betaxolol, Kerlone (Discontinued Brand)

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GENERIC NAME: betaxolol

BRAND NAME: Kerlone (Discontinued Brand)

DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Betaxolol is a beta-adrenergic blocking drug. The nerves of the sympathetic nervous system--a subdivision of the autonomic nervous system--release a chemical related to adrenaline that binds to the heart-rate controlling cells in the heart as well as the muscles of the heart. Binding causes the heart to beat faster and the muscles of the heart to contract more vigorously and work harder. Betaxolol blocks the binding of the adrenaline-like chemical and prevents the increases in heart rate and muscular contraction. As a result, blood pressure is lowered. By reducing the heart rate and muscular contraction, betaxolol also reduces the heart's need for oxygen to generate energy. Since angina pectoris (heart pain) occurs when the heart's need for oxygen is too great and exceeds the supply of oxygen, betaxolol can prevent angina pectoris. Betaxolol was approved by the FDA in 1985.



PREPARATIONS: Tablets: 10 and 20 mg.

STORAGE: Tablets should be stored at room temperature, 15 C to 30 C (59 F to 86 F).

PRESCRIBED FOR: Betaxolol is prescribed for patients with high blood pressure (hypertension). Like other beta-blockers, it can be used to treat chest pain (angina pectoris) related to coronary artery disease. However, it is not approved for this use.

DOSING: Betaxolol usually is taken once daily. The optimal dose varies among patients. The recommended dose range is 5-20 mg daily.

DRUG INTERACTIONS: The blood pressure-lowering effects of betaxolol add to the blood pressure-lowering effects of other drugs. For this reason, combinations of betaxolol and other blood pressure-lowering drugs often are used to treat persons with high blood pressure.

Betaxolol can mask the early warning symptoms of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and should be used with caution in patients receiving treatment for diabetes.

When used in combination with diltiazem (Cardizem; Tiazac; Dilacor), verapamil (Calan; Isoptin; Verelan; Covera), amiodarone (Cordarone), or digoxin (Lanoxin), betaxolol or other beta-blockers, can cause complete block of the heart's electrical system causing serious abnormal heart rhythms.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), naproxen (Naprosyn, Anaprox, Aleve), can reduce the blood pressure lowering effects of beta-blockers such as betaxolol.

PREGNANCY: There is very little information about the effects of betaxolol in pregnant women. Physicians may use betaxolol if its benefits are deemed to outweigh the potential and unknown risks to the fetus.

NURSING MOTHERS: Concentrations of betaxolol in breast milk may be up to three times those in the mother's blood. Therefore, betaxolol is used in nursing mothers only if the benefits outweigh potential risks to the infant.

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