||AK-Beta, Betagan Liquifilm
||Betimol, Istalol, Timoptic
|timolol and brimonidine
|timolol and dorzolamide
These medicines are given in eyedrop form. Beta-blocker
eyedrops have yellow or blue bottle caps. If you need to use more than one type
of eyedrop, you may need to take each medicine in a certain order. You can use
the color of the bottle cap to help you remember when to use each type of
If you are using more than one type of eyedrop, wait 5
minutes between the different eyedrop medicines.
How It Works
Beta-blockers lower the pressure inside
the eye by reducing how much fluid (aqueous humor) is produced in the
Why It Is Used
Beta-blockers are most often used to
open-angle glaucoma. They may be used alone or
combined with other
glaucoma medicines. A combination of medicines can
help control how much fluid is made in the eye and can also increase the amount
of fluid that drains out of the eye.
metipranolol, and carteolol must be used with caution in people with glaucoma
who also have
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or
heart rhythm problems.
How Well It Works
Reducing pressure in the eyes
helps slow optic nerve damage, decreasing the rate of vision loss.
These medicines may continue to lower pressure in the eyes over several
weeks before a stable level is reached.
Beta-blockers may be more
effective than pilocarpine or epinephrine alone.
Side effects of beta-blockers
- Stinging, aching, or redness in the eyes after using
- Dry eyes and foreign body sensation (the feeling that
something is in your eye).
- Slow heartbeat.
- Spasms of
the tubes leading to the lungs (bronchospasm or
Fatigue, dizziness, and inability
to tolerate exercise.
See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug
Reference is not available in all systems.)
What To Think About
Beta-blockers are often used to
treat open-angle glaucoma because they are effective and usually well
tolerated. Most beta-blockers need to be taken twice a day, but some can be
taken only once a day. Beta-blockers have many potential side effects. They are
more likely to cause side effects in older people and in people with severe
lung or heart problems.
Beta-blockers do not affect pupil size or
focusing that is needed to read printed material at close range. Some other
medicines used to treat glaucoma (cholinergics, like pilocarpine) do affect
Beta-blockers are often used in combination with a
cholinergic, a carbonic anhydrase inhibitor, newer adrenergic agents such as
brimonidine (Alphagan), or a prostaglandin analog such as latanoprost
Betaxolol is less effective than timolol in reducing
pressure in the eyes. But it is safe for people who have mild chronic
obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma.
Complete the new medication information form (PDF)(What is a PDF document?) to help you understand this medication.