Drugs can cause potentially reversible dry eye.


Clinical features of drug-induced dry eye:

(1) A systemic drug causing dry eye usually will affect other exocrine glands, thereby affecting other sites.

(2) A topical drug causing dry eye will usually affect just the eye and not other exocrine glands.

(3) The dry eye will reverse once the drug is discontinued.

(4) The effect may be masked if the patient has another condition associated with dry eye.


Topical drugs causing dry eye:

(1) local anesthetics (lidocaine, cocaine, tetracaine, proparacaine, other)

(2) eye drop preservatives (thiomersal, chlorobutanol, EDTA, benzalkonium chloride)


Systemic drugs causing dry eye include:

(1) anticholinergic drugs

(2) anxiolytics

(3) soporifics or hypnotics

(4) antidepressants

(5) antiparkinsonian agents

(6) antihistamines

(7) diuretics

(8) antihypertensive drugs

(9) isoretinoin


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