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Drugs reference index «Optivar»



Generic name: Azelastine hydrochlorideBrand names: Optivar

Why is Optivar prescribed?

Optivar is taken to relieve and prevent the itchy eyes brought on by seasonal allergies. The drug usually starts to work within 3 minutes of placing the drops in the eye, and its effects usually last for about 8 hours.

Most important fact about Optivar

Do not use Optivar to treat eye irritation that isn't caused by seasonal allergies.

How should you take Optivar?

Use Optivar solution only in the eyes; never swallow it. Optivar is packaged in a bottle with a dropper tip. To prevent contamination of the solution, do not touch the dropper tip to any surface, to your eyelids, or to the surrounding area of the eye.

If you wear soft contact lenses and your eyes are not red, wait at least 10 minutes after using Optivar before inserting your lenses. This will prevent them from absorbing the preservative in Optivar. You should not wear contact lenses if your eyes are red.

  • If you miss a dose...Take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and go back to your regular schedule. Never take 2 doses at the same time.
  • Storage instructions...Store upright at room temperature. Keep the bottle tightly closed.

What side effects may occur?

Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue using Optivar.

  • Side effects may include:Bitter taste, headache, temporary eye burning or stinging

Why should Optivar not be prescribed?

Do not use Optivar if you have ever had an allergic reaction to it.

Special warnings about Optivar

If you wear contact lenses, remember that Optivar should not be used to treat eye irritation caused by your lenses.

Optivar is not recommended for use in children younger than 3 years old.

Possible food and drug interactions when taking Optivar

No interactions with Optivar have been reported.

Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

The possibility of harm to a developing baby has not been completely ruled out. Before using Optivar, let your doctor know if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

It is not known whether Optivar appears in breast milk. If you plan to breastfeed, discuss your medication options with your doctor.

Recommended dosage for Optivar

The usual dose is one drop in each affected eye twice a day.


There is no information on Optivar overdose. However, any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences. If you suspect an overdose, seek medical attention immediately.

  • Optivar Prescribing Information (FDA)
  • Optivar Concise Consumer Information (Cerner Multum)
  • Optivar Advanced Consumer (Micromedex) - Includes Dosage Information
  • Optivar Drops MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)