What Is Ketotifen Used For?

How Does It Work?

Ketotifen belongs to a group of allergy medications known as 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). Since the symptoms of allergic reactions are partly caused by histamine, ketotifen can help prevent or relieve allergy symptoms.
In addition to blocking histamine receptors, this medication also seems to decrease the release of histamine from cells in the body and may also inhibit other substances (such as leukotrienes or eosinophils) produced by the body in response to an allergen.

Can Children Use It?

Ketotifen is approved for treating eye allergies in children as young as three years old. Talk with your child's healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of using ketotifen for your particular child. For younger children, an adult will need to administer the drops. Be sure to teach older children about how to properly use the drops.

Off-Label Uses

On occasion, your healthcare provider may recommend ketotifen for something other than eye allergies (this would be known as an "off-label" use). At this time, however, there are no universally accepted off-label ketotifen uses.
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