Artificial Tears
Veterinary & Aquatic Services Department, Drs. Foster & Smith


Artificial tears are used as an adjunct treatment for 'dry eye,' as eye rinses, and as protectants in dogs, cats and other pets. The effects of ointments last longer than effects from drops. Follow your veterinarian's instructions on dosage.

Generic Name
Artificial Tears or Ocular Lubricants

Brand Names
Comfort Tears, Tears Naturale, Lacril,
Hypotears, Liquifilm Tears, Tears Plus,
Dry Eye Therapy, Lacri-Lube, Akwa Tears

Type of Drug
Artificial Tears

Form and Storage
Drops and ointments
Store at room temperature unless otherwise specified by the manufacturer.

Indications for Use
Assist in the treatment of dry eyes, as an eye rinse, or as protection.

General Information
No FDA approved formulations for use in veterinary medicine, but it is a common and accepted practice to use in veterinary medicine. Available by prescription and over the counter. Artificial tear ointment is used frequently during veterinary procedures requiring sedation or anesthesia to protect the eyes from drying while the blink reflex and tear production is decreased. These products can protect the eye from contaminants during bathing or during application of other medications around the face. The drops need to be applied at least every several hours to help keep the eye moist while the ointment may be needed only twice a day. Different brands have different base formulations.

Usual Dose and Administration
Drops need to be applied 6-8 times a day to replace tears. Ointments need to be applied 2-3 times a day to replace tears. Duration of treatment depends on reason for treatment and response to treatment.

Side Effects
Should be none with artificial tears.

Ointments will cause blurred vision for about 10 minutes. Monitor pets by stairs, etc.

Do not touch the tip of the bottle or tube to the eye or with your hands, as this will contaminate the medication.

The drug cyclosporin (Optimmune) may be needed to treat keratoconjunctivitis sicca (dry eye) in dogs. Artificial tears may not provide enough relief.

Drug or Food Interactions
When using multiple products in the eye, do not apply all at once or the first medications will be rinsed out before effective. Contact your veterinarian for the proper order and timing of medications being used.

No known food interactions.


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Keep this and all other medications out of the reach of children and pets.

If you think your pet has been poisoned...

Contact your veterinarian or one of the Animal Poison Hotlines (listed below) if you think your pet may have accidentally received or been given an overdose of the medication.

**ASPCA National Animal Poison Control Center

1-888-4ANI-HELP (1-888-426-4435). $65.00 per case, billed to caller's credit card.

Follow-up calls can be made for no additional charge by dialing 888-299-2973.

There is no charge when the call involves a product covered by the Animal Product Safety Service.

**Pet Poison Helpline - 24-hour service available throughout North America for pet owners and veterinary professionals who require assistance with treating a potentially poisoned pet.

1-800-213-6680 ($35.00 per incident). Staffed 24-hours a day.

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