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Drugs

Side Effects
Serious

Palpitations, trouble breathing, dizziness and weakness caused by low blood pressure. Call your doctor right away.
Common

Temporary eye irritation, tearing, eye inflammation, burning, swelling.
Less Common

Blurred vision, poor night vision, and increased sensitivity to light; headache; insomnia; sinus irritation; odd or bitter taste in the mouth.
Betaxolol Ophthalmic


Drug Class:
Antiglaucoma drug; ophthalmic beta-blocker

Available OTC?: No

Available Generic?: No

Available In
Why Prescribed
How It Works
Range and Frequency
Onset of Effect
Duration of Action
Dietary Advice
Storage
Missed Dose
Stopping the Drug
Prolonged Use
Over 60
Driving and Hazardous Work
Alcohol
Pregnancy
Breast Feeding
Infants and Children
Special Concerns
Overdose Symptoms
What to Do
Drug Interactions
Food Interactions
Disease Interactions


Available In
Ophthalmic solution, suspension

Why Prescribed
To treat glaucoma.

How It Works
Glaucoma, a sight-threatening disorder, occurs when aqueous humor (the fluid inside the eye) cannot drain properly, resulting in an increase in pressure within the eyeball (known as intraocular pressure). Increased intraocular pressure can damage the optic nerve and lead to a gradually progressive loss of vision. Betaxolol decreases the production of aqueous humor, thereby reducing intraocular pressure.

Range and Frequency
1 or 2 drops of 0.5% solution or 0.25% suspension twice a day.

Onset of Effect
30 minutes.

Duration of Action
12 hours or more.

Dietary Advice
No special restrictions or recommendations.

Storage
Store in a tightly sealed container away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Do not allow the medicine to freeze.

Missed Dose
Apply the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is near the time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your regular dosage schedule. Do not double the next dose.

Stopping the Drug
The decision to stop taking the drug should be made by your doctor. Gradual discontinuation rather than a sudden stop may be required.

Prolonged Use
Consult your doctor about the need for periodic ophthalmological examinations to check intraocular pressure (the pressure within the eyeball).

Over 60
Adverse reactions may be more likely and more severe in older patients.

Driving and Hazardous Work
Exercise caution until you determine how the drug affects your vision.

Alcohol
Alcohol should be used with caution.

Pregnancy
Ophthalmic betaxolol has not been shown to cause birth defects in animals; human studies have not been done. Before taking it, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy.

Breast Feeding
Ophthalmic betaxolol may pass into breast milk; caution is advised. Consult your doctor for specific advice.

Infants and Children
Not recommended for use by children under age 12.

Special Concerns
To use the eye drops, first wash your hands. Tilt your head back. Gently apply pressure to the inside corner of the eyelid and with the index finger of the same hand, pull downward on the lower eyelid to make a space. Drop the medicine into this space and close your eye. Apply pressure for 1 or 2 minutes while keeping the eye closed without blinking. Then wash your hands again. Make sure the tip of the dropper does not touch your eye, finger, or any other surface. Betaxolol may make your eyes more sensitive to sunlight. If this occurs, wear sunglasses or avoid bright light as necessary. Shake the suspension well before using.

Overdose Symptoms
Double vision, slow pulse, dizziness and weakness caused by low blood pressure, unusual fatigue, drowsiness, seizures, hallucinations, loss of consciousness.

What to Do
An overdose of this drug is unlikely to be life-threatening. If a large volume of the medicine enters the eyes, flush with water. If someone accidentally ingests it, seek medical assistance immediately.

Drug Interactions
It is not recommended to use two ophthalmic beta-blockers at the same time. Special concern is warranted in people taking antidiabetic drugs, since ophthalmic betaxolol may mask symptoms of low blood sugar. Other drugs may interact with ophthalmic betaxolol. Tell your doctor if you are using any other prescription or over-the-counter medication.

Food Interactions
No known food interactions.

Disease Interactions
Caution is advised when taking ophthalmic betaxolol. Consult your doctor if you have any of the following conditions: diabetes mellitus, hypoglycemia, heart disease, high blood pressure, lung problems, irregular heartbeat, or an overactive thyroid gland.

Date Published: 04/13/2005
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