Skip to Content

Ocupress Side Effects

Generic Name: carteolol ophthalmic

Note: This page contains side effects data for the generic drug carteolol ophthalmic. It is possible that some of the dosage forms included below may not apply to the brand name Ocupress.

It is possible that some side effects of Ocupress may not have been reported. These can be reported to the FDA here. Always consult a healthcare professional for medical advice.

For the Consumer

Applies to carteolol ophthalmic: ophthalmic solution

As well as its needed effects, carteolol ophthalmic (the active ingredient contained in Ocupress) may cause unwanted side effects that require medical attention.

If any of the following side effects occur while taking carteolol ophthalmic, check with your doctor immediately:

Less common
  • Blurred vision
  • chest pain or discomfort
  • confusion
  • dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up from a lying or sitting position suddenly
  • shortness of breath
  • slow or irregular heartbeat
  • sweating
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
Incidence not determined
  • Blue lips, fingernails, or skin
  • blurred, cloudy, or yellow vision
  • change in color vision
  • confusion
  • cough
  • decreased urine output
  • decreased vision after sunset and before sunrise
  • difficult or labored breathing
  • difficulty seeing at night
  • dilated neck veins
  • discoloration of white part of eye
  • disturbed color perception
  • drainage from the eye
  • drooping upper eyelids
  • double vision
  • extreme fatigue
  • eye redness, irritation, pain, burning, or tearing
  • fast heartbeat
  • fever
  • halos around lights
  • hives
  • hoarseness
  • inability to speak
  • increase in blood flow to the whites of the eyes
  • increased sensitivity of eyes to sunlight
  • irregular, fast or slow, or shallow breathing
  • irritation
  • itching
  • joint pain, stiffness, or swelling
  • loss of vision
  • night blindness
  • noisy breathing
  • overbright appearance of lights
  • pain or tenderness around eyes and cheekbones
  • pounding or rapid pulse
  • rash
  • redness of skin
  • redness, swelling, and/or itching of eye and eyelid
  • seeing double
  • seizures
  • severe numbness, especially on one side of the face or body
  • severe or sudden headache
  • slurred speech
  • stuffy or runny nose
  • swelling of eyelids, face, fingers, lips, hands, feet, or lower legs
  • temporary blindness
  • tightness in chest
  • tiredness
  • troubled breathing
  • tunnel vision
  • unusual feeling in the eyes
  • weakness in arm and/or leg on one side of the body, sudden and severe
  • weight gain
  • wheezing

Some carteolol ophthalmic side effects may not need any medical attention. As your body gets used to the medicine these side effects may disappear. Your health care professional may be able to help you prevent or reduce these side effects, but do check with them if any of the following side effects continue, or if you are concerned about them:

Incidence not determined
  • Change in taste or bad, unusual, or unpleasant (after) taste
  • discouragement
  • feeling sad or empty
  • headache
  • irritability
  • lack of appetite
  • lack or loss of strength
  • loss of interest or pleasure
  • nausea
  • sleeplessness
  • trouble concentrating
  • trouble sleeping
  • unable to sleep

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to carteolol ophthalmic: ophthalmic solution


Carteolol is generally well-tolerated. Side effects are usually mild and transient. Although carteolol ophthalmic (the active ingredient contained in Ocupress) solution has not been detected in the plasma following ocular administration, it may be absorbed systemically and side effects similar to systemically administered carteolol or other beta-blockers may be experienced.[Ref]


Ocular side effects have included transient eye irritation, burning, tearing, conjunctival hyperemia, and edema in approximately 25% of patients. Ocular stinging, dry eyes, pain, and pruritus have also been reported. Blurred and cloudy vision, photophobia, decreased night vision, ptosis, blepharoconjunctivitis, abnormal corneal staining, and corneal sensitivity have been reported rarely.

Ocular side effects associated with ophthalmic beta blockers have included signs and symptoms of keratitis, blepharoptosis, visual disturbances including refractive changes, diplopia, and ptosis. In some instances visual disturbances may be caused by withdrawal of miotic therapy.[Ref]


Cardiovascular side effects have included cardiac arrhythmia, heart palpitations, syncope, cerebral vascular accident, and cerebral ischemia. Carteolol may cause or worsen AV heart block.

Congestive heart failure has been reported with other topical ophthalmic beta-blockers.[Ref]


Respiratory side effects have rarely included dyspnea and sinusitis. As with other beta-blockers, patients with a history of reactive airways disease may be more likely to become short of breath while taking carteolol.

Respiratory side effects associated with other ophthalmic beta-blockers have rarely included bronchospasm and severe respiratory failure. Patients with preexisting reactive airways disease or bronchospastic disease may be especially sensitive to these side effects.[Ref]

Nervous system

Nervous system side effects have occasionally included asthenia, headache, dizziness, and insomnia.[Ref]


Psychiatric side effects associated with ophthalmic beta blockers have included depression.[Ref]


Gastrointestinal side effects have included taste perversion and nausea.[Ref]


Genitourinary side effects associated with oral carteolol and other ophthalmic beta blockers have rarely included complaints of impotence in male patients (<1%).[Ref]


In one study, ocular carteolol was reported to decrease HDL cholesterol by 3.3% and raise the ratio of total to HDL cholesterol by 4.0%. Nasolacrimal occlusion was not performed after administration.[Ref]

Metabolic side effects have included a slight decrease in HDL cholesterol and a slight increase in the total to HDL cholesterol ratio.[Ref]


Dermatological side effects associated with other topical beta-blocker agents have included localized and generalized rash.[Ref]


Endocrine side effects associated with ophthalmic beta blockers have included masking of both the signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia in insulin-dependent diabetics, and hyperthyroidism/thyroid storm.[Ref]


Hypersensitivity reactions associated with ophthalmic beta blockers have included localized and generalized rash.[Ref]


1. "Multum Information Services, Inc. Expert Review Panel"

2. "Product Information. Ocupress (carteolol ophthalmic)" Ciba Vision Ophthalmics, Duluth, GA.

3. "Beta-blocker eye drops." Nurs Times 102 (2006): 29

4. Stewart WC, Castelli WP "Systemic side effects of topical beta-adrenergic blockers." Clin Cardiol 19 (1996): 691-7

5. Freedman SF, Freedman NJ, Shields MB, Lobaugh B, Samsa GP, Keates EU, Ollie A "Effects of ocular carteolol and timolol on plasma high-density lipoprotein cholesterol level." Am J Ophthalmol 116 (1993): 600-11

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.