Do seasonal allergies, dust, or pet dander make a mess of your eyes, leading to itching, redness, swelling, and watering?
If so, you are probably suffering from allergic conjunctivitis, a condition also known as pink eye. Patanol eye drops may be able to alleviate some of your misery and get you looking your best again.
Patanol ophthalmic solution contains a powerful antihistamine that can combat the histamines that your body releases as part of its immune response to such allergens as animal dander, dust, and pollen. For those not familiar with Patanol, we’ve pulled together answers to some of the more frequently asked questions about the medication and the condition it treats.
1. What Is Allergic Conjunctivitis?
Allergic conjunctivitis is just one of three main types of this eye disorder, which is also known as pink eye. The symptoms of this form of conjunctivitis are caused by the body’s natural reaction to foreign pathogens in the form of allergens. It is not the foreign agents — pollen, dust, and animal dander – themselves that cause the symptoms but rather the body’s response to those foreign agents.
The other forms of conjunctivitis are bacterial and viral. As its name suggests, viral conjunctivitis is caused by a virus that is most often treated with antiviral eye drops, sometimes prescribed in conjunction with artificial tears and ocular decongestants. Bacterial conjunctivitis is an infection caused by bacteria that is typically treated with antibacterial eye drops or ointment.
2. What’s the Active Ingredient in Patanol?
Olopatadine, a powerful antihistamine, is the active ingredient in Patanol ophthalmic solution. It targets molecules called histamines that attach themselves to the cells of the conjunctiva — the thin clear covering of the sclera, or white of the eye, and the inside of the eyelids. These histamines cause an inflammation of the conjunctiva, which is transparent but contains blood vessels that overlay the sclera. This inflammation causes bloodshot eyes.
3. How Should Patanol Be Administered?
Patanol eye drops are typically administered by one or two drops to each affected eye once or twice a day, based on the directions from your doctor. To avoid contamination, you should wash your hands before administering the eye drops and also take care not to touch the tip of the eye dropper with your hand or allow the tip to touch the surface of your eye. WebMD.com recommends that you “tilt your head back, look upward, and pull down the lower eyelid to make a pouch.” Holding the dropper directly above the eye, administer the prescribed number of drops, after which you can gently close your eye for one to two minutes and look downward.
4. Can Patanol Be Used with Contact Lenses?
In addition to its active ingredient, Patanol contains a preservative that could be absorbed by contact lenses, particularly the soft type of lenses. However, regardless of what type of contacts you’re using, they should be removed before administering the eye drops. And you should not put the contacts back into your eyes until at least 10 minutes after administering the eye drops.
5. What Are Patanol’s Side Effects?
Among the most common side effects of Patanol are temporarily blurred vision, burning or stinging of the eye, eyelid swelling, a feeling that something is in your eye, and headache. These side effects usually disappear upon continued use of the eye drops. However, if they should persist, consult your doctor. Although allergic reactions to Patanol are extremely rare, you should seek immediate medical attention if you experience difficulty breathing; dizziness; itching/swelling of the face, tongue, or throat; and rash or hives.
6. What Precautions Should Be Taken?
Because Patanol eye drops can cause a temporary blurring of your vision, you should avoid driving, operating machinery, or doing anything that requires clear vision until all signs of blurring have disappeared. Pregnant women should avoid using Patanol unless specifically directed to do so by their doctor. According to WebMD, it is not known whether the drug’s active ingredient passes into breast milk, so mothers who are nursing should not use Patanol without first consulting their doctor.
7. Do I Need a Prescription to Get Patanol?
Patanol and its generic equivalent, sold simply as olopatadine hydrochloride ophthalmic solution, are available to U.S. consumers only by prescription.
If you have a prescription from your ophthalmologist or regular doctor, you can have it filled at a nearby pharmacy or opt instead to order it from a reliable online supplier, such as eDrugstore.com. Based in Tempe, Arizona, eDrugstore is a member of the Secure Medical family of online drugstores that sell a select assortment of over-the-counter and prescription medications, including erectile dysfunction drugs.
If you already have a doctor’s prescription, you can fax it or scan and email it to eDrugstore along with your order. If you do not yet have a prescription, eDrugstore can arrange a complimentary online consultation with a member of its team of licensed U.S. physicians. If eDrugstore’s doctor determines that you’re an appropriate candidate for Patanol use, he or she will authorize a prescription. Click below to learn more about eDrugstore and ordering online.