Home Conditions Dry Eye Syndrome » What Medications Make Dry Eye Worse?

What Medications Make My Dry Eye Worse?

If you already have dry eyes, being prescribed the following categories of prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medications may make your dry eye symptoms worse:


  • Antihistamines and decongestants
  • Hypertension medications
  • Hormone treatments
  • Pain relievers
  • Antidepressants
  • Acne medications
  • Gastrointestinal (GI) medications
  • Chemotherapy medicines
  • Antipsychotic medications

See Can Medications Cause Dry Eyes? for specific examples and brand names of medications that can make dry eyes worse.

If you feel your dry eye symptoms have worsened since starting a particular medicine, discuss this with the doctor who prescribed the medication to see if an equally effective alternative is available. AAV

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Dr. Gary HeitingAbout the Author: Gary Heiting, OD, is senior editor of AllAboutVision.com. Dr. Heiting has more than 25 years of experience as an eye care provider, health educator and consultant to the eyewear industry. His special interests include contact lenses, nutrition and preventive vision care.

Page updated January 2018