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What is azelastine, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
Azelastine is an antihistamine, a chemical that blocks the effects of histamine, another chemical that is responsible for some of the symptoms in allergic reactions. Azelastine is chemically different from other antihistamines and is used only as a nasal inhaler for the treatment of symptoms of seasonal allergic rhinitis, such as runny nose, sneezing, and nasal itching in adults and children 12 years of age and older. Azelastine was approved by the FDA in 1996.
What brand names are available for azelastine?
Is azelastine available as a generic drug?
Do I need a prescription for azelastine?
What are the side effects of azelastine?
The most common side effect noted with azelastine is a bitter taste that develops in 1 of 5 persons using it. Tiredness occurs in 1 of 9. Weight gain has been reported in 1 of 50 and muscle pain in 1 of 75. Other reported side effects include:
What is the dosage for azelastine?
Azelastine generally is used as 2 sprays in each nostril twice daily.
Which drugs or supplements interact with azelastine?
Azelastine can promote the sedating effects of other medications that cause sedation. Such drugs include narcotic pain relievers (for example, oxycodone and acetaminophen [ Percocet]), barbiturates, sedatives such as alprazolam (Xanax) or clonazepam (Klonopin), and ethanol.
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Is azelastine safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
Abnormalities in bones of the skeleton have been noted in animals receiving more than 240 times the human dose of azelastine. There are no adequate studies in pregnant women. Azelastine should be used during pregnancy only if the physician feels that the benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.
What else should I know about azelastine?
What preparations of azelastine are available?
Nasal spray: 137 mcg per spray.
How should I keep azelastine stored?
The nasal spray should be stored at room temperature, between 15 C and 30 C (59 F - 86 F).
Azelastine (Astelin) is a drug prescribed for the treatment of symptoms associated with allergic rhinitis (for example, runny nose, nasal itching, and sneezing). Side effects, drug interactions, pregnancy information, dosing, and patient information should be reviewed prior to taking any medication.
Related Disease Conditions
Chronic Rhinitis and Post-Nasal Drip
Chronic rhinitis and post-nasal drip symptoms include an itchy, runny nose, sneezing, itchy ears, eyes, and throat. Seasonal allergic rhinitis (also called hay fever) usually is caused by pollen in the air. Perennial allergic rhinitis is a type of chronic rhinitis and is a year-round problem, often caused by indoor allergens, such as dust, animal dander, and pollens that may exist at the time. Treatment of chronic rhinitis and post nasal drip are dependent upon the type of rhinitis condition.
An allergy refers to a misguided reaction by our immune system in response to bodily contact with certain foreign substances. When these allergens come in contact with the body, it causes the immune system to develop an allergic reaction in people who are allergic to it. It is estimated that 50 million North Americans are affected by allergic conditions. The parts of the body that are prone to react to allergies include the eyes, nose, lungs, skin, and stomach. Common allergic disorders include hay fever, asthma, allergic eyes, allergic eczema, hives, and allergic shock.
Hay Fever (Allergic Rhinitis)
Hay fever (allergic rhinitis) is an irritation of the nose caused by pollen and is associated with the following allergic symptoms: nasal congestion, runny nose, sneezing, eye and nose itching, and tearing eyes. Avoidance of known allergens is the recommended treatment, but if this is not possible, antihistamines, decongestants, and nasal sprays may help alleviate symptoms.
Allergy Treatment Begins at Home
Avoiding allergy triggers at home is one of the best ways to prevent allergy symptoms. Controlling temperature, humidity, and ventilation are a few ways to allergy-proof the home. Cleaning, vacuuming, and using HEPA air filters also helps control allergies.
Treatment & Diagnosis
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Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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