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What is Cequa (Cyclosporine Ophthalmic Solution)?

Cequa or Cyclosporine Ophthalmic Solution is a prescription medication to increase tear production in adults with keratoconjunctivitis sicca (dry eye). It contains the active drug cyclosporine, a calcineurin inhibitor in the immunosuppressant class. It is available in liquid eye drops but not as a generic. Cost may vary depending on insurance and the pharmacy. It can be bought online from with a valid prescription.

Dosage, Uses, and Storage of Cequa Eye Drop

To ensure the effectiveness of Cequa and your comfort, it is crucial to grasp the correct dosage, uses, and storage guidelines for Cyclosporine Ophthalmic Solution.


The dosage of Cequa varies depending on factors such as severity and other medical considerations. It is a 0.09% ophthalmic solution, usually administered as one drop into each affected eye twice daily. As it contains no preservatives, it should not be reused or shared. If you miss a dose, consult your healthcare provider to determine the best action. Cyclosporine Ophthalmic Solution is intended for long-term use in treating dry eye, and you should consult your doctor for appropriate dosage and usage instructions.


Cequa, containing the active drug cyclosporine, is used thero increase tear production and alleviate symptoms of dry eye or keratoconjunctivitis sicca, such as: 

  • Burning
  • Redness
  • Itching
  • Sensitivity to light

Storage Guidelines for Cyclosporine Eye Drops

To store Cequa eye drops, follow these steps:

  • Keep it Sealed: Ensure the bottle is tightly closed when not used.
  • Room Temperature: Store at room temperature, typically between 68-77°F (20-25°C).
  • Avoid Moisture: Keep the bottle away from areas with high moisture, like the bathroom.
  • Shield from Light: Prevent exposure to direct sunlight or intense artificial light.
  • Original Packaging: Store it in its original carton to provide additional protection.
  • Keep Out of Reach: Place it out of the reach of children and pets.

Adhering to these storage guidelines will help maintain the effectiveness of Cequa eye drop. If you have any specific instructions from your healthcare provider or pharmacist, follow those as well.

Cequa vs. Restasis

  • Formulation: Cequa is available as a solution in single-use droppers, while Restasis is offered in single-use droppers and multi-use bottles in emulsion form. 
  • Strength of Cyclosporine: Cequa contains a higher cyclosporine concentration than Restasis.
  • Approved Age Groups: Cequa is not approved for use in children, whereas Restasis is approved for individuals ages 16 and up.
  • Effectiveness: Both Cequa and Restasis are recommended by the American Academy of Ophthalmology for dry eye syndrome treatment.
  • Prevalence of Dry Eye Disease (DED): Dry eye disease (DED) is a common ophthalmic disorder that affects more than 15 million people in the United States and 5–50% of the global population. DED is more prevalent among adults over age 40, and especially in women—likely due to hormonal factors.

  • Potential Side Effects: Common side effects for both medications include a burning sensation, inflammation, irritation, and blurry vision.
    • Cequa-specific: Headaches.
    • Restasis-specific: Severe allergic reactions have been reported.
  • Risks of Contamination or Injury: Forceful contact or contamination with the eye can lead to eye infection or injury for both medications.
  • Cost Considerations: Both medications may be relatively expensive compared to generic versions of Restasis.

It’s essential to discuss with a healthcare professional for personalized advice and discuss the most suitable option for managing dry eye symptoms.

How Does Cequa Eye Drop Work?

Cequa eye drops work through the active ingredient cyclosporine, which functions as an immunomodulator. When applied to the eye, Cyclosporine Ophthalmic Solution helps reduce inflammation in the lacrimal glands responsible for tear production. Cequa promotes increased natural tear production by suppressing specific immune responses, relieving individuals suffering from dry eye disease. This mechanism of action ultimately alleviates the symptoms associated with this condition.

Side Effects of Cyclosporine Eye Drops

A prescription topical solution used to increase tear production in patients with dry eye may cause side effects such as:

  • ocular burning
  • eye pain
  • irritation
  • lacrimation
  • ocular hyperemia
  • eyelid erythema

These are typically mild and may not require medical attention. However, you should still be aware of them. Other less prevalent side effects that can occur include:

  • blurred vision
  • conjunctivitis
  • eye discharge
  • foreign body sensation in the eyes

Consult a healthcare provider if any severe or persistent side effects occur while using this medication. It is important to follow the prescribed dosage and usage instructions provided by your doctor or healthcare professional.

Warnings and Precautions of Cyclosporine Ophthalmic Solution 

Here are the warnings and precautions for Cequa:

  • Cequa may cause allergic reactions in some individuals. Seek medical attention if you experience itching, rash, severe dizziness, or difficulty breathing.
  • Avoid touching the dropper tip on any surface, including the eye, to avoid contamination. This can lead to eye infections.
  • Remove contact lenses before using Cyclosporine eye drops. You can reinsert them 15 minutes after application.
  • Inform your doctor regarding your medical health, especially if you have a history of certain eye conditions or allergies.
  • Tell your healthcare practitioner if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Cequa is not approved for use in children. Discuss alternative treatments with your healthcare provider.
  • Inform your healthcare practitioner about all medications, including prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal products, that you are taking.
  • Cequa may temporarily blur your vision. Avoid driving or operating machinery until your vision clears.
  • Mild burning or stinging may occur upon application. If it persists or worsens, consult your healthcare provider.
  • Store Cequa at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and light. Keep the bottle tightly closed when not in use.

Which Medications Interact with Cequa Eye Drops?

Here is a list of medications that may interact with Cequa:

  • Corticosteroids: Combining Cequa with corticosteroid eye drops may increase the risk of specific side effects.
  • Cyclosporine: Using other medications containing cyclosporine alongside Cyclosporine eye drops may lead to an overdose and increase the risk of side effects.
  • Immunosuppressants: Concurrent use of Cyclosporine eye drops with other immunosuppressive medications may increase the risk of immunosuppression.
  • Calcineurin Inhibitors: Combining Cyclosporine eye drops with other calcineurin inhibitors may increase the risk of side effects.
  • Beta-blockers: If combined, beta-blockers may exacerbate specific side effects associated with Cequa.
  • Diuretics (Water Pills): Diuretics alongside Cyclosporine eye drops may increase the risk of low blood pressure, especially in individuals with salt depletion.
  • Other Eye Drops: When using other eye drops, it is advisable to wait at least 15 minutes before applying Cequa.
  • Any Other Medications: Inform your healthcare provider about all medications, including prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal products, that you are taking.

Cequa has moderate interactions with 15 different medications, which are considered moderately clinically significant and should only be used in special cases. Always consult your healthcare practitioner or pharmacist for personalized advice on potential interactions with Cyclosporine Ophthalmic Solution based on your specific medication profile.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Cequa be used to treat dry eye in children under below the age of 12?

This is not recommended for treating dry eye in children under 12 as it has not been tested or proven safe and effective in that age group. It is only approved for use in adults.

Cequa is not approved for use in children below the age of 12. Discussing with a healthcare practitioner for appropriate treatment options for pediatric dry eye conditions is essential. They can give personalized recommendations based on the child’s needs and medical history.

Are there any financial assistance programs available for those who need help with the cost of Cequa?

Financial assistance programs, like, are available to those needing financial help with their prescription medication. These programs aim to provide access to prescribed medication.

Yes, financial assistance programs are available for individuals who require help with the cost of Cequa. Programs like and other pharmaceutical assistance initiatives aim to support individuals facing financial constraints in obtaining their prescribed medications, including Cequa. It is advisable to inquire with your healthcare provider or pharmacist about specific programs and resources that may be available to you.

Is Cequa available in generic form or is it only available as a brand-name medication?

Cequa is only available as a brand-name medication. It contains the active ingredient cyclosporine and is used to treat dry eye by increasing tear production. Cequa is exclusively available as a brand-name medication containing the active ingredient cyclosporine. It is prescribed for treating dry eye and stimulating tear production to alleviate symptoms associated with the condition.

Can Cequa (Cyclosporine Ophthalmic Solution) be used while wearing contact lenses?

Cequa should not be used with contact lenses in place. It is advisable to remove them before administering the eye drops to prevent contamination and ensure proper absorption of the medication. Lenses can be inserted back 15 minutes after using the medication. Discussing with an eye care professional for personalized advice on using Cequa with contact lenses is essential, as individual circumstances may vary.

How should Cequa be stored to maintain its effectiveness?

Cequa should be stored between 20°C and 25°C (68°F and 77°F) in its original foil pouch to prevent any degradation or loss of potency. It should be kept away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Ensuring the bottle is tightly closed when not in use helps maintain its effectiveness.

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