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Thread: Restasis High cost, can you use one vial twice a day

  1. #1
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    Restasis High cost, can you use one vial twice a day

    Hi all! So I had an appt with a dry eye specalist yesterday. She said I have a moderate case of dry eyes (I think it was a 8 on the scale?). I can't wear contacts anymore because my eyes are always sore and the contacts make it worse. She did suggest birth control has a lot to do with dry eyes, but being that it's dry eyes or a baby (I'm 24 and getting married in 6 months and want to fit in my wedding dress, haha) I have to stay on it. I did go and get a new script for a different birth control, as she said a different horome will help. I do use the computer for 7-8 hours a day at work, and she suggested to blink often and take many breaks. My main goal is to wear contacts again for my wedding (8 day cruise) for the whole trip. I ordered bio tears upon everyones recomendation, as well as flax seed oil.

    Now, the $$$ part. I do not have health insurance, as I can't be on my parents anymore since I moved out, and won't be on my fiances for 6 months when we get married. Restasis is $148 for 32 capsules. My eye doc said twice a day drops. The girl at Walmart told me that I can use one vile twice a day, rather than throwing it out since there is enough in one for twice a day. She said as long as I am "clean" with it (can anyone explain this??) then it wont be a problem. That would take it from $300 a month, to $148 a month. (Still so high!) but worth it if my eyes feel better.

    Can anyone tell me if they use one vile for both applications, with no problems?

    I've seen mixed reviews with Restasis, but hopefully since my eyes aren't too bad (I've seen some posts with a 1-2 on the sale) it will help. I'm really hoping for good results with the drops along with the vitimans. We'll see!!!

    Any comments on Restasis for using one vial for the day would be great!!!

  2. #2
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    Many people use one vial for both applications during the day. When I was on it 4 times a day, I used only one vial.
    By keeping it "clean", she means don't touch the applicator tip, wash your hands before using it, store in a way that it won't get contaminated -- many put the vial upright, with the cap on, in a shotglass in the refrigerator. Refrigeration will slow bacterial growth.

    Also, Restasis has or had a promotional program. It's called My Tears My Rewards http://www.restasis.com/default.htm?...goo_23_003_001 I signed up for it when I was using commercial Restasis and if I remember correctly, I saved some money that way. It appears that they also have a rebate right now.

  3. #3
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    Thank you!

    Thanks for your advice! $148 for a month is much better than $300! I'm hoping this helps, and I can avoid the plugs as she says that is plan B. I'm guessing the plugs are even more $$!

  4. #4
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    If you're only using it twice a day, 1 vial may even last you 2 days, which cuts the cost down even more. Just be super careful not to touch the dropper tip to anything, and don't touch the part of the cap that will touch the dropper tip. If you think you may have contaminated the tip, just toss that vial and start fresh one.

    Storing the open vial in a shot glass in the fridge is a great idea to slow down any bacterial growth in case it get contaminated and you didn't notice.
    Yet another post-Lasik (2005)...
    Anyone have a time machine so I can go back and undo this mess?

  5. #5
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    Thanks!

    Thank you for your help. I'm going to try using one vile for a day (maybe two as well) so I can cut down on the high costs!

    One quick question. My eye doc just said I have "dry eyes." I see on here all the time other things such as Blephaitis, Meibomian gland dysfunction...any info you can give me on this? She didn't say anything as far as those two, just try eye. I don't really have any issues with my eye lids or eye lashes. How do I know if I have MGD?

    She just said she could see with looking at my eyes I was lacking tears and had a decreased tear layer or something along those lines, but no rips or anything of that sort from what she could see.

    I'm just not sure how you know if you have Blephaitis or Meibomian gland dysfunction..and my doctor never brought this up or did any type of test other than the Schirmer's which she said really bad is a 5 or under, and I was at an 8 in one eye and 9 in the other (I'm guessing this isn't too bad...or hoping )

  6. #6
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    I've been using Restasis for almost a year now with great results. I put one drop in each eye, twice a day, and the vial lasts two days. I am very careful not to touch the dropper end of the vial and careful cap it between uses, but do not refrigerate. Perhaps I've been lucky, but I've never had a problem.

  7. #7
    I think we shouldnot use eyedrop frequently.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by JanM View Post
    I've been using Restasis for almost a year now with great results. I put one drop in each eye, twice a day, and the vial lasts two days. I am very careful not to touch the dropper end of the vial and careful cap it between uses, but do not refrigerate. Perhaps I've been lucky, but I've never had a problem.
    I'm hoping Restasis works for me! I just started it today, and had none of the horrible side affects I've been reading on here...no burning or anything like that. It made my eyes a tad tired for a minute, but that was it. I was expecting the worst, and got the best. It almost felt like a really really good eye drop that really luberacted the eye. I'm hoping I start to notice a difference!

  9. #9
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    I used one vial of restasis until it was empty. At the end I was using it 4 times a day, but I had more than one doctor tell me that there was not enough chemical in it to make any difference and I should go off it. I was on a lot of meds at the time so I went off and I don't feel any worse.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grace2 View Post
    I think we shouldnot use eyedrop frequently.
    Some people have no other choice - it's either use drops, or sit around doing nothing with our eyes shut
    Yet another post-Lasik (2005)...
    Anyone have a time machine so I can go back and undo this mess?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by JanM View Post
    I've been using Restasis for almost a year now with great results. I put one drop in each eye, twice a day, and the vial lasts two days. I am very careful not to touch the dropper end of the vial and careful cap it between uses, but do not refrigerate. Perhaps I've been lucky, but I've never had a problem.
    How long did it take for you to start seeing results? I haven't had the side affects of the instant burning sensation, but after a bit my eyes to get tired and burn a little when I close them...but so far nothing too bad or horrible like I've read.

  12. #12
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    Magalvin - Some people get results fairly quickly, others can take up to 6-12 months according to my doctor. At some point, it's tough to know what to do since Restasis only works for approximately 15% of people with dry eye.
    At one time, it worked for me but I can't tell now, if it does or not. My eyes are very dry but would they be drier without the Restasis? I'm afraid to find out so I continue taking it even though it seems like it's not helping.

  13. #13
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    For me the restasis worked much better once I increased my dose to 4 times a day.

  14. #14
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    I have just started using restasis (4x daily). My pharmacist said it's ok to use the vials more than once as well, as long as you use it within the day of opening.

    However, she advised me that it should be stored at room temperature (between 15-25 degrees celsius, or 59-77 Fahrenheit) as it says on the restasis instructions. I have bought mine in Europe, I'm not sure what it says in the American instructions.

    So, I am following Potatocakes's advice above and keeping it in a shotglass (great idea, thanks!), but instead of putting it in the fridge, I place it safely in a clean cupboard to use throughout the day.

  15. #15
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    I am a Sjogren's sufferer.

    I have been using Restatis for close to a year (2x per day). I use every drop of this expensive medication, am careful not to touch the applicator tip, leave it on the counter in my bathroom and have never had a problem. Maybe I am just lucky. I do pitch it if I think I have contaminated it though. I can now go till about noon before I need to be putting the drops in regularly. It took the full 6 months to help as it is not a lubricating drop but rather an anti-rejection drug that stimulates your eyes to produce your own tears. One container lasts me 3 months. Do stay on it though for the 6 months to give it a fair trial.

    As re: the birth control have you considered in IUD? Works beautifully, drug free.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by PotatoCakes View Post
    Magalvin - Some people get results fairly quickly, others can take up to 6-12 months according to my doctor. At some point, it's tough to know what to do since Restasis only works for approximately 15% of people with dry eye.
    At one time, it worked for me but I can't tell now, if it does or not. My eyes are very dry but would they be drier without the Restasis? I'm afraid to find out so I continue taking it even though it seems like it's not helping.
    I requested and read the monograph (some 28 pages) on Restasis. Restasis works best for people who have mild to moderate dry eye. It may not work for people who have severe dry eye. (according to the DEW classification Stage 4 Dry eye patients)

    Warningo not stop Restasis suddenly. I learnt a lesson the hard way. I stopped using Restasis after two weeks as it was burning my eyes terribly. (could not work on the computer!!) I only had very MILD dry eye symptoms before, I could watch a movie without the need of drops) After I stopped Restasis, my eye condition deteriorated so fast I was in a panic!!! I went to acupuncturists, naturopaths, and 3 opthalmologists and I also put in upper and lower plugs but only helped a little, finally I had to go back to Restasis and it did show improvement after 13 weeks (2 times a day). My eyes were actually wet!

    The sad things is, after 13 weeks I took the upper plugs out upon consulting my doctor. And then my dry eye condition came back. So I am considering to put the upper plugs back in OR increase the dosage to 3 times/day?? My concern is: if I increase the dosage, I may need to depend on this expensive drug for the rest of my life.

    Has anyone stopped using Restasis after a while and are doing fine??

  17. #17
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    Excuse my silly question. But how do you put the cap back on once you twist it open?

  18. #18
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    If you look at the cap you twisted off, it has a hole in it. Practice with one you will toss, if necessary, so you don't mess up a new vial. Push the vial portion into the hole in the cap. It should work pretty easily; you may need to twist slightly to get it in.

  19. #19
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    Thank you. Thank you! I tried and it worked

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by magalvin View Post
    How long did it take for you to start seeing results? I haven't had the side affects of the instant burning sensation, but after a bit my eyes to get tired and burn a little when I close them...but so far nothing too bad or horrible like I've read.
    After about 6 weeks I realized that I had gone from putting lubricating drops in about every 15 minutes, to sometimes making it through the entire day, with only the Restasis in the morning and evening. My eyes are at their worst when I wake up. I give them a hot compress for a couple of minutes, then put the Restasis in. I get a little bit of moderate stinging for several minutes but it is more than compensated for by the joy of a day without feeling like I want to claw my eyes out. I repeat the compress and drops in the evening. If I do a lot of computer work, or am exposed to a breeze (such as having the heater blasting in the car) I use a few drops of Thera Tears. I am pretty rigorous with the Restasis schedule before I've found that my eyes backslide very quickly if I miss a dose.

  21. #21
    My doctor said to use the vial for two days. He tells all of his patients that and no problems have been reported.. Just don't touch the tip to your eye..

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by magalvin View Post
    How long did it take for you to start seeing results? I haven't had the side affects of the instant burning sensation, but after a bit my eyes to get tired and burn a little when I close them...but so far nothing too bad or horrible like I've read.
    I'v been on Restasis for two days (one drop in each eye twice a day), and my "side effects" are siimilar as yours. Kind of soft burning feeling mainly when I close my eyes. But for whom is used to the pain and burning feeling of DES, it is no big deal.

    In the instruction says to keep it between 15șC and 30șC, so I don't know if I should keep the opened vial in the fridge. If it should not be under 15șC, what should people who lives under 15șC do?

  23. #23
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    I don't keep mine in the fridge I keep it on a shelf in the bathroom and I live where it is at times under 15C but mercifully we have heat in the house

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