Xiidra is an eye drop formulated to treat the signs and symptoms of dry eye. Many patients who are diagnosed with dry eye experience a range of symptoms that include itchiness, burning of the eyes, irritation, blurriness, gritty sensation, or sensitivity to light. If you have noticed changes in comfort in your eyes, discuss your concerns with your physician.
Your physician can examine your eyes and design a treatment plan that may include prescription eye drops like Xiidra. Xiidra was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2016. At this time, no generic form of the drug is available. The standard dosage of this 5% topical eye solution is one drop per eye, twice a day, used at approximately 12-hour intervals.
In order to assure proper effectiveness of the medication, contact lens wearers are advised to remove their lenses before administering the eye drops and reinsert them about 15 minutes post-treatment.
What is Dry Eye?
Sometimes referred to as dry eye disease, dry eye syndrome, or just dry eye, this chronic condition affects over 16 million Americans. Women are diagnosed with dry eye twice as often as men due partially to hormonal changes associated with pregnancy, oral contraceptive use, and the menopausal process.
Factors that can contribute to the development of dry eye disease include:
- Medications: Decreased tear production may be a side-effect of some antidepressants, antihistamines, decongestants and blood pressure medications
- Medical Conditions: Hypo- or hyperthyroidism, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and eye conditions such as blepharitis can compomise tear quantity
- Prolonged exposure to wind, smoke, or arrid climates
- Reduced blinking caused by prolonged screen time (computer/TV)
- Long-term contact lens wear can reduce tear production
Age is a factor as well, with only 2.7 percent of 18-34 year olds experiencing dry eye syndrome compared to 18.6 percent of adults over the age of 75. Dry eyes are often considered part of the natural aging process, but you don’t have to suffer in silence. There are treatments available that can alleviate pain or discomfort.
The surface of the eye is exposed to light and air, and damage can occur. The quantity and quality of tears may be compromised, leading to inflammation. Inflammation is part of the normal immune process trying to protect the eyes from the effects of stress, bacteria, and environmental toxins.
Medicare Coverage of Xiidra
Many Medicare recipients experience dry eye, and are concerned about the price of eye drops such as Xiidra. The retail price of a 30-day supply (60 ampules) of Xiidra averages approximately $629.05.
Unfortunately, Original Medicare Part A and Part B benefits generally do not cover the cost of Xiidra. Xiidra may be covered by a Prescription Drug Plan or a Medicare Advantage plan that includes prescription medication coverage. Check with your plan directly to make sure that Xiidra is included in your plan’s formulary, or list of covered drugs, and for specific pricing.