Generic Name: timolol (TIM-oh-lol)
Brand Name: Examples include Istalol and Timoptic
Timolol drops are used for:
Treating increased pressure in the eye (ocular hypertension) and open-angle glaucoma. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.
Timolol drops are a beta-blocker. It works to decrease fluid production and pressure inside the eye.
Do NOT use timolol drops if:
- you are allergic to any ingredient in timolol drops
- you have severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or a history of asthma
- you have heart block, heart failure, or an unusually slow heartbeat
- you are in shock caused by severe heart problems
- you are using another beta-blocker eye drop (eg, betaxolol)
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Before using timolol drops:
Some medical conditions may interact with timolol drops. 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 a history of lung or breathing problems (eg, bronchitis, COPD, emphysema), diabetes, low blood sugar, heart problems, certain muscle problems (eg, myasthenia gravis, muscle weakness), blood vessel problems, or an overactive thyroid
- if you have narrow-angle glaucoma, double vision, a drooping eyelid, or an eye infection or injury
Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with timolol drops. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:
- Bupivacaine, calcium channel blockers (eg, verapamil), certain antiarrhythmics (eg, disopyramide, flecainide, quinidine), cimetidine, digoxin, ketanserin, reserpine, or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) (eg, fluoxetine) because serious heart problems (eg, conduction problems, heart failure, slow heartbeat) or low blood pressure may occur
- Clonidine because increased blood pressure may occur
- Insulin or oral antidiabetics (eg, glyburide, repaglinide) because the risk of low blood sugar (eg, dizziness, headache, hunger, shakiness or weakness, sweating) or slow heart rate may be increased. Timolol drops may also hide certain signs of low blood sugar
- Alpha-blockers (eg, alfuzosin, prazosin), oral beta-blockers (eg, propranolol), or other beta-blocker eye drops (eg, betaxolol) because the risk of their side effects may be increased by timolol drops
- Certain sympathomimetics (eg, albuterol, salmeterol), epinephrine, or theophylline because their effectiveness may be decreased by timolol drops
This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if timolol drops 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 drops:
Use timolol drops as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.
- An extra patient leaflet is available with timolol drops. Talk to your pharmacist if you have questions about this information.
- Timolol drops are only for the eye. Do not get it in your nose or mouth.
- Soft contact lenses may absorb a chemical contained in some brands of timolol drops. Remove contact lenses before you use timolol drops; lenses may be placed back in the eyes 15 minutes after use of timolol drops.
- To use timolol drops in the eye, first, wash your hands. Tilt your head back. Using your index finger, pull the lower eyelid away from the eye to form a pouch. Drop the medicine into the pouch and gently close your eyes. Immediately use your finger to apply pressure to the inside corner of the eye for 1 to 2 minutes. Do not blink. Remove excess medicine around your eye with a clean, dry tissue, being careful not to touch your eye. Wash your hands to remove any medicine that may be on them.
- To prevent germs from contaminating your medicine, do not touch the applicator tip to any surface, including the eye. Keep the container tightly closed.
- Use timolol drops at least 10 minutes before or after any other medicine that you put in your eye.
- Using timolol drops at the same time each day will help you remember to use it.
- Continue to use timolol drops even if you feel well. Do not miss any doses.
- If you miss a dose of timolol drops, use 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 use 2 doses at once.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use timolol drops.
Important safety information:
- Timolol drops may cause drowsiness, dizziness, or blurred vision. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use timolol drops with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
- Tell your doctor or dentist that you take timolol drops before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
- Contact your doctor if you have an eye injury or infection, or if you will be having eye surgery.
- Diabetes patients - Timolol drops 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.
- If you have a history of any severe allergic reaction, talk with your doctor. You may be at risk for an even more severe allergic reaction if you come into contact with the substance that caused your allergy. Some medicines used to treat severe allergies may also not work as well while you are using timolol drops.
- Timolol drops may cause harm if it is swallowed. If you may have taken it by mouth, contact your poison control center or emergency room right away.
- Lab tests, including eye pressure, may be performed while you use timolol drops. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
- Timolol drops should be used with extreme caution 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 drops while you are pregnant. Timolol drops are found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking timolol drops.
Possible side effects of timolol drops:
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:
Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:
Blurred vision; dizziness; dry eyes; feeling that something is in your eye; headache; increased tear production; minor burning, itching, or stinging of the eye; nausea.
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); chest pain or discomfort; confusion; eye irritation, swelling, pain, or discharge; eyelid pain, redness, scaling, drooping, or swelling; fainting; pain, numbness, weakness, or tingling of an arm or leg; severe or persistent headache or dizziness; shortness of breath; slow or irregular heartbeat; swelling of the hands, ankles, or feet; vision changes.
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 chest pain; difficulty breathing or shortness of breath; severe or persistent dizziness or headache; slow or irregular heartbeat.Proper storage of timolol drops:
Store timolol drops at room temperature, between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C). Protect from freezing. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Keep timolol drops out of the reach of children and away from pets.
- If you have any questions about timolol drops, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- Timolol drops are 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 is a summary only. It does not contain all information about timolol drops. If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
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.