Also Known As: Ketotifen, Zaditor, Ketotifen fumarate, Zyrtec Itchy-Eye Drops, Claritin Eye, Alaway
Ketotifen is a second-generation noncompetitive H1-antihistamine and mast cell stabilizer. It is most commonly sold as a salt of fumaric acid, ketotifen fumarate, and is available in two forms. In its ophthalmic form, it is used to treat allergic conjunctivitis, or the itchy red eyescaused by allergies. In its oral form, it is used to prevent asthma attacks. Side effects include drowsiness, weight gain, dry mouth, irritability, and increased nosebleeds.
The drug is marketed as ophthalmic solutions under the brand names Zaditor/Zaditen(Novartis), Alaway (Bausch and Lomb), Zyrtec Itchy-Eye Drops, and Claritin Eye. A generic version of Novartis' Zaditor, ketotifen fumarate ophthalmic solution, 0.025%, is available from Perrigo and distributed as store brands.
Ketotifen relieves and prevents eye itchiness and/or irritation associated with most seasonal allergies. It starts working within minutes after administering the drops. The drug has not been studied in children under three. The mean elimination half life is 12 hours. Besides its anti-histaminic activity, it is also a functional leukotriene antagonist and aphosphodiesterase inhibitor. The drug may also help relieve the symptoms of IBS.