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Generic name: ketotifen ophthalmickee-toe-TYE-fen-off-THAL-mik ]
Brand names: Alaway, Alaway Preservative Free, Eye Itch Relief, Zaditor, Claritin Eye, Refresh Eye Itch Relief
Drug class: Ophthalmic antihistamines and decongestants

Medically reviewed by on Aug 11, 2023. Written by Cerner Multum.

What is Alaway?

Alaway (for the eyes) is used in adults and children at least 3 years old to temporarily treat itching of the eyes caused by allergy to dust, pollen, grass, animals, or other allergens.

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

Alaway side effects

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

Alaway may cause serious side effects. Stop using Alaway and call your doctor at once if you have:

Less serious side effects may be more likely, and you may have none at all.

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.


Follow all directions on the label and package. Use exactly as directed.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use Alaway if you are allergic to it, or if you have:

Ask a doctor before using Alaway if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Do not allow a young child to use Alaway without help from an adult.

How should I use Alaway?

Use exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor.

Do not use while wearing soft contact lenses. Alaway may contain a preservative that can permanently stain the lenses. Wait at least 10 minutes before inserting your contact lenses.

Wash your hands before using eye medication.

To apply the eye drops: Pull down your lower eyelid to create a small pocket and squeeze a drop into this pocket. Close your eyes for 1 or 2 minutes.

Use only the prescribed number of drops.

Wait at least 5 minutes before using any other eye drops.

Do not touch the dropper tip or place it directly on your eye. A contaminated dropper can infect your eye and lead to serious vision problems.

Call your pharmacist if the medicine looks cloudy, has changed colors or has particles in it.

Each single-use vial is for one use only (in both eyes). Store the unused vials in the original foil pouch and protect from light. Throw the vial away after one use, even if there is still medicine left inside.

Store at room temperature, in an upright position and tightly closed. Do not freeze.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Use the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not use two doses at one time.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222 if anyone has accidentally swallowed the medicine.

What should I avoid while using Alaway?

Do not use other eye medications unless your doctor tells you to.

What other drugs will affect Alaway?

Medicine used in the eyes is not likely to be affected by other drugs you use. But many drugs can interact. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

Further information

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.

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