FDA Approves First Nasal Spray for Chronic Dry Eye
Last updated: June 2023
There is now a new treatment option for people living with chronic dry eye (CDE). The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given the green light to the prescription medicine Tyrvaya™ (varenicline solution). It is the first nasal spray approved to treat this condition.1
What are the ingredients in Tyrvaya?
The active ingredient in Tyrvaya is varenicline tartrate. Varenicline is also used in a different medicine to help people stop smoking.2,3
How does it work?
Tyrvaya offers a new way of treating dry eye disease. It is a nasal spray instead of typical eye drops.1
The medicine attaches to receptors on the surface of your cells to trigger a pathway in the trigeminal nerve. This nerve, which you can access through your nose, sends information to your brain. Activating it helps your body make more basal tears, which moisten and protect your eyes.1,4,5
Using a nasal spray allows you to avoid putting drops into eyes that may already be irritated. Plus, some people have trouble putting drops into their own eyes.
What the research says
Researchers studied Tyrvaya in 3 clinical trials. More than 1,000 people with mild, moderate, and severe CDE took part in the studies. Researchers measured basal tear volume using Schirmer’s test. The test uses special filter paper that absorbs moisture to show whether your tear glands make enough tears.1
Study participants who received a placebo (inactive medicine) raised their Schirmer score an average of 3 to 6 mm. The Tyrvaya-treated group saw their score increase by about 11 mm. They saw the most improvement in tear production after 4 weeks.1
What are possible side effects?
During the clinical trials, the most common side effects of Tyrvaya included:1
- Throat and nose irritation
These are not all the possible side effects of Tyrvaya. Talk to your doctor about what to expect when taking Tyrvaya. You also should call your doctor if you have any changes that concern you when taking Tyrvaya.
Other things to know
Starting in November 2021, you can use Tyrvaya with a prescription from your doctor. You may also be able to get a sample from your eye doctor. It is safe to take Tyrvaya with other medicines.1,2
It is not clear if Tyrvaya is safe to use while pregnant or breastfeeding. Talk to your doctor about your options for birth control and breastfeeding while taking Tyrvaya.1,2
Tyrvaya is not recommended for children.1,2
Before beginning treatment with Tyrvaya, tell your doctor about all your health conditions and any other drugs, vitamins, or supplements. This includes over-the-counter drugs.
For more information, read the full prescribing information of Tyrvaya.
Has having dry eye helped you better advocate for yourself?