What are the Timolol side effects, uses, and precautions?

Why is Timolol eye drop prescribed?

Timolol medication is a beta-blocker medication, basically, it is used for two purposes: treatment of hypertension (high blood pressure) or hypertension, and glaucoma. You can take timolol medication either by mouth or as eye drops. It is a prescription drug by your doctor or pharmacist. It affects the circulation of the blood and the heart.

When you are taking the medication by mouth, it is used for high blood pressure, chest pain because of insufficient blood flow to the heart, or to prevent further complications after a heart attack, and to prevent migraines and when you are using this medication by eye drops, it is used to treat glaucoma (a condition in which you are loss of vision), it works by decreasing the amount of fluid within the eye.

Timolol was patented in 1968 and in 1978, it came into medical use. The World Health Organization (WHO) created an Essential Medicines List, timolol is one of them available in the list. In 2018, with more than four million prescriptions in the United States, timolol was the 106th most commonly prescribed medication and it is available as a generic medication.

How to use Timolol drops?

Timolol drops are available in two form solutions (liquid) and an extended-release (long-acting) gel-forming solution. This medication solution (liquid) is usually used one to two times a day unless the pressure is controlled in the eye (about 4 weeks). After the four weeks, timolol can be instilled in your eyes once a day. And the timolol gel-forming solution is used once a day in the eye. And to remember, always use it at around the same time each and every day.

Always remember that you have to follow all the directions on your prescription label carefully, and use this medication exactly as directed by your doctor or pharmacist. If anything that you don’t understand, ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain and don’t try to use this medication more or less often than prescribed by your healthcare professionals.

If you are using this medication and you are feeling well then continue to use timolol because timolol drops are only used to control glaucoma but it doesn’t cure glaucoma. Without consulting your health care professional, don’t try to stop using it.

How to apply timolol eye drops or gel-forming solution:

  1. Before using timolol, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water very gently.
  2. If you are using the eye drops then you don’t need to shake the bottle but if you are using the gel-forming solution of the timolol, then shake the bottle or container once.
  3. Ensure that the end of the container dropper is not chipped or cracked.
  4. Against your eye, try to avoid touching the dropper tip or anything else. Always remember that eye drops and droppers must be clean.
  5. To form a pocket with your index finger pull down the lower lid of your eye, while tilting your head back.
  6. With the help of the other hand hold the dropper, as close to the eye as possible without touching it.
  7. The next step is to brace the remaining fingers against your face.
  8. If you are using the eye drop of timolol then squeeze the dropper, when you’re looking up so that a single drop falls into the pocket made by the lower eyelid.  If you are using the gel-forming solution, read all the directions that were written on your medication label whether you should have pushed the bottom area of the bottle so that a single drop falls.
  9. And then from the lower eyelid remove your index finger.
  10. After that, as you look at the floor, close your eyes for 2 to 3 minutes. And try to not squeeze or blink your eyelids.
  11. Apply gentle pressure by placing a finger on the tear duct.
  12. With a tissue, from your face, wipe any excess liquid.
  13. Wait at least 5 minutes if you want to use more than one drop in the same eye before instilling the next drop.
  14. Without wiping or rinsing the dropper tip, replace and tighten the cap on the dropper bottle.
  15. In the end, wash your hands again to remove the medication.

If you are using another medication for eyes like Ofloxacin eye drops, ketorolac eye drops or ointments then wait before applying other medications at least 10 minutes, after that you may use eye drops.

If you want to get the most benefits from the timolol medication then use this medication regularly in order. Until consulting your doctor won’t try to stop using this medication.  

What special dietary plans should I follow?

You can continue your normal diet if your doctor didn’t give you any instructions related to food.

What are the side effects of timolol eye drops?

Timolol eye drops have been prescribed to you because your doctor or pharmacists have judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. These timolol eye drops only use serious side effects because people that are using this medication have some serious side effects.

Some common side effects of timolol eye drops:

Stop taking or using timolol eye drops if you experience any of these common side effects or symptoms, and call your doctor immediately:

  • You’ll feel a headache.
  • You’ll feel depressed.
  • You’ll feel eye irritation.
  • You’ll feel double vision.
  • You’ll feel dizziness.
  • You’ll feel nausea.

Some serious side effects of timolol eye drops:

Stop taking or using timolol eye drops, if you experience any of these serious side effects or symptoms, and call your doctor immediately:

  • You’ll start feeling swelling of the feet or lower legs.
  • You’ll start feeling difficulty breathing.
  • You’ll start feeling fainting.
  • You’ll start feeling a slow or irregular heartbeat.
  • You’ll start feeling sudden weight gain.

If you have any unusual problems apart from these while using timolol eye drops then immediately contact your doctor or pharmacist because this is not the complete list of the all symptoms and side effects of timolol eye drops.

What special precautions could I take?

Some special precaution of timolol eye drops you should have followed before using this medication:

  • If you are allergic to timolol, beta-blockers, or any other drugs then tell your doctor and pharmacist.
  • If you have or have ever had thyroid, heart, or lung disease; congestive heart failure; myasthenia gravis; or diabetes then tell your doctor and pharmacist.
  • If you are breastfeeding, pregnant, or planning to become pregnant and using the  timolol medication. If you become pregnant while taking timolol eye drops or gel-forming solutions then tell your doctor and pharmacist.
  • If you are having surgery, including dental surgery while you are using a timolol eye drop or gel-forming solution then tell your doctor and pharmacist.
  • If you have eye surgery, an eye injury, or develop an eye infection while using timolol eye drops or gel-forming solutions, then talk to your doctor and pharmacist about whether you can continue using the same container of timolol or not.
  • Avoid rubbing your eyes, during the treatment with a timolol gel-forming solution, you should know that your vision may be blurred.
  • Don’t ever try to drive a car because this drug may make your vision blurred or not operate any machinery until you see clearly.
  • Before installing timolol eye drops or gel-forming solutions remove your contact lenses, because this solution can be absorbed by soft contact lenses and it would be harmful to you. After instilling timolol eye drops or gel-forming solutions you can put your contact lenses in your eyes after 15 minutes of instilling the medication.
  • If you are using another medication for eyes like eye drops or ointments then wait before applying other medications at least 10 minutes, after that, you may use timolol eye drops or gel-forming solutions.
  • If you have any medical history or are allergic to timolol eye drops or gel-forming solutions or any other medications then tell your doctor and pharmacist.
  • If you are taking some prescription and nonprescription medications especially beta-blockers such as atenolol, carteolol, esmolol, labetalol, metoprolol, nadolol (Corgard), propranolol (Inderal), sotalol (Betapace), and timolol (Blocadren); quinidine (Quinidex, Quinaglute Dura-Tabs); verapamil (Calan, Isoptin); and vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products, or planning to take then tell your doctor and pharmacist.

Follow all the mentioned precautions carefully, these are all precautions that you can take while using the timolol eye drops or gel-forming solutions. If you have experienced or faced any of the problems mentioned above then contact your doctor or pharmacists immediately.

What can I do after I forget a dose?

When you start to take timolol eye drops or gel-forming solutions, always remember to write down all of the instructions that your doctor or pharmacist tells you when you ask a question: what can I do if I forget a dose?

The answer is if you forgot to take timolol eye drops or gel-forming solutions and if it is near the time of your next dose then we suggest you please skip that dose and take it at the next dose at the regular time. Don’t take the dose at irregular times. It makes your dose double and it would be harmful to you.

What happens if I overdose?

Some of the symptoms or side effects that can occur because of an overdose of timolol eye drops or gel-forming solutions.

Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have experienced any of the following symptoms or side effects immediately. These are very harmful to you.

What can I know about the storage and disposal of this medication?

Store this medication at room temperature and keep them away from light or excessive heat and moisture. And put them away from the reach of the pets and children, we suggest you put that medicine in a tightly closed container in which they came. Ensure that the liquid form of this product doesn’t freeze.

You should have disposed of all the medication that is unneeded in a special way to ensure that children, pets, and other people can’t consume them. You can not flush them or pour them into the drain. You can return them to the pharmacist or the best way is that you can take back the program for returning your medicines.

What other information should I know?

Don’t miss any of your doctor and laboratory appointments because your doctor will check the response of this medicine then he/she will tell you the update or other pieces of information. So, keep all your appointments with your doctor, pharmacist, and the laboratory. 

Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you feel your health condition is getting worse or your dose may need to be adjusted.

It is very important to tell your pharmacist about all your prescriptions and nonprescription you were taking and make a list of them and carry the list all time it would help you in case of emergencies. When you meet or visit your doctor you should bring the list its important to it you doctor.

And ensure that no one is taking your medicine or no one has them. And every time when you meet your pharmacist or doctor asks them any of the questions you have about refilling your prescription.

Brand names

  • Betimol
  • Timoptic
  • Timoptic GFS
  • Timoptic-XE

Brand names of combination products

  • Combigan (containing Timolol and Brimonidine)
  • Cosopt (containing Timolol and Dorzolamide)

Hope you find this blog useful. Please tell us your experience with this blog in the comment section and keep visiting for further pieces of information.

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