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

  • Barry

    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.

  • Jennifer


    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

  • God Bless this product

  • 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

  • Dr. Ari Weitzner

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

    have you tried punctal plugs?

  • 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

  • Dr. Ari Weitzner

    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.



  • Jennifer

    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.

  • Dorai

    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.

  • Daniela Manuel

    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!

  • Dr. Ari Weitzner

    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.

  • Marilyn

    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.

  • Dr. Ari Weitzner

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

  • Marilyn

    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

  • Drew

    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.

  • Jennifer


    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.

  • MHG


    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!

  • Jennifer

    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.

  • Miriam

    That helps very much. Thank you!!