What is azelastine, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
Azelastine is an antihistamine, a chemical that blocks the effects of histamine, another chemical that is responsible for some of the symptoms in
Azelastine is chemically different from other antihistamines and is used only as a
nasal inhaler for the treatment of symptoms of
seasonal allergic rhinitis, such as runny nose, sneezing, and nasal itching
in adults and children 12 years of age and older. Azelastine was approved
by the FDA in 1996.
What brand names are available for azelastine?
Is azelastine available as a generic drug?
Do I need a prescription for azelastine?
What are the side effects of azelastine?
The most common side effect noted with azelastine
is a bitter taste that develops in 1 of 5 persons using it. Tiredness
occurs in 1 of 9. Weight gain has been reported in 1 of 50 and muscle pain
in 1 of 75. Other reported side effects include:
What is the dosage for azelastine?
Azelastine generally is used as 2 sprays in each nostril twice daily.
Which drugs or supplements interact with azelastine?
Azelastine can promote the sedating
effects of other medications that cause sedation. Such drugs include
narcotic pain relievers (for example,
oxycodone and acetaminophen [ Percocet]), barbiturates, sedatives such as
alprazolam (Xanax) or clonazepam (Klonopin), and ethanol.
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Is azelastine safe to take if I’m pregnant or breastfeeding?
Abnormalities in bones of the skeleton have been noted in animals receiving more than 240 times the human dose of azelastine. There are no adequate studies
in pregnant women. Azelastine should be used during pregnancy only if the
physician feels that the benefit justifies the potential risk to
What else should I know about azelastine?
What preparations of azelastine are available?
Nasal spray: 137 mcg per spray.
How should I keep azelastine stored?
The nasal spray should be stored at room temperature,
between 15 C and 30 C (59 F – 86 F).