Drugs
Some People Report Possible Dry Eye Side Effect
Allergy medicines (antihistamines) Can cause or worsen dry eye. This is true both for many eye drops used for seasonal allergies as well as for many or most over-the-counter allergy medicines.
Artificial tears
(for some people)
Can cause or worsen dry eye for some people if they contain preservatives or if you are sensitive or allergic to any of the ingredients. Currently, most artificial tears contain methylcellulose, and some people with dry eye are sensitive or allergic to methylcellulose. Be aware that an allergic reaction can occur days or weeks after you start using a new eye drop.
Anti-depressants Some, including Diazepam (Valium) and Elavil, can cause or worsen dry eye.
Atropine Can cause or worsen dry eye.
Beta blockers Can cause or worsen dry eye.
Blood pressure medications Can cause or worsen dry eye.
Cataract surgery eyedrops Some people report an allergic or sensitive reaction to eyedrops used after cataract surgery.
Chemotherapeutic agents Can cause or worsen dry eye.
Decongestants & decongestant eyedrops Can cause or worsen dry eye.
Diuretics Can cause or worsen dry eye.
Glaucoma eyedrops Can cause or worsen dry eye. According to the Sjogren's Syndrome Foundation newsletter, February 2002, "much of the damage to the eye surface [when using glaucoma eyedrops] is from the preservatives in the eyedrops; it is possible for some pharmacies to compound some of these agents in a non-preserved solution."
Ibuprofen (Advil) Can cause or worsen dry eye.
Incontinence medicines Can cause or worsen dry eye.
Methylcellulose Although methylcellulose is an ingredient in many, possibly most, artificial tears and other dry eye preparations, some people are allergic or sensitive to methylcellulose.

If you have tried many eyedrops but find that they don't help or make your dry eye pain worse, try Refresh Lubricant Eye Drops (not the same as Refresh Plus, which does contain methylcellulose). The active ingredients in Refresh Lubricant Eye Drops are polyvinyl alcohol and povidone. 
Murine eyedrops Can cause or worsen dry eye.
Niacin Can cause or worsen dry eye.
Oral contraceptives Can cause or worsen dry eye.
Plaquenil (hydroxychloroquine) Can cause or worsen dry eye for some individuals (sometimes prescribed for fatigue caused by Sjogren's).
Provigil Can cause or worsen dry eye (sometimes prescribed for fatigue caused by Sjogren's).
Refresh Plus


Can make dry eye worse for people who are allergic or sensitive to carboxylmethylcellulose. Instead of Refresh Plus, try Refresh Lubricant Eye Drops (active ingredients: polyvinyl alcohol and povidone). Despite the similar names, Refresh Lubricant Eye Drops and Refresh Plus are completely different products.
Ulcer medications Some can contribute to dry eye.


Be aware that sensitivity to light (photophobia) is one of the possible symptoms of dry eye. 

Common medicines that might cause or increase dry eye symptoms include those listed in the table.