Timoptic eye drops are very effective at lowering pressure within the eye
and have helped provide an important advance in the treatment of some types of
The active ingredient, timolol, is known as a beta blocker.
Timoptic is normally prescribed alone or with other glaucoma medications
to reduce the pressure within the eye.
Side Effects and Interactions
Timoptic can cause eye irritation and some
It may also provoke headache, dizziness, slow heart
rate, heart rhythm disturbances, chest pain, drowsiness, muscle weakness, sexual
difficulties, nausea, diarrhea, muscle weakness, rash, hair loss and trouble
Although Timoptic is less likely to affect the nervous system
than oral beta blockers, be alert for the beta blocker blahs. Symptoms of
psychological depression, fatigue, confusion, and memory loss may come on slowly
and insidiously. Notify your physician promptly of any adverse reactions,
especially breathing difficulties, fluid retention in the legs or a night cough.
Timoptic may interact with surgical anesthetics and increase the risk of
heart problems in surgery. Check with the doctor ahead of time to see if you
should phase off these eye drops gradually before you enter the operating room.
This drug may also interact with a number of other compounds, including
several that are used to treat blood pressure or heart problems.
inhibitors for depression (Nardil, Parnate) should not be taken with oral
timolol and may pose problems with Timoptic. Dilantin and digoxin may also cause
Oral contraceptives, estrogen replacement therapy and medicines
for arthritis, asthma, migraine headaches, diabetes, and thyroid problems have
potential interactions with these eye drops.
Check with your doctor and
pharmacist to make sure Timoptic is safe in combination with any other drugs you
Some people should avoid beta blockers like Timoptic or take them only with great caution.
Asthmatics and patients with other respiratory problems are especially vulnerable, as these drugs can make breathing worse.
People with heart failure should also alert the ophthalmologist, as beta blockers may lead to cardiac complications.
These eye drops can also affect blood lipid levels in a negative manner. A consultation between the eye doctor and the one treating lung or heart problems may be in order.
Taking the Medicine
Timoptic is less likely than oral timolol (Blocadren) to affect the entire body. Nevertheless,
some people absorb this medicine through the eye and into the body as a whole.
can be reduced somewhat with proper application. It helps to pull the lower eyelid away from the
eye to make a pouch, look upward, and put the drop in the pouch without touching the dropper to the eye.
As soon as the drops are in, the eyelid should be closed gently for 1 to 2 minutes and pressure applied with a finger to the inside corner of the eye.
Do not stop using Timoptic on your own. Your physician will give you special instructions if you need to discontinue these eye drops or change to another one.