Azelastine

Azelastine treats eye and nasal allergy symptoms. Remove contacts before using azelastine eye drops. This medication may cause drowsiness.

Azelastine Overview

Reviewed: June 28, 2012
Updated: 

Azelastine is a prescription medication used to treat allergy symptoms of the eyes or nose such as runny or stuffy nose, sneezing, itching. This medication belongs to a group of drugs called antihistamines. It works by preventing histamine release and by blocking histamine at receptors. Histamine is a chemical of the immune system that causes allergy symptoms.

Azelastine comes in nasal spray form to be sprayed into your nose, usually twice a day.

Azelastine also comes in eye drop form to be applied into the affected eye(s) twice a day.

Common side effects of azelastine nasal spray include unusual taste, nose or eye irritation, and headache. Do not operate machinery or drive until you know azelastine will affect you. 

Common side effects of azelastine eye drops include eye irritation and stinging.

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  • Conjunctivitis, Allergic
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Perennial
  • Rhinitis, Vasomotor

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Azelastine Cautionary Labels

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Uses of Azelastine

Azelastine is a prescription medication used to treat allergy symptoms of the eyes or nose such as runny or stuffy nose, sneezing, itching.

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

Azelastine Brand Names

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

Azelastine Drug Class

Azelastine is part of the drug class:

Side Effects of Azelastine

Side effects of azelastine nasal spray include:

  • unusual taste (bitter or sweet)
  • nose pain or discomfort
  • nosebleeds
  • headache
  • fatigue
  • sleepiness
  • sneezing

Side effects of azelastine eye drops include:

  • unusual taste (bitter or sweet)
  • eye irritation/stinging
  • headache
  • temporary blurring of vision
  • flu-like symptoms

Talk to your doctor about any side effect that is bothersome or that does not go away. 

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

Azelastine Interactions

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Especially tell your doctor if you take medicines that make you drowsy including:

  • medicines for anxiety
  • antidepressants
  • muscle relaxant medicines
  • medicines for pain (narcotics)
  • sleep medicines
  • allergy medicines
  • alcohol
  • antipsychotic medicines

This is not a complete list of azelastine drug interactions. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

 

 

Azelastine Precautions

Do not use azelastine if you are allergic to any ingredient in it. 

Azelastine can cause drowsiness or blurred vision. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how this medicine affects you.

Alcohol can worsen drowsiness. Avoid alcohol use with azelastine nasal spray.

Azelastine Food Interactions

Medicines 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 azelastine there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet when receiving azelastine.

 

Inform MD

Before receiving azelastine, tell your doctor:

  • about all of your medical conditions
  • if you are allergic to any ingredient in azelastine.
  • if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

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

Azelastine 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.

This medication falls into category C. In animal studies, pregnant animals were given this medication and had some babies born with problems. No well-controlled studies have been done in humans. Therefore, this medication may be used if the potential benefits to the mother outweigh the potential risks to the unborn child.

Azelastine and Lactation

Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if azelastine is excreted in human breast milk or if it will harm your nursing baby.

Azelastine Usage

  • Azelastine nasal spray is to be sprayed into your nose, usually twice a day. Do not spray it into your eyes or mouth.
    • The azelastine bottle will need to be primed before you use it for the first time. You should see a fine mist after you do six priming sprays. This will indicate it is ready for use. (You will need to prime azelastine nasal spray if you have not used the spray for 3 or more days.)
    • Blow your nose first. Then while spraying the medicine, gently breathe in (inhale). To avoid experiencing a bitter taste after taking azelastine, avoid tilting your head back right after taking azelastine.
    • After using 200 sprays, throw away the bottle.
  • Azelastine eye drops is to be sprayed into the affected eye(s) twice a day.
    • To prevent contaminating the dropper tip and eye drop solution, do not to touch any surface, the eyelids, or surrounding areas with the dropper tip of the bottle.
    • Keep bottle tightly closed when not in use.
    • This product is sterile when packaged.
    • Do not to wear a contact lens if eyes are red.
    • Azelastine eye drops should not be used to treat contact lens related irritation.
    • If you wear soft contact lenses and if your eyes are not red, wait at least 10 minutes after using azelastine eye drops before re-inserting your contact lenses.

 

Azelastine Dosage

Use azelastine exactly as prescribed. Follow the directions on your prescription bottle carefully.

Astelin Nasal Spray

Seasonal nasal allergies:

  • The recommended Astelin (azelastine) nasal spray dose in adults and adolescents 12 years of age and older: 1 or 2 sprays per nostril twice daily 
  • The recommended Astelin (azelastine) nasal spray dose in pediatric patients 5 to 11 years of age: 1 spray per nostril twice daily

Vasomotor rhinitis (Nasal symptoms not due by allergies):

  • The recommended Astelin (azelastine) nasal spray dose in adults and adolescents 12 years of age and older: 2 sprays per nostril twice daily

Astepro Nasal Spray

Seasonal nasal allergies:

  • 2 to 5 years: Astepro (azelastine) 0.1%: 1 spray per nostril twice daily
  • 6 to 11 years: Astepro 0.1% or Astepro 0.15%: 1 spray per nostril twice daily
  • Adults and adolescents 12 years of age and older: Astepro 0.1% or Astepro 0.15%: 1 or 2 sprays per nostril twice daily OR Astepro 0.15%: 2 sprays per nostril once daily 

Year-round (perennial) nasal allergies:

  • 6 months to 5 years: Astepro 0.1%: 1 spray per nostril twice daily
  •  6 to 11 years: Astepro 0.1% or Astepro 0.15%: 1 spray per nostril twice daily
  •  Adults and adolescents 12 years of age and older: Astepro 0.15%: 2 sprays per nostril twice daily 

Optivar to treat allergies of the eyes:

  • The recommended dose with Optivar (azelastine) eye drops is one drop instilled into each affected eye twice a day.

Azelastine Overdose

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

 

Other Requirements

  • Store azelastine nasal spray at 20°-25°C (68°-77°F).
  • Store azelastine drops at 2° and 25°C (36° and 77°F).
  • Keep this and all medicines out of the reach of children.