Ketotifen, sold under the brand name Zaditor among others, is a first-generation non-competitive H1 antihistamine and mast cell stabilizer. It is commonly sold as a salt with fumaric acid, ketotifen fumarate, and is available in two forms. In its ophthalmic form, it is used to treat allergic conjunctivitis. In its oral form, it is used to prevent asthma or anaphylaxis attacks, as well as various allergic-type mast cell disorders.

Ketotifen – What is it for?

This medication is used to prevent and treat itchy eyes caused by allergies (allergic / seasonal conjunctivitis). Ketotifen is an antihistamine for the eye that treats allergic symptoms by blocking a certain natural substance (histamine).

Medical uses

Ketotifen relieves and prevents itchy eyes and / or irritation associated with most seasonal allergies. It starts working within minutes after the drops are administered. The drug has not been studied in children under the age of three. The mean elimination half-life is 12 hours. In addition to its antihistamine activity, it is also a functional leukotriene antagonist and a phosphodiesterase inhibitor.

“Oral ketotifen has been used in patients with asthma, allergic rhinitis, allergic conjunctivitis, atopic dermatitis, chronic urticaria, cold-induced urticaria, cholinergic urticaria, exercise-induced urticaria, systemic mastocytosis, mastocytosis, MCAS, allergy and non-allergenic anaphylaxis, angioedema and food allergy in Canada, Europe and Mexico ”.

Ketotifen – Use and Administration

If you are using the over-the-counter product, read all directions on the product package before using this medicine. If your doctor has prescribed this medication, use it exactly as directed.

Apply 1 drop to the affected eye (s), usually twice a day (every 8 to 12 hours) or as directed by the package directions or by your doctor.

The dose is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. To apply eye drops, wash your hands first. To avoid contamination, do not touch the dropper tip or allow it to touch your eye or any other surface.

Ask your doctor if you can wear contact lenses while you are being treated with this medicine. Do not use this medicine to treat irritation caused by wearing contact lenses. Consult your doctor about wearing contact lenses when your eyes are red or irritated.

Tilt your head back, look up, and lower your lower eyelid to make a pocket. Hold the dropper directly over your eye and apply 1 drop to the lower eyelid. Look down and gently close your eyes for 1 to 2 minutes. Place a finger at the corner of your eye (near the nose) and apply gentle pressure. This will prevent the medicine from draining out. Try not to blink and don’t rub your eyes.

Do not rinse the dropper. Replace the dropper cap after each use and keep the bottle tightly closed. If you are using another type of eye medicine (drops or ointments), wait at least 5 minutes before applying it. Apply eye drops before ointments to get the drops into the eye.

If your doctor has prescribed this medication, use it regularly to get the most benefit. To help you remember, use it at the same time every day. Continue to use this medication as prescribed until pollen season is over or you are no longer exposed to the allergic substance, even when allergic symptoms disappear or improve.

If your condition persists or worsens, if you develop new symptoms, or if you think you have a serious medical problem, seek medical attention immediately. If you are being treated with non-prescription ketotifen, see your doctor if your itching worsens or lasts longer than 72 hours. You may need a different medicine.

Ketotifen – Side Effects

Side effects include drowsiness, weight gain, dry mouth, irritability, and increased nosebleeds.

Keep in mind that the pros for you must outweigh the cons of having side effects. Many people using this drug do not have serious side effects.

Tell your doctor right away if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: dry eyes, eye pain, increased red / swollen eyes, vision problems.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a severe allergic reaction, such as rash, itching / swelling, severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

Ketotifen – Interactions

Do not start, stop or change the dose without asking your doctor or pharmacist first. Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist about all prescription and nonprescription or herbal products that you may use.

Ketotifen – Precautions

It may have ingredients that are considered inactive (such as the preservative benzalkonium chloride in the multi-dose container). Before using this medicine, consider whether you have, especially eye problems such as glaucoma.

After applying this medicine, your vision may become temporarily blurred. Do not drive, use machinery, or perform any activity that requires clear vision until you are sure you can safely perform those activities.

Do not use this medicine in children under 3 years of age unless directed by a doctor. During pregnancy, restrict its use.

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Dr. Samantha Robson ( CRN: 0510146-5) is a nutritionist and website content reviewer related to her area of ​​expertise. With a postgraduate degree in Nutrition from The University of Arizona, she is a specialist in Sports Nutrition from Oxford University and is also a member of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.

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