GENERIC NAME: timolol
BRAND NAME: Blocadren, Timolide 10-25 (These brands are no longer available in the U.S.)
DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Timolol is a beta-adrenergic blocking drug that is used to treat high blood pressure, angina (heart pain), heart attacks and to prevent migraine headaches. Timolol is a first generation beta blocker in a class that includes propranolol (Inderal, InnoPran), nadolol (Corgard), penbutolol sulfate (Levatol), sotalol hydrochloride (Betapace), and pindolol (Visken). They differ from other beta blockers because they are non-selective in nature, meaning that they block both beta-1 and beta-2 receptors on nerves and, therefore, will affect not only the heart but also the kidneys, lungs, gastrointestinal tract, liver, uterus, muscles surrounding blood vessels, and skeletal muscle. As a result, they could cause such effects as reduced pumping of blood by the heart and reduced kidney function among other actions. Timolol specifically works by blocking the stimulating actions of the sympathetic nervous system thereby allowing the heart to relax and beat more slowly. This reduces the amount of blood that the heart must pump. Timolol was approved by the FDA in November 1981.
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