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Zaditor vs Pataday: Comparing Key Factors of Top Antihistamine Eye Drops

Written by Andrew Le, MD

UpdatedFebruary 28, 2024

Zaditor (ketotifen) and Pataday (olopatadine) are popular ophthalmic antihistamine medications that relieve eye allergy symptoms, such as itching, redness, and swelling.

While Zaditor and Pataday share a similar mechanism of action, differences exist in administration frequency, efficacy data from clinical trials, patient preference, side effect profile, and cost.

This article provides a detailed comparison of these critical factors, analyzing the advantages and disadvantages of each medication.

🔑 Key Takeaways

  • Zaditor (ketotifen) and Pataday (olopatadine) are ophthalmic antihistamines that relieve allergy symptoms like itching by blocking eye histamine receptors.
  • In a direct comparison, more patients preferred Pataday over Zaditor in terms of comfort and efficacy in treating signs and symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis over 4 weeks.
  • Pataday has demonstrated efficacy in preventing ocular itching, and providing comfort, and is well-tolerated in patients with mild-to-moderate dry eyes who also have allergic conjunctivitis.
  • The recommended dosage is 1 drop in the affected eye(s) twice daily for Zaditor and once daily for Pataday - it's important to follow dosage guidelines closely.
  • Potential side effects are usually mild for both medications but may include temporary stinging/burning; severe reactions like vision changes are rare but require prompt medical attention.
  • A 5 mL supply of Zaditor costs around $20, while a 2.5 mL supply of Pataday costs around $140 - discounts and patient assistance programs are available for both.
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1. Mechanism of Action

As antihistamine eye drops, Zaditor and Pataday share a similar mechanism of action, but have some key differences in their active ingredients and onset of action.

Zaditor

Ketotifen, the active ingredient in Zaditor, operates as an ophthalmic antihistamine and decongestant. Its primary purpose is to alleviate itching of the eyes resulting from allergies to various environmental triggers like:

  • Dust
  • Pollen
  • Grass
  • Animals

The mechanism of action involves ketotifen acting as an antagonist to histamine, a natural substance released during allergic reactions. By antagonizing histamine, Zaditor mitigates the physiological effects triggered by this compound. Histamine is known for causing symptoms such as itching, redness, and other allergic responses. Essentially, Zaditor blocks histamine receptors, preventing histamine from exerting its typical effects on the eyes.

Pataday

Pataday, containing olopatadine, shares a mechanism of action similar to Zaditor, as an ophthalmic antihistamine and decongestant. Its primary use is to treat eye itching caused by allergies, making it particularly effective against symptoms associated with allergic conjunctivitis.

Olopatadine, the active ingredient in Pataday, works as a selective histamine H1-antagonist. In addition to antagonizing histamine receptors like ketotifen in Zaditor, Pataday also inhibits histamine release from mast cells. Doing so prevents the cascade of physiological responses triggered by histamine release during an allergic reaction. This dual mechanism helps alleviate itching and other allergic symptoms in the eyes, making Pataday an effective solution for managing eye allergies.

See prices for Zaditor using insurance vs coupons
See prices for Pataday using insurance vs coupons

👍 Recommendation

Opcon-A Allergy Eye Drops are fast-acting and long-lasting, effectively combating itchy, red eyes. They are portable and easy to apply; however, it's important to note that they are unsuitable for glaucoma patients. Users may experience a minor sting. Discover more about our top allergy eye drops.

2. Efficacy for Allergy Symptoms

While both Zaditor and Pataday are effective, clinical studies show key differences in efficacy and patient preference.

Zaditor (ketotifen)

Zaditor has been studied in various contexts related to allergic conditions.

In a study comparing olopatadine (Pataday) and ketotifen (Zaditor) ophthalmic solutions, patients preferred olopatadine in terms of comfort and efficacy in treating signs and symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis. Specifically, 81% of patients favored olopatadine, considering it more comfortable and effective than ketotifen. This preference was sustained over four weeks of use, indicating better patient satisfaction with olopatadine in managing ocular allergies.

In another trial comparing the effects of ketotifen fumarate eye drops and oral ketotifen pills on allergic rhinitis, the eye drops effectively reduced symptoms and improved quality of life. Patients in the ketotifen eye drops group showed more significant improvements in rhinorrhea, nasal congestion, nasal itching, coughing, sneezing, Rhinitis Quality of Life Questionnaire (RQLQ) scores, and nasal smear eosinophil percentage compared to the oral pills group.

Overall, while ketotifen has shown efficacy in managing various allergic conditions, patient preference and the specific manifestation of symptoms play a crucial role in determining its suitability for individual cases. It's essential to consider the nature of the allergic condition and the patient's response when choosing between Zaditor and other allergy medications.

Pataday (olopatadine)

Pataday has been extensively studied for its effectiveness in treating ocular allergies.

In a comparison study with twice-daily olopatadine 0.1% andonce-daily olopatadine 0.2%, there was no significant difference in mean itching scoresover 24 hours. Both olopatadine concentrations showed significant activity at the 24-hour time point and were statistically superior to placebo. This suggests that once-daily olopatadine (0.2%) is as effective as twice-daily olopatadine (0.1%) in preventing ocular itching induced by conjunctival allergen challenge.

Another study compared the ocular comfort of 0.7% olopatadine (Pataday Once Daily Relief Extra Strength) with 0.3% pheniramine maleate/0.025% naphazoline hydrochloride (VISINE® Allergy Eye Relief Multi-Action Antihistamine and Redness Reliever). The results indicated that Pataday provided better initial comfort than VISINE, suggesting that patients may comply better with Pataday than VISINE.

Furthermore, an evaluation of olopatadine 0.2% on patients with both allergic conjunctivitis and dry eyes found no significant differences in signs and symptoms of dry eyes. The study concluded that olopatadine hydrochloride 0.2% is safe to use in ocular allergy patients with mild-to-moderate dry eyes.

In a study comparing olopatadine and ketotifen ophthalmic solutions, patients overwhelmingly preferred olopatadine, finding it more comfortable and efficacious in reducing symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis.

Overall, Pataday has demonstrated efficacy in preventing ocular itching associated with allergic conjunctivitis, providing comfort, and is well-tolerated in patients with allergic conjunctivitis and dry eye. Patient preference, convenience, and safety are essential when choosing Pataday for allergy management.

3. Dosage and Administration

Proper dosage and administration techniques are important for getting optimal results from Zaditor and Pataday eye drops.

Zaditor

For Zaditor, the recommended dosage is one drop in the affected eye(s) twice daily, with a time interval of every 8 to 12 hours. This ensures a consistent application of ketotifen fumarate, the active ingredient in Zaditor, providing relief from allergic reactions. It's important to adhere to the specified frequency to maintain its effectiveness in combating ocular symptoms related to allergies.

To administer Zaditor, follow these steps:

  1. Preparation: Before applying Zaditor, ensure hands are clean and dry.
  2. Positioning: Tilt the head back slightly and look upward.
  3. Eyelid Manipulation: Gently pull down the lower eyelid to create a small pocket.
  4. Drop Application: Squeeze the prescribed number of drops into the pocket created by the lower eyelid.
  5. Eye Closure: Close the eyes for 1 or 2 minutes to allow the medication to spread and take effect.
  6. Avoiding Contamination: Avoid touching the dropper tip to the eye or any other surfaces to prevent contamination.

It is crucial to consistently use Zaditor as prescribed, maintaining the recommended dosage even if symptoms show improvement. When multiple ophthalmic medications are prescribed, waiting at least 5 minutes between applications is advisable. Additionally, for those who wear contact lenses, it's important to note that waiting 10 minutes before inserting them after using Zaditor is recommended for optimal eye health and comfort.

Pataday

Pataday Once Daily Relief, containing Olopatadine Hydrochloride, is administered differently. The recommended dosage for adults and children aged 2 years and older is one drop in the affected eye(s) once daily. It's crucial not to exceed this frequency, ensuring the sustained release of the medication's antihistamine and decongestant properties.

To administer Pataday, follow these steps:

  1. Hand Hygiene: Wash hands thoroughly before handling Pataday.
  2. Head Positioning: Tilt the head back slightly and gaze upward.
  3. Eyelid Manipulation: Gently pull down the lower eyelid to create a small pocket.
  4. Drop Application: Administer the prescribed number of drops into the pocket created by the lower eyelid.
  5. Eye Closure: Close the eyes for 1 or 2 minutes to allow the medication to disperse and take effect.
  6. Preventing Contamination: Avoid touching the dropper tip to the eye or any surfaces to prevent contamination.

Like Zaditor, it's imperative to use Pataday consistently as prescribed, even if symptoms alleviate. It's recommended to wait at least 10 minutes before using other prescribed eye drops. However, for contact lens wearers, the wait time is suggested to be 5 minutes. If there are any uncertainties or questions about administering Pataday, consulting with a healthcare provider is advisable for personalized guidance.

4. Side Effects

While generally well tolerated, Zaditor and Pataday can cause some mild side effects in a small percentage of users.

Zaditor

While Zaditor is generally well-tolerated, users should be aware of potential side effects that may occur. The most common side effects are usually mild and may include temporary stinging or burning sensation upon application. However, if these symptoms persist or worsen, it is advisable to consult a healthcare professional.

Serious side effects with Zaditor are rare but may include eye pain or vision changes. If users experience severe symptoms, prompt medical attention is recommended. Additionally, individuals may exhibit signs of an allergic reaction, such as:

In such cases, emergency medical help should be sought.

Overall, Zaditor's side effects are generally outweighed by its benefits in relieving allergic conjunctivitis symptoms.

Pataday

Pataday, like Zaditor, is generally well-tolerated, but users should be aware of potential side effects associated with its use. Common side effects may include temporary stinging or burning sensations upon application. Typically, these effects are mild and transient.

Severe side effects with Pataday are uncommon but may include:

If users encounter persistent or worsening symptoms, they should seek prompt medical attention. Signs of an allergic reaction, such as:

  • Hives
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat

Although rare, severe allergic reactions require immediate emergency medical help.

Overall, the side effect profile of Pataday is generally manageable, making it a viable option for individuals seeking relief from allergic conjunctivitis symptoms.

5. Cost

Affordability is important when choosing between prescription eye drops like Zaditor and Pataday.

Zaditor

The cost for a 5-milliliter supply of Zaditor ophthalmic solution 0.025% is approximately $20. This affordability factor can make Zaditor an attractive choice for individuals looking for effective yet economical solutions to allergic conjunctivitis.

Zaditor offers various avenues for discounts, making it accessible to a broader audience. Printable coupons, rebates, and savings cards allow users to save on their medication costs.

Additionally, patient assistance programs, such as Rx Outreach Medications, may offer cost-free or discounted medicines to eligible individuals, enhancing affordability for those with financial constraints.

Pataday

In contrast, Pataday is positioned at a higher price point. The cost for Pataday ophthalmic solution 0.2% is around $140 for a 2.5-milliliter supply. This higher price tag may influence the choice for individuals who are more sensitive to the cost factor.

Pataday, similar to Zaditor, offers discounts to mitigate the financial burden on users. Printable coupons, rebates, and savings cards are available to enhance cost savings.

Moreover, patient assistance programs, including Rx Outreach Medications, extend support to eligible individuals, potentially providing relief for those facing economic challenges.

Wrap Up

Both Zaditor and Pataday effectively treat allergic conjunctivitis by blocking histamine receptors, but Pataday demonstrates greater patient preference and convenience as a once-daily dosage.

While Pataday is more costly, factors like superior efficacy, comfort, and dosage regimen may justify the price differential for some patients.

Considerations of patient-specific allergy severity, medication tolerance, and affordability concerns should ultimately determine if Zaditor or Pataday is the more optimal anti-allergy eye drop solution.

FAQs on Zaditor and Pataday

Is there a better allergy eye drop than Pataday?

Lastacaft Eye Drops could be a better alternative to Pataday. Lastacraft is an antihistamine eye drop with a mast cell stabilizer. Based on x study, Lastacaft is stronger, works faster (in 3 minutes), and provides longer relief (up to 16 hours) from eye allergy itching.

Are there better options than Zaditor?

Alaway and Zaditor eye drops have the same active ingredient at slightly different concentrations. Both are dosed twice per day. Alaway typically costs about half as much as Zaditor and for this reason, could be a better choice.

Is Pataday an antihistamine?

Yes, Pataday eye drops contain olopatadine, which is an antihistamine ingredient used to treat itching and redness in the eyes caused by allergies. Pataday is not recommended for eye irritation due to contact lens use.

Illustration of a healthcare provider asking questions on a smart phone.
Allergy treatment - Online visit
Get virtual care from a licensed clinician—no appointment needed
Illustration of a healthcare provider asking questions on a smart phone.
  • $29 one-time assessment
  • No video call or appointment necessary
  • Personalized treatment plan prescribed for your condition

References