Contact Lens Care

Differentiating Between Two Similar GP Care Systems

contact lens care

Differentiating Between Two Similar GP Care Systems

The GP lens care product Claris (Menicon) will no longer be on the market once current supplies are exhausted. However, two alternatives are available: Optimum by Lobob and MeniCare (Menicon). This non-abrasive GP lens cleaner/disinfectant-type system has a history of working very well with GP lenses — including plasma-treated GPs and the softer, high-Dk Menicon materials.


Claris, Optimum and now MeniCare products originated from the former Sherman Pharmaceuticals' De-Stat RGP lens care products. Two generations, De-Stat 3 and De-Stat 4, later became Optimum and Claris, respectively. Advanced Medical Optics most recently manufactured Claris, which was distributed in the United States by Menicon authorized laboratories.

Now that Claris is off the market, we have Optimum and MeniCare. Lobob makes both. What are the differences and similarities of these current products?

More Similar than Different

Claris and MeniCare are both two-part systems that contain a combined cleaning, disinfecting and storage solution (CDS) and a separate wetting/rewetting drop (WRW). The Optimum system incorporates an additional extra strength cleaner (ESC). Optimum by Lobob Cleaning, Disinfecting and Storage Solution (CDS) and MeniCare GP by Menicon Cleaning, Disinfecting and Storage Solution (CDS) have the same ingredients: Lauryl sulfate salt of imidazoline and octylphenoxypolyethoxyethanol, with benzyl alcohol 0.3% and disodium edetate 0.5% as preservatives. The CDS products are used for rub-and-rinse as well as for overnight storage and disinfection. Patients should not use this solution in their eyes, and the bottle has a red dispenser tip to warn users.

Following overnight storage in the CDS, patients must rinse the lenses with either water or saline before application. My preference is sterile aerosol saline for the morning rinse. Patients should apply a wetting agent to the lens before application.

The Optimum by Lobob Wetting/Rewetting (WRW) Drop and in-the-eye Lubricant and the MeniCare by Menicon Wetting/Rewetting (WRW) Drop and in-the-eye Lubricant also both have the same ingredients, although they don't appear in the same order in the package insert. They both contain: Polyvinyl alcohol, polyvinylpyrrolidone, hydroxyethyl cellulose, sodium and potassium chloride, sodium carbonate and sodium bisulfite 0.02%, with benzyl alcohol 0.1%, disodium edetate 0.1% and sorbic acid 0.05% as preservatives. This product wets the lenses prior to application and/or serves as a lubricating drop.

The Optimum Extra Strength Cleaner (ESC) is preservative-free and contains cocoamphodiacetate and glycols in an aqueous solution. It may be used daily or occasionally. It contains no abrasives.

The Bottom Line

In short, Optimum CDS and WRW are the same as MeniCare CDS and WRW. Optimum products are available through eyecare practitioners as well as retail and Internet outlets, while MeniCare products are available only through practitioners and Menicon Authorized Labs.

Mr. Ward is an instructor in ophthalmology at Emory University School of Medicine and Director, Emory Contact Lens Service.