Eyes Home > What Is Ketotifen Used For?

Ketotifen is a medication that is used for temporarily relieving eye allergy symptoms. Specifically, it is used to treat eye itching related to allergies due to animal hair or dander, pollen, and ragweed. This non-prescription eye drop is approved for treating eye allergies in children as young as three years old. Medications are sometimes used for "off-label" purposes, but there are currently no universally accepted off-label uses for ketotifen.

What Is Ketotifen Used For?

Ketotifen fumarate ophthalmic solution (Alaway®, Zaditor®, Zyrtec® Eye Drops, Claritin® Eye) is an eye medication used for treating eye allergy symptoms. It particular, it is approved for treating eye itching caused by allergies due to the following allergens:
  • Pollen
  • Ragweed
  • Animal hair
  • Animal dander.
Although ketotifen eye drops were once available by prescription only, they are now available without a prescription.
Allergy symptoms can affect various parts of the body, including the eyes. Eye allergies are known medically as allergic conjunctivitis because the allergic reaction occurs in the conjunctiva (the thin layer the covers the white part of the eye and the inside of the eyelid). Symptoms of eye allergies may include:
  • Itchy, red eyes (or pink eye)
  • Burning or stinging of the eyes
  • Watery eyes
  • Puffy, swollen eyelids.
Combined with strategies to minimize a person's contact with allergens, allergy treatment can make life bearable for even the worst allergy sufferer. Treatment often includes allergy eye drops, such as ketotifen. Unlike with decongestant eye drops (such as many other over-the-counter eye drops), you can use ketotifen long-term without the risk of actually making the redness and swelling worse after you stop the medication.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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