Why is this medication prescribed?
Ophthalmic ketotifen is used to relieve the itching of allergic pinkeye. Ketotifen is in a class of medications called antihistamines. It works by blocking histamine, a substance in the body that causes allergic symptoms.
How should this medicine be used?
Ophthalmic ketotifen comes as a solution (liquid) to instill in the eye. It is usually instilled in the affected eye(s) twice daily, 8 to 12 hours apart. Instill ketotifen eye drops at around the same times every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Use ketotifen exactly as directed. Do not use more or less of it or use it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
To instill the eye drops, follow these steps:
- Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
- Check the dropper tip to make sure that it is not chipped or cracked.
- Avoid touching the dropper tip against your eye or anything else; eye drops and droppers must be kept clean.
- While tilting your head back, pull down the lower lid of your eye with your index finger to form a pocket.
- Hold the dropper (tip down) with the other hand, as close to the eye as possible without touching it.
- Brace the remaining fingers of that hand against your face.
- While looking up, gently squeeze the dropper so that a single drop falls into the pocket made by the lower eyelid. Remove your index finger from the lower eyelid.
- Close your eye for 2 to 3 minutes and tip your head down as though looking at the floor. Try not to blink or squeeze your eyelids.
- Place a finger on the tear duct and apply gentle pressure.
- Wipe any excess liquid from your face with a tissue.
- If you are to use more than one drop in the same eye, wait at least 5 minutes before instilling the next drop.
- Replace and tighten the cap on the dropper bottle. Do not wipe or rinse the dropper tip.
- Wash your hands to remove any medication.
Other uses for this medicine
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before using ketotifen eye drops,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to ketotifen or any other medications.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while using ketotifen, call your doctor.
- you should know that you should not wear contact lenses if your eye(s) is/are red. If your eyes are not red and you wear contact lenses, you should know that ketotifen solution contains benzalkonium chloride, which can be absorbed by soft contact lenses. Remove your contact lenses before instilling ketotifen and put them back in 10 minutes later.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Instill the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not instill a double dose to make up for a missed one.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Ketotifen eye drops may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- runny nose
- burning or stinging of the eye
- eye discharge
- dry eyes
- eye pain
- eyelid problems
- problem with tear production
- blurred vision
- sensitivity to light
- flu-like symptoms
- sore throat
Ketotifen eye drops may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while using this medication.
What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).
Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA's Safe Disposal of Medicines website (http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor.
Do not let anyone else use your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.