Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Nov 13, 2019.
Commonly used brand name(s)
In the U.S.
Available Dosage Forms:
Therapeutic Class: Ophthalmologic Agent
Pharmacologic Class: Antihistamine
Uses for alcaftadine
Alcaftadine ophthalmic (eye) drops is used to prevent itching of the eye caused by a condition known as allergic conjunctivitis (pink eye). It works by preventing the effects of certain inflammatory substances, which are produced by cells in your eyes and sometimes cause allergic reactions.
Alcaftadine is available only with your doctor's prescription.
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:
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.
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.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of alcaftadine eye drops in the elderly.
|All Trimesters||B||Animal studies have revealed no evidence of harm to the fetus, however, there are no adequate studies in pregnant women OR animal studies have shown an adverse effect, but adequate studies in pregnant women have failed to demonstrate a risk to the fetus.|
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.
If you are using 2 or more eye drops, wait at least 5 minutes before putting another eye drop in the same eye.
If you are wearing contact lenses, remove them before putting the drops in your eyes. 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.
To use the eye drops:
- First, wash your hands. Then turn the closed bottle upside down and shake it one time before putting the medicine in your eye. Remove the cap with the bottle still being held upside down.
- Tilt your 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 eye. Do not blink. Keep the eye closed for 1 or 2 minutes to allow the medicine to cover the eye.
- If you think you did not get the drop of medicine into your eye properly, repeat the directions with another drop.
- To keep the medicine as germ-free as possible, do not touch the applicator tip to any surface (including the eye). Also, keep the container tightly closed.
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 prevention of itching of the eye caused by allergic conjunctivitis:
- Adults, teenagers, and children 2 years of age and older—Put 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.
- For prevention of itching of the eye caused by allergic conjunctivitis:
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.
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 want to examine your eye(s) 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 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:
- Burning or stinging sensation in the eye
- itching of the eyes
- red, sore eyes
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
- general feeling of discomfort or illness
- joint pain
- loss of appetite
- muscle aches and pains
- runny nose
- sore throat
- stuffy or runny nose
- trouble sleeping
- unusual tiredness or weakness
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.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
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More about alcaftadine ophthalmic
- Side Effects
- During Pregnancy
- Dosage Information
- En Español
- 23 Reviews
- Drug class: ophthalmic antihistamines and decongestants
Other brands: Lastacaft