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Drugs & Medications

Optivar ophthalmic

GENERIC NAME(S): AZELASTINE HCL

Uses

This medication is used to treat itching eyes caused by allergies (allergic conjunctivitis). Azelastine belongs to a class of drugs known as antihistamines. It works by blocking certain natural substances called histamines that are responsible for allergic symptoms.

Do not use this medication to treat redness and irritation due to wearing contact lenses.

How to use Optivar ophthalmic

Use this medication in the affected eye(s) as directed by your doctor, usually twice daily.

To apply eye drops, wash hands first. To avoid contamination, do not touch the dropper tip or let it touch your eye or any other surface.

If you are wearing contact lenses, remove them before using eye drops. Wait at least 10 minutes before replacing your contact lenses. Tilt your head back, look upward, and pull down the lower eyelid to make a pouch. Hold the dropper directly over your eye and place one drop into the pouch. Look downward, gently close your eyes, and place one finger at the corner of your eye (near the nose). Apply gentle pressure for 1 to 2 minutes before opening your eyes. This will prevent the medication from draining out. Try not to blink or rub your eye. Repeat these steps if your dose is for more than one drop. If directed to use this medication in both eyes, repeat these steps for your other eye. Do not rinse the dropper. Replace the dropper cap after each use.

If you are using another kind of eye medication (such as drops or ointments), wait at least 5 minutes before applying other medications. Use eye drops before eye ointments to allow the drops to enter the eye.

Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, use it at the same times each day.

Do not increase your dose or use this drug more often or for longer than prescribed. Your condition will not improve any faster, and your risk of side effects will increase.

Tell your doctor if you do not get better or if you get worse.

Side Effects

This medication may temporarily sting or burn your eyes for a minute or two after use. Temporary blurred vision, headache, or a bitter taste in your mouth may also occur. If any of these effects last or get worse, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: eye pain.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

In the US -

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.

In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

Precautions

Before using azelastine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history.

After you apply this drug, your vision may become temporarily blurred. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires clear vision until you are sure you can perform such activities safely.

Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).

During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.

It is unknown if this drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Interactions

Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.

Overdose

This medicine may be harmful if swallowed. If swallowing or overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.

Notes

Do not share this medication with others.

Ask your doctor for ways to reduce your exposure to substances (such as pollen, pet dander, dust mites, mold, smoke) that can worsen allergy symptoms.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose. Use your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.

Storage

Store at room temperature or in the refrigerator. Do not freeze, and keep away from heat and light. Keep the bottle upright and tightly closed. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.

Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.

Information last revised November 2015. Copyright(c) 2015 First Databank, Inc.

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Selected from data included with permission and copyrighted by First Databank, Inc. This copyrighted material has been downloaded from a licensed data provider and is not for distribution, expect as may be authorized by the applicable terms of use.

CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.

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