What are Autologous Serum Tears?
Autologous means that the donor and the recipient are the same person. In this case, the Autologous Serum Tears are made from your own blood serum. We seperate the red blood cells and clotting factors and leave the serum and growth factors which help to rebuild the surface of the eye. Artificial tears lack these growth factors and biological nutrients to be healthy tears which is why AST Drops is prescribed as an alternative.
What do they do?
AST Drops help with the prevention of damage to the cornea, infection, and possible loss of vision by improving the thickness of the ocular surface of the eye. AST Drops provide Epidermal Growth Factors, Transforming Growth Factor Beta, and Vitamin A. The use of AST Drops has been found to be very effective to treat dry eye syndrome, KET and other types of keratitis, Sjögren's syndrome, and other eye disorders.
What should I do when I receive my order?
You will receive a large white container with a separate smaller amber colored prescription bottle. The white container should be put in the freezer immediately and one of the dropper bottles can be moved to the fridge and stored in the amber traditional prescription bottle to start defrosting. Only move one dropper bottle to the fridge at a time and we suggest letting the bottle defrost for three to four hours before use. Once defrosted, gently roll and spin the bottle to shake it every time before use. We also recommend keeping the provided cooler kit so you can reuse it for your next AST Drops order.
Is it important to keep AST Drops cold?
Yes, to keep the AST Drops fresh and effective they will need to travel on ice and immediately be transferred to your freezer. Since AST Drops are produced with blood serum, they can easily support bacterial growth if not kept frozen or in a refrigerator. If you are picking up your Serum Tears from our pharmacy, we will provide ice packs to travel with. If shipping, your Serum Tears will be packed with ice packs to stay cold.
Do AST Drops expire?
Since these eye drops are made fresh from your blood serum, the United States Pharmacopeia standard recommends a 45 day expiration date for the prescription while it is stored in the freezer. Once you move an individual bottle for immediate use to the fridge, they will expire after 3 days. Typically patients use up the Serum Tears within this time frame, if not sooner, depending on the prescribed dosage.
How long does this process usually take?
Once you have your blood drawn, it usually only takes a few days for us to receive your blood kit and compound your AST Drops. We suggest scheduling your appointment on a Monday or Tuesday so your prescription will be ready to be picked up or shipped out no later than Thursday.
Do I need to fast before getting my blood drawn?
There are no dietary restrictions before getting your blood drawn but we do encourage keeping hydrated. To make the process easier for you and to produce more serum, drink plenty of water the night before and the morning of your appointment.
Will AST Drops burn my eyes?
No, they should not burn your eyes. In fact, since they are refridgerated they should feel refreshing. If pain or burning occurs, stop use of AST Drops immediately and contact your doctor.
How will I get my AST Drops?
When discussing your order with our team, we will verify your preferred method to receive your AST Drops. Once the compounding is completed, we will contact you to pick them up or immediately ship them out to you. Keep your cooler kit so you can reuse it for your next prescription.
When should I reorder my AST Drops?
We suggest refilling your prescription when you have two AST Drop bottles left. You can contact us to refill your prescription or refill online. If you are out of refills, we suggest calling your doctor's office for another prescription at this time.
How long does it take for AST Drops Tears to start working?
This depends on how much of your eye tissue needs to grow back to normal. Typically, this can take a couple weeks to get full relief. Once the tissue is normal again, you will find relief every time you use the drops since you're maintaining healthy tissue.