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Table of Contents > Drugs >  Azelastine
Azelastine
Pronunciation
Brand Names
Therapeutic Categories
Reasons not to take this medicine
What is this medicine used for?
How does it work?
How is it best taken?
What do I do if I miss a dose?
What are the precautions when taking this medicine?
What are the common side effects of this medicine?
What should I monitor?
Reasons to call healthcare provider immediately
How should I store this medicine?
General statements

Pronunciation
(a ZEL as teen)

Brand Names
Astelin®; Optivar™

Therapeutic Categories
Antihistamine

Reasons not to take this medicine

  • If you have an allergy to azelastine or any other part of the medicine.


What is this medicine used for?

  • This medicine relieves symptoms (runny nose, sneezing, nasal irritation, itching) from allergies. Can be used in adults and children 5 years old and older.
  • The eye preparation treats eye itching caused by seasonal allergies.


How does it work?

  • Azelastine, if taken before coming in contact with the material that causes the allergy, blocks the allergic reaction by minimizing/preventing the body's reaction to the allergen.


How is it best taken?

  • For the nose only.
  • Avoid spraying in your eyes.
  • Read instructions on use given with medicine.
  • There is also an eye solution available.
  • Take out contact lenses before using medicine. Lenses can be replaced 15 minutes after medicine is given, but do not replace if eyes are red.
  • This medicine is not for treatment of contact lens irritation.
  • After applying drop to affected eye then close eyes. Apply pressure to inside corner of eye. Do this for 3-5 minutes. This keeps medicine in eye.
  • Separate other eye medicine by 5 minutes.
  • Do not touch bottle tip to eye, lid, or other skin.
  • This medicine is most effective if started before contact with the allergen.


What do I do if I miss a dose?

  • Instill a missed dose as soon as possible.
  • If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed one. Return to your regular schedule.
  • Do not use a double dose or extra doses.


What are the precautions when taking this medicine?

  • Wear disease alert identification for allergies.
  • Tell healthcare provider if you are allergic to any medicine. Make sure to tell about the allergy and how it affected you. This includes telling about rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, throat; or any other symptoms involved.
  • Tell healthcare provider if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant.
  • Do not use if you are breast-feeding.


What are the common side effects of this medicine?

  • Feeling sleepy or unable to think clearly. Avoid driving, doing other tasks or activities that require you to be alert until you see how this medicine affects you.
  • For nasal solution, bitter taste.
  • For eye solution, burning, stinging, headaches, or bitter taste.


What should I monitor?

  • Check effectiveness of medicine in preventing or treating symptoms.


Reasons to call healthcare provider immediately

  • Signs of a life-threatening reaction. These include wheezing; tightness in the chest; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; fits; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Any rash.
  • No improvement in condition or feeling worse.


How should I store this medicine?

  • Store medicine upright at room temperature. Protect from freezing.
  • Throw away opened medicine after 3 months.


General statements

  • Do not share your medicine with others and do not take anyone else's medicine.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Keep a list of all your medicines (prescription, herbal/supplements, vitamins, over-the-counter) with you. Give this list to healthcare provider (doctor, nurse, pharmacist, physician assistant).
  • Talk with healthcare provider before starting any new medicine, including over-the-counter or natural products (herbs, vitamins).


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