How does this medication work? What will it do for me?

June 27, 2011

Livostin Eye Drops is no longer being manufactured for sale in Canada. This article is being kept available for reference purposes only. If you are using this medication, speak with your doctor or pharmacist for information about your treatment options.

Levocabastine belongs to the class of medications called antihistamines, specifically the class known as histamine receptor antagonists. Levocabastine eye drops are used to relieve irritation, redness, and itching of the eye associated with seasonal allergies. It works by blocking the actions of histamine, one of the substances released in the body that cause allergy symptoms. This medication will start to work to relieve eye allergy symptoms within 10 to 15 minutes of being used.

This medication may be available under multiple brand names and/or in several different forms. Any specific brand name of this medication may not be available in all of the forms or approved for all of the conditions discussed here. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here.

Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are being given this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop using this medication without consulting your doctor.

Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to use this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.

What form(s) does this medication come in?

Livostin Eye Drops is no longer being manufactured for sale in Canada and is no longer available under any brand names. This article is being kept available for reference purposes only. If you are using this medication, speak with your doctor or pharmacist for information about your treatment options.

How should I use this medication?

The recommended dose for children (over 12 years old) and adults (up to 65 years old) is one drop instilled in each eye twice daily. If necessary, your doctor may recommend that the dose be increased to one drop in each eye 3 to 4 times daily. If no improvement occurs within 3 days, contact your doctor. Shake the eye drop bottle well each time before use.

Do not use a bottle of eye drops for longer than one month after opening. After this time, discard the remaining solution. Avoid touching the dropper tip to any surface including your eye and fingers, since this may contaminate the solution.

Wash your hands thoroughly before and after using the drops. To instill the drops, tilt your head back and gently pull your lower lid down. Then carefully squeeze out 1 drop into each eye while looking up toward your forehead. Close your eyes gently for a few moments. If you are not sure how to use the drops, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are using the medication without consulting your doctor.

It is important to use this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose, instill it as soon as possible and continue with your regular schedule. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue on with your regular dosing schedule. Do not instill a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.

Store this medication at room temperature and keep it out of the reach of children.

Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.

Who should NOT take this medication?

Do not use this medication if you are

  • allergic to levocabastine or any ingredients of the medication.

What side effects are possible with this medication?

Many medications can cause side effects. A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. Side effects can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent.

The side effects listed below are not experienced by everyone who uses this medication. If you are concerned about side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor.

The following side effects have been reported by at least 1% of people using this medication. Many of these side effects can be managed, and some may go away on their own over time.

Contact your doctor if you experience these side effects and they are severe or bothersome. Your pharmacist may be able to advise you on managing side effects.

  • eye irritation, including burning or stinging of the eyes
  • nosebleed
  • tiredness

Although most of the side effects listed below don't happen very often, they could lead to serious problems if you do not seek medical attention.

Stop using the medication and seek immediate medical attention if any of the following occur:

  • symptoms of a severe allergic reaction such as hives, difficulty breathing, or swelling of the mouth or throat
  • very painful, watery, bloodshot eyes with sensitivity to light

Some people may experience side effects other than those listed. Check with your doctor if you notice any symptom that worries you while you are using this medication.

Are there any other precautions or warnings for this medication?

Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.

Contact lenses: Levocabastine eye drops contain the preservative benzalkonium chloride, which can build up in soft contact lenses and cause cornea irritation. Do not wear soft contact lenses while using this medication.

Pregnancy: This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. If you become pregnant while using this medication, contact your doctor immediately.

Breast-feeding: It is not known if levocabastine passes into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are using this medication, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.

Children: The safety and effectiveness of using this medication have not been established for children under the age of 12 years.

Seniors: The safety and effectiveness of using this medication have not been established for people older than 65 years of age.

What other drugs could interact with this medication?

Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications that you are taking. Also tell them about any supplements you take. Since caffeine, alcohol, the nicotine from cigarettes, or street drugs can affect the action of many medications, you should let your prescriber know if you use them. Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may want you to:

  • stop taking one of the medications,
  • change one of the medications to another,
  • change how you are taking one or both of the medications, or
  • leave everything as is.

An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. Speak to your doctor about how any drug interactions are being managed or should be managed.