How does this medication work? What will it do for me?

Betaxolol belongs to the family of medications known as beta adrenergic blocking agents or "beta-blockers." It is used as an eye drop to lower pressure in the eye to treat chronic open-angle glaucoma or other causes of high pressure inside the eye. The full effects of the eye drops may not be seen for a period of a few weeks.

This medication may be available under multiple brand names and/or in several different forms. Any specific brand name of this medication may not be available in all of the forms or approved for all of the conditions discussed here. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here.

Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are being given this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop using this medication without consulting your doctor.

Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to use this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.

What form(s) does this medication come in?

Each mL of sterile, isotonic, aqueous suspension contains betaxolol 0.25%. Nonmedicinal ingredients: benzalkonium chloride, mannitol, poly (styrenedivinyl benzene) sulfonic acid, carbomer 934P, edetate disodium, hydrochloric acid and/or sodium hydroxide (to adjust pH), and purified water.

How should I use this medication?

The usual dose is one drop of betaxolol eye drops in the affected eye(s) twice a day.  Your doctor will regularly monitor the pressure in your eye. This medication may be used along with other eye drops to reduce the pressure in the eye if one eye drop does not work well enough on its own.

Shake the bottle well before use. To avoid contamination, prevent the tip of the eye dropper from touching anything. Put the cap back on the bottle after use.

Many things can affect the dose of a medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are using the medication without consulting your doctor.

It is important to use this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose, instill it as soon as possible and continue with your regular schedule. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not instill a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.

Store this medication at room temperature, protect it from light and moisture, and keep it out of the reach of children. Discard the eye drops within 28 days after opening.

Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.

Who should NOT take this medication?

Do not use betaxolol eye drops if you:

  • are allergic to betaxolol or to any of the ingredients of the medication
  • are in cardiogenic shock
  • have abnormal heart rhythms associated with low heart rate
  • have overt heart failure
  • have severe asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

What side effects are possible with this medication?

Many medications can cause side effects. A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. Side effects can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent. The side effects listed below are not experienced by everyone who takes this medication. If you are concerned about side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor.

The following side effects have been reported by at least 1% of people taking this medication. Many of these side effects can be managed, and some may go away on their own over time.

Contact your doctor if you experience these side effects and they are severe or bothersome. Your pharmacist may be able to advise you on managing side effects.

  • blurred vision (temporary)
  • changed sense of taste
  • crusting of eyelashes
  • decreased night vision
  • dryness of eye
  • feeling of "something in the eye"
  • increased sensitivity of eye to light
  • itching, stinging, burning, or watering of the eye

Although most of these side effects listed below don't happen very often, they could lead to serious problems if you do not check with your doctor or seek medical attention.

Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:

  • different size pupils of the eyes
  • droopy upper eyelid
  • eye pain
  • irregular, fast, slow, or pounding heartbeat
  • muscle weakness
  • shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • swelling or inflammation of eye or eyelid
  • swelling of the feet, ankles, or lower legs

Stop taking the medication and seek immediate medical attention if any of the following occur:

  • symptoms of an allergic reaction such as difficulty breathing, hives, or itchy skin rash

Some people may experience side effects other than those listed. Check with your doctor if you notice any symptom that worries you while you are taking this medication.

Are there any other precautions or warnings for this medication?

Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.

Blurred vision: Betaxolol eye drops may cause temporary blurred vision after putting them in your eyes. Avoid driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous tasks until you have determined how this medication affects you.

Breathing problems: Like other beta-adrenergic blockers, betaxolol can cause difficulty breathing for people with asthma and certain other breathing problems. If you have breathing problems, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed. Your doctor may want to test your liver function regularly with blood tests while you are taking this medication.

Contact lenses: This medication contains the preservative benzalkonium chloride which can cause irritation and can cause discolouration of soft contact lenses. Remove your contact lenses before using betaxolol drops and wait for at least 15 minutes after using the drops to put the contact lenses back in your eyes.

Diabetes: The signs of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) may not be as noticeable when using betaxolol eye drops. If you have diabetes or are at risk for developing diabetes, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.

Heart failure: Beta blockers, such as betaxolol, can slow down the heart rate and may blood pressure. These effects can make symptoms of heart failure worse. If you have heart disease such as angina, congestive heart failure, or arrhythmia, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.

Overactive thyroid: Betaxolol may mask the signs of overactive thyroid, such as rapid heartbeat. If you have been told that you have an overactive thyroid, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.

Pregnancy: This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately.

Breast-feeding: It is not known if betaxolol passes into breast milk. If you are breast-feeding and are using this medication, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.

Children: The safety and effectiveness of using this medication have not been established for children.

What other drugs could interact with this medication?

There may be an interaction between betaxolol eye drops and any of the following:

  • beta-blockers taken by mouth (e.g., propranolol, atenolol)
  • medications that lower blood pressure
  • other eye drops
  • rivastigmine

If you are taking any of these medications, speak with your doctor or pharmacist. Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may want you to:

  • stop taking one of the medications,
  • change one of the medications to another,
  • change how you are taking one or both of the medications, or
  • leave everything as is.

An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. Speak to your doctor about how any drug interactions are being managed or should be managed.

Medications other than those listed above may interact with this medication. Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications you are taking. Also tell them about any supplements you take. Since caffeine, alcohol, the nicotine from cigarettes, or street drugs can affect the action of many medications, you should let your prescriber know if you use them.

All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2022. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/drug/getdrug/Betoptic-S