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Azelastine HCI, also known as azelastine hydrochloride, is a prescription medication. It is categorized as a histamine antagonist, which means it blocks histamines produced by the body as a response to foreign agents. This medication treats both seasonal and environmental agents.
Seasonal and perennial rhinitis are the medical terms used to describe the inflammation and irritation of the nasal passages. These symptoms occur as an effect of reactions to irritants such as pollen, dust, or animal dander. Allergic conjunctivitis is the medical term used to describe itching of the eyes caused by seasonal or environmental allergies. These instances are the primary treatment uses of azelastine HCI.
When prescribed to treat rhinitis, azelastine HCI is dispensed as a nasal spray, in pump form. Dosages differ depending on each patient's age and symptom severity. For children age five to 11, each nostril gets one spray twice a day. Children who are 12 years or older and adults should have two sprays in each nostril twice a day.
Azelastine HCI in an opththalmic solution is used to treat allergic conjunctivitis. It is a liquid that is applied to the affected eye. Children age three or older and adults should apply one drop into the eye twice a day. An eye dropper helps dispense the solution properly and should not touch the eye when used.
Although rare, there are a few azelastine HCI drug interactions that can occur. The effects of alcohol may be intensified by this medication, so alcohol should be consumed in moderation. Azelastine should not be taken with certain acid reflux medications, such as cimetidine, because the side effects of azelastine can be intensified. The prescribing doctor should be told of all medications that are being taken, both over-the-counter and prescription.
Side effects of azelastine HCI are minimal. Common side effects of the nasal version include a burning sensation in the nose, muscle pain, bitter taste in the mouth, and fatigue. The common side effects of the eye drops include a stinging sensation, fatigue, blurry vision, and headaches. These symptoms generally subside with continued use. If side effects persist, the prescribing doctor should be consulted.
Serious risks of azelastine HCI include an allergic reaction and heart problems. If there is an allergy to azelastine or any other medication, doctors should be told. Additionally, if pre-existing heart conditions are present, the prescribing doctor should be aware of these conditions and any current treatments.