Drugs Home > Precautions and Warnings With Azelastine Ophthalmic Solution

To help minimize risks, talk to your healthcare provider about the precautions and warnings with azelastine ophthalmic solution before starting treatment with the eye drops. The medication is not suitable for everyone, including those who have certain allergies. Also, you may not be able to safely use azelastine ophthalmic solution if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider Before Taking Azelastine Ophthalmic Solution?

You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking azelastine ophthalmic solution (Optivar®) if you:
  • Have any allergies, including allergies to foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • Are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
  • Are breastfeeding.
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about any other medications you are taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Specific Azelastine Ophthalmic Solution Precautions and Warnings

Some warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking this medication include the following:
  • This medication is only for use as an eye drop. It should not be taken by mouth or by injection.
  • In order to prevent contamination of the drops, do not touch the tip of the dropper to any surface, including the surface of the eye.
  • Azelastine ophthalmic solution comes in single-use containers or in a multi-use bottle. Discard the single-use container immediately after use (do not save any remaining solution for later).
  • If you wear contact lenses, you must remove them to use the drops. In order to prevent the lens from absorbing the medication, make sure to wait 10 minutes after using the drops before reinserting the lens. Do not wear your contact lenses if your eye is still red.
  • Azelastine ophthalmic solution is considered a pregnancy Category C medication. This means that it might be unsafe for use during pregnancy, although the full risks are not currently known (see Optivar and Pregnancy).
  • It is unknown if azelastine ophthalmic solution passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start breastfeeding, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking the drug (see Optivar and Breastfeeding).
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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