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Kerlone Side Effects

Generic Name: betaxolol

Note: This page contains information about the side effects of betaxolol. Some of the dosage forms included on this document may not apply to the brand name Kerlone.

Not all side effects for Kerlone may be reported. You should always consult a doctor or healthcare professional for medical advice. Side effects can be reported to the FDA here.

For the Consumer

Applies to betaxolol: oral tablet

In addition to its needed effects, some unwanted effects may be caused by betaxolol (the active ingredient contained in Kerlone). In the event that any of these side effects do occur, they may require medical attention.

You should check with your doctor immediately if any of these side effects occur when taking betaxolol:

More common
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting
  • shortness of breath
  • slow or irregular heartbeat
  • unusual tiredness
Less common
  • Cold arms, legs, hands, or feet
  • difficult or labored breathing
  • fast, pounding, or racing heartbeat or pulse
  • swelling of face, fingers, feet, or lower legs
  • tightness in the chest
  • wheezing

If any of the following symptoms of overdose occur while taking betaxolol, get emergency help immediately:

Symptoms of overdose
  • Anxiety
  • blurred vision
  • chills
  • cold sweats
  • coma
  • confusion
  • convulsions (seizures)
  • cool, pale skin
  • decreased urine output
  • depression
  • dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up from a lying or sitting position suddenly
  • extreme fatigue
  • headache
  • increased hunger
  • irregular breathing
  • loss of consciousness
  • nervousness
  • nightmares
  • noisy breathing
  • shakiness
  • slurred speech
  • sweating
  • troubled breathing
  • weight gain
  • unusual tiredness or weakness

Some of the side effects that can occur with betaxolol may not need medical attention. As your body adjusts to the medicine during treatment these side effects may go away. Your health care professional may also be able to tell you about ways to reduce or prevent some of these side effects. If any of the following side effects continue, are bothersome or if you have any questions about them, check with your health care professional:

More common
  • Joint pain
  • nausea
Less common
  • Acid or sour stomach
  • belching
  • body aches or pain
  • burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, "pins and needles", or tingling feelings
  • congestion
  • decreased interest in sexual intercourse
  • diarrhea
  • difficulty in moving
  • dryness or soreness of throat
  • fever
  • heartburn
  • hoarseness
  • inability to have or keep an erection
  • indigestion
  • loss in sexual ability, desire, drive, or performance
  • muscle pain or stiffness
  • rash
  • runny nose
  • sleeplessness
  • sneezing
  • stomach discomfort, upset, or pain
  • stuffy nose
  • tender, swollen glands in neck
  • trouble in swallowing
  • trouble sleeping
  • unable to sleep
  • unusual drowsiness, dullness, or feeling of sluggishness
  • unusual or strange dreams
  • voice changes
  • Discouragement
  • feeling sad or empty
  • irritability
  • lack of appetite
  • loss of interest or pleasure
  • tiredness
  • trouble concentrating

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to betaxolol: oral tablet


Betaxolol (the active ingredient contained in Kerlone) is generally well-tolerated. In one large study of 4,685 patients, only 14% experienced side effects after six months of therapy.[Ref]

Nervous system

Nervous system side effects include headache in 15% of patients, although headache has been more common in patients treated with placebo in controlled studies. Fatigue or dizziness are reported in 10% to 16% of patients. Five percent of patients complain of insomnia. Rare side effects include vertigo, paresthesias, lethargy, depression, nervousness, nightmares, and dizziness.[Ref]

In one study of 317 evaluable patients with hypertension, no side effects associated with betaxolol were more common than with placebo.[Ref]


Cardiovascular problems include dose-related bradycardia 1% to 8% and Raynaud's phenomenon in 3% of patients. Bradycardia may be more likely in elderly patients. Edema or palpitations occur in 2% to 5% of patients. No reports of congestive heart failure (CHF) associated with betaxolol (the active ingredient contained in Kerlone) have been reported, although new or worsened CHF has been associated with the use of some other beta-blockers. Chest pain has also been reported rarely.[Ref]

In one study of 317 evaluable patients with hypertension, bradycardia was observed in 1.3% of patients who were taking daily doses of 5 mg, 3.8% at 10 mg, and 7.5% at 20 mg.[Ref]


Musculoskeletal pain is reported in approximately 7% of patients.[Ref]


Respiratory side effects are related to the ability of betaxolol (the active ingredient contained in Kerlone) to inhibit bronchodilation, which may be important in some patients with reversible airways disease, such as asthma or severe obstructive lung disease. Dyspnea or bronchospasm is reported in 0.5% of patients. Pharyngitis, rhinitis, and upper respiratory infection have also been reported rarely.[Ref]


Gastrointestinal side effects are unusual. General gastrointestinal disturbances, such as dyspepsia and diarrhea, are reported in 2% to 5% of patients. Constipation and nausea are rare.[Ref]


Genitourinary complaints are limited to impotence in approximately 1% of male patients.[Ref]


Metabolic abnormalities are usually clinically insignificant, and are limited to mild increases in the total serum triglyceride concentration.[Ref]


Psychiatric side effects including depression (0.8%) have been rarely reported.[Ref]


Dermatologic side effects including rash (1.2%) have been rarely reported.[Ref]


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2. Hwang YS, Yen HW, Wu JC, Lin CC "Betaxolol once-daily monotherapy for systemic hypertension: An open-label, uncontrolled trial." Curr Ther Res Clin Exp 59 (1998): 307-14

3. "Betaxolol for hypertension." Med Lett Drugs Ther 32 (1990): 61-2

4. Glasser SP, Friedman R, Talibi T, Smith LK, Weir EK "Safety and compatibility of betaxolol hydrochloride combined with diltiazem or nifedipine therapy in stable angina pectoris." Am J Cardiol 73 (1994): 213-8

5. Strahlman E, Tipping R, Vogel R "A double-masked, randomized 1-year study comparing dorzolamide (trusopt), timolol, and betaxolol." Arch Ophthalmol 113 (1995): 1009-16

6. Williams RL, Goyle KK, Herman TS, Rofman BA, Ruoff GE, Hogan LB "Dose-dependent effects of betaxolol in hypertension: a double-blind, multicenter study." J Clin Pharmacol 32 (1992): 360-7

7. Beresford R, Heel RC "Betaxolol. A review of its pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic properties, and therapeutic efficacy in hypertension." Drugs 31 (1986): 6-28

8. "Product Information. Kerlone (betaxolol)." Searle, Skokie, IL.

9. McLenachan JM, Findlay IN, Wilson JT, Dargie HJ "Twenty-four-hour beta-blockade in stable angina pectoris: a study of atenolol and betaxolol." J Cardiovasc Pharmacol 20 (1992): 311-5

10. Shiuey Y, Eisenberg MJ "Cardiovascular effects of commonly used ophthalmic medications." Clin Cardiol 19 (1996): 5-8

11. Hollenbeck M, Plum J, Heering P, Kutkuhn B, Grabensee B "Influence of betaxolol on renal function and atrial natriuretic peptide in essential hypertension." J Hypertens 9 (1991): 819-24

12. Odonoghue E "Beta blockers and the elderly with glaucoma: are we adding insult to injury?" Br J Ophthalmol 79 (1995): 794-6

13. Salpeter SS, Ormiston T, Salpeter E, Poole P, Cates D "Cardioselective beta-blockers for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease." Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2 (2002): CD0003566

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate, up-to-date and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. In addition, the drug information contained herein may be time sensitive and should not be utilized as a reference resource beyond the date hereof. This material does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients, or recommend therapy. This information is a reference resource designed as supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill , knowledge, and judgement of healthcare practitioners in patient care. The absence of a warning for a given drug or combination thereof in no way should be construed to indicate safety, effectiveness, or appropriateness for any given patient. does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of materials provided. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the substances you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.