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Side Effects
Serious

Shortness of breath, wheezing; irregular or slow heartbeat (50 beats per minute or less); pain or feelings of tightness or pressure in the chest; swelling of the ankles, feet, and lower legs; mental depression. If you experience such symptoms, stop taking betaxolol and call your doctor immediately.
Common

Dizziness or lightheadedness, especially when rising suddenly to a standing position, rapid heartbeat or palpitations, decreased sexual ability, frequent headaches.
Less Common

Anxiety, irritability, nervousness; constipation; diarrhea; dry, sore eyes; itching; nausea or vomiting; nightmares or intensely vivid dreams; numbness, tingling, or other unusual sensations in the fingers, toes, or scalp.
Betaxolol Oral


Drug Class:
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
Overdose Symptoms
What to Do
Drug Interactions
Food Interactions
Disease Interactions


Available In
Tablets

Why Prescribed
To treat high blood pressure (hypertension).

How It Works
Betaxolol slows the rate and force of contraction of the heart by blocking certain nerve impulses, thus reducing blood pressure.

Range and Frequency
To start, 10 mg, once a day. Dose may be increased to a maximum of 20 mg per day.

Onset of Effect
Within 1 hour.

Duration of Action
24 hours or more.

Dietary Advice
This medication can be used without regard to diet.

Storage
Store in a tightly sealed container away from heat and direct light.

Missed Dose
Take the missed dose as soon as possible. If it is within 8 hours of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your regular dosage schedule. Do not double the next dose.

Stopping the Drug
Take it as prescribed for the full treatment period even if you begin to feel better before the scheduled end of therapy. Lifelong therapy with betaxolol may be necessary. Do not stop taking the medication suddenly, as this may result in potentially serious medical consequences. Dose must be tapered gradually.

Prolonged Use
Consult your doctor about the need for periodic examinations or laboratory studies to check blood pressure, heart function, kidney function, and blood sugar levels.

Over 60
Adverse reactions may be more likely and more severe in older patients. Lower doses may be warranted, and frequent measurement of blood pressure is important.

Driving and Hazardous Work
Use caution when driving or engaging in hazardous work until you determine how the medication affects you.

Alcohol
Drink in careful moderation if at all. Alcohol may interact with the drug and cause a dangerous drop in blood pressure.

Pregnancy
Betaxolol has caused birth defects in animals; adequate human studies have not been done. Use of this drug should be avoided during the first three months of pregnancy if possible, and during labor and delivery, because of possible damaging effects on the newborn baby.

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

Infants and Children
The safety and effectiveness of this drug for children under the age of 12 have not been established. If it is used, the child should have periodic tests for low blood glucose (sugar) levels.

Overdose Symptoms
Double vision, unusually slow or rapid heartbeat, severe dizziness or fainting, poor circulation in the hands (bluish skin), breathing difficulty, seizures.

What to Do
Call your doctor, emergency medical services (EMS), or the nearest poison control center immediately.

Drug Interactions
Consult your doctor for specific advice if you are taking calcium channel blockers, ACE inhibitors, insulin or any other diabetes drug, antihistamines, other drugs for high blood pressure, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, barbiturates, or clonidine.

Food Interactions
No known food interactions.

Disease Interactions
Betaxolol should be used with caution in people with diabetes, especially insulin-dependent diabetes, since the drug may mask symptoms of hypoglycemia. Consult your doctor if you have any of the following: heart disease, hay fever, asthma, chronic bronchitis, hypoglycemia, an overactive thyroid gland, impaired liver function, or impaired kidney function.

Date Published: 04/13/2005
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