Xiidra (lifitegrast) eyedrops have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat symptoms of dry eye disease, a group of conditions related to insufficient tear production.
The chances of developing symptoms increase with age. Dry eye affects about 5 percent of adults aged 30 to 40 and up to 15 percent of people over age 65, the FDA said Tuesday in a news release.
Left untreated, dry eye can lead to pain, sores or scars on part of the eye called the cornea. It can make it more difficult to read a book or stare at a computer screen, and may be particularly noticeable in a very dry environment, such as on an airplane, the agency said.
Clinical studies involving more than 1,000 people found that those treated with Xiidra saw improvement in symptoms of dry eye, compared to people given a placebo.
Xiidra is the first approved medication among a new class of dry-eye drugs called lymphocyte function-associated antigen agonists. Its most common side effects include eye irritation, blurred vision and an unusual taste sensation.
The drug has not been evaluated in children under 17, since dry eye rarely affects this age group, the FDA said.
Xiidra is produced by Shire U.S., based in Lexington, Mass.
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