Saturday, June 23, 2012
New Eye Drop: Refresh Optive Advanced
There is a new refresh eye drop available called Refresh Optive Advanced. My favorite eye drop, Refresh Endura, stopped being produced in the US in 2010 and I was in quite a pickle looking for an alternative. With other drops, nothing seemed to soothe my eyes as much as Refresh Endura which has active ingredients of Polysorbate 80 and Glycerin (1%). I eventually found that I was still able to order preservative-free Refresh Endrua from Canadian website www.well.ca (similar to sites such as www.drugstore.com in the US). I order these in bulk every couple of months.
It turns out that Allergan replaced Refresh Endura with Refresh Optive, which a wonderful blogger Sjoggie Stahmer recently wrote about in more detail. Refresh Optive's active ingredients are 0.5% carboxymethylcellulose and 0.9% glycerin. I did try these drops and did not find them to be as effective in alleviateing my dry eyes. So I was pleased to see a new Refresh drop at the drugstore called Refresh Optive Advanced. It's active indgredients are really a combination of those found in Refresh Endrua and Refresh Optive: Glycerin (1%), Polysorbate 80 (0.5%), and Carboxymethylcellulose Sodium (0.5%). Allergan advertises the drops as working on all three layers of the tears--the outer lipid layer, the middle water or aqueous layer, and the bottom mucouid or mucuous layer.
The drops come in a bottle, not individual vials, which is an indication that they do contain preservatives. I called Allergan and spoke with a medical representative to find out if Refresh Optive Advanced comes in a preservative free version or if there are plans to bring it to market soon. As of now, these drops all contain preservatives and the representative was not aware if a preservative free version would become available. She recommended waitng 15 to 30 minutes before switching between different types of eye drops. In my case that would be between the Refresh Optive Advanced and the Refresh Endura.
I do like the feel of the Refresh Optive Advanced, but when I did try to switch between them and Refresh Endura, my eyes began to burn and sting. I am not sure if this is a result of the preservatives in the Optive Advanced, but in my case it seems that I have to stick to one drop or the other to prevent that reaction. Drops with preservatives can cause irritation, redness, and additional dryness for some patients. I am hoping that Allergan will bring a preservative free version of the Optive Advanced to market.
*I have no relationship with any of the companies whose products are mentioned in this post*