Optilast is a type of antihistamine, which is used to medicate eye problems related to hay fever and other allergic responses. This is known as allergic conjunctivitis.
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One drop of Optilast contains 0.015mg of azelastine. A typical dose will be one drop in each eye, twice a day.
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Optilast is a treatment for allergic conjunctivitis, made by Meda Pharmaceuticals. It is an eye solution which is applied directly via a dropper, twice a day. As a prescription only treatment, you can only buy Optilast in the UK after first consulting with a doctor. The main ingredient is azelastine, which is a type of medicine called an antihistamine. It works by inhibiting the chemical response activated by the immune system following contact with an irritant.
- Simple to apply eye drop
- Taken twice a day
- Gets to work on symptoms fast
Allergic conjunctivitis is often a byproduct of a reaction to pollen (hay fever), dust mites, mold, or animal fur. Symptoms include redness, the presence of excess water, and itching. The condition is categorised into two main types, depending on its duration of effect: seasonal allergic conjunctivitis, which typically occurs when the pollen count is high at certain times of year; and perennial allergic conjunctivitis, which persists throughout the year and may be caused by ever present irritants, such as animal fur or dust.
The condition is not uncommon. In the UK, the NHS estimates that one in five people experiences allergic rhinitis on a recurring basis, which is a main contributor to allergic conjunctivitis; and that one in roughly one in twelve adults have asthma, another possible cause of the condition. It is characterised by itching, redness and excess fluid in the eyes.
Preventing the condition isn’t always easy, as contact with irritants is often unavoidable. However, people with symptoms can limit further irritation by reducing their exposure to allergens, such as pollen and dust, and giving their eyes a rest from wearing contact lenses.
Those who find that symptoms are causing them noticeable discomfort and are hindering their everyday life can find relief in the form of antihistamine eye drops. One such product is Optilast, which contains azelastine hydrochloride. This ingredient works by inhibiting the effects of an inflammatory chemical called histamine on the eyes. In people with allergies, the immune system is more sensitive to airborne particles like pollen. When it detects an irritant, it causes mast cells in the body to release histamine, a defensive agent which in turn increases blood flow to the exposed area and causes irritation. Azelastine prevents histamine-sensitive receptors in the eye from reacting to the chemical, and alleviates conjunctivitis symptoms.
Getting safe access to treatment online is easy with our consultation and prescription service. All you need to do is complete our questionnaire, and our practitioner will review your responses. Following approval, your order will be prepared at our UK-based pharmacy and dispatched by next-day courier.Buy now
How to use Optilast
Follow the instructions provided by your prescriber when administering this treatment, and read the guidelines in the patient information leaflet carefully prior to use. In addition to reducing the risk of side effects, this will help you to maximise the efficacy of the medication.
- Apply as directed.
- In most cases, this will be one drop in each eye, once in the morning and once in the evening, for up to 6 weeks.
- For more severe instances of allergic conjunctivitis, this dose may be increased to as much as four times a day.
- The drops also have preventative qualities for those anticipating contact with an irritant.
- Before using the treatment, wash your hands.
- Dry up any moisture around the eyes by lightly dabbing with a tissue.
- Remove the tops and make sure the dropper is clean and free of debris.
- Carefully pull your lower eyelid down.
- Administer the drop into the middle of the eyelid, without letting the dropper touch.
- Release the lower eyelid, and position your finger lightly on the inside corner of your eye next to the nose. Blink a few times to help spread the solution around.
- Gently remove any excess with a tissue, then repeat this process for the other eye.
- Never take more than the amount prescribed for you.
- If you forget a dose, do not apply double the amount to compensate. Simply take your next dose at the appropriate time.
The above is only a summary of the directions you will need to follow when using this item. For a more detailed list of instructions, refer to the leaflet provided.
Optilast side effects
Although they will not affect everyone who uses this treatment, it is important to be aware of the side effects associated with it as some may require attention from a medical professional. Let your doctor know right away if you notice any indications of a severe allergic reaction to the product.
Common (1 in 10 people or less):
Irritation in the eyes after application, which should only be mild and last for a short time.
Uncommon (1 in 100 people or less):
Very rare (1 in 10,000 people or less):
Allergic reaction, such as rash and itching.
This is not a complete list of the side effects recorded with the use of this medication. For a more detailed list, consult the leaflet provided.
Taking it with other medicines
Let your doctor know which, if any, other treatments you are currently using when filling in our questionnaire.
Conditions to look out for
It may not be suitable for those who are not sure if their symptoms have been caused by an allergic response. The presence of pain in the eyes which is unaccompanied by rhinitis may be indicative of an infection, for which other treatment should be used. Tell your doctor if your symptoms get worse or have not improved after 48 hours of treatment with this item.
Special instructions will need to be issued to those who use contact lenses. In such cases, let your prescriber know during consultation.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
Ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice before using this medication if any of the following applies to you: you are pregnant, breastfeeding, trying to conceive or think you might be pregnant.
Driving and machinery
Optilast can cause your sight to blur for a short time after use. If this occurs you should wait until your sight is clear before driving or operating machinery.
Q&A: our Optilast discussion forum
Can I still drink alcohol?
Yes. It is not likely that this treatment will be affected by alcohol. However, you should only ever drink alcohol in sensible amounts, particularly before administering the drops.
Will I still be able to drive?
It may affect your ability to drive, most likely immediately following use, as your sight may become compromised. In these cases, wait until your sight has returned to normal before attempting drive.
Can I take the medicine while pregnant?
It may not be suitable for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Discuss treatment with your doctor or family planning nurse before use.
How should I store it?
Keep it in a secure environment below 30°C.
Am I allergic to anything in the medicine?
This product contains: azelastine hydrochloride, benzalkonium chloride (E210), disodium edetate, hypromellose, liquid sorbitol (crystallising) (E420i), sodium hydroxide (E524) and water for injections.
Do not use it if you are allergic to any of these ingredients.
Is it available over-the-counter?
You can only buy Optilast from our online pharmacy with a prescription. Take our questionnaire to have your case reviewed by our doctor, who will issue a prescription if they think your order is safe.
Is it right for me?
Find out by completing our medical assessment. It takes just a couple of minutes, and once your order has been approved, our UK-based pharmacy will dispense and ship it via tracked courier. Delivery on all items is made in secure packaging, and we also offer a Saturday service for those who are not able to receive their order during weekdays.
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