Azelastine hydrochloride, a dual-acting anti-inflammatory ophthalmic solution, for treatment of allergic conjunctivitis
Patricia B Williams1,2, Elizabeth Crandall2, John D Sheppard1,2
1Thomas R Lee Center for Ocular Pharmacology, 2Department of Ophthalmology, Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk, A, USA
Abstract: Over 50% of patients who seek treatment for allergies present with ocular symptoms. Our current ability to control ocular allergic symptoms is greater than ever before. Newer dual-acting topical eyedrops attack multiple facets of the allergic cascade. Azelastine has antihistaminic effects providing immediate relief, mast cell stabilization providing early-phase intervention, and inhibition of expression and activation of anti-inflammatory mediators which characterize the late phase of the immune reaction. The ophthalmic eyedrop formulation is approved for treatment of allergic conjunctivitis in adults and children aged over 3 years. In clinical trials comparing azelastine with other dual-acting eyedrops, such as levocabastine and olopatadine, azelastine was reported to be slightly less efficacious and to sting briefly upon administration. Even so, many patients experienced the full benefit of symptom relief, and preferred azelastine. As a broad-spectrum drug, azelastine offers many desirable properties for management of ocular allergies. Because it can often produce maximal effect with just twice-daily dosing, azelastine is a particularly good choice for the allergic population in whom minimizing exposure to topical products and preservatives is a key concern.
Keywords: allergic conjunctivitis, dual acting anti-inflammatory, H1 receptor antagonism, mast cell stabilization, inflammatory mediator inhibition
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