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Eye drops antihistamine

Written by Caidr's team of doctors and pharmacists based in UK | Updated: 28.02.2023 | 1 min read

You may be suffering from hay fever, or a reaction to another allergen leading to sneezing and streaming. There’s an array of antihistamine eye drops available, so let our resident pharmacist take you through where to start and how to choose between them.

Tablets or eye drops?

You may have no other symptoms alongside your itchy or streaming eyes, in which case eye drops are a good place to start. If you have more generalized symptoms, then antihistamine tablets can be a useful addition too. They aim to reduce the overall immune response, which is driven by the release of histamine from mast cells.

Over-the-counter options

Antihistamine eye drops such as olopatadine (Pataday) and ketotifen (Alaway, Zaditor) are available without a prescription. Pataday comes in both a once-a-day and twice-a-day formulation and can be used in children 2 years of age and older. Alaway and Zaditor are dosed twice daily and can be used in children 3 years of age and older. Other options:

Cromolyn sodium 4%, such as Opticrom eye drops, is available by prescription for those aged 4 and above. This active ingredient is not classed as an antihistamine but works to reduce the release of histamine in the eyes and suppress allergy symptoms there. It’s applied four times a day, and can be used as a standalone treatment or alongside oral antihistamines.

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