Eyedrops for allergic rhinitis


Over-the-counter decongestant eyedrops

Generic Name Brand Name
naphazoline hydrochloride Clear Eyes
tetrahydrozoline hydrochloride Visine

Over-the-counter antihistamine plus decongestant eyedrops

Generic Name Brand Name
naphazoline hydrochloride/pheniramine maleate Naphcon-A Solution, Opcon-A Solution

Over-the-counter antihistamine eyedrops

Generic Name Brand Name
ketotifen fumarate Alaway, Zaditor

Prescription anti-inflammatory eyedrops

Generic Name Brand Name
ketorolac tromethamine Acular

Prescription antihistamine eyedrops

Generic Name Brand Name
epinastine hydrochloride Elestat
olopatadine Patanol

Mast cell stabilizers

Generic Name Brand Name
cromolyn sodium Crolom
lodoxamide tromethamine Alomide

How It Works

Eyedrops relieve the eyes of redness, itching, and watering caused by allergies, or they reduce these symptoms.

Why It Is Used

You can use eyedrops for eye symptoms caused by allergic rhinitis.

How Well It Works

Eyedrops often provide prompt relief of itching and watering. How much relief you get depends on the type of eyedrops you use.

Side Effects

Side effects of eyedrops may include:

  • Temporary stinging or burning of the eyes when you first apply the drops.
  • Damage to contact lenses. You should not wear contacts while using eyedrops.

Ketorolac can cause allergic reactions in people who are allergic to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as aspirin. Ketorolac can also cause excess bleeding in people with bleeding disorders or who are on medicines such as aspirin that may also cause excess bleeding.

Do not use decongestant eyedrops more than 3 days in a row. Using these eyedrops for too long can cause congestion to occur when you are not having an allergic reaction. This effect is similar to the rebound congestion of nasal decongestant sprays.

See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference is not available in all systems.)

What To Think About

Avoid using eyedrops for a long period of time.

Do not use these types of eyedrops to treat a bacterial infection of the eye (conjunctivitis).

Cromolyn works more slowly than antihistamine eyedrops.

People who have narrow-angle glaucoma cannot use Opcon-A Solution, Naphcon-A Solution, and Vasocon-A Solution.

Women who are pregnant or breast-feeding should talk to their doctors before using eyedrops.

Children cannot use all eyedrops. Talk with your doctor before using them on your child.

Complete the new medication information form (PDF)(What is a PDF document?) to help you understand this medication.

Last Updated: July 2, 2009

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