Timolol eye drops are used to control glaucoma.
If you normally wear soft contact lenses, please let your doctor know.
About timolol eye drops
|Type of medicine||Beta-blocker eye preparation|
|Used for||Chronic open angle glaucoma|
|Also called||Timoptol®, Tiopex®
Timolol is also in the following combination brands: Azarga® (timolol with brinzolamide), Combigan® (timolol with brimonidine), Cosopt® (timolol with dorzolamide), DuoTrav® (timolol with travoprost), Ganfort® (timolol with bimatoprost), Xalacom® (timolol with latanoprost)
|Available as||Eye drops, single-use eye drops, eye gel|
In chronic open angle glaucoma there is damage to the optic nerve at the back of your eye. It is usually caused by an increase in pressure within your eye. Timolol eye drops work by lowering the pressure in your eye. They probably do this by reducing the amount of fluid that you make that fills the front part of your eye (called aqueous humour). By reducing the amount of this fluid, it reduces the pressure within your eye.
Timolol can be used alone or in combination with other treatments for glaucoma, such as bimatoprost, latanoprost, travoprost, brinzolamide, dorzolamide, or brimonidine. Please refer to the individual leaflets which are available for each of these treatments for more information.
Before using timolol eye drops
Some medicines are not suitable for people with certain conditions, and sometimes a medicine may only be used if extra care is taken. For these reasons, before you start using these drops it is important that your doctor or pharmacist knows:
- If you are pregnant or breast-feeding.
- If you have asthma or any other breathing problems.
- If you have heart problems.
- If you have Raynaud's disease or low blood pressure.
- If you have thyroid problems or diabetes.
- If you wear soft contact lenses.
- If you are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to a medicine.
How to use timolol eye drops
- Wash your hands well before you use the drops.
- Remove the cap (or twist off the tip of the unit if you are using a single-dose unit).
- Tilt your head back a little and pull the lower lid of your eye out to form a pocket.
- Hold the bottle or single-dose unit upside down near to your eye. Try not to touch your eye as you do this.
- Apply enough pressure to release one drop into your eye.
- Close your eye for a minute or two, and press gently on the side of your nose where the corner of your eye meets your nose. This helps to stop the drop from draining away and keeps it in your eye.
- Repeat the process in your other eye if you have been told to use the drops in both eyes. The contents of one single-dose unit are enough for both eyes.
- Replace the cap (or if you are using the single-dose unit, throw it away).
Getting the most from your treatment
- Before you start using these eye drops, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside the pack. The leaflet will give you more information about the eye drops and a full list of possible side-effects from using them.
- Use one drop into the eye (or eyes) affected. Some timolol eye drops should be put in twice a day; others should be used once a day only. Your doctor will tell you which is right for you and this will also be printed on the label of your pack to remind you. Remember to use these drops at regular intervals and try not to miss any doses.
- If you forget to use the drops, put them in as soon as you remember unless it is nearly time for your next dose, in which case just use the drops when they are next due. Do not double up to make up for a missed dose.
- Take care not to touch the tip of the dropper or dose unit with your eye, fingers, or any other surface. This is to prevent the drops from becoming contaminated.
- If you are using any other eye drops, leave 5-10 minutes between applying each one.
- When first put in, eye drops may sometimes cause blurred vision. If this happens, it will quickly clear but make sure you can see clearly before you drive, or use tools or machines.
- Do not wear soft contact lenses if you are using eye drops from a bottle unless your doctor has advised that you can do so. This is because there is a preservative in bottles of eye drops which can affect soft contact lenses. You may wear soft contact lenses while you are using single-dose drops or gels as there is no preservative in these.
- Keep your regular appointments with your doctor and eye clinic, so that your progress can be checked.
- If you are having an operation or any dental treatment, remember to tell the person carrying out the treatment that you are using timolol eye drops.
Can timolol eye drops cause problems?
Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. These usually improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following side-effects continue or become troublesome.
|Common timolol eye drop side-effects||What can I do if I experience this?|
|Eye irritation, inflammation, and redness||If these symptoms continue or become troublesome, speak with your doctor|
If you experience any difficulties breathing (such as wheezing or shortness of breath) or any other symptoms which you think may be due to this medicine, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.
How to store timolol eye drops
- Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
- Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
- Single-dose drops and gels should be used immediately the unit is opened. Do not store or re-use opened units for later doses. This is because the units do not contain any preservative.
- Eye drops only keep for four weeks once the bottle has been opened, so do not use the drops if the bottle has been open for longer than this. This will help to prevent the risk of eye infections.
Important information about all medicines
If you buy any medicines check with a pharmacist that they are safe to take with your other medicines.
This preparation is for use in the eyes only. If someone swallows some of it, go to the accident and emergency department of your local hospital. Take the container with you, even if it is empty.
This medicine is for you. Never give it to other people even if their condition appears to be the same as yours.
Do not keep out-of-date or unwanted medicines. Take them to your local pharmacy which will dispose of them for you.
If you have any questions about this medicine ask your pharmacist.
Further reading & references
- Manufacturer's PIL, Timoptol® 0.25% and 0.5% w/v Eye Drops Solution; Merck Sharp & Dohme Limited, The electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated June 2008.
- Manufacturer's PIL, Timoptol®-LA 0.25 and 0.5% w/v Gel-Forming Eye Drops Solution; Merck Sharp & Dohme Limited, The electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated June 2008.
- British National Formulary; 65th Edition (Mar 2013) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London
|Original Author: Helen Allen||Current Version: Helen Allen||Peer Reviewer: Dr Helen Huins|
|Last Checked: 12/04/2013||Document ID: 3244 Version: 23||© EMIS|
Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.