Pros: Used to work great, don't sting my eyes, sterile drops
Cons: They aren't working for me this year
My Dr. tells me it's been a bad start to the allergy season here in Alaska. We have a lot of dust, now that the snow has melted, partly from the roads being sanded during the icy winter.
When my eyes start itching, there isn't much that will help, other than eye drops that contain an antihistamine. I found Visine a few years ago, and they do make a formula containing an antihistamine, but my Dr. prescribed me Patanol last summer, and the bottle is still good, it doesn't expire until 2009. I just took some to relieve my right eye, which is driving me crazy with the itching sensation.
Patanol comes in a tiny white bottle with a blue and green label. It only measures 2 1/4" tall, and only contains 5ml of Olopatadine Hydrochloride, in a 0.1% solution.
The cap has a safety seal which needs to be peeled away before you can unscrew it. The contents are sterile.
There are no directions printed on the bottle, it refers you to the enclosed insert. It's common use is as an antihistamine to prevent itching of the eyes due to allergies.
I have had real problems with Visine A stinging my eyes when I apply it, so I love that Patanol is very gentle and causes no stinging, even when my eyes are irritated.
I hate eye drops, but my husband taught me the easiest way to apply them, and now it's no big deal. I tip my head back with my eyes closed. Then I drop the medicine into the little pouch at the corner of my eye, and when I open my eyes the drops gently slide into place.
The insert says to remove excess drops with a tissue, you should be careful not to touch the eyes with your hands. If you do get any of the Patanol drops on your hands, you are directed to wash them.
To prevent contamination, you need to take care not to touch the tip of the bottle to your eye area, or any other surface for that matter. It should be stored at room temperature, and I usually have a bottle in my purse, in the motorhome, in my golf bag, and in both the upstairs and downstairs bathrooms.
Our health insurance pays for a 3 month supply of any prescription medication for only $12.00, and that amounts to a lot of bottles of Patanol. I usually clear out the stock at my pharmacy! They sure are handy to have in numerous places though, I never know when I'll need them.
Aside from the fact that the Patanol drops don't sting, they really aren't much more effective than my Visine A drops (with the antihistamine), except Visine A costs $7 a bottle, and I can get the Patanol much much cheaper.
I used Patanol all last summer with pretty good results, but it doesn't seem to be as effective today, and my bottle hasn't expired. I applied this to my right eye about 30 minutes ago, right after I got back from walking my daycare children to their bus stop, and my right eye still itches!
I am going to call my Dr. and ask her to perscribe another brand of antihistamine eye drops and see if they work any better. I don't know why these have worked in the past, but aren't working now. This leaves me in a quandry about how to rate these. I have had good results with them, but now they aren't helping me when I need it the most. I think I will rate them 3 stars, right in the middle. If your insurance covers Patanol, it might not cost you much to find out if these work for you. Ask you Dr. about Patanol when you visit him with your allergy problems.