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All about: Azelastine hydrochloride

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Generic name: Azelastine hydrochloride
Brand names: Astelin

Why is Azelastine hydrochloride prescribed?

Astelin is an antihistamine nasal spray. It is prescribed for the relief of hay fever symptoms such as itchy, runny nose and sneezing, and can also be used to relieve cases of congested, runny nose and postnasal drip unrelated to allergies.

Most important fact about Azelastine hydrochloride

Astelin can cause drowsiness. Do not drive a car, operate machinery, or undertake any other activity that requires mental alertness until you know how the drug affects you. Avoid combining Astelin with alcohol, antihistamines, and other drugs that slow the central nervous system; worse drowsiness could result.

How should you take Azelastine hydrochloride?

Use Astelin nasal spray only as prescribed. Avoid spraying in the eyes.

Before initial use, prime the pump by depressing it 4 times, or until a fine mist appears. When 3 or more days have elapsed since the last use, you should reprime the pump with 2 strokes, or until a fine mist appears.

Relief of symptoms usually occurs within 3 hours and lasts up to 12 hours.

--If you miss a dose...

Take the forgotten dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and go back to your regular schedule. Never double your dose.

--Storage instructions...

Store the bottle in an upright position at room temperature with the nasal pump tightly closed. Do not freeze.

What side effects may occur?

Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking Astelin.

  • Side effects may include:
    Bitter taste, drowsiness, headache, loss of sensation, nasal, burning, sneezing, sore throat

Why should Azelastine hydrochloride not be prescribed?

If you are sensitive to or have ever had an allergic reaction to Astelin or any of its ingredients, you should not take Azelastine hydrochloride.

Special warnings about Azelastine hydrochloride

Remember that Astelin makes some people drowsy. See "Most important fact about Azelastine hydrochloride" for precautions to take.

If you have a kidney condition, make sure the doctor is aware of it. Your dosage of Astelin may have to be reduced.

Possible food and drug interactions when taking Azelastine hydrochloride

If Astelin is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Astelin with the following:

Alcohol
Drugs that slow the nervous system, including codeine, phenobarbital, and Restoril
Cimetidine (Tagamet)
Ketoconazole (Nizoral)
Other antihistamines such as Benadryl and Claritin

Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

The effects of Astelin during pregnancy have not been adequately studied. If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. Because of the possibility of harming the developing baby, you may need to give up the medication. It is not known whether Astelin appears in breast milk. Your doctor may want you to stop breastfeeding while using Azelastine hydrochloride.

Recommended dosage

ADULTS

The usual dose for adults and children 12 years of age and older is 2 sprays into each nostril twice a day.

CHILDREN

To relieve hay fever in children between 5 and 12 years of age, the usual dose is 1 spray into each nostril twice a day. Astelin is not recommended for other types of congestion in this age group. Safety and effectiveness in children under 5 have not been established.

Overdosage

A severe overdose is unlikely, and would probably cause no other symptoms than extreme drowsiness. However, if you suspect an overdose, it's still wise to seek medical attention immediately.

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