What Is Alcaftadine Used For?
Alcaftadine is prescribed for treating itching caused by eye allergies. It works to relieve and prevent these allergies by blocking certain histamine receptors in the body. This eye drop is approved for use in adults and children as young as two years old. Currently, there are no off-label (or unapproved) uses for alcaftadine.
An Introduction to Alcaftadine UsesAlcaftadine (Lastacaft™) is an antihistamine eye drop used for treating eye allergies.
Allergies can affect various parts of the body. Eye allergies are known medically as allergic conjunctivitis, because the allergic reaction occurs in the conjunctiva (the thin layer that covers the eye). Symptoms may include:
- Watery eyes
- Redness of the eyes
- Itchy eyes
- Puffy eyes
- Stinging and burning of the eyes.
Like most eye allergy medications, alcaftadine is approved for treating only the itching caused by eye allergies, not any of the other symptoms.
Allergy treatment can make life bearable for even the worst allergy sufferer, especially when combined with strategies to minimize a person's contact with allergens. Treatment often includes allergy eye drops, such as alcaftadine.
Unlike over-the-counter (OTC) decongestant eye drops, you can use alcaftadine long-term without the risk of making the redness and swelling worse by using it for too long.
How Does Alcaftadine Work?Alcaftadine belongs to 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, using alcaftadine can help relieve or prevent allergy symptoms.
In addition to blocking histamine receptors, alcaftadine may decrease the release of histamine from cells in the body.