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Allergy eyedrops / Pataday vs. Lastacaft

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  • Allergy eyedrops / Pataday vs. Lastacaft

    I am using Pataday(0.2) one drop instilled in each eye twice a day for eye allergy. Pataday works well but never lasts long enough and my doctor told me to use it twice a day. He recently gave me a sample of Lastacaft (0.25%) and told me it is stronger and to try it. One drop instilled in each eye once a day. I did try it for one month and it works well for me and I like it, however, I noticed it cost well over twice as much as Pataday. My insurance pays 85% of Pataday but I would have to pay 100% for Lastacaft. My questions is....Is anyone using either one of these eyedrops and found one better than the other, and did you get any coverage from insurance? I was given an 'instant savings card of up to 50% off at the doctors office. I informed my doctor that I would check into it and let him know as he prefers I would use the Lastacaft. He recently did the eyelid probing to release the meibum (I have DES and MGD) and with the follow up appt. and exam, sees better results since using the Lastacaft. It appeared it worked better with the eyelid probing than previous probing had using the Pataday. I'm still searching for answers and any help you can offer me on these products. Thanks.

  • #2
    I'm not sure how long you have been using the medication, but since both of the medications you are using are preserved with benzalkonium chloride, be careful about using them daily.

    I found a prescription allergy drop that really helped me several years ago (Zaditor, currently available OTC) and found that it gave me a great deal of relief. But after some time, it seemed like it "wore off" so I used it more often, then I started using it daily. And then it seemed as though I couldn't function unless I used it everyday and each time I tried to take a few days off, my eyes would rebound even worse than before I started using it. I realized that I had taken it every day for nearly 2 years when my doctor asked me why I was still using it. He warned me that long term use could be damaging. I was shocked, because he was the one that prescribed it and kept refilling the prescription.

    It turns out that the allergy medication that at first really helped, eventually made my eyes worse due to the constant exposure of BAK.

    In addition, while I was treating my symptoms daily with the allergy eye drop, I wasn't aware that each and every day I was exposing my eyes to many products, substances and chemicals around my environment that were the actual triggers for the inflammation.

    I don't mean to scare you, but I would caution you about long term daily use of either of those medications and maybe talk with your doctor about the possibility of side effects.

    Unfortunately, there are no allergy drops produced in the US without BAK. There is one in Europe, but no pharmaceutical company (to my knowledge) in the US makes one without the dreaded BAK.


    • #3
      I was on lastacaft for a couple months last year (before my dry eye days). At first it seemed eyes didn't water as much but it wasn't like a "night & day" kind of improvement. Then, one day I ran out of contacts and inserted a different brand of contact lens that my doc had given me years ago as a sample. My eye was irritated and got quite red. I blamed the contact, and it took about a month for the redness to go away during which time I did not take the lastacaft. However, once the redness was gone for a few weeks, I re-started the lastacaft, and the very first day I restarted the lastacaft the eye was red again. In retrospect I think it was a sensitivity I developed to the lastacaft, and not the contact lens.

      I am also curious as to whether the BAK had anything to do with it. Scout, can you point me to a website(s) or posts that explain the BAK thing?


      • #5
        Thanks Scout for your time and input. The websites are helpful. I am reading more about benzalkonium chloride now and will have a few questions for my doctor. Long term usage of prescription drugs is always questionable. It also pays to do some homework. I would also like to check into Homeopathic allergy eyedrops, but again one has to consider it and I think it is best to research it and talk to the doctor about it first.


        • #6
          Thank you for your comments. A side effect is an important sign. Cautioning contact lens users is talked about with allergy eyedrop medications. I think you are correct about your experience. The information on BAK from Scout is also a 'heads up'. One has to do their owm homework and talk to their doctor more. I believe that sometimes Homeopathic is a good idea....sometimes, although most doctors don't agree with it. There too though, research on what you intend to use should be considered, along with your medical conditions, and what you are already using, effects, longterm, etc.. The eyes are very important and 'trial and error' can have good and bad effects. We do have to be cautious and careful.


          • #7
            Thanks, Scout!


            • #8
              You can have mast cell stablizers (allergy drops) compounded without preservatives. I know they do cromolin (spelling?) preservative free at compounding pharmacies if you ask your doctor. If anyone know anything bad about using that daily please tell me because I am considering.