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Optivar and Zaditor Dual Benefits
Allergy is a common condition targeting millions of people worldwide every minute. Some of them suffer from any contact with particular substances “all around the clock”, while others experience the symptoms during the certain periods of year (seasonal allergy). Nonetheless, both groups of sufferers may significantly be unsettled by the annoying and persistent symptoms. The most common ones manifest themselves through the sneezing and itchy, runny, or stuffy nose (allergic rhinitis) and watery, red, and itchy eyes (allergic conjunctivitis).
Fortunately, victims of both allergic conditions may definitely count on the modern medicine means to overwhelm the disorder in quite a short term. Concerning allergic conjunctivitis, its symptoms are treated with a number of eye drops, so that a patient and a doctor have a variety of options to find the most suitable drug.
Not so long time ago the most popular and the first-line option to subdue allergic conjunctivitis signs was the use of antihistamines – drugs, which block the release of histamine in the body. In case if these medications failed to bring a relief to a sufferer, corticosteroids could be used.
These days, however, the situation has changed, but not in favour of antihistamines. The latter are now less often prescribed to alleviate allergy in the eyes. As a result of efforts of many scientists and researchers, the combinational drugs appeared on the market. Since the latter possess a broader diapason of action and seem to have high safety profiles, they are now considered by the majority of health-care professionals the most effective first-choice option in the fight against allergic conjunctivitis.
Good examples of dual action anti-allergic eye drops would be Optivar (azelastine hydrochloride) and Zaditor (ketotifen fumarate). To explain how these medications work and why they are better than others, one should know a bit of “body chemistry”.
It is, perhaps, a common knowledge that allergic reaction occurs due to the release of histamine in the body in response to the influence of a potentially harmful chemical or other substance. However, often our bodies exaggerate the danger; therefore, allergy occurs in response to usual everyday things.
Histamines are located in the so-called mast cells, which are a type of the immune system cells found in the most body tissues, being particularly numerous in the connective tissue, such as the dermis of the skin, lining of the mouth, nose, sinuses, lungs and intestines. The intracellular granules of these mast cells contain other allergic reaction mediators besides histamines. All of them play an important role in the defence of the body and are all released during the allergic reaction.
Azelastine hydrochloride and ketotifen fumarate are relatively selective, non-competitive histamine antagonists (H1 receptors). To put it short, they are, actually, antihistamines. However, in addition, they also have an ability to stabilize the activity of the mast cells by affecting their nerve endings. As a result, other mediators of the allergic response and inflammatory processes get blocked. That is why these drugs are also called “mast cells stabilizers”.
Therefore, Optivar and Zaditor are capable of relieving the symptoms (primarily itching) of conjunctivitis by working as antihistamines, and of treating to some extend the reason of allergy occurrence by having mast cells stabilizing action.
It is also said that there is, actually, one more action of Optivar and Zaditor drugs, which is manifested in the inhibition of the activity of cells that work to prolong allergic response. Thus, it is possible to talk about the third additional benefit of these drugs therapy, namely of the stopping of the allergic reaction late phase.
In addition, these medications start working as fast as in few minutes after administration, providing steady effect and relief from the symptoms for as long as 8 to 12 hours.
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As for the side effects of the drugs, they are usually minor and not troublesome. The most common ones are burning or stinging sensation in the eyes, headache, and bitter taste in the mouth for Optivar and eyes redness and runny nose for Zaditor.
Talking about undesirable effects of these medicines, it is necessary to mention the raised by some scientists concerns about the possible opposite action of Optivar in case of long use and large doses. The matter is that some scholars suspected Optivar could provoke the increased release of histamine if taken for long periods of time in large doses. However, the studies and observations conducted to evaluate such risks did not show any danger or changes in the efficacy. Consequently, it is stated now that it is safe to use Optivar for as long as it is necessary without the minimizing of its effectiveness.

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