The Dry Eye Zone

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Abstract: Systemic drugs and dry eye

Non-hormonal Systemic Medications and Dry Eye.

Many drugs used for chronic illnesses can contribute to dry eye syndrome, and elderly patients who have dry eye may concurrently be on systemic medications that worsen the condition. Such medications include anticholinergic drugs, eg, antidepressant, antipsychotic, anti-Parkinson's disease, and antihistamine drugs. Other drugs such as anti-acne preparations and antihypertensives can also cause dry eye. In some cases, the adverse effects of the drug on dry eye is dose-related and can be relieved by reducing the dosage. Alternatively, a different drug within the same drug family may alleviate the dry eye problem. Awareness of the drugs that contribute to dry eye will allow ophthalmologists and other physicians to better manage patients who have this common problem.

Ocul Surf. 2011 Oct;9(4):212-26.
Wong J, Lan W, Ong LM, Tong L.
From the Department of Ophthalmology, Tan Tock Seng Hospital.