Azelastine review

Azelastine is an antihistamine drug available as a nasal spray useful for treating hay fever under the brand name Astelin and Astepro or as eye drops for allergic conjunctivitis under the name Optivar.

Like many other antihistamines, it blocks histamines from causing allergic reactions in the patient’s body. It is applied directly on the areas affected by allergies, allowing quick relief. When used as a nasal decongestant, it does not lead to rebound congestion as azelastine does not work like a topical vasoconstrictor.

Azelastine is indicated for treating symptoms of seasonal allergic rhinitis like rhinorrhea, nasal pruritus as well as sneezing for both adults and children 5 years and above. It is also used to treat vasomotor rhinitis symptoms which includes nasal congestion and postnasal drip for adults and children 12 years and older.

The brand name Astelin is the original formulation of azelastine used for treating both allergic and vasomotor rhinitis symptoms while Astepro, on the other hand, is the newer formulation designed to treat only seasonal allergic rhinitis but is less bitter in taste and causes less discomfort than Astelin.

Optivaron the other hand is an azelastine eye solution prescribed for treating eye allergies. It is used to alleviate swelling, redness and itchiness experienced with these kinds of allergies. Its effects work as quickly as three minutes and lasts as long as eight hours.

Before applying azelastine nasal spray for the first time, pump prime the container by squeezing the pump 4 times until a fine mist forms. If unused for 3 or more days, reprime the pump by squeezing twice or until a fine mist is achieved. Dosage is usually prescribed by your doctor so follow the instructions carefully. Tilt your head forward, and then sniff gently as you squeeze the spray bottle. Repeat as directed.

To use the eye drop formulation, make sure your hands are clean and do not touch the tip of the nozzle. Remove contact lenses before applying this medication, and wait 10 minutes after application of eye drops before replacing the lenses as these may hinder the absorption of the azelastine. Tilt your head back and pull your lower eyelid gently. Place the dropper directly over your eye and put one drop over each eye. Close your eyes and look down for a minute or two, then apply gentle pressure on your eyes with your fingertips. Do not blink or rub vigorously. Take as often as directed.

One should remember that azelastine can cause drowsiness which can interfere with work, so be careful when performing dangerous tasks. Other common symptoms include bitter tastes, headaches, inflammation of nasal passages and sometimes bleeding. Those using azelastine to treat vasomotor rhinitis may also experience sinusitis.

Azelastine eye drops cause stinging or burning sensation in your eyes for 1 to 2 minutes after application. Your vision may be blurred temporarily and may also experience a bitter taste in your mouth. Consult with your doctor if any effects persist.

Inform your doctor if you have previously experienced allergic reactions to azelastine or any other medication.

Refrain from alcohol consumption while on azelastine treatment as this may aggravate the drowsiness felt. Your dosage may also have to be adjusted if you have any kidney conditions.

Azelastine has the following structural formula:

Chemical structure of azelastine

• Molecular formula of azelastine is C22H24ClN3O
• Chemical IUPAC Name is 4-[(4-chlorophenyl)methyl]-2-(1-methylazepan-4-yl)-phthalazin-1-one
• Molecular weight is 381.898 g/mol

Brand name(s): Astelin, Azelastina, Azelastinum, Optivar

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