Glaucoma & Cataract, Prof. Eytan Blumenthal | Beta-blockers (such as timolol) for the treatment of glaucoma

Tiloptic / Timolol / Nyolol / Betagan

How the Medication Works:
Lowers the pressure within the eye by reducing the amount of fluid (aqueous humor) secreted into the eye. The pressure within the eye is decreased as a result of less fluid production.
Directions for Taking the Medication:
One eye-drop, twice a day (morning and evening).
Advantages of this Medication:
There are almost no local side-effects (in the eyes) such as redness or discomfort of the eyes. The medicine is inexpensive and common and has been in use for many years.
Family of Medication:
Beta-blockers, as this group of medications are known, are liable to slightly lower heart rate. As a result of their ability to reduce heart rate they may exacerbate congestive heart failure in patients with that condition. They are usually not recommended for patients who have lung diseases such as asthma or bronchitis. Respiratory problems can occur especially in patients who suffer from asthma. Some patients may experience a decline in their energy level or in libido.
Additional Information:
These drops have been in use for the treatment of glaucoma for approximately 20 years. Beta-blockers lower intra-ocular pressure by reducing the production of aqueous humor. These eye-drops generally do not cause irritation or discomfort in the eyes. However, if enough drops are absorbed into the bloodstream they are capable of influencing other parts of the body. When one uses these drops it is important to look out for the following side-effects: decrease in heart rate, dizziness, difficulty breathing, decreased libido and emergence of depression. In patients who suffer from diabetes it is important to note that beta-blockers may cover up signs of hypoglycemia.

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