NOT CHECKED WITH MY INS. CO. YET I AM IN A STATE OF SHOCK AS THEY ARE VERY EXPENSIVE.DOES ANY ONE KNOW ABOUT THIS CHANGE IN POLICY OR WHERE TO FIND DISCOUNTS.I HEAR THEY ARE MUCH CHEAPER IN CANADA BUT HAVE NO IDEA WHO TO CONTACT. THANKS..BARBARA T

  34. Dr. Ari Weitzner on December 6th, 2010 3:46 pm

    i suppose the easiest thing is to go online and find a canada pharmacy that will ship to you. also, call the lacrisert company- im sure they can help.

    obamacare took a very big chunk-about $500MM from an already strapped medicare, so im not surprised medicare is cutting back not only on doctors’ fees, but also on what it will cover. i think this will only get worse in the future. no surprise that about 55% of americans are against obamacare in every poll i have read. let’s see if the next congress in 2012 can adjust obamacare and make it better.

  35. Joann on December 24th, 2010 10:39 am

    I just started this week with the Lacrisert. My question to an eye doctor is , I put them in before bed, and they are in about 8 hrs max, then I must get ready for the day, therefore, I remove the little ball left over. Am I getting any the full advantage of this extremely costly Rx? Any longer is impossible to keep in? Does the pellet must be completly disovled? PLZ answer asap. And of course any /all suggestions are helpful. My dry eyes are horrible to live with . Also is there a surgery for dry eyes? Suffering so much, thank you. joann

  36. Dr. Ari Weitzner on December 24th, 2010 11:00 am

    i dont think you ned to remove the pellet left over- should dissolve completely.

    have you tried punctal plugs?

  37. Ruth Good on January 14th, 2011 7:44 pm

    I am seventy three. I have no tears at all !!!!!!!! I have used Lacriserts since 1979. I could not live without it. They saved my LIFE. Thank God for them.They are high in price, but worth every penny!!!!!!!!! I hope they will one day make a generic brand. Ruth

  38. Ruth Good on January 14th, 2011 7:46 pm

    God Bless this product

  39. Jennifer on January 20th, 2011 3:47 am

    Joann,

    I insert fresh Lacrisert pellets in the morning and then leave them in over night. That way I get the benefit of them for a good 24 hours. Sometimes I get up to 36 hours benefit from the same pellets depending on what I am doing. I would then use opthalmic ointment overnight on the second night and put fresh pellets in the next morning. Sometimes I put a fresh pellet in one eye one morning and then the other eye the next morning. This is all in the interests of economy. The only problem I had when I first started using them was blurred vision late afternoon and into the night which can be a problem if you need to drive somewhere. After over 16 years of very successful use this is rarely a problem for me now . Jennifer

  40. Barry on January 28th, 2011 2:14 pm

    Sure am glad I found this thread. I’ve been treated for severe dry eye for a couple of years. I’ve got plugs, I’ve taken Restasis. My doc just prescribed Lacrisert — he says if that doesn’t work the next step is some creepy blood serum therapy.

    I’m on my fifth day with Lacrisert. I realize I need to give it time, but I’m having a big problem with my eyes watering at work and needing to read text on my computer screen. My work area is very dry, I sit between two ceiling heat/AC vents. I’ve even got a portable humidifier on my desk. Will this watering recede as I get used to the Lacrisert?

    Other questions (my doc’s office has yet to call me back):
    1. I’m using Restasis; is it OK to use both?
    2. My morning routine is first I put in Restasis and sit for a bit with warm compresses. Then after breakfast I put in the Lacrisert. At night I use a nighttime gel. I assumed the pellets had melted by then so I never looked to take them out. However….
    3. With all the watering, I have no idea if the pellets are still in! Is there a way to determine this without losing them if they are actually in?
    4. Reading this thread, I’m getting that the pellets can last 24 hours. Is that correct? I guess I assumed they were 8- or 12-hour. ??
    5. I’m assuming it’s a bad idea to use eyedrops in conjunction with Lacrisert, because one would wash the other away. ???
    Any other tips for a newbie?
    Thanks to you all.

  41. Karen on February 1st, 2011 1:42 pm

    After trying every eye drop on the market and Restasis for over a year with no relief i have been using lacrisert for the last 2 weeks with no issues. So far so good. It took me two days to really figure out how to put these into my eyes without them popping out. The trick is to Pull the lower lid “away” (towards the front of your face) by pinching the skin under your eye and pulling the skin forward thereby creating a deep pocket. When i followed the instruction in the lacrisert box, they say to pull down the skin and create a pocket, but this didnt work since the pocket wasnt deep enough. Now they go in super quick! The other trick is to put an OTC eye drop in your eye AFTER the lacrisert has been inserted. I find the extra liquid from the drop places the lacrisert in the right position, and takes away that foreign object feeling some may get.

    I agree with the older posts…. doctors do not even offer this as a treatment to their patients which is a shame!!!!. I went to many eye doctors in manhattan and none offered lacrisert as a treatment for my dry eye. My last doctor put in punctal plugs which came out a few weeks after being inserted, and then gave me Restasis which didnt work. I only found out about lacrisert after reading about it on a dry eye website. Then i asked my doctor about it. She told me that her other patients who have tried it dont like it because of the foreign body feeling which is why she didn’t mention it to me. I was annoyed. Nonetheless, she wrote me a prescription for it, and told me to call her to let her know how its going. I plan on calling her in a few weeks to tell her she was wrong… and that she should offer this to anyone who comes in with dry eye problems!!

    Its sad that my eye doctor didnt even have a sample of lacrisert in her office to give me or show me how to use!!! I figured it out myself.

    The company who owns lacrisert REALLY NEEDS TO ADVERTISE THIS PRODUCT MORE!! I have since told my friends with dry eye about this product and none have heard of it. Dont they want to stay in business??? I don’t get it?

  42. Robin on February 20th, 2011 12:18 pm

    Lacrisert has also become a lifesaver for me. I am at a computer all day and do find by mid-day I get quite a headache from the blurred vision. But, I still prefer that over dry burning eyes. I have a triple whammy.. I had LASIK 9 years ago, was on accutane in my early 30’s , and now in mid-40’s appear to have developed Sjogren’s syndrome. Restasis and plugs didn’t seem to help although I continue with them. I get frequent blepharitis from the dryness. I have at times become so despondent over this condition I have wondered if life is worth living. My tear break up time at last check was 1.5 seconds (normal is 8 seconds). I don’t know what I would do without Lacrisert. It seems they would be very difficult to cut in half but I’m going to try! I wonder if a razor blade wouldn’t work better than a scissors? They don’t seem to do anything for me at night. To me it seems the act of blinking is what keeps them activated I seem to wake up with the same amount of dryness whether I use them or not. However , I only get about 6 hours out of them most days and then they get dry or sticky so sometimes have to use another pair the later part of the day. I am so thankful for this product.

  43. Carole on June 22nd, 2011 7:46 am

    Lacrisert is much more effective than I had expected. I have been using Lacrisert for one week as a sample from my optometrist. Because my right eye is much dryer than my left, I have been using it only in the right for comparison. I would have judged it a resounding success if it had simply given me the comfort of my good eye. The right eye now feels better than the left. Thanks to all for practical comments about how to manage using Lacrisert. Now that I know how much a script will cost, I will stick to the right eye only and see whether I can get by with half an insert. It’s too bad that the drug company is so backwards about marketing a very effective product. If they sold more, profits would go up and the price could come down so they could sell even more. They could hire the people who comment on this board as sales reps.

  44. LDF on June 25th, 2011 1:58 pm

    I stumbled across Lacrisert on the Sjogren’s Syndrome Foundation website yesterday. Sjogren’s is an autoimmune disease, and two of the hallmark symptoms are dry eyes and mouth. I have had punctal occlusions since 2000 when I had Lasik surgery performed as my eyes became very dry. They were very helpful for several years, but in the meantime I’ve finally been diagnosed with Sjogren’s. I also tried Restatis after Lasik but the drops burned my eyes.

    Lacrisert is a product mentioned on the Sjogren’s website as a treatment for dry eyes. I happened to take my daughter for her annual eye check up today, and spoke with her doctor about this product. He had heard but didn’t know much about it. He promised to call me on Monday after doing some research this weekend. We’ll see where this goes. I believe I would get more relief from Lacrisert than having the punctal occlusions inserted, although I understand you can have four, not just two, inserted. If those worked, it would be much less of a hassle, except that it is difficult to tell if/when they fall out.

    Thanks for all your comments as it is very helpful as I do my research.

    LDF

  45. Sweet Mary on September 28th, 2011 2:19 pm

    I have been using Lacrisert for several years now. At first it was very difficult to insert the pellets into my eyes. My eyes are very small and the lower pockets are not very deep. That said, if you follow the directions exactly it makes it easier to insert the pellets. After the pellet is inserted the trick is to LOOK DOWN while keeping your lower lid pulled away from the eye. Then release the lower lid while still looking down. This should drop the pellet into the lower lid for you.

  46. Louise on October 15th, 2011 6:12 am

    I have been using Lacrisert for several years now, and it is really the only product that helps me through te day without red, painful eyes. Unfortunately, the product can not be delivered to any Dutch pharmacy anymore. I have a huge problem now, as there is no alternative product available.

  47. Heather on December 2nd, 2011 1:57 pm

    I have only been using Lacrisert for two days. It appears to help my right eye but not my left. My left eye remains bone dry. Therefore, I have to continue using eye drops as much as I have been prior to using the Lacrisert. I called the customer service number, but they were no help to me whatsoever. Any advice, help, suggestions, etc. would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!

  48. Shelly on December 4th, 2011 10:22 am

    Hi. I just got prescribed this last week. I have had dry eyes ever since taking Accutane. I never had a problem in fact was very lubed in my eyes prior. I curse it daily. Now I have red, dry, ugly eyes:( ANYWAY…I’m very concerned. I went to fill my script for this medicine after trying the trial box for a couple of days. I hate putting them in and have a hard time getting them to drop off of the applicator. I feel like my eye might be being scratched in the process, but worse yet, they told me this is being TAKEN OFF THE MARKET! I finally find something that helps after restasis and plugs that did nothing, and no pharmacy had the, for me to fill. I had to travel a county away to get their last box. That is it. I have 60, well 58, and then what? Are you telling me it’s been around for 25+ years..I come around and now this product is no longer? WHAT IS LEFT? I’m a young mother with twin toddlers, and 2 other children. I would rather die then live in this hell forever. I have other problems to. Does anybody else know what is going on with the Lacriset company? I can find nothing online, but in NY here this is what I was told, though my doc. was clueless.

  49. ari on December 4th, 2011 5:15 pm

    not familiar with accutane causing severe dry eye. i think you should other things ruled out, depending on your age and other symptoms. do you have dry mouth? any arthritis? thyroid symptoms? do you take antihistamines/birth control? i was not aware lacrisert is coming off market- i suggest you contact the company.

  50. G on January 26th, 2012 11:31 am

    Removing Lacrisert is very easy! Just rub the ‘bags’ under your eyes and they easily pop out. On that note, youmust be careful whnever rubbing your eveys that the they do not pop out. You most likely would not even feel it.

  51. Dee-dee on May 5th, 2012 4:39 pm

    I had lasik surgery when I was 50 years old and it has been one of the worst decisions I have ever made. Within 6 weeks my eyes were unbearably dry, irritated,scratchy, red, and very unattractive. It actually changed my whole life style. I could no longer be around any type of air circulation. Which includes but not limited to fans ,automobiles, malls, stores, outside,inside, and just any and everything or place that the air circulates. I literally have to shield my eyes with either my hands or glasses. Of course that drove my family and friends crazy b/c they could not understand the severity of my complaint. My Ophthalmologist worked diligently with me for 7 years. Prescribing everything he could think of. I was one step from having my blood analyzed to make an eye serum. I was researching options to dry eye continually until I ran across the site for Lacrisert. I researched further and brought the option to my Doctor. He said he had used them in the past with little success. He said too many seemed allergic to the inserts and they are extremely expensive. I asked if I could maybe give them a try b/c I had nothing to lose. He orderd me some samples to see if they would work. I tried and they seemed to help. They did however make my eyes red so I decided to put the inserts in at night, b/c nighttime is when I also have problems.
    I started out using 1/2 capsule in each eye. I have since moved on to a whole one in each eye nightly. They have worked out so wonderfully for me that I contest that I will never be without Lacriserts. They have become a god send for me. I still use eye drops occasionally throughout the day but nothing like I was. I am also able to withstand ‘more air circulation’ than before and the redness is nothing like it was. I thank Lacrisert for this invention and only hope is continues to improve…. I am however very disappointed in the cost!!! Without help from my insurance I could NEVER be able to afford these. So I am begging Lacrisert to research and make the inserts more affordable to more patients. But I will defiantly be an advocate for the product. thanks…….

  52. Nancy on June 18th, 2012 5:35 pm

    All the users of Lacrisert seem to suffer from extremely dry eyes or no tears. It’s been suggested that my husband try this product except his problem is constant watery eyes and nose. Does anyone know if Lacrisert will help getting rid of this constant nasel drip and watery eyes? His diagnosis or condition is rhinitis. Any suggestions would be appreciated. He uses drops and gels three times a day but still goes through 2 – 3 hankercheifs a day.
    Thanks for any help.

  53. ari on June 20th, 2012 10:07 am

    lacrisert is for dry eye, not rhinitis. sounds like he needs an antihistamine

  54. Pat on September 16th, 2012 4:26 pm

    I wanted to share this experience. I have been using Lacrisert for about 2 months with no problems. About a week ago I inserted a lacrisert about 8:00 p.m. before taking a friend to the airport. On the way home from the airport, I was getting a great deal of pain in my eye. There was no place to readily pull over so I kept going until I got home. When I looked in the mirror my eye was blood shot covering the complete outside white area of my eye. I could not find the lacriset that I had inserted just an hour earlier. It ended up in the outside corner of my upper eyelid . It was a little difficult getting it out. The doctor said he had never heard of that happening. Just giving you a heads up. It took a week for my eye to calm down.

  55. Jane on November 19th, 2012 3:16 pm

    I’ve been using Lacriserts for 5 weeks. I have and still use punctal plugs, Restasis 2x/day, ointment at night, Azacite at night. After putting in my first Lacrisert there was an immediate relief of the pain. It takes time to figure out what works best for you and there are good suggestions on this list. Complaints of blurriness and foreign body sensation seem to depend on the environment and how well they are positioned (I have a habit of rubbing my eyes and popping them loose). At the end of the day they seem to break up and I clear the foreign body feeling by using a few drops of liquid tears. I travel a lot and work in different environments. Occasionally my nose runs and I have excess moisture, which my doctor says are signs that they work. Some days are drier and I add the occasional liquid tears but never every hour like I used to have to do.

  56. saved by lacrisert on January 8th, 2013 11:20 pm

    I don’t know why doctors don’t at least mention if not recommend Lacrisert for dry eye patients. I discovered it myself through blogs like this after months of expensive trials of other therapies that did not work. Some made my eyes worse. Lacrisert works for me and has allowed my eyes to heal and allowed me to work full days and cope.

  57. Brian Briggs on February 6th, 2013 9:56 am

    Hello, could you tell me if it is possible to buy Lacriserts in the UK or Spain?

    If so, how much do they cost?

    Many thanks,
    Brian

  58. Steve on March 26th, 2013 6:50 pm

    I was optimistic about this product but find that I can’t get to drop from the applicator. I wrote to Valeant Customer Service but they offered no help at all. I would advise everyone to not waste money on this product.

  59. Rita on July 5th, 2013 6:35 pm

    Been using lacrisert for 2 years along with rastasis. I find I only need lacrisert while sleeping – enough to make my dry eye non existant as long as I use rastasis twice a day. This is an expensive drug that I am throwing away every morning. because they feel so sticky. So – how do you CUT them in half or can the drug manufacturer cut the dosage in half – which makes more sense – but, of course, they will not make as much money. Please, anyone who is cutting theirs in half successfully, please clue us in because I don’t seem to be the only one who does not need it for 24 hours. It is a great product. Thank you.

  60. Almondiyz on September 4th, 2013 6:20 pm

    I just started using Lacrisert August 28, 2013. Today is September 4, 2013. So far. Lacrisert has really helped. The problem I have with Lacrisert is that after about 4 hours, I feel the blob of goo in my eyes. One 2.5 mg pellet is way too large for one eye since it swells so large that it migrates out of the socket where I have to remove them. I cut them in half with a very sharp craft tool blade I bought. Even that blob swells & I can only get 4-5 hours of wear before I feel it rubbing against my eyeball. I’m still learning the best way to insert Lacriset since I think the problem may be that I’m not able to insert Lacrisert deeply enough into the pocket. I’ll try the pinching skin technique described because just pulling down on my lower lid doesn’t allow it to get deeply placed into the pocket. So, today was the first day that I DID NOT USE Lacriset in the morning. I could tell a big difference not using it. My eyes were so dry, burning & eyelid dragging across my eyeball with each blink. I usually have been placing 1/2 Lacrisert each eye around 8:00 AM, by noon, I have to remove the goo blob, insert the another 1/2 dose. I wasn’t able to get the Lacrisert in today until 4:00 PM. It’s 6:00 PM now & my eyes feel so much better. ASK YOUR DOCTOR ABOUT LACRISERT, it is the only thing that has given me relief. Even if only 4 hours maximum relief at a time, it has made the biggest difference. WAY TOO EXPENSIVE especially since Lacrisert has been around over 20+ years! I wish Lacriset was made in 1/2 size doses. I feel that with practice, Lacrisert will help me get my life back. I think all of us with any positive results should write to the Lacrisert company to update size dosages & ask why it costs so much! I’ll write after a few more weeks to see if learning better insertion allows Lacriset to stay put in my eyes & give me more than 4 hours relief before I have to remove them due to discomfort. I really need more advice on different insertion tips. P.S. My pharmacy had to special order Lacrisert.

  61. Margaret on September 19th, 2013 10:04 pm

    I have been using Lacriserts now for two weeks and it has worked wonders for me. I have Sjogen’s and do not produce tears, I have plugs of all sorts to no avail plus Restesis which gave me side effects. In my opinon Restesis should be tossed not Lacriserts. I was so worried about going blind with no tears and then like a mircle discovered Lacriserts when I was doing some research online. Plus there is a video on Utube showing you how to insert Lacriserts and how to take them out if you need to. I live in Alaska so it is very dry, I also have a humidifier in the room and one in another area of our house. I hope my good results continue since it is definately working for me and by the way I think it is not true about taking it of the market, according to my doctor and the Pharmacy.
    Thank you.

  62. Jody on October 14th, 2013 4:38 pm

    I have had a severe dry right eye since having lasik surgery in 2002. I have had my eye resurfaced with placenta, tried schlerals in Boston, had gamma knife surgery, cyberknife surgery, had a corneal transplant, tried Restasis. NOTHING has helped. I found the Lacriserts on line a couple of weeks ago. Very expensive but my insurance will pay part. I just got them today. Put them in and am doing great! I really think this is my answer to all my prayers for all these years! I am singing, dancing, and praising the Lord! We have to get this info out to all those suffering with dry eye. And also, I tell everyone NOT to have lasik surgery. Too many people have problems. Good luck and God bless you to all of you!!!

    Jody

  63. Jody on October 25th, 2013 1:51 pm

    It is Oct. 25 and the lacriserts are still working well for me. I put them in with my finger rather then the tool, works better for me. Sometimes I lose one and have to put in another. Wish they weren’t so expensive. I had had everything done to my eye that has been mentioned here. Restasis, blood serum tears, nothing worked. I am so happy I found these!

  64. Chantal on November 9th, 2013 1:07 pm

    I had LASIK in 2002. Since then my eyes have been so dry. I’ve been using drops a lot. I’ve tried restasis but it made my eyes even dryer. A few days ago I ask my ophthalmologist if I can try Lacrisert. He said he heard of people using them in the past but they would feel like rocks in your eyes. And that many users have started using different alternatives. I’ve tried using it for two nights because that’s when my eyes are the driest. After a minute of having them in, I don’t feel them but I don’t notice a difference. By morning, they just become two gel globs. You would think they should resolve over night to coat the eyeballs. It seems like they need moisture to properly dissolve but if your eyes are so dry, how do these pellets dissolve? Any thought or suggestions would help.

  65. Andrew on November 25th, 2013 7:57 pm

    Does Dr Ali or anyone else know if the Johnson and Johnson Oasis bandage lens helps dry eye? It is supposed to be 90% water so could be slept in and comes in both prescription and non-prescription form.
    I have successfully applied ice to my lids for just a few seconds letting the water get into my tears and, also, have used a public cold water fountain to wash and cool my eye. It is possible that anatomically the cornea may be swollen from lack of tears so epithelial cells slough off and the tissue swells so the cold applications may help to decrease the edema and pressure on the free nerve endings.

  66. Andrew on November 26th, 2013 12:41 pm

    I keep a bottle of eye drops in the refrigerator which helps cool the eye. I plan to freeze another bottle and then take with me when I leave home for the day or else keep it cool with ice packs.
    Over time, Genteal and Refresh brands can be better as they are preservative free.
    Canada has Lacriserts for $225 for 60 units including shipping.
    It may be worth exploring other countries such as Indonesia.

  67. Anita on March 14th, 2014 4:07 pm

    I have just recently tried Lacrisert. It is wonderful. I have plugs, surgery to close the ducks, and drops day and night, also retasis. Nothing seem to work until Lacrisert. I am so blessed to have given this. It helped and even seem to improve my vision.

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