A doctor will review your order and write you a prescription, if appropriate. This prescription is then forwarded to a pharmacy. The pharmacy will have your medicine delivered to you within one to three working days. Read more about this process here.
Artelac eye drops act as artificial tears. The eye drops contain an eye lubricant that supplements naturally produced tears and increases eye lubrication. This provides soothing relief from the symptoms of dry eyes, such as itching, blurred vision or a gritty sensation. Artelac eye drops are also available in a preservative-free formula for sensitive eyes.
What is Artelac?
Artelac eye drops contain the active ingredient hypromellose, which is a type of medicine known as an eye lubricant. Hypromellose thickens the precorneal tear film. The eye drops produce a lubricating and moistening film on the surface of the eye to prevent it from drying out. This provides soothing relief from the symptoms of dry eyes. Artelac eye drops come in multi-dose bottles that contain a preservative and as single-dose units (SDUs) that are preservative free. The SDUs can be used by people who are sensitive to preservatives.
When is Artelac used?
Eye lubricants, or artificial tears, are used to relieve dry eyes. The eye has a natural protective moisture layer that protects against dryness and damage. Dry eyes are caused by the eye not producing enough tears to keep the eye moist or by other factors, such as certain medical conditions or treatments. The symptoms of dry eyes include:
- Itching in the eyes.
- A stinging, burning or scratchy sensation in the eyes.
- Sensation of pressure or tightness behind the eyes.
- Sensitivity to light.
- Blurred vision.
- Watery eyes.
- Damage to the cornea, keratitis (inflammation of the cornea).
Dry eyes can be caused by a number of factors, including:
- Drying atmospheric conditions, such as air-conditioning, central heating or hot weather.
- Not blinking sufficiently or inability to close the eyelid and thus lubricate the eyes sufficiently.
- Sjogren's syndrome, the menopause or other conditions that cause mucous membranes to dry up.
- Medicine use. Certain medicines can cause dry eyes as a side effect.
- Age (tear production tends to diminish as you get older).
- Use of contact lenses.
- Eye problems, such as chronic inflammation of the eyelids (blepharitis).
Lubricant eye drops such as Artelac do not cure dry eyes but mimic the effects of natural tears to relieve the symptoms.
How is Artelac used?
Artelac is available in two variants: in multi-dose bottles and as single-dose units (SDUs). The SDUs are preservative free. Always use the eye drops as directed by a doctor. The general guidelines for use of Artelac and Artelac SDUs are as follows:
- Wash your hands before using the eye drops.
- Open the bottle of Artelac eye drops or the single dose unit.
- To avoid introducing germs into the eyes, don’t allow the open end of the SDU or the dropper tip to touch your eye or anything else.
- Stand in front of a mirror and tilt your head backwards.
- Gently pull the lower lid of your eye out with one hand to form a pocket.
- With the other hand, release one or more drops in the pocket by squeezing the bottle or single dose unit.
- Close your eye for a minute after administering the eye drops.
- Then blink a few times.
- Repeat the procedure for your other eye.
- Once you have put the drops in, screw the cap back on. In the case of Artelac SDUs, you should throw away the dose unit, even if there is some medicine left in it. These drops contain no preservative and therefore each unit is for single use only.
Artelac eye drops provide fast-acting relief from all symptoms of dry eyes. The eye drops form a film on the surface of the eye (cornea) and provide three to four hours of relief. If dry eyes have caused damage to the cornea, it may take several days for eye irritation to diminish.
Note: Artelac eye drops (with preservative) should be disposed of six weeks after the first opening.
See the package leaflet for more information on the use of Artelac eye drops.
What doses are available?
Artelac eye drops and Artelac SDUs contain 3.2 mg hypromellose per millilitre. Always use the drops exactly as your doctor has told you to. General guidelines for use are listed below.
- Adults and children: one drop in each eye, three to five times a day or as required.
Artelac eye drops are suitable for long-term use. The eye drops should not be given to children under the age of one. Consult a doctor if your symptoms do not improve or get worse.
Read the package leaflet before use.
What are the side effects of Artelac?
Artificial tears are generally well tolerated. Although uncommon, Artelac eye drops may cause side effects. Side effects that are known to be associated with this medicine include:
- Mild stinging after putting the drops in.
- Temporary blurred vision after putting the drops in.
These side effects usually go away after a few minutes. Consult a doctor if the side effects are persistent or if you experience side effects that are not listed on the package leaflet.
When not to use Artelac?
Do not use Artelac eye drops or Artelac SDUs if:
- You are allergic to hypromellose or any other ingredient in this medicine (see the package leaflet for a full list of ingredients).
- You are getting an eye injection.
Artelac eye drops should be used with extreme caution in patients who are receiving long-term treatment for keratoconjunctivitis (inflammation of the conjunctiva and the cornea). Be sure to consult your doctor on the use of this medicine. (This warning does not apply to Artelac SDUs.)
If you wear soft contact lenses, take out your lenses before using Artelac and then wait for at least 15 minutes after using these drops before putting your lenses back in. The preservative in Artelac may cause soft contact lenses to become discoloured. (This warning does not apply to Artelac SDUs.)
Can Artelac be used in combination with other medicines?
Are you using other eye medication (eye drops, eye gels or eye ointments)? Then the following advice applies:
- Administer the other eye medication first.
- Wait 15 minutes after applying the last eye medication before administering Artelac eye drops.
If in doubt, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
Where can I buy Artelac?
Artelac eye drops and Artelac SDUs are available at pharmacies and online pharmacies.
Can I buy Artelac without a prescription?
Artelac eye drops and Artelac SDUs are only available on prescription. You can get a prescription after a consultation (or online consultation) with a doctor.
Package leaflet Artelac 3.2 mg/ml Eye Drops, solution. (2015, August). Medicines Database. Consulted on 7 July 2020 on https://db.cbg-meb.nl/Bijsluiters/h32371.pdf
Package leaflet Artelac SDU 3.2 mg/ml Eye Drops, solution. (2020, January). Medicines Database. Consulted on 7 July 2020 on https://db.cbg-meb.nl/Bijsluiters/h113884.pdf
Royal Dutch Pharmaceutical Society. (2016, 25 April) Artelac. Apotheek.nl. Consulted on 7 July 2020 on https://www.apotheek.nl/medicijnen/kunsttranen?product=artelac#!
Oogartsen.nl. (n.d.). Dry eyes (keratoconjunctivitis sicca, Sjogren's syndrome). Consulted on 7 July 2020 on https://www.oogartsen.nl/oogartsen/overige_oogziekten/droge_ogen/
Dutch National Health Care Institute. (n.d.). Hypromellose. FK Online. Consulted on 7 July 2020 on https://www.farmacotherapeutischkompas.nl/bladeren/preparaatteksten/h/hypromellose#