1 What is Optivar?

Brand: Optivar

Generic: Azelastine

Optivar is used to relieve the eye itchiness caused by allergic conjunctivitis. Its mechanism of action is preventing the effects of histamine in the body which causes allergic reactions to the body.

2 What to Know Before Using

If you are about to start Optivar, speak with your doctor about what you need to know. Tell your doctor if you are allergic to Optivar or to any other medications.

Inform your healthcare providers as well if you are allergic to foods, dyes, or animals. Safety and effectiveness of this medication have not been established in children less than 3 years of age.

There are no specific problems that would limit the usefulness of Azelastine ophthalmic in the elderly. Pregnancy category C – The use of Optivar during pregnancy is warranted only if benefits justify risks to the fetus and only when no alternative management is appropriate.

There are no adequate studies whether Azelastine ophthalmic can pass into breast milk or if it could cause harmful effects to the infant. Discuss with your doctor if you are breastfeeding a baby.

Taking this medicine with Bupropion and Donepezil is usually not recommended, but with the exception in some cases. Dosage or frequency of one or both of your medicines may be changed if both medicines are prescribed together.

Taking this medicine with Cimetidine may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. Dosage or frequency of one or both of your medicines may be changed if both medicines are prescribed together.

3 Proper Usage

To use Optivar properly, you must follow all instructions given by your doctor.

Directions to use eye drops:

Wash your hands before using this medication. Look up to the ceiling with both eyes. While tilting your head back, pull your eyelid down with one hand. Hold the bottle in your other hand.

Place one eye drop inside your lower lid and gently close the eye. Keep the eye closed for 1 or 2 minutes to allow the medicine to be absorbed. Do not blink. Wash your hands to remove any medicine that may be on them immediately after using the eye drops.

If you are wearing contact lenses, remove it before administering this medicine. Wait at least 10 minutes after using this medicine before putting the contact lenses back in.

Avoid touching the applicator tip to any surface to maintain the medicine as germ-free as possible. Keep the container tightly closed.

For adults and children 3 years of age and older, administer one drop in the affected eye twice a day. Use and dose must be determined by a doctor for children younger than 3 years of age.

If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is near for your next dose, skip the missed dose and start again to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.

Store the medication in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep out of reach of children. Do not keep expired medications.

4 Precautions to Take

If you take Optivar, your doctor should perform routine checkups and advise you in taking precautions. Check with your doctor if your symptoms did not improve within a few days or if they become worse. 

5 Potential Side Effects

Make sure you meet with your doctor in using Optivar to avoid unwanted potential side effects.

If any of the following side effects occur, check with your doctor as soon as possible:

Less serious side effects:

  • Bitter taste in mouth
  • Headaches
  • Temporary eye burning or stinging
  • Burning, dry or itching eyes
  • Blurred vision, temporary
  • Chills
  • Diarrhea
  • Eye discharge or excessive tearing
  • Fever
  • General feeling of discomfort or illness
  • Hoarseness or other voice changes
  • Itching skin
  • Joint pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Nausea
  • Redness, pain, swelling of eye, eyelid, or inner lining of eyelid
  • Runny nose
  • Shivering
  • Sneezing
  • Sore throat
  • Stuffy nose
  • Sweating
  • Tender, swollen glands in neck
  • Trouble in swallowing
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness
  • Vomiting

Not all side effects are listed above. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.