This is an over-the-counter allergy drop, useful for itching and swelling of the eyelids.  This drop actually contains two separate drugs.  The first is called pheniramine – this is an antihistamine to decrease inflammation. While effective, it is not as powerful as stronger antihistamines found in newer drops.  The other drug is called naphazoline.  This is a vasoconstrictor that makes the eyes less red, but can cause a rebound redness when the drop wears off (an effect similar to Visine).   Overall, Naphcon-A and the other generic equivalents are effective but I never prescribe them as they are not as powerful as newer allergy drops like Alaway/Zaditor or the prescription drops Bepreve and Pataday.

Dr. Timothy Root is a practicing ophthalmologist and cataract surgeon in Daytona Beach, Florida. His books, video lectures, and training resources can be found at:


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