About Refresh P.M. Lubricant Eye Ointment
- Active ingredients: Mineral oil and white petrolatum
- 3.5g (1/8 oz) tube
- Nighttime protective ointment
Description (by Rebecca)
Refresh PM has pretty much always won the ointment popularity contest. Back in 2017-19 there was a production hiatus that was really hard on our community, but it came back strong and thankfully there is plenty of supply now.
Some longtime users feel that it is "different" now. There was no change to the ingredients, but there is new packaging and it seems to be affecting the viscosity because if there's a complaint, it's that it is "runnier". For some users, this seems to be addressed adequately by just refrigerating it.
Ointment selection tips
There are lots of lubricating eye ointments on the market. The are mostly made of white petrolatum and mineral oil. There are two key distinguishing features that separate one ointment from another:
1. Proportion of petrolatum to mineral oil
- Systane and Genteal 94% white petrolatum, 3% mineral oil
- Soothe 80% white petrolatum, 20% mineral oil
- REFRESH PM: 57.3% white petrolatum, 42.5% mineral oil
As you can see, Refresh PM has by far the least petrolatum. This does NOT matter for everyone, of course. As with eyedrops. everyone has their favorite and we'll probably never know all the reasons why we all vary so much in our tolerances. But it's my personal belief that the high mineral oil content compared to petrolatum is a key reason why Allergan's ointment is so popular.
2. Lanolin alcohol
Most ointments contain lanolin alcohol. The only two that I know of on the US market that don't are B&L's Soothe and Ocusoft's Retaine PM. So for those of you with wool allergy or who suspect some kind of ingredient tolerance issue with ointments other than the petrolatum, those may be your best choices.
In early July 2019 11 different over-the-counter and prescription ointments were recalled due to potential sterility issues. Frankly, the generic manufacturers are going to have to work hard to win back our trust. There are no guarantees in life, but those recalls were devastating news and we're only going to be recommending name brands from trusted companies for the foreseeable future!
Should I be using ointment at all?
Ointments are attractive for overnight use due to their staying power - unlike polymer drops and gel drops, they don't just dissolve and dissipate in a short time. However, not everyone who has moderate to severe overnight dry eye symptoms therefore has to use an ointment. Many people can get by with a less viscous (not to mention non-greasy!) lubricant, such as a polymer gel or even gel drop, especially if they also use some kind of night protection (shield, mask, goggle, etc.). Personally, I do not use ointments - I prefer a moisture goggle plus strong drop.
Description (from the manufacturer's literature)
REFRESH P.M.® provides strong, soothing nighttime relief for more intense dry, irritated eyes. Ideal for use at bedtime.
Safe to use as often as needed.
Drug Facts (from manufacturer's site):
Mineral Oil 42.5%
White Petrolatum 57.3%
- For the temporary relief of burning, irritation, and discomfort due to dryness of the eye or exposure to wind or sun.
- May be used as a protectant against further irritation.
Stop use and ask a doctor if
- For external use only.
- To avoid contamination, do not touch tip of container to any surface.
- Replace cap after using.
you experience eye pain, changes in vision, continued redness or irritation of the eye, or if the condition worsens or persists for more than 72 hours.
Keep out of reach of children. If swallowed, get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center right away.
Pull down the lower lid of the affected eye and apply a small amount (one-fourth inch) of ointment to the inside of the eyelid.
- Store away from heat.
- Protect from freezing.
- Use only if tape seals on top and bottom flaps are intact.
- Use before expiration date marked on container.
- Store at 59°-86°F (15°-30°C).