Alcaftadine

Alcaftadine prevents itchiness of the eyes caused by allergic conjunctivitis. Be sure to wash your hands before and after each use and never touch the bottle tip to your eyeball or any other surfaces.

Alcaftadine Overview

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Alcaftadine is a prescription eyedrop medication used to prevent eye itchiness caused by an eye condition called allergic conjunctivitis. Alcaftadine belongs to a group of drugs called antihistamines. These work to reduce itchiness of the eyes by blocking the effects of histamine, a substance within the body that causes itching and allergies. 

This medication comes in eyedrop form and is typically administered once per day.

Common side effects of alcaftadine include eye redness, stinging or burning after administration, and eye irritation.

Alcaftadine can also cause blurred vision. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how alcaftadine affects you.

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Alcaftadine Cautionary Labels

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Uses of Alcaftadine

Alcaftadine is a prescription eyedrop medication used to prevent eye itchiness caused by an eye condition called allergic conjunctivitis. Conjunctivitis, also known as "pink eye," occurs when there is swelling or inflammation in the clear layer of tissue on the surface of eye (conjunctiva) caused by a reaction to mold, pollen, dander, or other allergens as well as fungi, bacteria, and/or viruses.

This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Alcaftadine Brand Names

Alcaftadine may be found in some form under the following brand names:

Alcaftadine Drug Class

Alcaftadine is part of the drug class:

Side Effects of Alcaftadine

Serious side effects have been reported with alcaftadine. See the “Alcaftadine Precautions” section.

Common side effects of alcaftadine include the following:

  • eye redness
  • burning or itching of the eyes
  • eye swelling
  • blurred vision

This is not a complete list of alcaftadine side effects. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Alcaftadine Interactions

No alcaftadine drug interactions have been reported by the manufacturer. However, you should tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Not all drug interactions are known or reported and new drug interactions are continually being reported.

Alcaftadine Precautions

Serious side effects have been reported with alcaftadine including the following:

  • Eye infections. Avoid allowing the tip of the alcaftadine bottle to contact the eyeball, fingers, surrounding structures, or any other surfaces in order to avoid contamination by common bacteria known to cause eye infections. Serious damage to the eye and subsequent loss of vision may result from using contaminated alcaftadine. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have any of the following symptoms of an infection:
  • sore throat
  • fever or chills
  • unusual discharge from the eye
  • eye pain

Alcaftadine should not be used to treat contact lens-related irritation and should not be administered while wearing contact lenses. The preservative in alcaftadine, benzalkonium chloride, may be absorbed by soft contact lenses.

Remove contact lenses prior to administration of alcaftadine. Contact lenses may be reinserted after 10 minutes following administration of alcaftadine.

Do not take alcaftadine if you are allergic to alcaftadine or to any of its ingredients.

Alcaftadine can also cause blurred vision. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how alcaftadine affects you.

Alcaftadine Food Interactions

Medications can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods. In the case of alcaftadine, there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet when receiving this medication.

Inform MD

Before taking alcaftadine, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions. Especially tell your doctor if you:

  • are allergic to alcaftadine or to any of its ingredients
  • are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • wear contact lenses
  • have or suspect you have any kind of eye infection
  • are currently using any other eyedrop products

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Alcaftadine and Pregnancy

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

The FDA categorizes medications based on safety for use during pregnancy. Five categories - A, B, C, D, and X - are used to classify the possible risks to an unborn baby when a medication is taken during pregnancy.

Alcaftadine falls into category B. There are no well-done studies that have been done in humans with alcaftadine. In animal studies, pregnant animals were given this medication, and the babies did not show any medical issues related to this medication. Because animal reproduction studies are not always predictive of human response, this drug should be used during pregnancy only if clearly needed.

Alcaftadine and Lactation

Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed.

It is not known if alcaftadine crosses into human milk. Because many medications can cross into human milk and because of the possibility for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants with use of this medication, your doctor and you will decide if the benefits outweigh the risk of using alcaftadine.

Alcaftadine Usage

Use alcaftadine exactly as prescribed.

Alcaftadine comes in eyedrop form and is typically instilled into the affected eye(s) once daily.

Avoid allowing the tip of the alcaftadine bottle to contact the eyeball, fingers, surrounding structures, or any other surfaces in order to avoid contamination by common bacteria known to cause eye infections. Serious damage to the eye and subsequent loss of vision may result from using contaminated alcaftadine. The bottle should be kept tightly closed when not in use.

Alcaftadine should not be used for contact lens-related eye irritation. Remove contact lenses prior to use of alcaftadine. The preservative in alcaftadine, benzalkonium chloride, may be absorbed by soft contact lenses. Contact lenses may be reinserted after 10 minutes following administration of alcaftadine.

If more than one eyedrop product is being used, they should be administered at least five minutes apart.

Alcaftadine Dosage

Take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully.

The dose your doctor recommends may be based on the following:

  • the condition being treated
  • how you respond to this medication

The recommended dose of alcaftadine for the prevention of eye itchiness due to allergic conjunctivitis is one drop administered into the affected eye once daily.

Alcaftadine Overdose

If you use too much alcaftadine, call your healthcare provider or local Poison Control Center or seek emergency medical attention right away.

Other Requirements

  • Store at 15°-25°C (59°-77°F)
  • Keep this and all medicines out of the reach of children