Ketotifen - Uses - Dosages - Side Effects - Precautions

Ketotifen: Frequently Asked Questions Answered

What is Ketotifen?

Ketotifen is an antihistamine drug with a molecular formula C19H19NOS. It works by decreasing a natural chemical within the body, histamine, which causes sneezing, itching, watery eyes, and runny nose. Inhaling Ketotifen reduces itching caused by dust, pollen, poultry, or other allergens.

You can use Ketotifen daily with other anti-asthma medicines. It may reduce the frequency, intensity, and duration of asthmatic episodes in children. It may also decrease the requirement for regular anti-asthma medications—both preventing and treating acute asthma episodes.

What are the uses of Ketotifen?

Ketotifen is used to treat allergic conditions such as conjunctivitis (as eye drops) and asthma (tablets or inhalers) due to its antihistamine properties. It also acts as a mast cell stabilizer, decreasing the release of natural chemicals that trigger allergic responses, inflammation, airway spasms, and other asthma and allergy symptoms.

Ketotifen is used in the long-term treatment of asthma, reducing wheezing and breathing difficulty in patients. It is frequently used alongside other asthma medications (corticosteroids like prednisone, inhaled beta-agonists like salbutamol).

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What are the side effects of Ketotifen?

Some of the common side effects of Ketotifen are: 

  • Headaches.
  • Runny nose.
  • Eye pain.
  • Burning in the eyes.
  • Itching.
  • Blurriness in vision.
  • Rashes.
  • Increased sensitivity to light.
  • Pain in the stomach.
  • Dizziness.
  • Drowsiness.
  • Irritation.

The medication may include inactive chemicals that cause severe allergic reactions or other issues. Therefore, do not hesitate to consult our medical experts at Yashoda Hospitals. We can guide you on the uses and benefits and the appropriate dosage and precautions regarding Ketotifen.


Frequently Asked Questions about Ketotifen

1. Is Ketotifen a bronchodilator?

No. Ketotifen is a non-bronchodilator anti-asthmatic medication that inhibits the effects of certain endogenous substances responsible for mediating the process of inflammation in the body. Ketotifen has a strong and long-lasting non-competitive histamine (H1) blocking property.

The antihistamine (H1) effect of Ketotifen appears to be distinct from its anti-allergic properties.

2. Is Ketotifen sleepy?

Yes, using Ketotifen can make you feel drowsy or sleepy, and it can also cause weight gain in some cases. Histamine H1-receptor antagonism is responsible for its sedative effect. Driving, operating machinery, or performing any other task that requires extreme focus are not recommended right after taking the drug.

3. How much dosage of Ketotifen should be taken with the ECA stack?

Ketotifen became well-known due to its ability to prevent the downregulation of beta receptors caused by medications such as ECA stack or ephedrine. Doctors prescribe a dosage of 2–3 mg Ketotifen per day. They, therefore, advise enabling prolonged usage of these fat-burning medications for a more extended period.

4. Is Ketotifen anticholinergic?

Yes, Ketotifen has anticholinergic properties. However, at the dosages in which it is used clinically, the anticholinergic activity of Ketotifen is not recognized as appreciable (K i = 204 nM for mach).

5. What is the mechanism of action of Ketotifen?

Ketotifen is a potent and non-competitive antagonist of H1 histamine receptors, which is likely to significantly contribute to its anti-allergic activity. Furthermore, it stabilizes mast cells and demonstrates the ability to inhibit the release of allergic and inflammatory mediators (histamine, leukotrienes C4 and D4) in vitro.

6. Why is Ketotifen not available in the UK?

Ketotifen was termed a ‘special’ medication in December 2019. It meant patients would have to order it especially for themselves, either through a handwritten prescription or a large wholesale order. This complicated the legal procedure for obtaining it and made it temporarily unavailable. But as of October, 2020, the product is licensed and back in stock with Alloga, UK.

7. Is Ketotifen safe?

Yes, Ketotifen is a safe medication. Hence, it is prescribed for asthmatic patients, especially those who need long-term treatment. However, it is safe only if taken in the defined quantities. In case of overdose or any visible side effects, you must immediately contact our healthcare experts for help.

8. How quickly does Ketotifen work?

Following oral administration, Ketotifen is readily absorbed in the body, despite its bioavailability of approximately 50 percent because of the first-pass effect in the liver. It has a Tmax of a maximum of 3 hours. However, its results are visible only from 6 weeks onwards, after which the severity of symptoms reduces significantly.

9. Can you use Ketotifen daily?

Yes, Ketotifen is prescribed for daily administration. It is given orally. The drug dosage for children above the age of three and adults is 1 mg twice daily. In comparison, the dosage is the same for infants and children under 3-years who are prescribed 0.05 mg/kg twice daily.

10. Can Ketotifen be used for cough?

No, it cannot be taken as an over-the-counter drug for treating cough alone. It is mandatory to get a doctor’s prescription to obtain the medication after the type of cough has been diagnosed for developing asthma. If taken without a diagnosis, the cough symptoms will reduce temporarily; however, your condition may deteriorate internally. If you have had cough symptoms for more than a week, consult our doctors for a correct diagnosis of your condition.

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  1. Ketotifen. Ketotifen Oral. Retrieved from Ketotifen Advanced Patient Information – Drugs.com
  2. Ketotifen. Retrieved from Ketotifen: Uses, Interactions, Mechanism of Action | DrugBank Online
  3. Science Direct. Ketotifen. Retrieved from Ketotifen – an overview | ScienceDirect Topics
  4. Nemati, M., Habibi Asl, B. and Sharifi, K., 2006. Effect of Ketotifen and cyproheptadine on appetite and weight changes in mice. Iranian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 2(3), pp.123-128.
  5. https://ukmasto.org/ketotifen/#gsc.tab=0

Disclaimer: The information provided herein is accurate, updated and complete as per the best practices of the Company. Please note that this information should not be treated as a replacement for physical medical consultation or advice. We do not guarantee the accuracy and the completeness of the information so provided. The absence of any information and/or warning to any drug shall not be considered and assumed as an implied assurance of the Company. We do not take any responsibility for the consequences arising out of the aforementioned information and strongly recommend you for a physical consultation in case of any queries or doubts.