Name: Alcaftadine

Alcaftadine Overview

Alcaftadine is a prescription eyedrop medication used to prevent eye itchiness caused by an eye condition called allergic conjunctivitis. Alcaftadine belongs to a group of drugs called antihistamines. These work to reduce itchiness of the eyes by blocking the effects of histamine, a substance within the body that causes itching and allergies. 

This medication comes in eyedrop form and is typically administered once per day.

Common side effects of alcaftadine include eye redness, stinging or burning after administration, and eye irritation.

Alcaftadine can also cause blurred vision. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how alcaftadine affects you.

Alcaftadine Food Interactions

Medications can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods. In the case of alcaftadine, there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet when receiving this medication.

Alcaftadine and Pregnancy

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

The FDA categorizes medications based on safety for use during pregnancy. Five categories - A, B, C, D, and X - are used to classify the possible risks to an unborn baby when a medication is taken during pregnancy.

Alcaftadine falls into category B. There are no well-done studies that have been done in humans with alcaftadine. In animal studies, pregnant animals were given this medication, and the babies did not show any medical issues related to this medication. Because animal reproduction studies are not always predictive of human response, this drug should be used during pregnancy only if clearly needed.

Alcaftadine and Lactation

Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed.

It is not known if alcaftadine crosses into human milk. Because many medications can cross into human milk and because of the possibility for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants with use of this medication, your doctor and you will decide if the benefits outweigh the risk of using alcaftadine.

Alcaftadine Usage

Use alcaftadine exactly as prescribed.

Alcaftadine comes in eyedrop form and is typically instilled into the affected eye(s) once daily.

Avoid allowing the tip of the alcaftadine bottle to contact the eyeball, fingers, surrounding structures, or any other surfaces in order to avoid contamination by common bacteria known to cause eye infections. Serious damage to the eye and subsequent loss of vision may result from using contaminated alcaftadine. The bottle should be kept tightly closed when not in use.

Alcaftadine should not be used for contact lens-related eye irritation. Remove contact lenses prior to use of alcaftadine. The preservative in alcaftadine, benzalkonium chloride, may be absorbed by soft contact lenses. Contact lenses may be reinserted after 10 minutes following administration of alcaftadine.

If more than one eyedrop product is being used, they should be administered at least five minutes apart.

Other Requirements

  • Store at 15°-25°C (59°-77°F)
  • Keep this and all medicines out of the reach of children

Alcaftadine Dosage and Administration


Apply topically to the eye as an ophthalmic solution.1 For topical ophthalmic use only.1

Ophthalmic Administration

Remove contact lenses prior to each dose (since benzalkonium chloride preservative may be absorbed by soft lenses); may reinsert lenses after 10 minutes following administration if eyes are not red.1

Avoid contamination of the solution container.1


Pediatric Patients

Allergic Conjunctivitis Ophthalmic

Children ≥2 years of age: 1 drop of a 0.25% solution in each eye once daily.1


Allergic Conjunctivitis Ophthalmic

1 drop of a 0.25% solution in each eye once daily.1

Special Populations

No special population recommendations at this time.1


Excipients in commercially available drug preparations may have clinically important effects in some individuals; consult specific product labeling for details.

Please refer to the ASHP Drug Shortages Resource Center for information on shortages of one or more of these preparations.



Dosage Forms


Brand Names







Usual Adult Dose for Allergic Conjunctivitis

Instill one drop in each eye once a day

-If more than 1 topical ophthalmic drug is being administered, each one should be used at least 5 minutes apart.

Use: Prevention of itching associated with allergic conjunctivitis