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To evaluate the safety and efficacy of alcaftadine for the prevention of itching associated with allergic conjunctivitis. A medical literature search was conducted in MEDLINE/PubMed (2006-February 2012) and EMBASE (2006-February 2012) using the search terms alcaftadine and Lastacaft. References from these publications were reviewed for additional resources. Additional information was collected from Web sites of the US government (, and of Allergan Inc., the manufacturer of Lastacaft ( All identified articles and publications in English were reviewed for pharmacology, pharmacokinetics, efficacy, and safety data. Priority was placed on clinical trials. Two published clinical trials evaluated the efficacy of alcaftadine in the prevention of ocular itching and conjunctival redness associated with allergic conjunctivitis. One trial compared alcaftadine to placebo, and another trial compared alcaftadine to placebo and olopatadine HCl to placebo. Both studies showed superior efficacy, both clinically and statistically, in the prevention of ocular itching associated with allergic conjunctivitis compared to placebo. Although conjunctival redness was evaluated in the 2 trials, neither trial demonstrated both clinical and statistical significance. Both trials demonstrated a rapid onset of action of less than 15 minutes, as well as a duration of action greater than 16 hours, which supports the use of once-daily administration. Overall, alcaftadine was well tolerated, and common adverse effects, reported in less than 4% of patients, included ocular irritation, pruritus, erythema, and stinging or burning upon instillation. Ocular adverse effects were typically mild in severity and self-limiting. Alcaftadine is a safe and effective option for the prevention of ocular itching associated with allergic conjunctivitis, is dosed once daily, and is competitively priced among prescription medications for allergic conjunctivitis. Additional studies are needed to further evaluate the comparative efficacy among ocular antihistamine/mast cell stabilizing medications.


Tracy D Mahvan, Whitney A Buckley, Jaime R Hornecker. Alcaftadine for the prevention of itching associated with allergic conjunctivitis. The Annals of pharmacotherapy. 2012 Jul-Aug;46(7-8):1025-32

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PMID: 22811343

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