Pataday, Patanol, Pazeo: Which Drops Are Best for Itchy, Allergic Eyes?

Roni Shye
Roni Shye, PharmD BCGP BCACP, is a licensed pharmacist in the states of Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
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Pataday, Patanol, and Pazeo—not only do they sound similar, but these three eye drops all have the same active ingredient (olopatadine), and all treat the same thing: itchy, allergic eyes (allergic conjunctivitis).

So, if they’re all so similar, is one better than the others? Let’s take a look.

Patanol—what are the pros and cons?
Advantage: Patanol may be your winner based on price. It is also available as generic olopatadine 0.1%. Generic medications cost less and can mean significant savings for you. The generic just hit pharmacies in December 2015, so expect prices to drop even more over time.

Disadvantage: Patanol must be used twice daily. The more you need to use a medication, the more likely you’ll forget a dose, or use it incorrectly (plus, it’s less convenient).

Pataday—what are the pros and cons?
Advantage: Pataday only needs to be used once a day (hence the ‘day’ in its name). It’s more convenient, and you’re more likely to remember to take it as prescribed.

Disadvantage: Pataday is still brand-only. This could mean you’ll have a more expensive co-pay, if your insurance even covers it. With a similar generic available, many plans may not cover Pataday. If your doctor prescribes you Pataday, check with your insurance to see if it’s on your formulary before making a trip to the pharmacy.

Pazeo—what are the pros and cons?
Advantage: Pazeo, like Pataday, only needs to be used once a day. It may have something else going for it though. In two clinical trials, Pazeo showed improved relief at 24-hours post-treatment compared to Pataday.

Disadvantage: Like Pataday, Pazeo might be more expensive or not covered by your insurance since it’s still brand-only.

Anything else I should know?

The Pataday website is suggesting that Pataday users speak with their doctors about Pazeo. This leads me to believe that there may be upcoming news regarding Pataday—possibly that the manufacturer will be phasing it out.

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