Why is this medication prescribed?
Olopatadine nasal spray is used to relieve sneezing and a stuffy, runny or itchy nose caused by allergic rhinitis (hay fever). Olopatadine is in a class of medications called antihistamines. It works by blocking the effects of histamine, a substance in the body that causes allergy symptoms.
How should this medicine be used?
Olopatadine comes as a liquid to spray in the nose. Olopatadine nasal spray is usually sprayed in each nostril twice daily. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Use olopatadine nasal spray exactly as directed. Do not use more or less of it or use it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
An adult should help children younger than 12 years old to use olopatadine nasal spray. Children younger than 6 years of age should not use this medication.
Olopatadine nasal spray is only for use in the nose. Do not swallow the nasal spray and be careful not to spray it into your eyes or mouth.
Each bottle of olopatadine nasal spray should only be used by one person. Do not share olopatadine nasal spray because this may spread germs.
Olopatadine nasal spray controls the symptoms of seasonal allergic rhinitis, but does not cure these condition. Continue to use olopatadine nasal spray even if you feel well and are not experiencing these symptoms, unless your doctor has told you to use it on a specific schedule. If you wait too long between doses, your symptoms may return or become worse.
Olopatadine nasal spray is designed to provide a certain number (240) of sprays. After the marked number of sprays has been used, the remaining sprays in the bottle might not contain the correct amount of medication. You should keep track of the number of sprays you have used and throw away the bottle after you have used the marked number of sprays even if it still contains some liquid.
To use the nasal spray, follow these steps:
- Blow your nose until your nostrils are clear.
- Hold the pump with the applicator between your forefinger and middle finger.
- If you are using the pump for the first time, point the applicator away from your face. then press down and release the pump five times. If you have used the pump before, but not within the past week, or have just cleaned the nozzle, press down and release the pump twice until you see a fine spray.
- Hold one nostril closed with your finger.
- Tilt your head slightly forward and carefully put the nasal applicator tip into your other nostril. Be sure to keep the bottle upright.
- Begin to breathe in through your nose.
- While you are breathing in, use your forefinger and middle finger to press firmly down on the applicator and release a spray.
- Breathe gently in through the nostril and breathe out through your mouth.
- Do not tip your head back or blow your nose right after using the nasal spray.
- If your doctor told you to use two sprays in that nostril, repeat steps 4 to 9. Repeat steps 4 to 9 in the other nostril.
- Wipe the applicator with a clean tissue and cover it with the dust cover.
Ask your pharmacist or doctor for a copy of the manufacturer's information for the patient.
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 olopatadine nasal spray,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to olopatadine, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in olopatadine nasal spray. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: antidepressants, medications for anxiety, medications for mental illness, medications for seizures, sedatives, sleeping pills, and tranquilizers. Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
- tell your doctor if you have recently had surgery on your nose, or injured your nose in any way.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. If you become pregnant while using olopatadine, call your doctor.
- you should know that olopatadine may make you drowsy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this medication affects you.
- be aware that you should not drink alcoholic beverages while you are using olopatadine. Alcohol can add to the drowsiness caused by this medication.
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?
Use 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 use a double dose to make up for a missed one.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Olopatadine nasal spray may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- bitter taste
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
- sores inside the nose
- a hole in the nasal septum (the wall between the two nostrils)
Olopatadine nasal spray may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while using this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
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 light, 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.
In case of emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.
What other information should I know?
You will need to clean your olopatadine nasal spray applicator periodically. You will need to remove the cap and then pull on the spray nozzle to remove it from the bottle. Wash by running warm tap water into the spray nozzle for about 1 minute. Shake or tap off the excess water and allow to air dry. Once the cap and spray nozzle are dry, put the nozzle back onto the bottle.
Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about olopatadine nasal spray.
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.