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Azelastine ophthalmic

Generic name: azelastine ophthalmic [ a-ZEL-as-teen ]
Brand name: Optivar
Dosage form: ophthalmic solution (0.05%)
Drug class: Ophthalmic antihistamines and decongestants

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

What is azelastine ophthalmic?

Azelastine ophthalmic (for the eyes) is an antihistamine that 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.

Azelastine ophthalmic 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.

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

Common side effects of azelastine ophthalmic may include:

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 your medicine label and package. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all your medical conditions, allergies, and all medicines you use.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use azelastine ophthalmic if you are allergic to azelastine.

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Azelastine ophthalmic should not be given to a child younger than 3 years old.

How should I use azelastine ophthalmic?

Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Use the medicine exactly as directed.

Do not use while wearing soft contact lenses. A preservative in this medicine could permanently stain the lenses. Use the medicine at least 10 minutes before inserting your contact lenses.

Wash your hands before using eye medication.

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 and squeeze a drop into this pocket. Close your eyes for 1 or 2 minutes.

Use only the number of drops your doctor has prescribed.

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

Store this medicine in an upright position at room temperature.

Azelastine ophthalmic dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Allergic Conjunctivitis:

Instill 1 drop in the affected eye(s) twice a day.

Use: For the treatment of itching associated with allergic conjunctivitis.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Allergic Conjunctivitis:

Age: 3 years and older
Instill 1 drop in the affected eye(s) twice a day.

Use: For the treatment of itching associated with allergic conjunctivitis.

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.

What should I avoid while using azelastine ophthalmic?

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

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

What other drugs will affect azelastine ophthalmic?

Medicine used in the eyes is not likely to be affected by other drugs you use. But many drugs can interact with each other. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all medicines you use, 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.