Allergy itch relief drop now available over the counter

The drop, formerly prescribed as Pazeo, joins Alcon’s over-the-counter ocular allergy portfolio to meet a variety of patient needs.

Olopatadine hydrochloride ophthalmic solution 0.7% (Pataday, Alcon) is now available in-store and online at US retailers following its approval last year by the FDA for sale over the counter (OTC).

Pataday is Alcon’s third Rx-to-OTC switch in the past 12 months, according to the company.

“The introduction of Pataday® Once Daily Relief Extra Strength brings a full 24 hours of eye allergy itch relief over the counter for millions of Americans with eye allergies,” Sergio Duplan, president, Alcon North America, said in a statement.

According to the company, approximately 66 million Americans (1 in 5) suffer from ocular allergies, but only 7 million use an over-the-counter allergy eye drop to relieve their symptoms. Alcon’s Pataday portfolio of products offers eye allergy itch relief to the U.S. population affected by allergic conjunctivitis. Pataday provides a full 24 hours of eye allergy itch relief from pollen, ragweed, grass, animal hair and dander for people ages two and older with one drop once a day. 

Since 2008, more than 40 million prescriptions were written for olopatadine, the active ingredient in Pataday. Additionally, 58% of buyers of Pataday® Once Daily Relief and Pataday® Twice Daily Relief were new to the OTC eye allergy category.

Tania Elliott, MD, an allergist in New York, noted that for years, prescription Pazeo was a go-to for patients with itchy, allergy eyes in need of quick, 24-hour relief.

“Now, I am excited to be able to send them to their retailer of choice for Pataday Once Daily Relief Extra Strength and the other Pataday options, confident they will find relief despite lifestyle needs and at a range of prices,” Elliott said in a statement.

According to Alcon, Pataday® Once Daily Relief Extra Strength is now available in the U.S. in select stores and via online retailers, such as Amazon, Walgreens, CVS, Target and more. Widespread commercial availability will begin in this month in all major drug, food and mass-market retailers.