Drops, gels and ointments: Ingredients Reference List

Detailed list with active and inactive ingredients, preservatives, and packaging sizes, by brand. For technical information about what all these ingredients are actually doing in your drops, please refer to the TFOS DEWS II excerpt here. The list is mostly products sold as "Lubricant eye drops", however, I have also included "Multi-symptom" type drops because they are often labeled for dry eye but contain ingredients that are harmful for people who have dry eye.

  • PINK = Preservative
  • DARK PINK = BAK (benzalkonium chloride, the worst preservative)
  • RED = Vasoconstrictors! Beware rebound redness effect. Unsuitable for daily use. For more information see Red Alert
  • BLUE = Lipids (oils). These are good. 
  • GREEN = Glycerin. Most people are fine with this and for many it's a better alternative to the polymers that other drops have. But not everyone gets along with glycerin.

Please also see RED ALERT: Safe eye drop shopping guide

Product

Packaging

Active ingredients

Inactive ingredients (preservative highlighted)

Refresh Classic
(Allergan)
30 PF vials (0.4 mL) Polyvinyl Alcohol 1.4% Povidone 0.6% Purified water, sodium chloride. May also contain hydrochloric acid and/or sodium hydroxide to adjust pH.
Refresh Tears
(Allergan)
15mL bottle Carboxymethylcellulose Sodium Oxychloro complex, Sodium Borate decahydrate, Sodium chloride, Potassium chloride, Calcium chloride dihydrate, Magnesium chloride hexahydrate, Boric acid, Sodium hydroxide to adjust pH and Purified water.
Refresh Plus
(Allergan)
30 PF vials (0.4 mL) Carboxymethylcellulose sodium 0.5% Calcium chloride; magnesium chloride; potassium chloride; purified water; sodium chloride; and sodium lactate. May also contain hydrochloric acid and/or sodium hydroxide to adjust pH.
Refresh Optive
(Allergan)
30 PF vials (0.4 mL) Carboxymethylcellulose sodium 0.5%, Glycerin 0.9% Boric acid; calcium chloride dihydrate; erythritol; levocarnitine; magnesium chloride hexahydrate; potassium chloride; purified water; sodium borate decahydrate; and sodium citrate dihydrate.
15mL bottle Boric acid; calcium chloride dihydrate; erythritol; levocarnitine; magnesium chloride hexahydrate; potassium chloride; purified water; PURITE® (stabilized oxychloro complex); sodium borate decahydrate; and sodium citrate dihydrate.
Refresh Optive Advanced
(Allergan)
30 PF vials (0.4 mL) Carboxymethylcellulose sodium 0.5% Glycerin 1% Polysorbate 80 0.5% Boric acid; carbomer copolymer type A; castor oil; erythritol; levocarnitine; purified water; and sodium hydroxide.
10mL bottle Boric acid; castor oil; erythritol; levocarnitine; carbomer copolymer type A; purified water; and PURITE®(stabilized oxychloro complex). May also contain sodium hydroxide to adjust pH.
Refresh Optive MEGA-3
(Allergan)
30 PF vials (0.4 mL) Carboxymethylcellulose sodium 0.5% Glycerin 1% Polysorbate 80 0.5% Boric acid; butylated hydroxyl toluene; castor oil; erythritol; flaxseed oil; levocarnitine; pemulen TR-2; polyoxyl 40 stearate; purified water; sodium hydroxide; trehalose.
Refresh Celluvisc
(Allergan)
30 PF vials (0.4 mL) Carboxymethylcellulose sodium 1% Calcium chloride, potassium chloride, purified water, sodium chloride, and sodium lactate.
Refresh Optive Gel Drops
(Allergan)
10mL bottle Carboxymethylcellulose sodium 10mg in 1mL, glycerin 9mg in 1mL Boric acid; calcium chloride dihydrate; erythritol; levocarnitine; magnesium chloride hexahydrate; potassium chloride; PURITE® (stabilized oxychloro complex); sodium borate decahydrate; sodium citrate dihydrate; purified water.
Refresh PM ointment
(Allergan)
3.5g tube Mineral Oil 42.5%White Petrolatum 57.3% Lanolin alcohols
Refresh LacriLube
(Allergan)
3.5g tube Mineral Oil 42.5%White Petrolatum 56.8% Chlorobutanol and lanolin alcohols.
Refresh Liquigel
(Allergan)
15mL bottle Carboxymethylcellulose sodium 1% Boric acid, calcium chloride, magnesium chloride, potassium chloride, purified water, PURITE® (stabilized oxychloro complex), sodium borate, and sodium chloride.
Refresh Repair
(Allergan)
10mL bottle

Carboxymethylcellulose sodium 0.5%, Glycerin 0.9%

Boric acid; calcium chloride dihydrate; erythritol; magnesium chloride hexahydrate; potassium chloride; purified water; PURITE® (stabilized oxychloro complex); sodium borate decahydrate; sodium citrate dihydrate; sodium hyaluronate. May also contain hydrochloric acid and/or sodium hydroxide to adjust pH.
Refresh Contacts
(Allergan)
12mL bottle Carboxymethylcellulose sodium

sodium chloride, boric acid, sodium borate decahydrate, potassium chloride, calcium chloride, magnesium chloride, purified water, and is preserved with PURITE® (stabilized oxychloro complex)This formula may also contain hydrochloric acid and/or sodium hydroxide to adjust pH.

Systane Ultra
(Alcon)
25 PF vials (0.7 mL)
60 PF vials (0.7 mL)
Polyethylene Glycol 400 0.4%, Propylene Glycol 0.3% Aminomethylpropanol, boric acid, hydroxypropyl guar, potassium chloride, purified water, sodium chloride, sorbitol. May contain hydrochloric acid and/or sodium hydroxide to adjust pH.
10mL bottle Aminomethylpropanol, boric acid, hydroxypropyl guar, POLYQUAD* (polyquaternium-1) 0.001% preservative, potassium chloride, purified water, sodium chloride, sorbitol. May contain hydrochloric acid and/or sodium hydroxide to adjust pH.
Systane Balance
(Alcon)
10mL bottle Propylene Glycol 0.6% Boric acid, dimyristoyl phosphatidylglycerol, edetate disodium, hydroxypropyl guar, mineral oil, polyoxyl 40 stearate, POLYQUAD® (polyquaternium-1) 0.001% preservative, sorbitan tristearate, sorbitol and purified water. May contain hydrochloric acid and/or sodium hydroxide to adjust pH.
Systane Complete (Alcon) 10mL bottle (1/3 fl oz) Propylene Glycol 0.6% Boric acid, dimyristoyl phosphatidylglycerol, edetate disodium, hydroxypropyl guar, mineral oil, polyoxl 40 Stearate, POLYQUAD (polyquaternium-1) 0.001% preservative, sorbitan tristearate, sorbital and purified water. May contain hydrochloric acid and/or sodium hydroxide to adjust pH.
Systane
(Alcon)
28 PF vials (0.4 mL)

Polyethylene Glycol 400 0.4%,

Propylene Glycol 0.3%

Boric acid, calcium chloride, hydroxypropyl guar, magnesium chloride, potassium chloride, purified water, sodium chloride, zinc chloride. May contain hydrochloric acid and/or sodium hydroxide to adjust pH.
15mL bottle Boric acid, calcium chloride, hydroxypropyl guar, magnesium chloride, polyquaternium-1 as a preservative, potassium chloride, purified water, sodium chloride, zinc chloride. May contain hydrochloric acid and/or sodium hydroxide to adjust pH.
Systane Nighttime ointment
(Alcon)
3.5g tube White petrolatum 94% Mineral oil 3% Anhydrous Liquid Lanolin 3%.
Systane Lubricant Eye Gel
(Alcon)
10g Hypromellose (0.3%) Carbopol 980, phosphonic acid, purified water, sodium perborate and sorbitol. May contain sodium hydroxide to adjust pH.
Systane Gel Drops
(Alcon)
10mL bottle Polyethylene Glycol 400 0.4%, Propylene Glycol 0.3% Aminomethylpropanol, boric acid, edetate disodium, hydroxypropyl guar, POLYQUAD® (polyquaternium-1) 0.001% preservative, potassium chloride, sodium chloride, sorbitol and purified water. May contain hydrochloric acid and/or sodium hydroxide to adjust pH.
Systane Day & Night
(Alcon)
Two 10mL bottles (Systane Gel Drops and Systane Ultra) See Systane Gel Drops and Systane Ultra See Systane Gel Drops and Systane Ultra
Systane Sport
(Alcon)
Two 10mL bottles Polyethylene Glycol 400 0.4% Lubricant Propylene Glycol 0.3% Aminomethylpropanol, boric acid, hydroxypropyl guar, POLYQUAD® (polyquaternium-1) 0.001% preservative, potassium chloride, purified water, sodium chloride, sorbitol. May contain hydrochloric acid and/or sodium hydroxide to adjust pH.
Systane Contacts
(Alcon)
12mL bottle dextran, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose sodium chloride, potassium chloride, with edetate disodium 0.1% and POLYQUAD® (polyquaternium-1)
Genteal Mild
(Alcon)
15mL / 25mL bottle Hypromellose 0.2% Boric acid, calcium chloride dihydrate, GenAqua (sodium perborate), phosphonic acid, potassium chloride, purified water, and sodium chloride
Genteal Moderate
(Alcon)
15mL bottle Dextran 70 0.1%, Glycerin 0.2%, Hypromellose 0.3% Boric acid, calcium chloride, glycine, hydrochloric acid and/or sodium hydroxide (to adjust pH), magnesium chloride, POLYQUAD® (polyquaternium-1) 0.001% preservative, polysorbate 80, potassium chloride, purified water, sodium chloride, zinc chloride.
Genteal Gel (Severe)
(Alcon)
10g tube Hypromellose 0.3%. carbopol 980, phosphoric acid, purifed water, sodium hydroxide, sodium perborate, and sorbitol
Genteal ointment
(Alcon)
3.5g White petrolatum 93% Mineral oil 4% anhydrous liquid lanolin
Genteal Tears
(Alcon)
Previously Tears Naturale Free
36 PF Vials (0.9 mL) Dextran 70 0.1%, Hypromellose 2910 0.3% Potassium Chloride, Purified Water, Sodium Borate, Sodium Chloride, May contain: Hydrochloric Acid, Sodium Hydroxide
Bion Tears
(Alcon)
28 PF vials (0.4 mL)

Dextran 70 0.1%, Hypromellose 2910 0.3%

NOTE: Are you looking for Tears Naturale (discontinued). Bion Tears has the same active ingredients but some slight differences in the inactives.

Calcium chloride, magnesium chloride, potassium chloride, purified water, sodium bicarbonate, sodium chloride, zinc chloride, hydrochloric acid and/or sodium hydroxide and/or carbon dioxide to adjust pH.
Soothe XP Emollient 
(Bausch & Lomb)
15mL bottle Light mineral oil (1.0%), Mineral oil (4.5%) boric acid, edetate disodium, octoxynol-40, polyquaternium-1 (preservative), polysorbate 80, purified water, sodium borate decahydrate. May contain hydrochloric acid and/or sodium hydroxide (to adjust pH).

Soothe XP Emollient PF

(Bausch & Lomb)

30 0.3mL preservative-free vials
Light mineral oil (1.0%), Mineral oil (4.5%)
boric acid, edetate disodium, octoxynol-40, polysorbate 80, purified water, sodium borate decahydrate. May contain hydrochloric acid and/or sodium hydroxide (to adjust pH).
Soothe Long Lasting Hydration
(Bausch & Lomb)
15mL bottle Povidone (2.0%) benzalkonium chloride (0.005%), boric acid, edetate disodiumdihydrate, purified water, sodium borate, sodium chloride, tyloxapol. Hydrochloric acid and/or sodium hydroxide may be used to adjust pH.
Soothe Maximum Hydration
(Bausch & Lomb)
15mL bottle Povidone (2.0%) benzalkonium chloride (0.005%), boric acid, edetate disodiumdihydrate, purified water, sodium borate, sodium chloride, tyloxapol. Hydrochloric acid and/or sodium hydroxide may be used to adjust pH.
Soothe Lubricant Eye Drops Hydration
(Bausch & Lomb)
15mL bottle Povidone (1.25%) boric acid, potassium chloride, sodium borate and sodium chloride;preserved with edetate disodium 0.1% and sorbic acid 0.1%
Soothe Lubricant Eye Drops Preservative Free 
(Bausch & Lomb)
28 PF Vials (0.6 mL) Glycerin (0.6%) Propylene Glycol (0.6%) boric acid, hydroxyalkylphosphonate, purified water, sodium alginate, sodium borate
Soothe Night Time Ointment
(Bausch & Lomb)
3.5g tube Mineral oil (20%), White petrolatum (80%)

None.

Note - this is one of the only lubricant ointments on the list WITHOUT lanolin alcohol

(6/14/18)

Advanced eye relief dry eye rejuvenation
(Bausch & Lomb)
15mL bottle Glycerin (0.3%) Propylene glycol (1.0%) benzalkonium chloride (0.01%), boric acid, edetate disodium, potassium chloride, purified water, sodium borate, sodium chloride. Hydrochloric acid and/or sodium hydroxide may be used to adjust pH
Oasis Tears
(Oasis Medical)
10mL bottle Glycerin (0.22%) EDTA, potassium sorbate, sodium chloride, sodium hyaluronate, sodium hydroxide, sodium phosphate dibasic, sodium phosphate monobasic, water
Oasis Tears
(Oasis Medical)
30 PF vials (0.3 mL) Glycerin (0.2%) Hyaluronan, sodium chloride, sodium phosphate dibasic, sodium phosphate monobasic, water.
Oasis Tears Plus
(Oasis Medical)
30 PF vials (0.3 mL) Glycerin (0.2%) Hyaluronan, sodium chloride, sodium phosphate dibasic, sodium phosphate monobasic, water.

Oasis Tears PF Preservative-Free Lubricant Eye Drops

(Oasis Medical)

10mL bottle Glycerin (0.25%) sodium chloride, sodium hyaluronate, sodium hydroxide, sodium phosphate dibasic, sodium phosphate monobasic, water
FreshKote
(Focus Laboratories)
10mL PF bottle Polyvinyl pyrrolidone2.0%, Polyvinyl alcohol 2.7% Boric acid, Edetate disodium, Ethanol, Glycerin, Lecithin, Phospholipids, Polysorbate-80, Potassium chloride, Purified water, Sodium chloride. May contain hydrochloric acid and/or sodium hydroxide to adjust pH.
Retaine MGD
(Ocusoft)
(Equivalent to Cationorm which is sold in Europe)
30 PF vials (0.4 mL) Light Mineral Oil (0.5) Mineral Oil (0.5%) Cetalkonium chloride, glycerol, poloxamer 188, tris hydrochloride, tromethamine, tyloxapol, water for injection.
Retaine HPMC
(Ocusoft)
10mL bottle
(preservative free)
Hypromellose 0.3% Citric acid, sodium citrate, sorbitol, water for injection.
Retaine CMC
(Ocusoft)
30 PF vials (0.6 mL) Carboxymethylcellulose sodium 0.5% Calcium chloride, magnesium chloride, potassium chloride, purified water, sodium chloride, sodium lactate. May also contain hydrochloric acid and/or sodium hydroxide to adjust pH.
Retaine PM ointment
(Ocusoft)

5g tube

Mineral oil (20%) White petrolatum (80%) none (one of the few ointments that does not contain lanolin alcohol)
TheraTears EXTRA Dry Eye Therapy 15mL bottle
Sodium Carboxymethyl Cellulose (0.25%)
Boric Acid Calcium Chloride, Dequest, Potassium Chloride, Sodium Bicarbonate, Sodium Borate, Sodium Chloride, Magnesium Chloride, Sodium Perborate, Sodium Phosphate Trehalose, Water for Injection
TheraTears dry eye therapy
(Akorn)
30mL bottle Sodium Carboxymethyl Cellulose (0.25%) Borate Buffers, Calcium Chloride, Dequest, Magnesium Chloride, Potassium Chloride, Purified Water, Sodium Bicarbonate, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Perborate, Sodium Phosphate
32 PF vials (0.6 mL) Borate Buffers, Calcium Chloride, Magnesium Chloride, Potassium Chloride, Purified Water, Sodium Bicarbonate, Sodium Chloride and Sodium Phosphate.
TheraTears nighttime dry eye therapy (gel)
(Akorn)
28 PF vials (0.6 mL) Sodium Carboxymethyl Cellulose (1%) Borate Buffer, Calcium Chloride, Magnesium Chloride, Potassium Chloride, Water (Purified), Sodium Bicarbonate (Baking Soda), Sodium Chloride, Sodium Phosphate
Contact lens comfort drops
(Akorn)
15mL bottle Carmellose sodium Borate Buffer, Sodium Chloride, Potassium Chloride, Sodium Bicarbonate (baking soda), Calcium Chloride, Magnesium Chloride, Sodium Phosphate, Sodium Perborate stabilized with phosphonic acid
NanoTears TF
(Altaire)
15mL bottle
30mL bottle
Polyethylene Glycol 400 0.4%
Propylene Glycol 0.3%
Boric acid, castor oil, gellan gum, glycerin, hydroxyethylcellulose, polyoxyl 35 castor oil,polysorbate 80, sorbitol, tromethamine, Vanish (stabilized peroxy complex as a preservative) and purified water.
NanoTears TF PF
(Altaire)
32 0.6mL vials Polyethylene Glycol 400 0.4%
Propylene Glycol 0.3%
Boric acid, gellan gum, glycerin, hydroxyethylcellulose, polyoxyl 35 castor oil, polysorbate 80, sorbitol, tromethamine, and purified water.

NanoTears MXP FORTE PF (Altaire)

32 0.6mL vials
Polyethylene Glycol 400 0.4%
Propylene Glycol 0.3%
Boric acid, castor oil, gellan gum, glycerin, hydroxyethylcellulose, polyoxyl 35 castor oil, polysorbate 80, purified water, sorbitol, and tromethamin
NanoTears XP
(Altaire)
10mL bottle Polyethylene Glycol 400 0.4%
Propylene Glycol 0.3%
Boric acid, castor oil, gellan gum, glycerin, hydroxyethylcellulose, polyoxyl 35 castor oil, polysorbate 80, sorbitol, tromethamine, Vanish (stabilized peroxy complex as a preservative) and purified water. Sodium hydroxide or hydrochloric acid may be added to adjust the pH.

Nanotears MO

(Altaire)

10mL bottle
Propylene Glycol 0.6%
?
Blink Contacts Lubricating Eye Drops
(10mL) bottle
Polyethylene Glycol 400 0.25%
Boric Acid; Calcium Chloride; Magnesium Chloride; Potassium Chloride; Purified Water; Sodium Borate; Sodium Chloride; Sodium Chlorite (OcuPure Brand) as a Preservative; Sodium Hyaluronate.
Blink-N-Clean Lens Drops 15mL bottle polyhexamethylene biguanide 0.0001%, Tromethamine (buffer), Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose (lubricant), Tyloxapol (surfactant), Edetate Disodium (chelating agent) Purified Water, Sodium Chloride
Blink Tears Lubricating Eye Drops
15 mL bottle
Polyethylene Glycol 400 0.25%
Boric Acid; Calcium Chloride; Magnesium Chloride; Potassium Chloride; Purified Water; Sodium Borate; Sodium Chloride; Sodium Chlorite (OcuPure Brand) as a Preservative; Sodium Hyaluronate.

Blink GelTears

Lubricating Eye Drops

10 mL bottle
Polyethylene Glycol 400 0.25%
Boric Acid; Calcium Chloride; Magnesium Chloride;Potassium Chloride; Purified Water; Sodium Borate; Sodium Chloride; Sodium Chlorite (OcuPure brand) as a preservative; Sodium Hyaluronate.
Blink Tears Preservative Free Lubricating Eye Drops 0.4 mL PF Vials
Polyethylene Glycol 400 0.25%
Boric Acid; Calcium Chloride; Magnesium Chloride; Potassium Chloride; Purified Water; Sodium Borate; Sodium Chloride; Sodium Hyaluronate.
Puralube Ointment 3.5g tube

85% white petrolatum

15% light mineral oil

n/a

Note: This is one of the few ointments that do NOT contain lanolin alcohol.

Clear Eyes Pure Relief for Dry Eyes "240 drops" PF multi-dose bottle Glycerin 0.25% Boric acid, purified water, sodium borate, sodium chloride, sodium hyaluronate
Clear Eyes Outdoor Dry Eye Protection Bottle

Polyvinyl alcohol 0.5%

Povidone 0.6%

Benzalkonium Chloride, Dextose, Edetate Disodium, Potassium Chloride, Purified Water, Sodium Bicarbonate, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Citrate, Sodium Phosphate (mono- and dibasic)
Clear Eyes Natural Tears Lubricant Bottle

Polyvinyl alcohol 0.5%

Povidone 0.6%

Benzalkonium Chloride, Dextose, Edetate Disodium, Potassium Chloride, Purified Water, Sodium Bicarbonate, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Citrate, Sodium Phosphate (mono- and dibasic)
Visine Dry Eye Relief 15mL bottle

Glycerin 0.2%

Hypromellose 0.2%

Polyethylene glycol 400 1%

ascorbic acid, benzalkomium chloride, boric acid, dextrose, disodium phosphate, glycine, magnesium chloride, potassium chloride, purified water, sodium borate, sodium chloride, sodium citrate, sodium lactate
Visine Tired Eye Dry Eye Relief 15mL bottle

Glycerin 0.2%

Hypromellose 0.36%

Polyethylene glycol 400 1%

ascorbic acid, boric acid, dextrose, glycine, magnesium chloride, polyquaternium-42, potassium chloride, purified water, sodium borate, sodium chloride, sodium citrate, sodium lactate, sodium phosphate dibasic
Lubrifresh PM 3.5g tube

83% petrolatum

15% mineral oil

Lanolin alcohol

 

MORE RESOURCES

Lots of great background information on artificial tears:

https://eyerounds.org/tutorials/Artificial-Tears.htm

Review of Optometry article from Nov 2018