Upneeq (oxymetazoline hydrochloride ophthalmic solution) is a new eye drop for droopy eyelids, otherwise known as eyelid ptosis. Eyelid ptosis can occur for several reasons, both mechanical, and neurological, but the most common is simply age-related. Ptosis can make a person appear tired, and even affect the field of vision. Historically, the only solution to this problem was eyelid surgery. Upneeq is here to change that.
Upneeq works by activating one of the muscles in your eyelids responsible for keeping them open. By instilling one drop into each eye from the single use vial, patients can expect approximately 1 millimeter of upper eyelid lift. This may not sound like much, but before and after pictures show this small change can actually be visually and cosmetically significant, especially in more severe cases. Upneeq is meant to be dosed once daily, reaches peak effectiveness in 2 hours, and lasts around 6 hours.
The benefits of Upneeq go beyond cosmetic, as raising the eyelids, especially in severe cases, can restore some field of vision. When the upper eyelid droops, the top part of our vision can be cut off by our lids. By raising the eyelids, vision can be improved without surgery. Although an exciting new medication for the treatment of ptosis, the effect will not be as significant as eyelid surgery. Eyelid surgery has been the mainstay for droopy eyelids, and will continue to be the only option for some patients. If someone is hesitant about surgery, Upneeq may offer a less invasive option to achieve their desired result. Upneeq is available as a brand name only at this time and is priced at $105 for a 30-day supply. Although more expensive than some generic medications, it comes in at a much lower price than eyelid surgery.
Also read our blog about eye drops instead of reading glasses.
The active ingredient in Upneeq, oxymetazoline, is the same medication used in some decongestants as a vasoconstrictor. This means that when applied to the eye, it has an effect similar to Visine, making the eyes appear less red. This “side effect” can also be desirable, but has the potential to cause rebound redness, meaning the eyes can appear redder when the medication is discontinued. Other important considerations with this medication are the effects on blood pressure. As this medication causes vessels to constrict, it has the potential to increase blood pressure. It is important to consult with your primary care physician before beginning any new medication, even an eye drop. If a person’s eyelids suddenly droop, look asymmetric, or are difficult to open, this could be a sign of something more serious and should be evaluated by a doctor as soon as possible. For more information about Upneeq, see the links below.