Emedastine (Ophthalmic)

Overview

Mainly used to treat allergic conjunctivitis, Emedastine is available as a solution and is normally prescribed in the form of eye drops. When patients have known allergies, their eyes are often affected. When the allergy-inducing substance is present, the amount of histamine in the body is increased. This can cause a number of symptoms to occur, including watering of the eyes, itching, redness and swelling of the eyelids.

By acting as an antihistamine, Emedastine blocks the histamines which cause the allergic reaction. As a result, the symptoms associated with the allergy are relieved.

Unlike other types of conjunctivitis, allergic conjunctivitis is not contagious and is not transmitted from one individual to another. Although patients may be able to avoid the symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis by avoiding the allergen, this isn't always a realistic option. Allergic conjunctivitis may be triggered by an allergy to pollen, molds or dust mites, for example, and patients may find it difficult to avoid these substances completely.

When the allergen comes into contact with the surface of the eye, the allergic reaction begins and the conjunctiva tends to become swollen and irritated. As well as suffering from a runny or stuffy nose, patients tend to experience extreme itching of the eyes, as well as inflammation and irritation.

By applying Emedastine to the affected eye(s), however, patients can minimize the reaction and prevent their eyes from responding to the allergen, thus reducing their symptoms.

Depending on what substances the patient is allergic to, allergic conjunctivitis can last for days, weeks or months. If patients are allergic to dust mites, for example, they may experience a reaction if they are out of their normal environment and unable to use hypoallergenic linens or similar items. Alternatively, allergies to pollen may increase during particular seasons, meaning that patients may only require treatment during certain times of the year.

Identifying the patient's allergy can be helpful in minimizing their symptoms, particularly if they are able to take steps to reduce their exposure to the substance. However, treating the patient with Emedastine is normally extremely effective.

Whilst Emedastine will not provide a permanent resolution or stop the patient from being allergic to a particular substance, it will provide temporary relief. As well as reducing the patient's symptoms, Emedastine will prevent the production of excess histamine, meaning that their eyes will not produce an allergic reaction.

Conditions Treated

  • Allergic conjunctivitis

Type Of Medicine

  • Antihistamine

Side Effects

When using Emedastine eye drops, patients may notice some side-effects occurring. Often, these are fairly mild and will be reduced as the patient continues to use the medication. The following side-effects may not require medical intervention, providing they are not troublesome for the patient:

  • Bad taste in the mouth
  • Headache
  • Stinging or burning of the eye or eyes
  • Feeling of something in the eye or eyes
  • Dry eye
  • Rash on the skin
  • Itching
  • Runny or stuffy nose

Occasionally, patients may experience side-effects which do warrant medical attention when using Emedastine eye drops. These may include:

  • Abnormal dreams
  • Weakness
  • Blurry vision or other change in vision
  • Discomfort, tearing or other irritation which was not present before treatment
  • Discomfort, tearing or other irritation which has worsened during treatment
  • Eye pain, redness or irritation

Although these side-effects are not particularly common, patients should seek medical help if they begin to experience them when using Emedastine. Similarly, patients should obtain medical advice if they experience any side-effects which have not been listed here.

Patients can also report additional side-effects to the Food and Drug Administration if they choose to. Doing so helps the FDA to compile accurate data regarding the prevalence of certain adverse effects. If patients experience side-effects which have not been listed here, they can report them to the FDA on 1-800-FDA-1088.

Dosage

When patients are prescribed Emedastine, their doctor will advise them how much medication to use. Typically, patients are instructed to use one drop of Emedastine in the affected eye, up to four times per day.

When applying the medicine, however, patients should not allow the applicator to come into contact with any other substances, including their eye. This helps to prevent the spread of germs and may prevent infections from occurring.

After washing their hands, patients should gently press on their lower eyelid as this will create a gap between the lid and the eye. Emedastine can then be administered into this gap. Following this, patients should close their eye for approximately, one or two minutes as this allows the medicine to be absorbed. If possible, patients should not blink during this time.

If patients usually wear contact lenses, they should be removed before Emedastine is administered. Patients should also wait at least ten minutes before putting their contact lenses back in after using Emedastine. However, patients may be advised not to use contact lenses at all when their allergies are active.

If patients miss a dose of Emedastine, they should apply it as soon as they remember to do so. However, if their next dose of medication is almost due, patients should simply skip the dose they've missed. Patients should not attempt to administer a double dose of Emedastine, even if a previous dose has been missed.

Potential Drug Interactions:

When using medicines, patients should know whether they are likely to interact with any other substances. Emedastine is not usually prescribed in conjunction with the following medicines, for example:

  • Donepezil
  • Bupropion

However, if doctors feel that Emedastine will work alongside either of these medications, they may prescribe both medications but alter the patient's dose to limit the chance of an interaction occurring.

As interactions can occur between prescribed medicines, supplements, vitamins and over-the-counter medications, patients should tell their doctor if they are using any of these substances. Patients should also seek medical advice before using vitamins, supplements or over-the-counter medicines once they have started using Emedastine eye drops.

Warnings

When using Emedastine, patients should notice that their symptoms improve. However, if they do not or if their symptoms worsen, patients should seek medical advice.

Although Emedastine may be prescribed to patients over the age of three years, there have not been adequate studies into the safety or efficacy of this medication on patients under this age. Infants under the age of three years may, therefore, be prescribed an alternative medicine if they are suffering from allergic conjunctivitis.

Studies have not indicated that Emedastine poses a particular risk to patients who are pregnant and it is not thought that this medication will cause harm to an unborn fetus. However, it is always necessary to balance the benefits of using medication when pregnant against any possible risks. If patients are pregnant, they should discuss potential risks with their physician before using Emedastine.

If patients become pregnant whilst using Emedastine, they should seek medical advice.

It is not known whether Emedastine can be passed on to an infant via breastfeeding and/or whether this could cause harmful effects to the child. Due to this, patients should seek medical advice before breastfeeding whilst using Emedastine eye drops.

Before using Emedastine, patients should discuss any known allergies with their physician. This includes allergies which do not tend to affect their eyes or produce symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis. If patients experience an allergic reaction whilst using Emedastine eye drops, they should obtain medical help. In rare cases, patients may suffer from anaphylaxis due to an allergic reaction. This is a life-threatening situation and required emergency medical assistance. Symptoms of anaphylaxis may include:

  • Hives
  • Wheezing
  • Itching
  • Welts
  • Trouble breathing
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Swelling of the face, lips, tongue, mouth and/or throat

Storage

If patients are storing Emedastine eye drops at home, they must use a suitable storage location. If pets and/or children are present in the home, for example, they should not be able to access any medicines. By using a locked cabinet or designated medicine box, patients can ensure that their medications are secure.

When storing Emedastine at home, patients should follow the manufacturer's guidelines, along with their physician's instructions. Generally, Emedastine should be kept in a closed container at this stops the medicine from evaporating or drying out. In addition to this, keeping Emedastine eye drops in a closed container prevents the medicine from becoming contaminated.

Furthermore, Emedastine eye drops can usually be kept at room temperature but should be kept away from moisture, heat and/or direct light.

If patients are advised to stop using Emedastine or if the medicine reaches its use-by date, patients should dispose of it responsibly. Medicines should not usually be throw away with regular household waste as they may present a risk to other people. However, patients can usually contact their physician's office or pharmacist and access a safe medical disposal method.

Summary

Without appropriate medical intervention, allergic conjunctivitis can be a painful and uncomfortable condition. If the patient is unable to avoid the allergen, their symptoms will not subside and may cause significant discomfort. In some cases, the symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis can interfere with the patient's ability to function normally. Excessive watering of the eyes may make it difficult for patients to see properly, for example, whilst constant itching and irritation may affect the way the patient carries out their daily tasks.

By prescribing Emedastine eye drops, however, physicians can effectively treat the patient's condition. As Emedastine stops the eye from producing excess histamines, they no longer respond to the allergen in the same way. Whilst the medication does not rid them of the allergy permanently, it does prevent the symptoms of an allergic reaction from being displayed.

Due to this, Emedastine eye drops are widely used and are particularly effective for patients with on-going allergies, as well as for those who suffer from seasonal allergies.