Eye lubricant - ophthalmic
Refresh Tears 0.5 % eye drops
This medication is used to relieve dry, irritated eyes. Common causes for dry eyes include wind, sun, heating/air conditioning, computer use/reading, and certain medications.
This product may contain 1 or more of the following ingredients: carboxymethylcellulose, dextran, glycerin, hypromellose, polyethylene glycol 400 (PEG 400), polysorbate, polyvinyl alcohol, povidone, or propylene glycol, among others.
Eye lubricants keep the eye moist, help to protect the eye from injury and infection, and decrease symptoms of dry eyes such as burning, itching, and feeling as if something is in the eye.
Follow all directions on the product package. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist. Do not use a solution that has changed color or is cloudy. Certain brands (containing glycerin with polysorbates, among other ingredients) may have a milky appearance. This is okay as long as the solution does not change color. Some eye drops need to be shaken before use. Check the label to see if you should shake your product before using.
Usually, drops may be used as often as needed. Ointments are usually used 1 to 2 times daily as needed. If using an ointment once a day, it may be best to use it at bedtime.
To apply eye ointment/drops/gels: Wash hands first. To avoid contamination, be careful not to touch the dropper or top of the ointment tube or let it touch your eye. Always replace the cap tightly after each use. Tilt your head back, look up, and pull down the lower eyelid to make a pouch. For drops/gels, place the dropper directly over the eye and squeeze out 1 or 2 drops as needed. Look down and gently close your eye for 1 or 2 minutes. Place one finger at the corner of the eye near the nose and apply gentle pressure. This will prevent the medication from draining away from the eye. For an ointment, hold the tube directly over the eye and gently squeeze a small strip (one-fourth of an inch or roughly 6 millimeters) of ointment into the pouch. Release the eyelid, close the eye, and slowly roll your eye in all directions to spread the medication. Blot away any extra ointment from around the eye with a clean tissue.
If you are also using another kind of eye medication (such as drops or ointments), wait at least 5 minutes before applying other medications. Use eye drops before eye ointments to allow the eye drops to enter the eye.
If you wear contact lenses, remove them before using most kinds of eye lubricants. Ask your doctor or pharmacist when you may replace your contact lenses. There are a few types of eye lubricants (some that contain polysorbates) that can be used while wearing contact lenses. Check the package to see if you can wear your contact lenses while using your product.
Tell your doctor if your condition lasts or gets worse after 3 days.
Vision may be temporarily blurred when this product is first used. Also, minor burning/stinging/irritation may temporarily occur. If any of these effects last or get worse, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
If your doctor has directed you to use this medication, remember that your doctor has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including:
- eye pain
- change in vision
- continued eye redness/irritation
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including:
- itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat)
- severe dizziness
- trouble breathing
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
If you have any health problems, consult your doctor or pharmacist before using this product.
After you apply this product, your vision may become temporarily blurred. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires clear vision until you can do it safely.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
This medicine may be harmful if swallowed. If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
Some products contain preservatives that may damage contact lenses or cause irritation in persons with allergies. For more information, check your product package or talk with your health care professional.
This medication is usually used only as needed.
Refer to storage information printed on the package. Protect ointments from freezing. Some preservative-free drops that come in single-use vials/droppers should be discarded either immediately after use or up to 12 hours after opening. Check your product package to see when you should discard your preservative-free product. If you have any questions about storage, ask your pharmacist. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
HOW TO USE THIS INFORMATION: This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.
Information last revised December 2022.
Copyright(c) 2023 First Databank, Inc.
Selected from NATIONAL DRUG DATA FILE (NDDF) data included with permission and copyrighted by First Databank, Inc., 2019. This copyrighted material has been downloaded from a licensed data provider.
The above information is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your health care professional. You should consult your health care professional before taking any drug, changing your diet, or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.