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Alaway vs Zaditor

Comparison Alaway vs Zaditor:


An eye allergy, also referred to as allergic conjunctivitis, is an adverse immune response that occurs when the eye comes into contact with an irritating substance.

Most reactions are triggered by the following allergens:

  • dust;
  • smoke;
  • mold;
  • dander;
  • pollen.

Over 50 million individuals in the US have seasonal allergies — affecting up to 40% of children and up to 30% of adults, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology.

Individuals who are more susceptible to allergic conjunctivitis are those with a health history of atopic dermatitis and allergic rhinitis.


Symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis include:

  • sensitivity to light;
  • red, irritated eyes;
  • soreness, burning, or pain;
  • itchiness with frequent rubbing;
  • swollen eyelids;
  • mild swelling of the eyelids;
  • increased tearing (watery eyes).


Eye allergies, just like any other allergic reaction, are caused by a misfiring of the immune system, the human body’s natural defense mechanism.

Note – reactions to eye irritants and other eye conditions are often confused with an eye allergy.

Treatment & Management

The best treatment is prevention.

Therefore, you should avoid triggers by making the following changes to your behavior or to your home:

  • wash your hands after petting an animal;
  • wash your bedding often with hot water which is at least 130 degrees Fahrenheit;
  • use a dehumidifier to control mold;
  • use “mite-proof” bedding covers to limit exposure to dust mites;
  • wear sunglasses when outdoors to keep pollen out of the eyes;
  • keep windows closed during high pollen periods.

Many allergic conjunctivitis eye drops are successful in treating the symptoms.

In addition, some medicines work to prevent symptoms.

Here Is A Comparison Of Two Over-The-Counter Medicines For Eye Allergy:


It contains the active ingredient called ketotifen ophthalmic, which belongs to a group of drugs called antihistamines.

Also, it contains the following inactive ingredients:

  • water for injection;
  • hydrochloric acid and/or sodium hydroxide;
  • glycerin;
  • benzalkonium chloride 0.01 percent.


It is an over-the-counter eye drop that has the active ingredient called ketotifen ophthalmic, which is part of a family of drugs known as H1 receptor antagonists.

In addition, it contains the following inactive ingredients:

  • purified water;
  • sodium hydroxide/hydrochloric acid;
  • glycerol.



It is used to temporarily relieve itchy eyes due to ragweed, grass, pollen, dander, and animal hair.

The antihistamine quickly provides up to 12 hours of eye itch symptom relief.


This over-the-counter eye drop is used to prevent and treat itching of the eyes caused by allergic conjunctivitis.

Mechanism of Action

Both medicines work by blocking histamine receptors (a class of G protein-coupled receptors).

Additionally, they prevent the release of natural chemicals from cells in the body involved during allergic conjunctivitis.

Side Effects


The most common side effects associated with this over-the-counter eye drop include:

  • increased sensitivity to light;
  • dryness of the eyes;
  • mild stinging or eye irritation.

Call your healthcare provider at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • severe itching of the eyes worse than before using the antihistamine medicine;
  • vision changes;
  • severe eye pain;
  • eyelid swelling;
  • redness.


Common side effects include:

  • increased sensitivity to light;
  • dryness of the eyes;
  • eye irritation;
  • mild burning.

Rare side effects include:

  • severe itching of the eyes worse than before using this OTC medicine;
  • vision changes;
  • eye pain;
  • eyelid swelling, or other signs of infection.



For adults and children 3 years and older, the usual recommended dose is 1 drop in the affected eye(s) two times per day.

The maximum recommended dose is 2 drops per day.

Also, it is recommended to:

  • replace cap after each use;
  • do not touch the tip of the container to any surface to avoid contamination;
  • remove contact lenses before use;
  • wait at least twenty minutes before re-inserting contact lenses after use.


The usual recommended dosage is 1 drop in the affected eye(s) two times per day, every 8 to 12 hours.

In addition, it is recommended to:

  • not allow the antihistamine dropper tip to touch any surface, including the eyes or hands;
  • wait at least twenty minutes before using any other eye drops your healthcare professional has prescribed;
  • use only the number of drops your healthcare professional has prescribed;
  • keep the liquid from draining into your tear duct, and gently press the finger to the inside corner of the eye for approximately 1 minute.

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Warnings & Precautions


Do not use this antihistamine:

  • to treat contact lens-related irritation;
  • if the solution changes or becomes cloudy;
  • if you are sensitive to any active or inactive ingredient in this medicine.


You should not use this over-the-counter medicine if you are allergic to any of its ingredients, or if you have:

  • eye irritation caused by wearing contact lenses;
  • an untreated eye infection.

Drug Interactionsdrugs

These medicines are not likely to negatively interact with other drugs you take.

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Alcohol may interact with both medicines by altering the way the active ingredient works.

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Is It Safe During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding?pregnant woman


It is not known whether this over-the-counter eyedrop passes into breast milk or if it could affect in a negative way the breastfed baby.

Tell your healthcare provider if you are breastfeeding a baby before using this antihistamine.

This over-the-counter eyedrop may be harmful to an unborn baby.

Do not use this antihistamine without telling your healthcare provider if you are pregnant.


Since the full risks of using this medication in pregnant women are not known, do not use it without talking to your doctor.

Also, there isn’t enough information about the safety of using this over-the-counter eyedrop during breastfeeding.

Please always consult with your healthcare provider to weigh the potential risks before taking the medicine.

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Bottom Line – Alaway vs Zaditor – Which Is The Best Antihistamine For Allergic Conjunctivitis?

Alaway is used to treat itching of the eyes caused by an allergy to pollen, animals, dust, or other allergens. It contains an antihistamine called ketotifen, which reduces the effects of histamine in the body.

Zaditor is used to prevent and treat itching of the eyes caused by allergic conjunctivitis. It contains ketotifen, an antihistamine that blocks histamine.

Moreover, it is a mast cell stabilizer that reduces the release of natural substances that cause an allergic reaction in the body.

In conclusion, both over-the-counter antihistamine eye drops contain the same active ingredient (ketotifen) and have an identical mechanism of action. Their differences rely on brand names and inactive ingredients.

Images credit – Shutterstock

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