About epinastine eye drops
|Type of medicine||Antihistamine eye preparation|
|Used for||To relieve the symptoms of seasonal allergic conjunctivitis|
|Available as||Eye drops|
Hay fever is caused by an allergy to pollen. The symptoms of hay fever are due to your immune system reacting to pollen. Cells on the lining of your eyes release a chemical called histamine, which causes conjunctivitis (eye inflammation). It is also called seasonal allergic conjunctivitis because symptoms tend to occur at the same time, or in the same season, each year. Typical symptoms of seasonal allergic conjunctivitis are red, itchy and watery eyes.
Epinastine drops relieve the eye symptoms of hay fever by blocking the action of histamine.
Before using epinastine eye drops
To make sure this is the right treatment for you, before you start using these eye drops it is important that your doctor or pharmacist knows:
- If you are pregnant.
- If you wear soft contact lenses.
- If the drops are intended for a child under 12 years of age. Epinastine eye drops are not recommended for this age group.
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to an antihistamine or any other medicine, including those available to buy without a prescription, herbal and complementary medicines.
How to use epinastine eye drops
- Wash your hands before you use the drops.
- Remove the cap.
- Tilt your head back a little and pull your lower eyelid down to form a pocket between your eyelid and eye.
- Hold the bottle upside down near to your eye. Try not to touch your eye as you do this.
- Gently squeeze the bottle to release one drop. Only if you think that you have missed your eye should you release a second drop.
- Close your eye for a minute or two, and press gently on the side of your nose where the corner of your eye meets your nose.
- If you need to use the drops in both eyes, repeat the above steps for your other eye.
- Replace the cap on the bottle.
- Wash your hands again.
Getting the most from your treatment
- Before using these eye drops, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside the pack.
- Epinastine drops should be used twice a day (usually morning and evening) or as directed by your doctor.
- Do not use epinastine eye drops for a period of more than eight weeks.
- Take care not to touch your eye, fingers, or any other surface with the dropper of the bottle. This could infect the drops left in the bottle.
- If your symptoms do not improve within a few days, or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
- If you are using any other eye drops or ointments, leave about ten minutes between applying each one.
- Do not wear soft contact lenses while you are using epinastine eye drops unless your doctor has advised you otherwise. This is because there is a preservative in the drops which can affect soft contact lenses.
- When first put in, these eye drops may cause blurred vision. This should quickly clear. Make sure you can see clearly before you drive, use machines or do any other jobs which could be dangerous if you were unable to see properly.
Can epinastine eye drops cause problems?
Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. These usually improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following side-effects continue or become troublesome.
|Common epinastine side-effects - these affect less than 1 in 10 people who use these drops||What can I do if I experience this?|
|Blurred vision, eye discomfort (such as burning or stinging), redness and irritation||These usually disappear within a few minutes of applying the eye drops. Do not drive or use tools or machines until your vision is clear|
If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to these eye drops, discuss them with your doctor or pharmacist.
How to store epinastine eye drops
- Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
- Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
- Eye drops only keep for four weeks once the bottle has been opened, so do not use epinastine if the bottle has been open for longer than this. This will help to prevent the risk of eye infections.
Important information about all medicines
Further reading & references
- British National Formulary; 62nd Edition (Sep 2011) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London
- Manufacturer's PIL, Relestat® 0.5 mg/ml eye drops solution; Manufacturer's PIL, Relestat® 0.5 mg/ml eye drops solution, Allergan Ltd, electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated September 2011.
|Original Author: Helen Allen||Current Version: Helen Allen||Peer Reviewer: Dr Helen Huins|
|Last Checked: 20/02/2012||Document ID: 4040 Version: 23||© EMIS|
Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.