Why use preservative-free eye drops? 

Preservatives in eye drops should be avoided as they may worsen the patient's condition. This applies particularly to patients with moderate and severe dry eye, who may have to use eye drops quite frequently.

In 2007, the DEWS1 report stated clearly that "Many components of eye drop formulations can induce a toxic response from the ocular surface. Of these, the most common offenders are preservatives, such as benzalkonium chloride (BAC), which cause surface epithelial cell damage and punctuate epithelial keratitis, which interferes with surface wettability. Use of preserved drops is an important cause of dry eye signs and symptoms in glaucoma patients, and it is usually reversible on switching to non-preserved preparations. Therefore, frequent applications of preserved artificial tear preparations should be avoided."http://www.tearfilm.org/dewsreport/


The new DEWSII report issued in July 2017 has this to say about preservatives: "Chronic exposure of the ocular surface to preservatives is now well recognized to induce toxicity and adverse changes to the ocular surface...preservative-free drops may be a better choice for patients who have pre-existing ocular surface conditions and/or need frequent instillation of eye drops.... Preservative-free eye drops have shown greater effectiveness than preserved drops in decreasing inflammation on the ocular surface and increasing the antioxidant contents in tears of patients with DED." 

Also, on the MIMS website there is a list of "Ophthalmic Preparations, Preservatives and Potential Sensitisers as Ingredients" available to be viewed by health professionals.

So how about VISMED® eye drops? Do they contain any preservatives?

The answer is that not only are the single-dose vials (VISMED®, VISMED® GEL) preservative free, but neither do the new "Just squeeze" multi-dose bottles (VISMED® MULTI, VISMED® GEL MULTI) contain any preservatives at all. Our multidose bottles (ophthalmic squeeze dispensers) have been specially designed to remain sterile for up to 3 months after first use, whilst being very easy to use and offering a precise and reproducible drop ejection.



How does the VISMED MULTI bottle work?
Vismed Multi bottle

These innovative multi-dose bottles have a unique inbuilt system to keep the lubricant free from contaminants. TRB Chemedica was the first company to use the OSD bottles (Ophthalmic Squeeze Dispenser) for VISMED® MULTI. And, in fact, the design of the bottle actually won an award in 2012:




  1. Report of the International Dry Eye Workshop. Ocul Surf 2007; 5[2]; 65-204