February 8, 2007

Astelin Nasal Spray

Astelin is a prescription drug that is used for the treatment of symptoms of seasonal allergic rhinitis such as rhinorrhea, sneezing, and nasal pruritus in adults and children 5 years and older. It can also be used for the treatment of symptoms of vasomotor rhinitis, such as rhinorrhea, nasal congestion and postnasal drip in adults and children 12 years and older. Astelin works by blocking the effect of histamine on certain cells, in turn, helping alleviate symptoms of seasonal allergies.

What is the recommended dose of Astelin?

The recommended dose of Astelin nasal spray in adults and children 12 years and older with seasonal allergic rhinitis is one or two sprays per nostril twice daily. The recommended dose in children 5 years to 11 years of age is one spray per nostril twice daily.

The recommended dose of Astelin in adults and children 12 years and older with vasomotor rhinitis is two sprays per nostril twice daily.

How should I store Astelin?

To store this medicine:

  • Keep out of the reach of children.
  • Store away from heat and direct light.
  • Store the bottle upright at room temperature, with the pump tightly closed.
  • Do not store in the bathroom, near the kitchen sink, or in other damp places.
  • Heat or moisture may cause the medicine to break down.
  • Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed. Be sure that any discarded medicine is out of the reach of children.

How do I use Astelin?

Before using this medicine, clear the nasal passages by blowing your nose. Make sure the screw cap on the bottle is replaced with the pump unit and the delivery system is primed with 4 sprays or until a fine mist appears. Spray Astelin into your nose. Be sure to follow instructions given by your doctor or the leaflet in the medicine package.

When 3 or more days have elapsed since the last use, the pump should be reprimed with 2 sprays or until a fine mist appears. To keep the applicator clean, wipe the nose piece with a clean tissue and replace the dust cap after each use.

Use this medicine only as directed. Do not use more of it and do not use it more often than your doctor ordered. To do so may increase the chance of side effects.

Who should not use Astelin?

Anyone who has experienced an allergic reaction to azelastine or any other ingredients in Astelin should not use this drug. Azelastine has not been studied in pregnant women. However, studies in animals have found that very large doses of azelastine cause birth defects and other problems. Before using this medicine, make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or if you may become pregnant.

It is not known whether azelastine (Astelin) passes into breast milk. Although most medicines pass into breast milk in small amounts, many of them may be used safely while breast-feeding. Mothers who are using this medicine and who wish to breast-feed should discuss this with their doctor.

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking Astelin, it is especially important that your doctor know if you are taking any of the following:

  • Alcohol
  • Central nervous system depressants (medicine that causes drowsiness)
  • Tricyclic antidepressants (amitriptyline [e.g., Elavil], amoxapine [e.g., Asendin], clomipramine [e.g., Anafranil], desipramine [e.g., Pertofrane], doxepin [e.g., Sinequan], imipramine [e.g., Tofranil], nortriptyline [e.g., Aventyl], protriptyline [e.g., Vivactil], trimipramine [e.g., Surmontil]) – Use of these medicines with azelastine (Astelin) may increase the risk of drowsiness
  • Cimetidine – May cause an increase in the blood levels of azelastine, which may result in increased effects

Does Astelin have any side effects?

The most common side effects are:

  • Bitter taste
  • Drowsiness
  • Headache
  • Nasal inflammation or burning

Rare side effects of Astelin are:

  • Blood in urine
  • Cough
  • Eye pain or redness or blurred vision or other change in vision
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Shortness of breath, tightness in chest, troubled breathing, or wheezing
  • Skin rash, hives, or itching; sores in mouth or on lips

Contact your doctor immediately if side effects persist or worsen while using Astelin.

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