Drops, gels, ointments and sprays: 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)

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

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.

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 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 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 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.

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

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)

Clear Eyes Outdoor Dry Eye Protection

Bottle

Polyvinyl alcohol 0.5%

Povidone 0.6%

Benzalkonium ChlorideDextose, Edetate Disodium, Potassium Chloride, Purified Water, Sodium Bicarbonate, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Citrate, Sodium Phosphate (mono- and dibasic)

Clear Eyes Pure Relief for Dry Eyes

*DISCONTINUED*

"240 drops" PF multi-dose bottle

Glycerin 0.25%

Boric acid, purified water, sodium borate, sodium chloride, sodium hyaluronate

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

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.

Genteal Gel (Severe)

(Alcon)

10g tube

Hypromellose 0.3%.

carbopol 980, phosphoric acid, purifed water, sodium hydroxide, sodium perborate, and sorbitol

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 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

Lubrifresh PM

3.5g tube

83% petrolatum

15% mineral oil

Lanolin alcohol

Nanotears MO

(Altaire)

10mL bottle

Propylene Glycol 0.6%

?

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 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 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.

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 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

Oasis Tears Plus

(Oasis Medical)

30 PF vials (0.3 mL)

Glycerin (0.2%)

Hyaluronan, sodium chloride, sodium phosphate dibasic, sodium phosphate monobasic, water.

Optase Dry Eye Intense Drops 10mL (0.33 oz) bottle Glycerin (0.2%) Hydrochloric acid, sodium hyaluronate, sorbital, trometamol, water
Optase Dry Eye Spray 17mL (0.58 oz) bottle Glycerin 1% Sea buckthorn seed oil, sodium hyaluronate, trometamol-citrate

Puralube Ointment

SUBJECT TO RECALL

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.

Refresh Celluvisc

(Allergan)

30 PF vials (0.4 mL)

Carboxymethylcellulose sodium 1%

Calcium chloride, potassium chloride, purified water, sodium chloride, and sodium lactate.

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 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.

Refresh LacriLube

(Allergan)

OUT OF PRODUCTION

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 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 Gel Drops

(Allergan)

10mL bottle

Carboxymethylcellulose sodium 1%, glycerin 0.9%

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 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 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 PM ointment

(Allergan)

OUT OF PRODUCTION

3.5g tube

Mineral Oil 42.5%White Petrolatum 57.3%

Lanolin alcohols

Refresh Relieva 10mL (.33 fl oz) multi-dose bottle carboxymethylcellulose sodium 0.5% and glycerin 0.9% Boric acid; calcium chloride dihydrate; erythitrol; levocarnitine; magnesium chloride hexahydrate; potassium chloride; purified water; sodium borate decahydrate; sodium citrate dihydrate; and sodium hyaluronate. 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.

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 HPMC

(Ocusoft)

10mL bottle

(preservative free)

Hypromellose 0.3%

Citric acid, sodium citrate, sorbitol, water for injection.

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 PM ointment

(Ocusoft)

5g tube

Mineral oil (20%) White petrolatum (80%)

none (one of the few ointments that does not contain lanolin alcohol)

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 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 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 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)

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).

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 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 Contacts

(Alcon)

12mL bottle

dextran, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose

sodium chloride, potassium chloride, with edetate disodium 0.1% and POLYQUAD® (polyquaternium-1)

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 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 Hydration PF Box of 30 10mL vials Polyethylene Glycol 400 0.4%, Propylene Glycol 0.3% aminomethylpropanol, boric acid, hydroxypropyl guar, potassium chloride, purified water, sodium borate, sodium chloride, sodium hyaluronate, sorbitol. May contain hydrochloric acid and/or sodium hydroxide to adjust pH.

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 Nighttime ointment

(Alcon)

3.5g tube

White petrolatum 94% Mineral oil 3%

Anhydrous Liquid Lanolin 3%.

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 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.

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 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 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

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

MORE RESOURCES

Lots of great background information on artificial tears:

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

Review of Optometry article from Nov 2018

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