GENERIC NAME: timolol ophthalmic solution
BRAND NAME: Timoptic, Timoptic-XE, Timoptic in Ocudose
DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Timolol is a beta-adrenergic blocking agent. Like other beta-adrenergic blocking agents, it mainly blocks the action of the sympathetic (adrenergic) nervous system, for example, on the heart. In addition to its effect on the heart, timolol causes a reduction of the pressure within the eye (intraocular pressure). This effect is may result from a reduction in production of the liquid (aqueous humor) within the eye. The precise mechanism of this effect is not known. The reduction in intraocular pressure reduces the risk of damage to the optic nerve and loss of vision in patients with glaucoma. Timolol was approved by the FDA for ocular use in 1978.
SIDE EFFECTS: Common side effects include:
- blurred vision, and
- burning or stinging in the eye.
Ophthalmic timolol can cause irritation to the eye which may manifest as pain or dryness in some people.
Rarely, timolol eye drops can result in side effects that are seen with other oral beta adrenergic blockers. For example, persons can experience:
- slow heart rate,
- low blood pressure,
- cold extremities, and
- shortness of breath or wheezing.
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