Is Carbomer '980' 0.2% eye drops the same as Arte... - LUPUS UK


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Is Carbomer '980' 0.2% eye drops the same as Artelac Night time gel?



I was recommended by Barnclown to change the eye ointment I was using at night (Lacri-lube) to artelac night time gel as I was having some problems with the former.

Having requested this from my doctor he has actually given me Carbomer '980' 0.2% eye drops. Having looked on website it says that they are the same gel.

I just wanted to confirm if this was the case or whether there are any other ingredients in the artelac which would be beneficial.

Would appreciate your input on this matter.

Regards. Sarah x

9 Replies

Hello Sarah.

Am looking at the latest navy blue & white box of Artelac Nightime Gel from my GP dispensary. The manufacturer is Bausch + Lomb UK

Printed on the box:

2mg Carbomer plus lipids: medium chain triglycerides, sterile water, cetrimide, sorbitol, sodium hydroxide

(My dispensary label uses an equivalent measure: 0.2%)

10g Opthalmogic gel

So, yes, the '980' eye drops your dr has given you contain the same amount of Carbomer as the artelac gel, but the carrier contents are another question... in your case the carrier is possibly in a more liquid drops form, which will contain fillers specific to it - are the carrier contents printed on your '980' box?

For what it's worth....In my experience, drops are usually good for daytime use when eyes are open & active, and lubricating ointments or gels are usually better for nightime application during sleep when eyes are resting. Others may have different experience. The prescription of that fab ophthalmology consultant who set me up with this sjogrens dry eye treatment plan was very specific, and my GP is following his prescription closely

If '980' is actually drops & not gel, I guess your dr has a reason for prescribing drops. Is this dr a general practitioner or an opthalmologist? When my GP does something that I suspect is down to lack of specialist experience, I tend to make an appt to discuss whatever it is. But even better is getting my consultant or specialist to specify the exact Rx, as my eye guy did originally.

Am no expert...but I'd understand if you decide to take your dr at his/her word and give the Carbomer drops a try...then, if you're not satisfied, go back & discuss the diff between drops & gels....and get him/her to let you trial the gel

Alternatively, artelac Nightime gel is available OTC...Amazon offered it the last time I looked

Of course, similar issues crop up re the prescribing of various other types of meds...e.g. Different manufacturers use different fillers in the tablets they produce: I was on flucloxacillin daily for 5 months, experiencing a severe flare of my chronic upper GI conditions😠. My GP & I tried several different manufacturers' fluclox tabs until we found the make I tolerated best & our dispensary made sure this was what I was given😅. Another case of these sorts of prescription hassles is the hydroxychloroquine problem: some of us do best with the zentiva plaquenil version, others can tolerate quinoric. Another example is the powerful topical steroid dermovate: I can tolerate the ointment but not the cream form because I'm reactive to the cream's fillers

😖EEK, YIKES: APOLOGIES: I've gone on & probably already know all this...but I've spent 4 tough long years learning this stuff and am all too aware there are lots like me who don't know about these Rx, I've gone on at length...this subject is close to my heart: complex patients like us usually are managing multiple treatment plans for multisystem conditions, involving a long long repeat prescription list. It seems to me that it is only right our Drs make every effort to ensure that we receive the versions of our many meds that we can tolerate best and benefit from most. This is key to the quality of our lives.

Hope you'll let us know how you get on


Sorry about the inevitable typos: the HU edit function isn't working at the mo

Whatamess2 in reply to Barnclown

Hello Barnclown

First of all may I say you are a star yet again. You have given me lots of info to help me and I much appreciate it.

From what I have read I will give the carbomer gel that I have been prescribed a try and if I don't get on with it I will make an appointment to see the GP and discuss it further.

I do agree with you about different makes of medication as I also have had problems with hydroxy and tolerate zentiva plaquenil better than quinoric. I also have had problems with thyroxine. Like you I have so many meds to balance with each other and with me. Sometimes it's not the doctor who is at fault with the type of meds we get, it's the pharmacy who provide different makes virtually every time you go to collect your prescription. They keep certain meds in especially for me but others are pot luck and I live in a small town with only one pharmacy and no access to another pharmacy so have to put up and shut up.

Unfortunately I don't see any consultants only my GP as when I was dignosed with sjogrens I was then discharged back to my GP. (costcutting I think) My GP is very good and is quite accommodating but obviously isn't an expert in Sjogrens or connective tissue diseases. Having said that it was my GP who stuck his neck out and prescribed hydroxy before I was even diagnosed which I believe is unusual as all the consultants I have seen were pretty surprised that he had done that.

Anyway I digress. Once again many thanks for all your help. I will let you know how I get on with the carbomer gel. I will pick it up tomorrow so will give it a month to see how I get on with it unless there are immediate problems with it.

Take care

Regards Sarah x

Barnclown in reply to Whatamess2

Am so glad that hit the spot, Sarah...had felt I'd gone on a bit too much. But clearly we share plenty of stuff. I vvv much like the sound of your whole approach to managing all this. And especially your relationship with your GP: he is a 💫💥❗️ (things are so much more tolerable if this relationship can just be ok, all things considered)

After I replied, I went to the artelac website & discovered they do artelac eye drops as well: interesting. But am sticking with my hero eye guy's prescription for the time being. Of all the many clinics I attend regularly for monitoring, this eye clinic is one of the most impersonal: they to their job...I get all the testing & scanning, but I feel no 'connection' now my hero has gone to moorfields eye Hosp in London. I tell myself that I'll get my GP yo refer me to him there if anything becomes really troublesome...

Hope you'll keep us posted


Whatamess2 in reply to Barnclown

Hello Barnclown

Well I picked up my prescription for carbomer gel and have used it for a couple of nights. It is essentially the same as artelac nighttime gel, it's like a drop of gel going in your eyes. So far I can say it's very soothing when you administer it and I haven't had the awful gunk in my eyes in the morning although I still have some discharge from my eyes. I shall see how I go but so far so good.

May I ask another question as you have had Sjogrens a long time. I get a pain in my ears sometimes, not like earache it's different, it's not constant, it seems to come and go many times during the day. Plus my teeth on which ever side my ear is sore get very sensitive and my neck is also uncomfortable on the same side. All this comes and goes. Is this related to Sjogrens? Maybe a flare? I must admit a month ago I definitely had a flare which lasted for about a couple of weeks and I had the pain then along with other symptoms. But the pain has started up again and I didn't know whether I am still in a flare or about to have another one.

Maybe you have experienced this or not but your input would be very helpful. I do hope you don't think I am a bother to you too much but it's so good to find someone who can relate to what you are feeling.

With kindest regards

Sarah x

Barnclown in reply to Whatamess2

hi sarah: good news re the generic catrbomer gel: thanks to you, am now feeling more ok about giving it a try is my dispensary ever subs it for the artelac version.

yes, i do still get a bit of morning gunk sometimes even with artelac....but generally am doing much better than with lacrtilube - and this is almost years into having ditched the lacrilube

re your follow-on question...hmmm: interesting: here are some thoughts, for what they're worth:

the symptoms you're describing in your ears/side of face/neck are not altogether different from chronic symptoms i've been managing for decades. yes, my version has similar flares too - sometimes the flare feels as if it's part of a sinusitis flare (i have chronic persistent sinusitis - which is not due to allergy but is related to my sjogrens & sle...also, am being watched for vasculitis).

sometimes this sort of flare involves flaring osteomyelitis in my upper jaw (that's the worst). but in the '80s ENT did a lot of tests re persistent vertigo, told me i didn't have menieres but did have 'benign paroxysmal vertigo' (aka vestibular neuritis) which i now know is something that can go with sle & sjogrens. at the time, the ENT consultant felt my early onset cervical sponodylosis (due to falling on my head @ 7) was involved in the vertigo too. now i know my cervical symptoms are connected to my sle neuro cerebral complex of symptoms which include numbness in the head, face, arms, hands, which also involve my version of sjogrens & ehlers danlos type hypermobility

more recently i had it confirmed that that pain & numbness in the head, face, neck, shoulders, arms, hands can be both sle related...with tendons tightening due to inflammation, soft tissues generally swelling and pressing on nerves, the synovial tip top joint of the spine developing synovitis etc. this confirmation came via a friend who has just been referred by our lupus clinic for MRI & physio due to this sort of complex of symptoms which the consultant said could be lupus-related. i've read Wallace's books on both lupus & sjogrens, and my feeling is that both conditions can be involved in these sort of probs

in your shoes, if these symptoms are not spooky enough to be unbearable but despite conservative management are persistently troublesome, eg for more than 3 weeks, i'd see my gp about them. if the gp gave me stuff to try, i'd give that a go for maybe 3 months. meanwhile i'd keep notes re onset, duration, intensity etc and if this stuff continued to persist & flare, then i'd request referral to rheumatology. after discussing things there perhaps also request referral to ENT, and maybe also maxillo facial clinic. but if anything was bad enough to tempt me to worry or to really affect my quality of life, i'd ask for referral sooner.

i think you said you're not attending a lupus clinic at the mo....

am wishing you all the best with this...and hope something in all that is of some help

hope you'll let us know how you get on

take care


Whatamess2 in reply to Barnclown

Many thanks as always. Food for thought.

I will probably leave it for now as away next week visiting in-laws. If no better when I get back I will make an appointment with GP and see what he says.

Will let you know how I get on.


Sarah x

Barnclown in reply to Whatamess2


Hi Sarah, I use both types of Artelac, but have found that taking 2 x Omega 7 capsules a day is absolutely the best solution for my dry eye problem, which to be honest was becoming more and more of an issue and causing me problems day and night. This was suggested by someone I met by chance and given all the medication I take, am convinced that this is the thing which stops me going insane!

I really urge you to try it and see - I use Pharma Nord Omega 7 Sea Buckthorn Oil and shop around because the prices can vary quite a lot.

Hope this helps


Whatamess2 in reply to JEM23

Many thanks for your reply. I do actually take omega 3. What is the difference between omega 3 and omega 7? I will have to look further into this as my eyes are quite a problem. Having said that I am getting more relief from carbomer gel at night and hylo-forte during the day.

Now I have problems with ear and jaw pain. Not sure what it is yet but suspect TMD but could also be sjogrens related. Who knows!!

Regards Sarah x

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