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Generic Name: timolol (TIM-oh-lole)
Brand Name: Blocadren

Do not suddenly stop taking timolol. Sharp chest pain, irregular heartbeat, and sometimes heart attack may occur if you suddenly stop timolol. The risk may be greater if you have certain types of heart disease. Your doctor should slowly lower your dose over several weeks if you need to stop taking it. This should be done even if you only take timolol for high blood pressure. Heart disease is common and you may not know you have it. Limit physical activity while you are lowering your dose. If new or worsened chest pain or other heart problems occur, contact your doctor right away. You may need to start taking timolol again.


Timolol is used for:

Treating high blood pressure. It is also used to help prevent a second heart attack in patients who have survived a first heart attack and are stable and to prevent migraines. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Timolol is a beta-blocker. It works by interfering with body chemicals that shrink blood vessels and interfere with normal heart contractions.

Do NOT use timolol if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in timolol or to similar medicines
  • you have asthma, a history of asthma, or severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • you have severe slow heartbeat or rapid heartbeat; heart blockage, failure, or shock; or low systolic blood pressure
  • you are taking mibefradil, theophyllines (eg, aminophylline), cocaine, or sympathomimetics (eg, epinephrine)

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using timolol:

Some medical conditions may interact with timolol. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have heart disease, heart failure, blood flow problems, bronchitis or another lung problem, tumors on your adrenal gland, diabetes mellitus, an overactive thyroid, or you are suffering from an allergic reaction, or you will be having surgery

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with timolol. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Indomethacin and derivatives, ibuprofen, naproxen, phenylpropanolamine, sulfinpyrazone, or sulindac because they may decrease timolol's effectiveness
  • Anticholinesterases (eg, pyridostigmine), cimetidine, diltiazem, disopyramide, flecainide, ketanserin, lithium, mefloquine, mibefradil, nifedipine and derivatives, propafenone, quinidine, reserpine, serotonin reuptake inhibitors (eg, fluoxetine), or verapamil and derivatives because side effects, such as low blood pressure and slowed heart rate, may occur
  • Bupivacaine, carbonic anhydrase inhibitors (eg, acetazolamide), cocaine, disopyramide, sympathomimetics (eg, epinephrine), ergot alkaloids (eg, ergotamine), flecainide, insulin, ketanserin, mefloquine, meglitinide antidiabetics (eg, repaglinide), methyldopa, nifedipine and derivatives, quinazolines (eg, imatinib), serotonin reuptake inhibitors (eg, fluoxetine), or verapamil and derivatives because the risk of their side effects may be increased by timolol
  • Glucagon, meglitinide antidiabetics (eg, repaglinide), phenformin, sympathomimetics (eg, pseudoephedrine, albuterol), or theophyllines (eg, aminophylline) because the their effectiveness may be decreased by timolol
  • Clonidine because when it is discontinued it may cause rebound high blood pressure

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if timolol may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use timolol:

Use timolol as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Take timolol by mouth with or without food.
  • If you miss a dose of timolol, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use timolol.

Important safety information:

  • Timolol may cause drowsiness or dizziness. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use timolol with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Additional monitoring of your dose or condition may be needed if you are taking prazosin.
  • Tell your doctor or dentist that you take timolol before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
  • If you have high blood pressure, do not use nonprescription products that contain stimulants. These products may include diet pills or cold medicines. Contact your doctor if you have any questions or concerns.
  • Diabetes patients - Timolol may hide signs of low blood sugar, such as a rapid heartbeat. Be sure to watch for other signs of low blood sugar. Low blood sugar may make you anxious, sweaty, weak, dizzy, drowsy, or faint. It may also make your vision change; give you a headache, chills, or tremors; or make you more hungry. Check blood sugar levels closely. Ask your doctor before you change the dose of your diabetes medicine.
  • Patients who take medicine for high blood pressure often feel tired or run down for a few weeks after starting treatment. Be sure to take your medicine even if you may not feel "normal." Tell your doctor if you develop any new symptoms.
  • If your doctor has instructed you to check your blood pressure and heart rate regularly, be sure to do so.
  • Timolol should not be used in CHILDREN; safety and effectiveness in children have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using timolol while you are pregnant. Timolol is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking timolol.

Possible side effects of timolol:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Dizziness; fatigue/tiredness; lightheadedness; mild drowsiness; slow heartbeat; unusual weakness.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); breathing problems; chest pain; irregular heart rhythms.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include difficult or slowed breathing; fainting; low blood pressure; severe dizziness; very slow heart rate; weakness.

Proper storage of timolol:

Store timolol at room temperature, between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep timolol out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about timolol, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Timolol is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take timolol or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about timolol. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to timolol. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using timolol.

Issue Date: April 2, 2014
Database Edition 14.2.1.001
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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