Patanol vs Pataday for 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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Patanol (olopatadine) and Pataday (olopatadine) can be confusing right off the bat due to the look-alike, sound-alike drug names. Although these medications have the same active ingredient and treat the same thing, allergic conjunctivitis, they come in different strengths and are used differently.

What is allergic conjunctivitis?

Allergic conjunctivitis is when the lining of your eyelid becomes swollen due to allergens such as pollen, dander, or mold. Symptoms include swollen, red, or itchy eyes; burning or tearing of the eyes; and discharge from the eye.

In which strengths and forms are Patanol and Pataday available?
Patanol and Pataday are both ophthalmic solutions (eye drops), but Patanol is available as a 0.1% solution, where Pataday is a 0.2% solution.

How is Patanol used?

One drop of Patanol is applied into each affected eye twice daily.

How is Pataday to be used?

When naming this eye drop ‘Pataday’ the manufacturer decided to give a hint directly in the name for how often this medication is to be used: one drop of Pataday is applied into each affected eye once daily.

The advantage of Pataday over Patanol:

It boils down to patient compliance—how likely you are to remember to take your medication, and whether you take it as prescribed by your doctor.

Pataday has the advantage of only being used once daily, which is easy to remember than Patanol which needs to be used twice daily at a 6 to 8 hour interval.

Another advantage of using Pataday is—believe it or not—price! Pataday will cost you as little as $145 while Patanol will cost you around $160 at the minimum.

Are there any disadvantages to taking Pataday?

At this time there doesn’t seem to be a real disadvantage to using Pataday. However, in December 2015, the patent will expire on Patanol which will allow a generic to be manufactured. A generic form of Patanol will most likely be less expensive than Pataday. Then you may want to consider whether the convenience of once-daily dosing is worth the trade-off in price.

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