Why is this medication prescribed?
Azelastine, an antihistamine, is used to treat hay fever and allergy symptoms including runny nose, sneezing, and itchy nose.
This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
How should this medicine be used?
Azelastine comes as a nasal spray. Azelastine usually is sprayed in each nostril two times a day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Use azelastine exactly as directed. Do not use more or less of it or use it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Before using azelastine for the first time, remove the child-resistant screw cap and replace with the pump unit. Prime the delivery system (pump unit) with four sprays or until a fine mist appears. If 3 days or more have elapsed since your last use of the nasal spray, reprime the pump with two sprays or until a fine mist appears.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before using azelastine,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to azelastine or any other drugs.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, especially other cold and allergy products, antihistamines, and vitamins.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while using azelastine, call your doctor.
- if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are using azelastine.
- you should know that this drug may make you drowsy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this drug affects you.
- remember that alcohol can add to the drowsiness caused by this drug.
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?
Azelastine may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- bitter taste
- weight increase
- muscle pain
- nasal burning
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).
It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location – one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach. http://www.upandaway.org
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?
If a young child accidentally eats azelastine, call a doctor or a poison control center immediately.
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.
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