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Nedocromil sodium eye drops

Clinical author's note Michael Stewart 19/2/2020: Rapitil® eye drops were discontinued in the UK in April 2018. At the time of review there are no branded or generic eye drop products containing nedocromil available in the UK. Nedocromil eye drops may still be available in other countries. This medicine leaflet is based on medical information available in the UK at the time of writing and is left here for reference purposes. Please also refer to the manufacturer's information supplied with your medicine.

Nedocromil sodium eye drops help to prevent red, watery, itchy eyes caused by allergies.

The drops are usually used twice a day. If your symptoms are more severe, your doctor may suggest you use them three or four times daily.

When first put in, eye drops can cause blurred vision. Wait until this clears before you drive or before you use tools or machines.

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About nedocromil sodium eye drops

Type of medicine

Anti-allergic eye drops

Used for

To relieve the symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis

Also called

Alocril® (in US); Rapitil® (discontinued)

Available as

Eye drops

Allergic conjunctivitis causes red, watery, itchy eyes. It is caused by exposure to irritants such as plant pollens, pet fur, cosmetics or house dust mite. Seasonal allergic conjunctivitis occurs at certain times in a year, a common cause being an allergy to pollen in the hay fever season. Perennial allergic conjunctivitis persists throughout the year. This is commonly due to an allergy to house dust mite or animal hair.

Nedocromil sodium eye drops can help prevent the symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis. The drops work by stopping the release of certain natural substances which can lead to an allergic reaction in your eyes. The drops can be prescribed for adults and for older children.

Before using nedocromil sodium eye drops

To make sure that this is the right treatment for you, before you start using nedocromil sodium eye drops it is important that your doctor knows:

  • If you wear soft contact lenses.

  • If you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

  • If you have ever had an allergic reaction to any eye drops.

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How to use nedocromil sodium eye drops

  1. Wash your hands before you use the drops.

  2. Remove the cap.

  3. Tilt your head back a little and then pull the lower lid of your eye downwards to form a pocket between the eye and the lower eyelid.

  4. Hold the bottle upside down near to your eye. Try not to touch your eye as you do this.

  5. Apply sufficient pressure to the bottle to release one drop into your eye. Only use a second drop if the first drop missed going into your eye.

  6. Close your eye for a minute or two, and press gently on the side of your nose where the corner of your eye meets your nose. This helps to stop the drop from draining away and keeps it in your eye.

  7. Repeat the process in your other eye.

  8. Replace the cap.

Getting the most from your treatment

  • Before you start using the eye drops, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from the pack. It will give you more information about the drops, and it will also provide you with a full list of the side-effects which you could experience from using them.

  • Please follow the directions your doctor gives to you for using the eye drops. You could be asked to use the drops two, three or four times a day. Put one drop into both eyes for each dose. Try to use the drops at regular intervals throughout the day, and try not to miss any doses. If you are using the drops for hay fever, do not use them continually for more than three months.

  • Take care not to touch your eye, fingers, or any other surface with the dropper of the bottle. This could contaminate the drops left in the bottle.

  • When you first put the drop into your eye, it may cause blurred vision. This should quickly clear, but make sure you can see clearly again before you drive, or before you use machines or tools.

  • If you are using any other eye drops, leave 5-10 minutes between using the other eye drops. This is to prevent more liquid going into your eye than it can handle. Otherwise the drops will overflow from your eye and not have the intended effect.

  • If your symptoms do not start to improve within a few days, or if they become worse, make another appointment to see a doctor.

  • Do not wear soft contact lenses while you are using nedocromil sodium eye drops unless your doctor has advised you otherwise. This is because there is a preservative in bottles of eye drops which can affect soft contact lenses.

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Can nedocromil sodium eye drops cause problems?

Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. The table below contains some of the most common ones associated with nedocromil sodium eye drops. The best place to find a full list of the side-effects which can be associated with nedocromil is from the manufacturer's printed information supplied with the drops. Alternatively, you can find an example of a manufacturer's information leaflet in the reference section below. Speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following continue or become troublesome.

Common nedocromil sodium side-effects (these affect fewer than 1 in 10 people)

What can I do if I experience this?

Mild eye irritation such as burning or stinging, blurred vision

These usually disappear within a few minutes of applying the eye drops. Do not drive and do not use tools or machines until your vision is clear again

An unusual taste in your mouth

After using the drops, remember to press gently on the side of your nose where the corner of your eye meets your nose. You can also try having a drink to take the taste away

Occasionally people can be allergic to eye drops, particularly when the eye drops contain a preservative. If you notice a rash around your eyes, or any swelling or increased itching, stop using the drops and contact a doctor for advice. If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to the eye drops, speak with your doctor or pharmacist for further advice.

How to store nedocromil sodium eye drops

  • Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.

  • Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.

  • Eye drops only keep for four weeks once the bottle has been opened - do not use the drops if the bottle has been open for longer than this. This will help prevent the risk of eye infections.

Important information about all medicines

Important information about all medicines

This medicine is for you. Never give it to other people even if their condition appears to be the same as yours.

Make sure that the person prescribing this medicine knows about any other medicines that you are using. This includes medicines you buy and herbal and homeopathic medicines.

If you buy any medicines, check with a pharmacist that they are safe to use with your prescribed medicines.

If you suspect that someone has swallowed some of this medicine by accident, contact the accident and emergency department of your local hospital for advice.

If you are having an operation or dental treatment, tell the person carrying out the treatment which medicines you are using.

Do not keep out-of-date or unwanted medicines. Take them to your local pharmacy which will dispose of them for you.

If you have any questions about this medicine ask your pharmacist.

MHRA - Reporting adverse reactions

Report suspected side effects to medicines, vaccines, e-cigarettes, medical device incidents, defective or falsified (fake) products to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency to ensure safe and effective use.

Further reading and references

Article history

The information on this page is written and peer reviewed by qualified clinicians.

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