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Thread: Genteal Gel shortage and alternatives

  1. #1
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    Genteal Gel shortage and alternatives

    All,

    There have been several scattered threads about the disappearance of Genteal Gel (referred to by some patients as Genteal "Severe") from many drugstores in the US. For ease of reference I'm going to summarise here what is known about this and make some recommendations for alternative products and treatments to consider. No matter what products you use at night, it's also worth re-assessing whether your nighttime eye protection techniques are as good as they can be.

    WHY CAN'T I FIND GENTEAL GEL? HAS IT BEEN DISCONTINUED?

    We have been receiving scattered reports from patients across the US for several months that they cannot find Genteal Gel locally. Some regions or stores seem to still have some in stock, however.

    We have asked the manufacturer, Novartis Ophthalmics, for information at regular intervals over the past months and they have consistently stated they do not intend to discontinue the product and that it is "on back order". As of a couple of days ago, they are estimating it may be back in production by the end of the summer.

    UPDATE 1 JULY: Heard yesterday that they are now saying October. Objectively, despite the official position taken by the manufacturer users ought to be prepared for the possibility that this product may not come back (or may come back in a modified form).

    IS THERE ANY WAY TO GET GENTEAL GEL?

    Unless some enterprising individual or company starts buying it up from the few remaining available sources and selling it on EBay most US customers are probably going to just have to wait and see what happens with the production issue.

    Some members are attempting to order it from Australia. Please see this thread for details. Whether this will work, we do not know and haven't investigated ourselves but it may be worth looking into.

    Some members have indicated they can get it locally and may be willing to help out others by buying it and shipping it to them, so those who need help may be able to connect with someone willing to do this.

    PLEASE BE CAUTIOUS with internet ads for sources for Genteal Gel. Make sure you confirm that it really is Genteal Gel, or that if it's something else you know what it is and what's in it, particularly if you are sensitive to preservatives or any other ingredients in eye gels.

    WHAT CAN I USE INSTEAD OF GENTEAL GEL?

    Your doctor should be your primary source for suggestions. I'm going to mention a few for you to consider.

    Dwelle Lubricant Eye Drops by The Dry Eye Company
    This is Cindy's and my personal preference. It is a medium weight clear eyedrop which is popular for nighttime protection. It contains a patented, completely non irritating preservative. COST: Free samples are available at www.dryeyezone.com/shop (you pay shipping/handling of $4.75). 15mL bottles are $10.00.

    TheraTears Liquid Gel Lubricant Eye Gel by Advanced Vision Research
    This is a thicker version of TheraTears lubricant eye drops, popular with many patients for either day or nighttime use. It comes in unpreserved unit doses. COST: $11.99 for 28 individual vials on www.drugstore.com. Your eye doctor may have free samples. There is a $1 off coupon on the ThearTears website.

    Tears Again Night & Day Gel by Ocusoft
    This is a gel product which comes in a tube and is probably the most similar product available - in terms of viscosity and "feel" - to Genteal Gel. It comes in a tube and is preserved with Dissipate. COST: $9.95 per tube on Ocusoft's online patient catalog, and there is a $1 off coupon available on allaboutvision.com.

    REMEMBER: Even though these are over-the-counter products, always consult your doctor about their suitability for you.

    WHAT ELSE CAN I DO TO PROTECT MY EYES AT NIGHT?

    Nighttime eye protection is a very real need, particularly for those who have issues with eyelids not closing all the way at night (for example, patients with thyroid disease, eyelid damage or disease, and some LASIK patients). Relying exclusively on eye lubricants of various types is not always enough. One may also consider take additional steps to prevent excessive evaporation, including:

    - Turning heating or AC down or off
    - Reducing or eliminating drafts from air ducts
    - Using an eye guard or goggles
    - Using a humidifier in the bedroom
    Last edited by Rebecca Petris; 01-Jul-2005 at 09:56. Reason: Updates
    Rebecca Petris
    The Dry Eye Zone

  2. #2

    Other Alternatives

    I spoke with the kind folks at discountdrugworld.com (1-866-594-6337) and according to them, they have a product someone else mentioned in another thread called Tear-gel made by the same company as Genteal is. I asked if this was the same and the pharmacist said it was. I do not know if it is "mild", "moderate" or "severe", but it is worth a try. I have ordered some from there to give it a try- if nothing else, I can use it as eye drop type stuff. There is a $13.75 shipping charge.

    Also, an alternative is doctorsolve.com. They carry Tear-gel as well with at $9.95 shipping charge. I stayed with the people I had spoken with at a higher shipping cost because I was able to talk with someone and they were very kind.

    Then there is also another alternative that someone also suggested-- the Austrailian co. nationalpharmacies.com.au. $8.00 (approx) shipping. $5.00 per box. I have ordered from them and hopefully it will work out.

  3. #3

    Follow up to purchases

    I received my orders from discountdrugworld.com (1-866-594-6337) in good order and it seems to be the same as GenTeal. I can't say if it is the same as "severe", "moderate" or "mild" though (I use all of them --- I am usually just happy to find it!)

    I also received my order from the Austrailian co. nationalpharmacies.com.au. I was happy with it as well, although the price was $6.95 per box instead of $5.00. (Still cheapter than here.) It works great, came in a reasonable amount of time. I am satisfied.

    Nicole

  4. #4
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    Tear-Gel; GetCanadianDrugs.com

    I've been looking into this product and some things I came across prompted me to want to issue a couple of words of caution here:

    1. Be preservative aware.

    GenTeal Gel (like the entire Novartis GenTeal product line) was preserved with GenAqua, one of the "dissipating" type of preservatives.

    Tear-Gel, made by Novartis subsidiary Cibavision, is preserved with Cetrimide. Cetrimide is better tolerated than benzalkonium chloride (a harsh preservative which should be avoided by those with dry, sensitive eyes who use products frequently) but it's still in the same category.

    2. Question re GetCanadianDrugs.com

    Has anybody here purchased the "regular gel" they are listing alongside Genteal eyedrops? I'd just like to know if it's really Genteal Gel or something else (like TearGel). GCD are advertising that they have Genteal Gel in stock, and the link goes to a page with Genteal drops that lists a gel among the options. There is no picture of the gel and it's simply listed as "Regular gel" along with two sizes of Genteal eyedrops. I left a message in their voicemail box asking them to clarify but figured someone here may already know.
    Last edited by Rebecca Petris; 01-Jul-2005 at 09:38. Reason: correction
    Rebecca Petris
    The Dry Eye Zone

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by madalaine
    I spoke with the kind folks at discountdrugworld.com (1-866-594-6337) and according to them, they have a product someone else mentioned in another thread called Tear-gel made by the same company as Genteal is. I asked if this was the same and the pharmacist said it was. I do not know if it is "mild", "moderate" or "severe", but it is worth a try.
    It's actually a completely different product.... I think.

    GenTeal Gel's active is Hydroxypropyl methylcellulose and it's preserved with GenAqua.

    Tear-Gel is Carbomer 980 and sorbitol preserved with Cetrimide.

    Not to say it's not worth trying, just that everyone should be aware that there is no GenTeal Gel exact equivalent out there under another name.
    Last edited by Rebecca Petris; 01-Jul-2005 at 17:20.
    Rebecca Petris
    The Dry Eye Zone

  6. #6
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    Thanks for clarification

    Rebecca, thanks for doing the research on that. Not that a company would "copy" a product or try to pass as something it isn't , this clarifies it for us.

    I
    Don't trust any refractive surgeon with YOUR eyes.

    The Dry Eye Queen

  7. #7
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    Couple of updates -

    1) Had a message from GetCanadianDrugs who were very prompt in returning the call. The product on their site is a hypromellose drop.

    2) Also learned that the reason Tear-Gel is not available in the US is that the FDA apparently takes an adverse view of its preservative, cetrimide.
    Rebecca Petris
    The Dry Eye Zone

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