Lifitegrast Treatment Decreases Need for Artificial Tears in Dry Eye

Closeup of eyedropper putting liquid into open eye
Young woman dripping eyes at home. Healthcare concept. Beautiful female with a towel on her head is applying Eye Lotion with eyes open. Girl applying artificial tears
The regimen can both manage the inflammation and provide sustained symptom relief, according to the investigators.

Lifitegrast treatment can decrease patient dependency on artificial tears (ATs) and improve overall quality of life for patients with dry eye disease (DED) according to a study published in Clinical Ophthalmology.

Researchers conducted an independent analysis of the phase 3 SONATA study ( Identifier: NCT01636206), a multicenter, prospective, parallel-arm study, and a real-world evidence (RWE) chart review.. Participants in the SONATA study included a total of 293 people with DED living in the US, 195 of which received lifitegrast treatment while the remaining 98 received a placebo. From the RWE study, researchers examined 600 patients from the US and Canada diagnosed with DED who all received lifitegrast treatment. From the SONATA study, researchers analyzed the differences in use of ATs between the lifitegrast treatment group and the placebo. From the RWE study, researchers examined changes in use of ATs in a 6-month pretreatment period compared to a 12-month post-treatment period. 

Researchers say that their analysis of the SONATA study show participants are less likely to use ATs while undergoing lifitegrast treatment (67.2% [n=131/195] vs 56.1% [n=55/98]), and this trend was found to be true throughout the entire study. After the 1-year period, 37.7% of participants in the RWE study remained on lifitegrast treatment alone, not requiring any additional treatment. Of the population that remained on lifitegrast treatment plus adjunct combinations, there was an approximate 40.2% decrease in the use of ATs. 

Researchers suggest that implementing lifitegrast treatment can decrease the cost of treatment for DED by close to 80% while also providing sustained symptomatic relief, decreasing the need for additional treatment. 

Limitations of this study include possible bias from patient reports of symptoms, missing statistical analysis that cannot be completed due to the nature of the study, and the use of ATs in more than 75% of the RWE population in the pre-index period. 

Disclosure: This research was supported by Novartis Pharma AG. Some study authors declared affiliations with the biotech, pharmaceutical, and/or device companies. Please see the original reference for a full list of authors’ disclosures. 


Nichols K, Donnenfeld E, Lau C, Syntosi A, Karpecki P, Hovanesian J. Reduction of artificial tears and use of adjunctive dry eye therapies after lifitegrast treatment: Evidence from clinical and real-world studies. Clin Ophthalmol. 2022;16(3);909–916. doi:10.2147/opth.s347496