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Drugs

Side Effects
Serious

No serious side effects are associated with the use of azelastine.
Common

Bitter taste in the mouth, drowsiness, headache, unexpected weight gain.
Less Common

Nasal burning, sore throat, dry mouth, sneezing, nausea, fatigue, dizziness, nosebleeds.
Azelastine


Drug Class:
Histamine (H1) blocker

Available OTC?: No

Available Generic?: No

Available In
Why Prescribed
How It Works
Range and Frequency
Onset of Effect
Duration of Action
Dietary Advice
Storage
Missed Dose
Stopping the Drug
Prolonged Use
Over 60
Driving and Hazardous Work
Alcohol
Pregnancy
Breast Feeding
Infants and Children
Special Concerns
Overdose Symptoms
What to Do
Drug Interactions
Food Interactions
Disease Interactions


Available In
Nasal spray

Why Prescribed
To treat or relieve symptoms of hay fever (allergic rhinitis).

How It Works
Azelastine blocks the effects of histamine, a naturally occurring substance within the body that causes swelling, itching, sneezing, watery eyes, hives, and other symptoms of allergic reaction.

Range and Frequency
2 sprays per nostril, not to exceed 2 times per day.

Onset of Effect
Within 1 to 3 hours.

Duration of Action
12 hours.

Dietary Advice
No special restrictions.

Storage
Store upright in a tightly sealed container away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Do not allow the medication to freeze.

Missed Dose
Take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your regular dosage schedule. Do not double the next dose.

Stopping the Drug
Take it as prescribed for the full treatment period, even if you start to feel better before the scheduled end of therapy.

Prolonged Use
Azelastine is a relatively new medication. Safety and effectiveness during prolonged use have yet to be established.

Over 60
No special problems are expected.

Driving and Hazardous Work
Azelastine may cause drowsiness. Do not drive or engage in hazardous work until you determine how the medication affects you.

Alcohol
No specific restrictions, though alcohol may increase the drug's sedative effects in some patients.

Pregnancy
Adequate studies of azelastine use during pregnancy have not been done. Before taking it, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Discuss with your doctor the relative risks and benefits of using this drug.

Breast Feeding
Azelastine may pass into breast milk; caution is advised. Consult your doctor for specific advice.

Infants and Children
The safety and effectiveness of azelastine use by children under the age of 12 have not been determined.

Special Concerns
If the pump has not been used for 3 days or more, it should be reprimed with at least 2 sprays or until a fine mist appears. To avoid the possible spread of infection, this medicine should be used by one person only. Before using this medication, blow your nose gently. When inhaling the nasal spray, keep your head upright and sniff briskly while spraying.

Overdose Symptoms
No cases of overdose have been reported.

What to Do
An overdose of azelastine is unlikely to occur or to be life-threatening. However, if someone takes a much larger dose than prescribed or accidentally ingests the medication, you should seek medical assistance immediately.

Drug Interactions
No drug interactions have been reported. Azelastine may, however, increase the depressant effects of alcohol, sedatives, tranquilizers, pain-killers, barbiturates, or other antihistamines on the central nervous system. Consult your doctor for specific advice.

Food Interactions
No food interactions have been reported.

Disease Interactions
No disease interactions have been reported.

Date Published: 04/13/2005
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