Allergies Home > Optivar

Optivar is an eye drop used for treating itchy eyes caused by allergies. It belongs to a class of medications called antihistamines and works by blocking a specific type of histamine receptor in the body. This prescription eye medication comes in the form of an eye drop and is typically used in each eye twice a day. Potential side effects include burning, headaches, and a bitter taste.

What Is Optivar?

Optivar® (azelastine ophthalmic solution) is a prescription eye drop used for the treatment of eye allergies. In particular, this medication is approved for treating itchy eyes caused by allergies (known medically as allergic conjunctivitis).
(Click Optivar Uses for more information, including possible off-label uses.)

Who Makes This Medication?

Optivar is manufactured by Patheon UK, Ltd. (6 mL size), or Catalent Pharma Solutions (0.2 mL size) and is marketed and distributed by Meda Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

How Does Optivar Work?

Optivar is part of a class of drugs called antihistamines. Specifically, it is an H1 receptor antagonist. This means that it blocks a specific type of histamine receptor in the body (known as H1 receptors). Because allergic reactions are partly caused by the release of histamine from certain cells in the body, Optivar can help relieve or prevent allergy symptoms.
In addition to blocking histamine receptors, Optivar also seems to decrease the release of histamine from the cells in the body and may also inhibit other substances (such as leukotrienes), which are produced by the body in response to an allergen.

Optivar Effects

In clinical studies, Optivar was shown to prevent and relieve itching of the eyes due to allergies. In these studies, a dose of this medication was shown to start working quickly (within three minutes) and last for about eight hours.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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