Generic name: ketotifen ophthalmic (kee toe TYE fen off THAL mik)
Brand name: Alaway, Claritin Eye, Refresh Eye Itch Relief, Zaditor
Drug class: Ophthalmic antihistamines and decongestants
Ketotifen is an antihistamine that reduces the effects of natural chemical histamine in the body. Histamine can produce symptoms of sneezing, itching, watery eyes, and runny nose.
Zaditor (for use in the eyes) is used to treat itching of the eyes caused by allergy to dust, pollen, animals, or other allergens.
Zaditor may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Follow all directions on your medicine label and package. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all your medical conditions, allergies, and all medicines you use.
Before taking this medicine
You should not use Zaditor if you are allergic to it, or if you have:
- an untreated eye infection; or
- eye irritation caused by wearing contact lenses.
Zaditor is not approved for use by anyone younger than 3 years old.
How should I use Zaditor?
Use exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
Do not use Zaditor while wearing contact lenses. Zaditor may contain a preservative that can discolor soft contact lenses. Wait at least 10 minutes after using this medicine before putting in your contact lenses.
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 and squeeze out a drop.
- Close your eyes for 2 or 3 minutes with your head tipped down, without blinking or squinting. Gently press your finger to the inside corner of the eye for about 1 minute, to keep the liquid from draining into your tear duct.
- Use only the number of drops your doctor has prescribed. If you use more than one drop, wait about 5 minutes between drops.
- Wait at least 10 minutes before using any other eye drops your doctor has prescribed.
Do not touch the tip of the eye dropper or place it directly on your eye. A contaminated dropper can infect your eye, which could lead to serious vision problems.
Do not use the eye drops if the liquid has changed colors or has particles in it. Call your pharmacist for new medicine.
Call your doctor if your eye itching does not improve, or if it lasts longer than 72 hours.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Do not freeze. Keep the bottle tightly closed when not in use.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Use the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
What happens if I overdose?
An overdose of Zaditor is not expected to be dangerous. Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222 if anyone has accidentally swallowed the medication.
What should I avoid while using ketotifen ophthalmic?
Do not use other eye medications unless your doctor tells you to.
Zaditor side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Stop using Zaditor and call your doctor at once if you have:
- redness, drainage, eyelid swelling, or other signs of infection;
- eye pain;
- vision changes; or
- severe itching of the eyes worse than before using the medication.
Common side effects may include:
- mild burning, stinging, or eye irritation;
- dryness of the eyes; or
- increased sensitivity to light.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What other drugs will affect Zaditor?
It is not likely that other drugs you take orally or inject will have an effect on ketotifen used in the eyes. But many drugs can interact with each other. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all medicines you use, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.