Compare Zaditor vs. azelastine

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.


Zaditor (ketotifen)



Prescription only
Relieves itchy eyes due to allergies.

Zaditor (ketotifen) is the first-choice OTC treatment for allergy-related itchy eyes, but it doesn't treat infections and may not help for more serious allergies.

Relieves itchy eyes due to allergies.

azelastine works very quickly to relieve itchy eyes due to allergies, but it is available by prescription only.

  • Works within minutes to relieve itchy eyes.
  • Available to buy over-the-counter, which makes it cheaper.
  • Can use in children age 3 or older.
  • Unlike pills which can affect your whole body, Zaditor (ketotifen) only affects your eyes, which means it has less side effects than anti-allergy pills.
  • Works as quickly as within 3 minutes to relieve itchy eyes and can last up to 8 hours.
  • azelastine just needs to be used twice daily to be effective.
  • Most people will only experience mild and temporary side effects like burning and stinging in the eyes.
  • Relatively cheap compared to other similar prescription eye drop medicines.
  • Can only use Zaditor (ketotifen) for a short period of time.
  • Administering the medication into the eye safely may be more difficult for some people than taking anti-allergy pills.
  • azelastine is not for long-term use.
  • Doesn't treat itchiness related to infections or contact lens use.
  • Might cause headaches and temporary burning or stinging.
  • azelastine is not safe for children age 3 or younger.
Used for
  • Allergy-related itchy eyes
Dosage forms
  • Eye drops
  • Eye drops
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Side effects
The Zaditor (ketotifen) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
1possible side effects
  • Temporary eye burning and stinging
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • Allergy to ingredients
  • Risk for eye infection
  • Not to be used with contact lenses
    • Those who wear soft contact lenses
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Allergies
  • Keeping the applicator clean
  • Not to be used with contact lenses
  • For use in the eyes only
See more detailed risks and warnings