Restasis was the first prescription dry eye drug to be FDA approved and remains the only prescription drop on the market though there are several others currently in development.
The active ingredient of Restasis is cyclosporine (0.05%). The vehicle for Restasis is actually marketed separately as an over-the-counter artificial tear product, Refresh Endura. Because early clinical trials reportedly did not show a very clear superiority of the drug over the vehicle, some doctors continue to recommend that patients first try Refresh Endura before trying Restasis.
Cyclosporine has a considerable history of use in treatment of extreme dry eye and has long been veterinarians' preferred treatment for canine dry eye. Since the approval of Restasis, its position as the only prescription dry eye drug has contributed to its growing popularity in the treatment of more moderate dry eye symptoms.
If Cyclosporine is not for you, there are many other options for dry eye treatment, such as Punctal Plugs.