Health Guide
Drug Guide

Beta-adrenergic blocker (Ophthalmic route)

Brand Names:

Dosage Forms:

Uses of This Medicine:

Beta-adrenergic blocking agents for the eye are used to treat certain types of glaucoma. They appear to work by reducing the production of fluid in the eye. This lowers the pressure in the eye.

These medicines are available only with your doctor's prescription.

Before Using This Medicine:


Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to medicines in this group or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.


Infants may be especially sensitive to the effects of ophthalmic beta-adrenergic blocking agents. This may increase the chance of side effects during treatment.

Older adults

Elderly people are especially sensitive to the effects of ophthalmic beta-adrenergic blocking agents. If too much medicine is absorbed into the body, the chance of side effects during treatment may be increased.


Ophthalmic beta-adrenergic blocking agents may be absorbed into the body. These medicines have not been studied in pregnant women. Studies in animals have not shown that betaxolol, levobunolol, metipranolol, or timolol causes birth defects. However, high doses of levobetaxolol given by mouth to pregnant rabbits have been shown to cause birth defects in rabbit babies, and very large doses of carteolol given by mouth to pregnant rats have been shown to cause wavy ribs in rat babies. In addition, some studies in animals have shown that beta-adrenergic blocking agents increase the chance of death in the animal fetus. Before using ophthalmic beta-adrenergic blocking agents, make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or if you may become pregnant.


Betaxolol and timolol, and maybe other beta-adrenergic blocking agents, when taken by mouth, may pass into the breast milk. Since ophthalmic beta-adrenergic blocking agents may be absorbed into the body, they, too, may pass into the breast milk. However, it is not known whether ophthalmic beta-adrenergic blocking agents pass into the breast milk, and these medicines have not been reported to cause problems in nursing babies.

Other medicines

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking any of these medicines, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.

Using medicines in this class with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

Other interactions

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Other medical problems

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of medicines in this class. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

Proper Use of This Medicine:

To use:

Use this medicine only as directed. Do not use more of it and do not use it more often than your doctor ordered. To do so may increase the chance of too much medicine being absorbed into the body and the chance of side effects.


The dose medicines in this class will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of these medicines. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

Missed dose

Call your doctor or pharmacist for instructions.

If you miss a dose of this medicine and your dosing schedule is:

If you have any questions about this, check with your doctor.


Keep out of the reach of children.

Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.

Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.

Store levobetaxolol in an upright position.

Precautions While Using This Medicine:

Your doctor should check your eye pressure at regular visits to make certain that your glaucoma is being controlled.

Contact your physician immediately if you are having eye surgery, you experience trauma to your eye, or you develop an eye infection to determine if you should continue to use your present container of eye drops.

For a short time after you use this medicine, your vision may be blurred. Make sure your vision is clear before you drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous if you are not able to see well.

Before you have any kind of surgery, dental treatment, or emergency treatment, tell the medical doctor or dentist in charge that you are using this medicine. Using an ophthalmic beta-adrenergic blocking agent during this time may cause an increased risk of side effects.

For diabetic patients:

Some ophthalmic beta-adrenergic blocking agents (betaxolol, carteolol, and metipranolol) may cause your eyes to become more sensitive to light than they are normally. Wearing sunglasses and avoiding too much exposure to bright light may help lessen the discomfort.

Side Effects of This Medicine:

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:

More common
Redness of eyes or inside of eyelids
Less common or rare
Blurred vision or other change in vision
different size pupils of the eyes
discoloration of the eyeball
droopy upper eyelid
eye pain
redness or irritation of the tongue
seeing double
swelling, irritation or inflammation of eye or eyelid
Symptoms of too much medicine being absorbed into the body
Ankle, knee, or great toe joint pain
ankle, knee, or great toe joint swelling
anxiety or nervousness
bloody or cloudy urine
breast pain
burning or prickling feeling on body
change in taste
chest pain
clumsiness or unsteadiness
confusion or mental depression
coughing, wheezing, or troubled breathing
decreased sexual ability
difficult, burning, or painful urination
dizziness or feeling faint
dryness or soreness of throat
ear pain
feeling of constant movement
hair loss
hallucinations (seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there)
irregular, fast, slow, or pounding heartbeat
lower back or side pain
muscle or joint aches or pain
muscle tightness or stiffness
nausea or vomiting
raw, red, blistering, scaly, or crusted areas of the skin
ringing or buzzing in the ears
runny, stuffy, or bleeding nose
skin rash, hives, or itching
swelling of feet, ankles, or lower legs
trouble in sleeping
unusual tiredness or weakness

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common
Blurred vision, temporary
decreased night vision
stinging of eye or other eye irritation (when medicine is applied)

The side effect of blurred vision is associated primarily with levobetaxolol and the timolol gel-forming solution and usually lasts from thirty seconds to five minutes.

Less common or rare
Acid or sour stomach
crusting of eyelashes
dryness of eye
dry skin
feeling of something in the eye
increased sensitivity of eye to light
itching, stinging, burning, or watering of eye or other eye irritation
pain, redness, warmth, or swelling of muscles

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Last Updated: 10/12/2016

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