Optivar Eye Drops (Azelastine Hydrochloride)

Also Known as Allergodil (Opthalmic Solution), Optilast

Prescription medicineOnly Available By Prescription
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What if I find a lower price with another pharmacy?

We guarantee the lowest price on all of our prescription products. If you find your medications cheaper at any other recognized licensed mail order pharmacy, we will not only match their price, we will beat it by 25% of the difference. It is our 125% price match guarantee!

Example: If you find a product on Canada Drugs Direct for $50.00 and find the same product for $40.00 at another mail order pharmacy, we will provide you with a $12.50 discount, bringing your total to $37.50.

To get the discount please make sure to mention the price match to the customer service team when they call to collect payment for your order. Or call toll free at 1-888-904-8467 to place the order through the phone.

Terms & Conditions of Program

  • Guaranteed lowest price is only valid at the time of sale.
  • We will only match the current advertised price.
  • Products must be identical and in stock at the time of placing an order with a licensed mail order pharmacy. They must be an online Canadian pharmacy with an address in Canada.
  • Products must be authentic in brand and size (same manufacturer, same country of manufacture, same pack size, same strength and same quantity).
  • Products must be new. We cannot match the price of any used, short expiry or expired product.
  • Price match can only be issued over the phone with our customer service team. Please note at this time we cannot offer price matching for the products Ozempic or Saxenda.
What is a Generic Drug?

A generic drug is a copy of the brand-name drug with the same dosage, safety, strength, quality, consumption method, performance, and intended use. Before generics become available on the market, the generic company must prove it has the same active ingredients as the brand-name drug and works in the same way and in the same amount of time in the body.

The only differences between generics and their brand-name counterparts is that generics are less expensive and may look slightly different (eg. different shape or color), as trademarks laws prevent a generic from looking exactly like the brand-name drug.

Generics are less expensive because generic manufacturers don't have to invest large sums of money to develop a drug. When the brand-name patent expires, generic companies can manufacture a copy of the brand-name and sell it at a substantial discount.


OPTIVAR (azelastine hydrochloride) eye drops are used to treat allergic conjunctivitis, which is irritation and inflammation caused by allergens like pollen, dust, or pet dander. The conjunctiva is a clear and thin membrane of tissue that covers the surface of the eye and inner eyelids. Symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis may include:

  • Burning in the surrounding tissue
  • Itchiness in the eyes
  • Redness in both eyes
  • Sensitivity to light (photophobia)
  • Swelling of the conjunctiva and surrounding tissue
  • Watery discharge

Allergic conjunctivitis is a common symptom of seasonal allergies and can happen in concert with other allergy symptoms like sore throat, runny nose, itchy and watery eyes, and cough.

Azelastine hydrochloride is a topical histamine antagonist that works by blocking the body's natural reaction to allergens. The body releases histamine in the presence of foreign allergens and histamine activates an inflammation response by the immune system. Azelastine hydrochloride blocks the release of histamine and therefore prevents swelling, redness, itching, and discharge caused the allergic response.


The recommended dosage of azelastine hydrochloride 0.05% is one drop instilled into each affected eye twice daily.


The active ingredient in OPTIVAR eye drops is azelastine hydrochloride 0.5%.

Inactive ingredients include benzalkonium chloride (antibacterial), edetate disodium, hypromellose, sorbitol, sodium hydroxide (to balance pH), and water.


Patients using azelastine hydrochloride should take care not to touch the tip of the applicator to any surface, including the eye or eyelids. If the dropper touches any surface, it may impact the sterility and should be thrown out. Using a non-sterile ophthalmic medication can result in viral or bacterial infection.

Contact lenses should be removed while applying azelastine hydrochloride, and the product should not be used to treat redness related to contact lens irritation. Patients should wait at least 10 minutes before inserting contact lenses after applying azelastine hydrochloride ophthalmic solution, because the preservative benzalkonium chloride may absorb into the lenses.

Separate the application of azelastine hydrochloride from other eye drops by at least 10 minutes.

Side Effects

The most common side effects people experience from OPTIVAR eye drops include:

  • Bitter taste
  • Headaches
  • Transient eye burning or stinging

These side effects are often mild and resolve on their own once treatment is complete.

Other, more rare side effects may include:

  • Asthma
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Dyspnea
  • Eye pain
  • Fatigue
  • Influenza-like symptoms
  • Pharyngitis
  • Pruritus 
  • Rhinitis
  • Temporary blurring of vision

Some of the side effects listed above are similar to the symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis. If side effects last after stopping azelastine hydrochloride drops, contact your prescribing physician.

If OPTIVAR cost is a concern, Canada Drugs Direct has options that may be more affordable than local pharmacies. OPTIVAR is only available by prescription.


  1. DailyMed. "AZELASTINE HYDROCHLORIDE OPHTHALMIC SOLUTION 0.05% - package insert." Nih.gov. Published 2019. Accessed October 22, 2019.
  2. La Rosa M, Lionetti E, Reibaldi M, et al. Allergic conjunctivitis: a comprehensive review of the literature. Italian Journal of Pediatrics. 2013;39(1):18. doi:10.1186/1824-7288-39-18

IMPORTANT NOTE: The above information is intended to increase awareness of health information and does not suggest treatment or diagnosis. This information is not a substitute for individual medical attention and should not be construed to indicate that use of the drug is safe, appropriate, or effective for you. See your health care professional for medical advice and treatment.

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