Allergy Eye Medications:
Patients who have taken Patanol or Pataday should try OTC Zaditor.
Several years ago a new generation of allergy eye drops appeared that combined both rapid acting relief (antihistamine) as well as preventative (mast cell stabilization) functions. Prior to that, these functions were available only in separate medications. The first of these to appear, and the first to be approved for use in children, was Patanol. Since that time we have come to prescribe Patanol routinely for seasonal use (most often in the spring, but for some children in autumn as well) in patients who are prone to “allergy eyes”.
Since Patanol’soriginal introduction two more very similar medicines have been introduced – Zaditor and Pataday. Since these came along after Patanol and took longer to be approved in children (and we were happy with Patanol’s effectiveness in our patients), we have prescribed them far less. Nonetheless, the literature shows they work just as well, and indeed Zaditor may actually work a little better. (None of these medications has been tested in children less than 3 years old, and therefore they should not be used in this age group unless specifically instructed by a medical provider).
Recently, Zaditor became over-the-counter (OTC, nonprescription). Since that happened, more and more insurance companies are giving you and us a “hard time” over covering Patanol. Increasingly for most of you Patanol is not covered, or perhaps requires either a higher copayment or the submission of “prior approval” for other forms of appeal.
Therefore, starting immediately, we recommend that all our patients who have used Patanol in the past try switching to nonprescription Zaditor. This should work just as well, if not better, for your child and should be less expensive.
If you try Zaditor and find that it does not work as well as Patanol had for your child, please let your primary provider know via email or during a visit. In that case there are other prescription alternatives (Crolom or Alomide) we can try. If you are one of the few families whose insurance still covers Patanol without “red tape”, and you are willing to pay any higher co-pay, you should let your primary provider know that and we would be happy to issue a refill prescription. However we cannot submit prior approval requests or insurance appeals for Patanolor Pataday unless you have tried Zaditorand at least one of the other prescription alternatives and found neither to be as good as Patanol (less effective or more side effects). We think this is unlikely.