Tyrvaya (varenicline) is a prescription drug that’s used to treat dry eye disease. Tyrvaya can cause side effects that range from mild to serious. Examples include nose and throat irritation and sneezing.

Specifically, Tyrvaya is used in adults to treat symptoms of dry eye disease.

The active ingredient in Tyrvaya is varenicline. The drug comes as a nasal spray that you apply in your nostrils.

Keep reading to learn about the common, mild, and serious side effects that Tyrvaya can cause. For a general overview of the drug, including details about its uses, see this article.

Some people may experience mild to serious side effects during their Tyrvaya treatment. Examples of the drug’s commonly reported side effects include:

  • cough
  • nose and throat irritation
  • sneezing

To learn more about nose and throat irritation and sneezing, see the “Side effects explained” section below.

The following sections include more side effects of Tyrvaya. Each person’s experience with side effects may differ.

Mild side effects have been reported with Tyrvaya. These include:

  • cough
  • nose and throat irritation
  • sneezing
  • mild allergic reaction (This side effect is possible with Tyrvaya but wasn’t reported in studies.)

In most cases, these side effects should be temporary. And some may be managed easily. But if you have symptoms that are ongoing or bothersome, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. And do not stop using Tyrvaya unless your doctor recommends it.

Tyrvaya may cause mild side effects other than those listed above. See the drug’s prescribing information for details.

To learn more about the following side effects, see the “Side effects explained” section below:

  • nose and throat irritation
  • sneezing
  • mild allergic reaction

No serious side effects have been reported with Tyrvaya. But as with any medication, a severe allergic reaction can occur with Tyrvaya, although it wasn’t reported in studies.

If you think you’re having serious side effects while using Tyrvaya, call your doctor right away. If the side effects seem life threatening or you think you have a medical emergency, immediately call 911. Or call your local emergency number.

Note: After the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves a drug, it tracks and reviews side effects of the medication. If you’d like to notify the FDA about a side effect you’ve had with Tyrvaya, visit MedWatch.

Get answers to some frequently asked questions about Tyrvaya’s side effects.

Can Tyrvaya cause cancer or headache?

Cancer or headaches were not reported in studies of Tyrvaya.

But Chantix is an oral form of varenicline (the active ingredient in Tyrvaya) that’s used to help people stop smoking. And studies of Chantix noted that headache was a common side effect.

Then in 2021, the drugmaker recalled Chantix voluntarily. This was because the tablets contained levels of nitrosamines that were higher than acceptable.

Nitrosamines occur naturally in foods, water, and the environment. But long-term exposure to nitrosamines above acceptable levels may increase the risk of developing cancer.

That said, the amount of varenicline in Tyrvaya nasal spray is much lower than the amount that was in Chantix tablets. Tyrvaya’s drugmaker states that they continue to test Tyrvaya for nitrosamines and levels remain below the required limit.

To learn more about headache or cancer and the use of Tyrvaya, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Does Tyrvaya cause long-term side effects?

It’s unlikely. Long-term side effects weren’t reported in studies of Tyrvaya.

If you’re concerned about possible long-term side effects from Tyrvaya, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Learn more about some of the side effects Tyrvaya may cause.

Nose and throat irritation

Nose and throat irritation was a common side effect reported in studies of Tyrvaya. Nose and throat irritation may cause symptoms such as:

  • soreness
  • itching
  • swelling
  • burning

When using Tyrvaya, active infection of the sinuses or throat can increase the risk of nose and throat irritation. Severe seasonal allergies can also increase the risk.

What might help

You may relieve symptoms of nose and throat irritation during Tyrvaya treatment with these options:

  • Gargle with warm salt water or take an over-the-counter (OTC) throat lozenge for a sore throat.
  • Run a humidifier in the room while you sleep.
  • Inhale steam from a warm shower.
  • Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.

If your symptoms become bothersome, check with your doctor or pharmacist for suggestions on managing them.


Sneezing was a common side effect reported in studies of Tyrvaya. Sneezing may cause symptoms such as:

  • foreign sensation inside your nose
  • tickling or tingling feeling inside your nose
  • feeling that you need to clear your nose

Factors that can increase the risk of sneezing when using this drug include:

What might help

Sneezing during Tyrvaya treatment is not an unusual side effect, and it doesn’t make the drug less effective. Sneezing likely won’t last long, and you don’t need to apply another dose of Tyrvaya after.

To reduce sneezing with Tyrvaya, experts suggest that you:

  • blow your nose before spraying a dose of the drug
  • avoid inhaling the mist after spraying a dose of the drug
  • not shake the bottle

Allergic reaction

Like most drugs, Tyrvaya can cause an allergic reaction in some people. But this side effect wasn’t reported in studies.

Symptoms can be mild to serious and can include:

  • skin rash
  • itchiness
  • flushing (temporary warmth, redness, or deepening of skin color)
  • swelling under your skin (usually in your eyelids, lips, hands, or feet)
  • swelling of your mouth, tongue, or throat, which can make it hard to breathe

What might help

If you have mild symptoms of an allergic reaction, such as a mild rash, call your doctor right away. They may suggest a treatment to manage your symptoms. Examples include:

  • an oral antihistamine, such as Benadryl (diphenhydramine)
  • a product you apply to your skin, such as hydrocortisone cream

Your doctor can confirm whether you’ve had a mild allergic reaction to Tyrvaya. Then they’ll determine whether you should continue using it.

If you have symptoms of a severe allergic reaction, such as swelling or difficulty breathing, call 911 right away. Or call your local emergency number. These symptoms could be life threatening and require immediate medical care.

Your doctor can confirm whether you’ve had a serious allergic reaction to Tyrvaya. If you have, they may have you switch to a different treatment.

Keeping track of side effects

During your Tyrvaya treatment, consider taking notes on any side effects you’re having. You can then share this information with your doctor. This is especially helpful when you first start a new drug or combination of treatments.

Your side effect notes can include things such as:

  • what dose of the drug you were using when you had the side effect
  • how soon you had the side effect after starting that dose
  • what your symptoms were
  • how your symptoms affected your daily activities
  • what other medications you were taking
  • any other information you feel is important

Keeping notes and sharing them with your doctor will help them learn more about how Tyrvaya affects you. They can then use this information to adjust your treatment plan if needed.

Below is important information you should consider before using Tyrvaya.


Tyrvaya can sometimes cause harmful effects in people who have certain conditions. This is known as a drug-condition interaction. Other factors may also affect whether Tyrvaya is a good treatment option for you.

Talk with your doctor about your health history before starting Tyrvaya. Be sure to tell them if any of the following factors apply to you:

Alcohol and Tyrvaya

No interactions between alcohol and Tyrvaya are known.

If you have questions about consuming alcohol during Tyrvaya treatment, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding with Tyrvaya

Before starting Tyrvaya treatment, it’s important to talk with your doctor if you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning either.


It’s not known whether it’s safe to use Tyrvaya during pregnancy. If you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant, talk with your doctor before starting treatment with Tyrvaya.

If you’re able to become pregnant, your doctor may recommend using a form of birth control during your Tyrvaya treatment. They’ll likely recommend using it for a certain amount of time before starting Tyrvaya and throughout treatment.


It’s not known whether Tyrvaya is safe to use while breastfeeding. If you’re breastfeeding or planning to do so, talk with your doctor before starting this medication.

Like most drugs, Tyrvaya can cause a number of side effects that range from mild to serious. But most are temporary and go away after a few days to weeks. If you have questions about side effects that Tyrvaya can cause, talk with your doctor.

Examples of questions to help get you started include:

  • What side effects from Tyrvaya should prompt me to call you?
  • Can Tyrvaya cause nosebleeds?
  • Can Tyrvaya affect my sense of taste or smell?
  • Will the side effects of Tyrvaya go away over time?

To learn more about Tyrvaya, see these articles:

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Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.