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Nedocromil Sodium

Rapitil eye drops are a treatment for allergic conjunctivitis manufactured by Sanofi. They work by inhibiting the immune response which causes symptoms.

Getting prescription treatment for your allergy symptoms can be a hassle when you’re busy. Our consultation service has been designed to take the stress out of getting the medication you need.

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PLEASE NOTE: This treatment is not available through our online pharmacy service. This page is for information only. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms related to the condition(s) this medication treats, we strongly recommend that you see your GP in person.

This content was reviewed by a clinician on

26 April 2022
dr daniel

Dr Daniel Atkinson

(GP Clinical Lead - GMC No. 4624794) 26 April 2022
Product information

Rapitil is an eye drop solution issued for the treatment and prevention of allergic conjunctivitis, and is manufactured by Sanofi. It is also used to alleviate symptoms of vernal kerato conjunctivitis. The drops are administered twice a day, unless otherwise stated by a doctor. In Rapitil, the main ingredient is a substance called nedocromil sodium, which interferes with the chemical activities in the body responsible for inflammation.

  1. Effective at fighting irritation
  2. Easy to use treatment
  3. Applied twice a day

Allergic conjunctivitis is a condition which affects the eyes, causing redness, swelling, discomfort and wateriness. It is usually accompanied by rhinitis, an allergic response which causes nasal symptoms, and is triggered by exposure to certain irritants such as animal hair, dust mites, pollen or mold.

There are two main types of allergic conjunctivitis: seasonal, which occurs when conditions produce high levels of pollen, such as in hay fever; or perennial, which is active all-year round and may be caused by household irritants such as fur or dust particles.

Vernal kerato conjunctivitis tends to be more severe, and may cause the appearance of raised bumps inside the eyelid. It may also cause a person to be more sensitive to light and have more noticeable signs of irritation.

It isn’t known why some people have allergy symptoms and others do not. Genetics are thought to play a role, as is exposure to certain environmental factors during childhood, such as second-hand tobacco smoke. The presence of allergies in the UK however is widespread, with the NHS estimating that around 20 per cent of the population lives with allergic rhinitis.

The symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis can be prevented from becoming worse, through limiting contact with exacerbating stimuli such as pollen, or dust. However, avoiding these elements is not always possible, and treatment may be necessary to provide relief. Rapitil is one such option, and contains an anti-allergy drug called nedocromil sodium.

Redness and inflammation of the eye occurs in allergic conjunctivitis when irritants trigger the immune system into action. This results in the activation of mast cells, which contain defensive chemicals such as histamine. Once emitted by these cells, the defensive chemicals then travel to the exposed area and induce an inflammatory response. Nedocromil works by preventing mast cells from releasing these substances, so that symptoms either clear up, or are less likely to occur.

You don’t have to make an appointment to be able to buy Rapitil from our UK-based pharmacy. Simply complete our medical questionnaire, and one of our doctors or registered prescribers will issue a prescription if, after reviewing your answers, they believe the medication is suitable. Approved orders are sent electronically to our dispensing pharmacy, who will prepare and ship your items. Delivery is made by special express courier, so that you don’t have to wait to start using your treatment.

Page last reviewed:  26/04/2022


It is crucial to follow the directions issued by your prescriber when using this product, so that you can get the best possible results. You should also familiarise yourself with instructions in the patient information leaflet prior to use, to keep the risk of side effects low.

  1. Administer as directed.
  2. The typical dose for allergic conjunctivitis will be one drop in each eye, twice a day. 
  3. For vernal kerato conjunctivitis, this may be increased to four times a day.
  4. To use, first wash your hands.
  5. Remove the top of the bottle.
  6. Tilt your head backwards.
  7. Carefully apply one drop to the interior of the lower lid. Take care not to let the applicator touch your eye.
  8. After application, close your eye to spread the liquid around.
  9. Remove any excess solution with a tissue.
  10. Do the same for the other eye.
  11. Fix the lid back on the bottle after use.
  12. It is not recommended that you use this treatment for more than 12 weeks.
  13. Those wearing contact lenses should remove them before application then wait for at least 15 minutes afterwards before putting them back in.
  14. Never exceed the prescribed dose.
  15. Do not make up for a missed dose with a double dose. Take it when you remember if you can, but if your next dose is due, skip the one you have missed and take it at the next scheduled time.

This is only a summary of the directions you will need to follow when using this item. For more detailed instructions, refer to the leaflet supplied with the medication.

Page last reviewed:  26/04/2022
Side effects & Warnings

Side effects

If you notice any signs of a severe allergic reaction when using this treatment, such as hives or increased facial or oral swelling, contact your doctor and go to your nearest hospital immediately.

Common (1 in 10 people or less):
Stinging or burning in your eyes, which may affect the user’s eyesight (this should only last for a short time and occurs immediately after use), or changes in the way things taste.

Uncommon (1 in 100 people or less):
Mild eye irritation.

The above is not a comprehensive list. More details on associated side effects are provided in the product leaflet.


Taking it with other medicines

Let your doctor know during completion of our health assessment if you are using any other prescription, non-prescription or remedial treatments.

Conditions to look out for

Those who normally wear contact lenses will need to adjust their application of these to suit. Refer to the leaflet to find out more.

Inform your prescriber of your medical history prior to use.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, trying to conceive or think you might be pregnant please speak to your doctor before using any medication.

Driving and machinery

Rapitil eye drops can affect your eyesight. If you notice any blurring of your vision, you should wait until you can see clearly before attempting to drive or use machinery.

Page last reviewed:  26/04/2022

Can I still drink alcohol?

Yes. This treatment isn’t likely to be affected by alcohol. But make sure you only drink alcohol in sensible amounts, particularly as this treatment requires careful application.

Will I still be able to drive?

It is highly likely that your sight will not be at its best immediately after using the eye drops. Wait until your sight has fully returned before attempting to drive.

Can I take the medicine while pregnant?

Only use this medication while pregnant or breastfeeding if your doctor thinks you absolutely need it.

How should I store it?

Keep in a safe environment below 25°C. Discard the bottle four weeks after opening.

Am I allergic to anything in the medicine?

This product contains: nedocromil sodium, disodium edetate, benzalkonium chloride, sodium chloride and purified water.

Do not use it if you are allergic to any of these ingredients.

Is it available over-the-counter?

You will need a prescription in order to be able to buy Rapitil eye drops from our online pharmacy. This can be obtained through completion of our medical assessment, which will be checked by a member of our registered clinical team prior to your prescription being issued.

Is it right for me?

It doesn’t take long to find out. Fill in our health questionnaire, and one of our registered practitioners or prescribers will review your answers. Approved orders are dispensed at our UK-based pharmacy before being shipped by tracked, next-day courier from Monday to Thursday.

If your order is approved after 4pm on a Thursday or on a Friday, you'll receive your delivery the following Monday.

Page last reviewed:  26/04/2022
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