What can I use instead of Refresh PM?

Updated 2/7/2024

Refresh PM backorder

Refresh PM (Allergan/Abbvie) has been on manufacturer backorder since September 2023. At present the company has no estimated availability date.

Here are some options to consider if you are not able to obtain Refresh PM. Please note that all options listed on this page are preservative-free.

1. Other ointments

There are several other lubricating ointments available in the US. None is exactly like Refresh PM. Here is a table showing how they all compare in terms of ingredients.

 Product Petrolatum Mineral oil Other
Refresh PM 57.3% 42.5% Lanolin alcohol
Soothe Nighttime (Bausch & Lomb) 80% 20% -
Retaine PM (Ocusoft) 80% 20% -
Optase Hylo Night (Scope) 91.72% Yes ("light liquid paraffin") Retinol palmitate (Vitamin A); "may contain peanut oil"
Genteal Ointment (Alcon) 93% 4% Anhydrous liquid lanolin
Systane Nighttime (Alcon) 94% 3% Anhydrous liquid lanolin 3%

 

Note: For products stocked here, the link goes to the product listing on this site. For all others, it goes to Dry Eye Foundation's Eye Drop Safety site where you can see all ingredients, manufacturer's label and a link to the FDA's product page.

2. Gels

Unfortunately, both Systane Gel and Genteal Gel (Alcon), which are very popular as alternatives to eye ointment, have been on a longstanding manufacturer backorder with no expected in-stock date.

However, there are some preservative-free gel drops which you may wish to consider:

Product Ingredients
Refresh Celluvisc Lubricant Eye Gel

Carboxymethylcellulose Sodium (1%)

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

Ivizia Lubricant Eye Gel

Povidone 0.5%

Carbomer, purified water, sodium hyaluronate, sodiumhydroxide, sorbital, trehalose.

 

Want to know more about inactive ingredients? Try DrB's Glossary of Eye Drop Ingredients and "Natural" Eye Drops blog posts.

Concerned about eye drop safety? Visit eyedropsafety.org.

 

3. Physical barrier protection for eyes

For many people, especially those whose eyelids may not completely seal at night, barriers such as sleep masks or moisture goggles can also help with overnight dry eye symptoms. Check with your doctor to make sure such a product would be appropriate and safe for you based on your eye condition(s).

Browse night protection products

4. Adhesives

Sometimes for severe overnight dryness, taping down the eyelid with gentle skin-friendly medical tape (and after use of an eye lubricant) is an effective option. Here are some adhesives. Additional options include Tegaderm, Sleep Tite Sleep Rite, and Niktavi occlusion patches.