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Alcaftadine (Ophthalmic)

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Mar 24, 2022.

Commonly used brand name(s)

In the U.S.

  • Lastacaft

Available Dosage Forms:

  • Solution

Therapeutic Class: Ophthalmologic Agent

Pharmacologic Class: Antihistamine

Uses for alcaftadine

Alcaftadine eye drops are used to relieve itching of the eyes caused by pollen, ragweed, grass, animal hair, and dander.

Alcaftadine is available as an over-the-counter (OTC) product.

Before using alcaftadine

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For alcaftadine, the following should be considered:

Allergies

Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to alcaftadine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.

Pediatric

Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated pediatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of alcaftadine eye drops in children. However, safety and efficacy have not been established in children younger than 2 years of age.

Geriatric

No information is available on the relationship of age to the effects of alcaftadine eye drops in geriatric patients.

Breastfeeding

There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.

Interactions with medicines

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.

Interactions with food/tobacco/alcohol

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Proper use of alcaftadine

Your eye doctor will tell you how much of alcaftadine to use and how often. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to. Alcaftadine is not for long-term use.

Alcaftadine can be used with other ophthalmic (eye) medicines. Wait at least 5 minutes before using another eye medicine.

If you or your child are wearing contact lenses, remove them while you are using alcaftadine. Wait at least 10 minutes after using alcaftadine before putting your contact lenses back in. Do not wear contact lenses if your eyes are red. Talk to your eye doctor about this if you have questions.

To use the eye drops:

  • First, wash your hands. Tilt the head back and, pressing your finger gently on the skin just beneath the lower eyelid, pull the lower eyelid away from the eye to make a space. Drop the medicine into this space. Let go of the eyelid and gently close the eyes. Do not blink. Keep the eyes closed for 1 or 2 minutes to allow the medicine to be absorbed by the eye.
  • Immediately after using the eye drops, wash your hands to remove any medicine that may be on them.
  • If you think you did not get the drop of medicine into your eye properly, repeat the directions with another drop.
  • Do not use the eye drops if the solution changes color or becomes cloudy.
  • To keep the medicine as germ-free as possible, do not touch the applicator tip to any surface (including the eye). Also, always keep the container tightly closed.

Dosing

The dose of alcaftadine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of alcaftadine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

  • For ophthalmic dosage form (eye drops):
    • For relief of itching of the eye:
      • Adults and children 2 years of age and older—Use one drop in the affected eye once a day.
      • Children younger than 2 years of age—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.

Missed dose

If you miss a dose of alcaftadine, apply it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule.

Storage

Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.

Keep out of the reach of children.

Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.

Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.

Precautions while using alcaftadine

Your eye doctor will check your or your child's eyes at regular visits to make sure the medicine is working properly and is not causing unwanted effects.

Alcaftadine should not be used for irritation caused by contact lenses.

If your or your child's symptoms do not improve within a few days or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

Alcaftadine side effects

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

Incidence not known

  • Changes in vision
  • eye pain
  • increased eye redness
  • itching of the eye that worsens or lasts for more than 72 hours

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.