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azelastine ophthalmic (cont.)

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using azelastine ophthalmic (Optivar)?

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to azelastine.

Do not wear contact lenses while your eyes are red or irritated. Azelastine ophthalmic should not be used to treat minor contact lens irritation.

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether azelastine ophthalmic will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication.

It is not known whether azelastine ophthalmic passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Do not give this medication to a child younger than 3 years old.

How should I use azelastine ophthalmic (Optivar)?

Use exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

Do not use this medication while wearing contact lenses. Azelastine ophthalmic may contain a preservative that can discolor soft contact lenses. Wait at least 15 minutes after using this medication before putting your contact lenses in.

Wash your hands before using the eye drops.

To apply the eye drops:

  • Tilt your head back slightly and pull down your lower eyelid to create a small pocket. Hold the dropper above the eye with the tip down. Look up and away from the dropper as you squeeze out a drop, then close your eye.
  • Use only the number of drops your doctor has prescribed.
  • Gently press your finger to the inside corner of the eye (near your nose) for about 1 minute to keep the liquid from draining into your tear duct. If you use more than one drop in the same eye, wait about 5 minutes before putting in the next drop.
  • Do not allow the dropper tip to touch any surface, including the eyes or hands. If the dropper becomes contaminated it could cause an infection in your eye, which can lead to vision loss or serious damage to the eye.

The 0.2 milliliter (0.2 mL) container of azelastine is for one use only. Throw away after one use, even if there is still some medicine left in it. Each 0.2 mL container must be used within one month after you open the foil pouch.

Store at room temperature away from heat and moisture. Keep each single-use 0.2 mL container in the foil pouch until you are ready to use it.

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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