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All about: Optivar

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Generic Name: azelastine ophthalmic (ah ZEL as tine)
Brand Names: Optivar

What is Optivar (azelastine ophthalmic)?

Azelastine is an anti-allergic medication. It inhibits processes in the body that cause allergic symptoms after exposure to an allergen.

Azelastine ophthalmic is used to treat ocular (eye) symptoms of allergic conditions, such as itching.

Azelastine ophthalmic may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about Optivar (azelastine ophthalmic)?

Do not touch the dropper to any surface, including your eyes or hands. The dropper is sterile. If it becomes contaminated, it could cause an infection in your eye. Do not wear contact lenses during treatment with azelastine ophthalmic if your eyes are red. If you wear soft contact lenses, and your eyes are not red, wait at least 10 minutes after using azelastine ophthalmic before inserting your contact lenses.

Who should not use Optivar (azelastine ophthalmic)?

Do not use azelastine ophthalmic if you have a bacterial, viral, or fungal infection in your eye unless you are also receiving proper anti-infective treatment. Azelastine ophthalmic is in the FDA pregnancy category C. This means that it is not known whether azelastine ophthalmic will harm an unborn baby. Do not use azelastine ophthalmic without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant. It is not known whether azelastine passes into breast milk. Do not use azelastine ophthalmic without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby. Azelastine ophthalmic is not approved for use by children younger than 3 years of age.

How should I use Optivar (azelastine ophthalmic)?

Use azelastine eye drops exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these directions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.

Wash your hands before using your eye drops.

To apply the eye drops:

  • Tilt your head back slightly and pull down on your lower eyelid. Position the dropper above your eye. Look up and away from the dropper. Squeeze out a drop and close your eye. Apply gentle pressure to the inside corner of your eye (near your nose) for about 1 minute to prevent the liquid from draining down your tear duct. If you are using more than one drop in the same eye, repeat the process with about 5 minutes between drops. Repeat the process in your other eye if directed to do so by your doctor.

Do not touch the dropper to any surface, including your eyes or hands. The dropper is sterile. If it becomes contaminated, it could cause an infection in your eye. Do not wear contact lenses during treatment with azelastine ophthalmic if your eyes are red, unless otherwise directed by your doctor. If you wear soft contact lenses, and your eyes are not red, wait at least 10 minutes after using azelastine ophthalmic before inserting your contact lenses.

Do not use any eye drop that is discolored or has particles in it.

Store azelastine ophthalmic at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep the bottle tightly closed.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Apply the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next regularly scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and apply the next one as directed. Do not use a double dose of this medication.

What happens if I overdose?

An overdose of this medication is unlikely to occur. If you do suspect an overdose, call an emergency room or poison control center near you. If the drops have been ingested (taken by mouth), call an emergency center for advice.

What should I avoid while using Optivar (azelastine ophthalmic)?

Do not touch the dropper to any surface, including your eyes or hands. The dropper is sterile. If it becomes contaminated, it could cause an infection in your eye. Do not wear contact lenses during treatment with azelastine ophthalmic if your eyes are red, unless otherwise directed by your doctor. If you wear soft contact lenses, and your eyes are not red, wait at least 10 minutes after using azelastine ophthalmic before inserting your contact lenses.

Do not use other eye medications during treatment with azelastine ophthalmic without first talking to your doctor.

Optivar (azelastine ophthalmic) side effects

Serious side effects are not expected with azelastine ophthalmic.

Commonly, some burning, stinging, irritation, itching, dry eyes, or other eye discomfort may occur. Other side effects include headaches and a bitter taste. Continue to use azelastine ophthalmic and talk to your doctor when it is convenient about any side effects that you experience.

What other drugs will affect Optivar (azelastine ophthalmic)?

Do not use other eye medications during treatment with azelastine ophthalmic without first talking to your doctor.

Drugs other than those listed here may also interact with azelastine ophthalmic. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist has additional information about azelastine ophthalmic written for health professionals that you may read.

What does my medication look like?

Azelastine ophthalmic is available with a prescription generically and under the brand name Optivar. Other brand or generic formulations of this medication may also be available. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about this medication, especially if it is new to you.

  • Optivar-azelastine ophthalmic solution 0.05%

  • 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.
  • Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2006 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 1.04. Revision Date: 2/13/04 4:08:44 PM.

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