Why is this medication prescribed?
Timolol is used to treat glaucoma, a condition in which increased pressure in the eye can lead to gradual loss of vision. Timolol decreases the pressure in the eye.
This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
How should this medicine be used?
Timolol comes as eyedrops and eye gel. Timolol eyedrops usually are applied once or twice a day, at evenly spaced intervals, until pressure in your eyeball is controlled (about 4 weeks). Then you may be able to use it once a day. Timolol gel usually is applied once a day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Use timolol exactly as directed. Do not use more or less of it or use it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Timolol controls glaucoma but does not cure it. Continue to use timolol even if you feel well. Do not stop using timolol without talking to your doctor.
To use the eyedrops or eye gel, follow these instructions:
- Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
- Use a mirror or have someone else put the drops in your eye.
- If you are using the eye gel, invert the container and shake it once. (There is no need to shake the solution.) Make sure that the end of the dropper is not chipped or cracked.
- Avoid touching the dropper tip against your eye or anything else. If the tip touches anything, it can become contaminated with bacteria that can cause serious eye infections.
- Hold the dropper tip down at all times to prevent drops from flowing back into the bottle and contaminating the remaining contents.
- Lie down or tilt your head back.
- Holding the bottle between your thumb and index finger, place the dropper tip as near as possible to your eyelid without touching it.
- Brace the remaining fingers of that hand against your cheek or nose.
- With the index finger of your other hand, pull the lower lid of the eye down to form a pocket.
- Drop the prescribed number of drops into the pocket made by the lower lid and the eye. Placing drops on the surface of the eyeball can cause stinging.
- Close your eye and press lightly against the lower lid with your finger for 2-3 minutes to keep the medication in the eye. Do not blink.
- Replace and tighten the cap right away. Do not wipe or rinse it off.
- Wipe off any excess liquid from your cheek with a clean tissue. Wash your hands again.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before using timolol eyedrops or eye gel,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to timolol, beta blockers, or any other drugs.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, especially other eye medications; beta blockers such as atenolol (Tenormin), carteolol (Cartrol), esmolol (Breviblic), labetalol (Normodyne, Trandate), metoprolol (Lopressor), nadolol (Corgard), propranolol (Inderal), sotalol (Betapace), and timolol (Blocadren); quinidine (Quinidex, Quinaglute Dura-Tabs); verapamil (Calan, Isoptin); and vitamins.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had thyroid, heart, or lung disease; congestive heart failure; myasthenia gravis; or diabetes.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while using timolol, call your doctor immediately.
- if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are using timolol.
- if you are using another eyedrop medication, use the eye medications at least 10 minutes apart.
- if you have eye surgery, an eye injury, or developan eye infection while taking timolol eyedrops or eye gel, ask your doctor if you can continue using the same container of timolol.
- if you wear soft contact lenses, remove them before using timolol, and wait until 15 minutes after using timolol to put them back in.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Apply the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not apply a double dose to make up for a missed one.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Although side effects from timolol are not common, they can occur. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- eye irritation
- double vision
- upset stomach
If you experience any of the following symptoms, stop using timolol and call your doctor immediately:
- slow or irregular heartbeat
- difficulty breathing
- sudden weight gain
- swelling of the feet or lower legs
What storage conditions are needed for this medicine?
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). If it becomes discolored or cloudy, obtain a fresh bottle. Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor. Your doctor will order certain eye tests to check your response to timolol.
Do not let anyone else use your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.