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azelastine ophthalmic

Pronunciation

Generic Name: azelastine ophthalmic (a ZEL as teen)
Brand Name: Optivar

What is azelastine ophthalmic?

Azelastine is an antihistamine that reduces the natural chemical histamine in the body. Histamine can produce symptoms of itching or watery eyes.

Azelastine ophthalmic (for the eyes) is used to treat itchy eyes caused by allergies (hay fever).

Azelastine ophthalmic may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about azelastine ophthalmic?

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to azelastine.

Do not allow the dropper tip to touch any surface, including the eyes or hands. If the dropper becomes contaminated it could cause an infection in your eye, which can lead to vision loss or serious damage to the eye.

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Do not use this medication while wearing contact lenses. Azelastine ophthalmic may contain a preservative that can discolor soft contact lenses. Wait at least 15 minutes after using azelastine before putting your contact lenses in.

Do not wear contact lenses while your eyes are red or irritated. Azelastine ophthalmic should not be used to treat minor contact lens irritation.

Stop using azelastine ophthalmic and call your doctor if you have severe eye pain, trouble breathing, or severe burning, stinging, itching, or redness in your eyes.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using azelastine ophthalmic?

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to azelastine.

Do not wear contact lenses while your eyes are red or irritated. Azelastine ophthalmic should not be used to treat minor contact lens irritation.

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether azelastine ophthalmic will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication.

It is not known whether azelastine ophthalmic passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Do not give this medication to a child younger than 3 years old.

How should I use azelastine ophthalmic?

Use exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

Do not use this medication while wearing contact lenses. Azelastine ophthalmic may contain a preservative that can discolor soft contact lenses. Wait at least 15 minutes after using this medication before putting your contact lenses in.

Wash your hands before using the eye drops.

To apply the eye drops:

  • Tilt your head back slightly and pull down your lower eyelid to create a small pocket. Hold the dropper above the eye with the tip down. Look up and away from the dropper as you squeeze out a drop, then close your eye.

  • Use only the number of drops your doctor has prescribed.

  • Gently press your finger to the inside corner of the eye (near your nose) for about 1 minute to keep the liquid from draining into your tear duct. If you use more than one drop in the same eye, wait about 5 minutes before putting in the next drop.

  • Do not allow the dropper tip to touch any surface, including the eyes or hands. If the dropper becomes contaminated it could cause an infection in your eye, which can lead to vision loss or serious damage to the eye.

The 0.2 milliliter (0.2 mL) container of azelastine is for one use only. Throw away after one use, even if there is still some medicine left in it. Each 0.2 mL container must be used within one month after you open the foil pouch.

Store at room temperature away from heat and moisture. Keep each single-use 0.2 mL container in the foil pouch until you are ready to use it.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Use the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while using azelastine ophthalmic?

Do not use other eye medications during treatment with azelastine unless your doctor tells you to.

Azelastine ophthalmic side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using this medication and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • severe burning, stinging, itching, or eye redness after using this medication;

  • eye pain;

  • trouble breathing; or

  • fever, chills, sore throat, flu symptoms.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • mild burning or stinging

  • mild itching, irritation or discomfort;

  • runny nose;

  • blurred vision (temporary);

  • headache; or

  • a bitter taste in your mouth.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

Azelastine ophthalmic dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Allergic Conjunctivitis:

Instill 1 drop into the affected eye twice daily.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Allergic Conjunctivitis:

>3 years: Instill 1 drop into the affected eye twice daily.

What other drugs will affect azelastine ophthalmic?

It is not likely that other drugs you take orally or inject will have an effect on azelastine used in the eyes. But many drugs can interact with each other. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about azelastine ophthalmic.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 7.01. Revision Date: 2011-09-20, 2:56:48 PM.

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