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Safety of Optive?

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  • Safety of Optive?

    Here is my dilemma. I have been a big fan of Optive because historically it has given my eyes the longest relief of any eye drop. On Allergan's website, they say it is safe to use as often as you want and it doesn't seem to irritate my eyes:

    However, my doctor is insisting that I use a perservative-free drop instead (and yes Optive makes Optive Sensitive but I really hate having to use the little vials, not to mention the extra expense!) Apparently the difference between the two is that Optive Sensitive contains no sodium chloride:

    Does anyone know if using the normal Optive really is detrimental to my eye long-term, and if so, why does Allergan specifically advertise that it is safe to use as often as you want?! Not that big companies can always be trusted...

  • #2
    My consultant recommended Optive to me because although it contained a preservative (purite) this `disappeared' immediately upon contact with the eye. (My eyes are really sensitive).

    I stopped using Optive because it wasn't helping me - but I haven't heard of any concerns about its long term use.


    • #3
      The DEWS (Dry Eye Workshop Report) printed in April 2007 has become known as the most comprehensive study on ocular surface disease. It strongly recommends preservative free as the artificial tear of choice. The problem with "disappearing" preservatives is the duration they have on compromised corneas. It doesn't disappear on the fall from the bottle to the ocular surface. A better description would dissipating. In others words it hits ocular surface and then the tear film helps it "disappear". the less the tear film the longer itakes for preservative to disappear.


      • #4
        So the same would apply to Genteal Gel for severe dry eyes? (GenAqua preservative)
        Last edited by irish eyes; 13-Mar-2010, 05:09. Reason: incomplete sentence


        • #5
          Yes any product with "Preservative" has same issues.


          • #6
            Hmm, this is a really interesting / complicated issue and sounds like a good question for Dr. L. Maybe he would have an opinion on whether or not it is safe to use Optive long-term. Thanks for the input! If anyone finds out more or has a chance to ask Dr. L, please post.


            • #7
              I'd be interested to hear of any feedback anyone gets on this issue.

              My eyes go completely red if I have anything with a preservative in it but the optive has been fine. In fact for daily dryness it provides relief for a good 2-4 hours whereas the vismed (0.18% preservative free) gives only about an hours relief.
              ( However, thats only when my eyes are 'good'. When I'm experiencing daily corneal erosions they both become utterly ineffective at providing any relief from the grittiness/scraping. Chloramphenicol better.)


              • #8
                I posted the question for Dr. Latkany, so hopefully he will get back to us and let us know what he thinks.


                • #9
                  Paragraphs taken from:

                  To preserve or not to preserve

                  Dr. Latkany is a strong proponent of preservative-free tears. “Preservativefree Refresh Plus [Allergan] has been my favorite for years,” he said. “I have people refrigerate it. Some people may be a little sensitive to it, and it’s a little more pricey, but it’s generally well-tolerated.” Dr. Latkany also likes the preservative-free versions of Blink (Abbott Medical Optics, Santa Ana, CA, USA) and Systane (Alcon, Fort Worth, TX, USA/Hünenberg, Switzerland

                  Making the right choices

                  Ophthalmologists should try and match their patient’s type of dry eye to the appropriate ingredients used in specific tear products, Dr. Lemp* said. “Each tear targets a specific dysfunction. For example, if you have evaporative dry eye and meibomian gland dysfunction, you should look for an artificial tear with oils to retard evaporative tear loss, such as Soothe [Bausch & Lomb, Rochester, NY, USA] or Systane Ultra [Alcon],” he said. “If you have a patient with a concentrated tear film, you might want to look at a product like Optive [Allergan], which has a higher osmolarity.”

                  *Michael A. Lemp, MD, clinical professor, Georgetown and George Washington universities, Washington, DC, *