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Best Lacri-Lube Alternative Eye Ointments

Best Lacri-Lube Alternative Eye Ointments

Lacri-lube has been out of stock since 2018. Still, some patients get repeat prescriptions issued with Laci-Lube on it after all this time. Patients who have Lacri-Lube eye ointment on their ‘repeats’ should contact their surgery and ask to remove it and replace it with Lacri-lube alternative eye ointments. I will list in this post the best Lacri-Lube alternative eye ointments and gels. All eye ointments which are alternatives to Lacri-Lube can be purchased from pharmacies and online.

What is Lacri-Lube?

LACRI-LUBE® Eye ointment (also marketed as Refresh Night Time® Eye ointment) is a pharmacy-only, preservative-free eye ointment licensed to lubricate and protect the eye associated with different eye conditions, for example, inflammation of the cornea of the eye, decreased corneal sensitivity, corneal erosions, and eye surgery.

Has Lacri-Lube Been Discontinued?

Lacri-Lube is not discontinued. Allergan, producer of Lacri-Lube is currently going through regulatory steps before relaunching of Lacri-Lube. The manufacturing process of Lacri-Lube will be changed; therefore, it takes longer for a license to be approved. The initial target for the relaunch is quarter 4 of 2021; however, this has not been confirmed yet.

Lacri-Lube Active Ingredients

Three main active ingredients found in Lacri-lube eye ointment:

  • White soft paraffin (white petroleum jelly)
  • Liquid paraffin
  • Wool alcohols

Firstly, I will list eye ointments currently available on the market, which are alternatives to Lacri-lube, and then give a broad overview of alternative eye gels.

Most alternatives should be available from high street pharmacies or online. Some products are classified as pharmacy-only medicines, which can only be purchased from the pharmacy and online chemists.

Lacri-Lube active ingredients

Eye ointments or drops are usually kept as a part of dispensary stock rather than stock on display for the patient's self-selection.

Patients need to request at the pharmacy counter for a specific product.

Generally, the best deals are offered online, including Amazon.co.uk, especially when bulk or multiple packs are purchased together.

Eye Ointments Vs Eye Drops

Eye ointments vs eye drops

As some of you may have realized, most eye ointments are named 'night' products.

Eye ointments, as opposed to eye drops, are of a thicker consistency and more greasy.

This formulation may offer prolonged eye lubrication when compared to eye drops.

Eye ointments and gels are ‘messier’ and require a slightly different application to the eye than eye drops.

Lacri-Lube Alternative Eye Ointments

1. Hycosan Night eye ointment

Hycosan Night is another popular, preservative-free eye ointment containing Vitamin A (retinol palmitate). Other ingredients found in Hycosan Night:

  • Liquid paraffin
  • Light liquid paraffin
  • Wool fat
  • White soft paraffin

Hycosan has a very close combination of liquid paraffin, soft white paraffin, and wool fat (used to produce wool alcohols) found in Laci-lube. The addition of Vitamin A in the formulation may offer an extra treatment benefit. Some forms of Vitamin A are essential to the visual process (Saari, 2016).

The evidence for the use of Vitamin A in eye drops/ointments is mixed with some studies reporting no change in the healing process in patients who undergone eye procedures (Chelala et al., 2013) and other studies showing improvements in the quality of tears (Alanazi et al., 2019). Overall, there is not enough evidence to conclude the benefits of Vitamin A in the composition of eye ointments.

2. Xailin Night Lubricating Eye Ointment

Xailin Night eye ointment has a slightly different composition of active ingredients; however, it comes in the same form.

Main active ingredients found in Xailin Nigh Lubricating ointment:

  • White Soft Paraffin (same ingredient)
  • White Mineral Oil
  • Lanolin Alcohols (made from wool alcohol)

Xailin Night Eye Ointment is preservative-free.

What is Xailin Night Lubricating Eye Ointment used for?

Xailin Night Lubricating Eye Ointment manages dry symptoms, including irritation, soreness, and a gritty sensation.

3. Hylo Night (Vita-POS) eye ointment

Hylo Night, previously known as Vita-POS eye ointment, is another preservative-free eye ointment used to manage dry eye symptoms and help with blurred vision. Nothing has changed in terms of active ingredients since rebranding from Vita-POS to Hylo Night. Hylo Night also contains Vitamin A (retinol palmitate) alongside two ingredients:

  • liquid paraffin
  • wool fat

Two of the active ingredients resemble similar compositions to Lacri-lube ointment.

Which eye ointment is the best Lacri-Lube alternative?

All eye ointments reviewed above have a similar combination of ingredients found in Lacri-lube eye ointment. The addition of Vitamin A in Hycosan Night and Hylo night may offer further benefits, and some may find Lucri-lube alternatives more effective than Lacri-lube itself. Trying out more than one product (at different times) may be a reasonable approach to the treatment of dry eyes.

Lacri-Lube Alternative Eye Gels

Eye gels are less greasy than eye ointments but have a thicker consistency than eye drops, providing prolonged lubrication of the eye. Eye gel drops for dry eyes contain carbomer as the main ingredient. I previously reviewed the best carbomer eye gel drops for dry eyes.

Additionally, you can read more about dry eyes condition. Carbomer eye gel can be used during the day to complement treatment with night eye ointments. A famous brand of carbomer eye gel is Viscotears (pharmacy-only product – available only from pharmacies, including online chemists) and Xailin gel. Generic carbomer eye gel offers the best value for money.

Patients who experience dry eyes have the choice of a variety of products, which contain different active ingredients, for example:

  • Hypromellose (Medicom Hypromellose 0.3% eye drops)
  • Sodium hyaluronate (Hycosan Extra with excellent reviews on Amazon)
  • Propylene Glycol (Systane balance)
  • Combination of Polyethylene Glycol and Sodium Hyaluronate (Blink Intensive Tears)
  • Carmellose sodium (Carmize eye drops)

Quick FAQ

Can you sleep with eye ointment?
Eye ointments are safe. They might irritate a little; that's why doctors typically suggest using them right before going to bed.
Is VitA POS the same as Lacri-Lube?
VitA POS is preservative-free and sterile for six months after opening. Due to its higher shelf life, it is more cost-efficient than Lacri-Lube.
How do you use Hycosan night ointment?
Gently pull your lower eyelid and apply the ointment in the gap formed between the eye and the eyelid. Blink about 2-3 times, then keep the eye closed.

Alanazi SA, El-Hiti GA, Al-Baloud AA (2019), et al. Effects of short-term oral vitamin A supplementation on the ocular tear film in patients with dry eye. Clin Ophthalmol. 2019;13:599-604. Published 2019 Apr 10. doi:10.2147/OPTH.S198349 Available at https://dx.doi.org/10.2147%2FOPTH.S198349 Accessed on 06/04/2021

Chelala E, Dirani A, Fadlallah A, Fahd S (2013). The role of topical vitamin A in promoting healing in surface refractive procedures: a prospective randomised controlled study. Clin Ophthalmol. 2013;7:1913-1918. doi:10.2147/OPTH.S52280 Available at: https://dx.doi.org/10.2147%2FOPTH.S52280 Accessed on 06/04/2021

Saari JC (2016). Vitamin A and Vision. Subcell Biochem. 2016;81:231-259. doi: 10.1007/978-94-024-0945-1_9. PMID: 27830507. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-024-0945-1_9 Accessed on 06/04/2021