Medically reviewed on June 7, 2018
Commonly used brand name(s)
In the U.S.
Available Dosage Forms:
Therapeutic Class: Ophthalmologic Agent
Pharmacologic Class: Antihistamine, Less-Sedating
Uses For This Medicine
Epinastine ophthalmic (eye) solution is used to prevent itching of the eye caused by a condition known as allergic conjunctivitis. It works by preventing the effects of certain inflammatory substances, which are produced by cells in your eyes and sometimes cause allergic reactions.
Epinastine is available only with your doctor's prescription.
Before Using This Medicine
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 epinastine, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to epinastine 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 have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of epinastine in children younger than 2 years of age. Safety and efficacy have not been established.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of epinastine in the elderly.
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 This Medicine
Your doctor will tell you how much of epinastine to use and how often. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to. Epinastine is not for long-term use.
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.
- Immediately after using the eye drops, wash your hands to remove any medicine that may be on them.
- 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 epinastine 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 epinastine. 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 itching of the eyes:
- Adults, teenagers, and children 2 years of age and older—Use one drop in the affected eye two times a day.
- Children younger than 2 years of age—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
- For itching of the eyes:
If you miss a dose of epinastine, 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 This Medicine
Your eye doctor will want to examine your or your child's eye(s) at regular visits to make sure the medicine is working properly and is not causing unwanted effects.
If you are wearing contact lenses, remove them before putting the drops in your eyes. Wait at least 10 minutes after using epinastine before putting your contact lenses back in. You should only wear contact lenses if your eyes are not red. Epinastine 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.
This Medicine 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 sensation in the eye
- increase in blood flow to the whites of the eyes
- redness, itching, pain, swelling, or other irritation of the eye
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:
More common- some side effects were similar to problem being treated
- Body aches or pain
- difficulty with breathing
- ear congestion
- loss of voice
- nasal congestion
- runny nose
- sore throat
- unusual tiredness or weakness
Less common- some side effects were similar to problem being treated
- increased cough
- pain or tenderness around the eyes and cheekbones
- shortness of breath
- stuffy nose
- tender, swollen glands in the neck
- tightness of the chest or wheezing
- trouble with swallowing
- troubled breathing
- voice changes
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.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
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- Dosage Information
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- Drug class: ophthalmic antihistamines and decongestants
Other brands: Elestat
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- Epinastine HCl Ophthalmic Solution (FDA)
- Epinastine (Wolters Kluwer)