Timoptic is a brand-name prescription medication. It’s FDA-approved to treat increased eye pressure from either:

  • ocular hypertension (high pressure in the eye) or
  • open-angle glaucoma, an eye condition in which the optic nerve (the communication between your eye and brain) becomes damaged over time

Timoptic is approved for use in adults as well as children ages 2 years and older.

The active drug ingredient in Timoptic is timolol, which belongs to a group of medications called beta-blockers.

Timoptic vs. Timoptic in Ocudose vs. Timoptic-XE

Timoptic comes as eye drops in three forms:

  • Timoptic: a liquid solution in a multiuse bottle
  • Timoptic in Ocudose: a liquid solution in a single-use vial
  • Timoptic-XE: a gel-forming solution, which is a liquid solution that turns into gel in your eye

All three forms have the same active drug called timolol. All three forms are also available in these strengths: 0.25% and 0.5%.

Timoptic in Ocudose doesn’t have any preservatives in it to help the medication stay fresh for several uses. So each Timoptic in Ocudose vial has only one dose of Timoptic in it.

Timoptic and Timoptic in Ocudose are typically used twice per day. Timoptic-XE is typically used once per day because the gel-forming solution lasts longer in your eye than the liquid solution.

Your doctor may prescribe Timoptic in Ocudose if the preservatives in Timoptic bother your eye or eyes. And if you have eye stinging or burning that’s very bothersome to you, they may recommend Timoptic-XE. This is because you’ll have to use Timoptic-XE less often than the other forms. (For more about possible side effects, see the “Timoptic side effects” section below.)

Your doctor can help decide which form of the drug is right for you.

Effectiveness

For information on the effectiveness of Timoptic, see the “Timoptic uses” section below.

Timoptic is a brand-name drug that contains the active drug timolol. This active drug is also available as a generic medication. A generic drug is an exact copy of the active drug in a brand-name medication.

The generic is considered to be as safe and effective as the original drug. Generics tend to cost less than brand-name drugs.

If you’re interested in using the generic form of Timoptic, talk with your doctor. They can tell you if it comes in forms and strengths that can be used for your condition.

Two other brand-name drugs called Istalol and Betimol also contain timolol. To learn more, see the “Timoptic vs. Istalol vs. Betimol” section below.

Timoptic can cause mild or serious side effects. The following lists contain some of the key side effects that may occur while taking Timoptic. These lists don’t include all possible side effects.

For more information on the possible side effects of Timoptic, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They can give you tips on how to deal with any side effects that may be bothersome.

Note: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tracks side effects of drugs it has approved. If you would like to notify the FDA about a side effect you’ve had with Timoptic, you can do so through MedWatch.

Mild side effects

Mild side effects of Timoptic can include:*

Most of these side effects may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. But if they become more severe or don’t go away, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

* This is a partial list of mild side effects from Timoptic. To learn about other mild side effects, talk with your doctor or pharmacist, or refer to the package instructions for Timoptic, Timoptic in Ocudose, or Timoptic-XE.
† For more information on this side effect, see “Side effect details” below.

Serious side effects

Serious side effects from Timoptic aren’t common, but they can occur. Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 911 or your local emergency number if your symptoms feel life threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency.

Serious side effects and their symptoms can include:

* For more information on this side effect, see “Side effect details” below.

Side effects in children

It’s not known what side effects occurred in children taking Timoptic. If you have questions about side effects in children, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Side effect details

You may wonder how often certain side effects occur with this drug. Here’s some detail on certain side effects this drug may cause.

Allergic reaction

As with most drugs, some people can have an allergic reaction after taking Timoptic. It’s not known how many people in clinical trials of the drug may have experienced this side effect.

Symptoms of a mild allergic reaction can include:

  • skin rash
  • itchiness
  • flushing (warmth, swelling, or redness of your skin)

A more severe allergic reaction is rare but possible. Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction can include:

  • swelling under your skin, typically in your eyelids, lips, hands, or feet
  • swelling of your tongue, mouth, or throat
  • trouble breathing

Call your doctor right away if you have a severe allergic reaction to Timoptic. Call 911 or your local emergency number if your symptoms feel life threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency.

Burning or stinging in eyes

A burning or stinging feeling in the eye or eyes may occur after using Timoptic. This is the most common side effect of the drug. It occurred in about 12.5% of people who used Timoptic, Timoptic in Ocudose, or Timoptic-XE.* Studies didn’t report whether Timoptic was compared with a placebo (treatment with no active drug) or a different drug.

Also, the preservatives that help Timoptic stay fresh for several uses may bother your eye or eyes. In this case, your doctor may prescribe Timoptic in Ocudose, which doesn’t contain preservatives.

If the burning or stinging is very bothersome to you or if it doesn’t go away, talk with your doctor. They may recommend ways to help decrease this side effect. Your doctor may also have you switch to Timoptic-XE. This is a gel-forming solution that you would likely need to use only once daily. (Timoptic and Timoptic in Ocudose are eye drops that are typically used twice daily.)

* To learn more about the different forms of the medication, see “Timoptic vs. Timoptic in Ocudose vs. Timoptic-XE” in the “What is Timoptic?” section above.

The Timoptic dosage your doctor prescribes will depend on several factors. These include:

  • the type and severity of the condition you’re using Timoptic to treat
  • the form of Timoptic you take
  • your body’s response to Timoptic

Typically, your doctor will start you on a low dosage. They may adjust it over time to reach the amount that’s right for you. Your doctor will ultimately prescribe the smallest dosage that provides the desired effect.

The following information describes dosages that are commonly used or recommended. However, be sure to take the dosage your doctor prescribes for you. Your doctor will determine the best dosage to fit your needs.

Drug forms and strengths

Timoptic comes as eye drops in three forms:

  • Timoptic: a liquid solution in a multiuse bottle
  • Timoptic in Ocudose: a liquid solution in a single-use vial
  • Timoptic-XE: a gel-forming solution, which is a liquid solution that turns into gel in your eye

All three forms of Timoptic are available in these strengths: 0.25% and 0.5%.

Dosage for decreasing eye pressure from ocular hypertension or open-angle glaucoma

Here’s some information on the dosages for Timoptic, Timoptic in Ocudose, and Timoptic-XE.

Timoptic dosage

The typical dosage of Timoptic is one drop into the affected eye or eyes twice daily. Your doctor will likely have you start using Timoptic 0.25% and monitor you over the first 4 weeks of use. If your eye pressure is still high after that time, they may increase your dosage to one drop of Timoptic 0.5% twice daily. In some cases, if your eye pressure is well controlled, they may decrease your dose to once per day.

It’s not recommended that you use Timoptic more than twice daily. Doses higher than Timoptic 0.5% twice daily haven’t been shown to further decrease eye pressure. If your eye pressure is still not well controlled after you’ve taken Timoptic 0.5% twice daily, your doctor may prescribe a second eye medication. The goal is to help better control the pressure in your eyes.

Timoptic in Ocudose dosage

The typical dosage of Timoptic in Ocudose is the same as for Timoptic. For details, see “Timoptic dosage” right above.

Timoptic-XE dosage

The typical dosage of Timoptic-XE is one drop into the affected eye once daily. Your doctor will likely have you start using Timoptic-XE 0.25% and monitor you over the first 4 weeks of use. If your eye pressure is still high after that time, they may increase your dose to Timoptic-XE 0.5% once daily.

Dosages higher than Timoptic-XE 0.5% once daily haven’t been studied. If your eye pressure still isn’t well controlled after taking Timoptic-XE 0.5% for a time, your doctor may prescribe a second eye medication. The goal is to help better control the pressure in your eyes.

Pediatric dosage

The recommended dosages of Timoptic, Timoptic in Ocudose, and Timoptic-XE are the same for children ages 2 years and older as for adults. For details, see “Timoptic dosage,” “Timoptic in Ocudose dosage,” and “Timoptic-XE dosage” right above.

Dosage questions

Here are some questions you may have about taking Timoptic.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of Timoptic, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. If you missed the dose by only a short time, they may recommend that you take the dose as soon as you remember. However, if it’s almost time for your next dose, they may advise that you skip the missed dose.

To help make sure that you don’t miss a dose, try using a medication reminder. This can include setting an alarm on your phone or downloading a reminder app.

Will I need to use this drug long term?

Timoptic is meant to be used as a long-term treatment. If you and your doctor determine that Timoptic is safe and effective for you, you’ll likely take it long term.

Timoptic, Istalol, and Betimol all come as eye drops. They also all contain the active drug ingredient timolol. However, Timoptic and Istalol both contain timolol maleate while Betimol contains timolol hemihydrate.

Both timolol maleate and timolol hemihydrate are forms of timolol, but they’re made in slightly different ways. And they have slightly different chemical structures. In addition, one study showed that timolol maleate may be more irritating to the eye than timolol hemihydrate.

Strengths and dosage

Timoptic and Betimol are both available in 0.25% and 0.5% strengths. Istalol is only available in a 0.5% strength.

The dosing for Timoptic and Betimol is the same. The typical starting dosage for either drug is two drops of the 0.25% strength twice daily. If needed, your doctor may increase your dosage to two drops of the 0.5% strength twice daily.

In comparison, the dose for Istalol is only one drop daily.

If you have questions about Timoptic, Istalol, or Betimol, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

As with all medications, the cost of Timoptic can vary. To find current prices for Timoptic (or other forms) in your area, check out GoodRx.com.

The cost you find on GoodRx.com is what you may pay without insurance. The actual price you’ll pay depends on your insurance plan, your location, and the pharmacy you use.

Before approving coverage for Timoptic, your insurance company may require you to get prior authorization. This means that your doctor and insurance company will need to communicate about your prescription before the insurance company will cover the drug. The insurance company will review the prior authorization request and decide if the drug will be covered.

If you’re not sure if you’ll need to get prior authorization for Timoptic, contact your insurance company.

Financial and insurance assistance

If you need financial support to pay for Timoptic, or if you need help understanding your insurance coverage, help is available.

Bausch & Lomb Incorporated, the manufacturer of Timoptic, offers the following programs:

For more information and to find out if you’re eligible for support, click the program website links or call the numbers above.

Generic version

Timoptic is available in a generic form called timolol. A generic drug is an exact copy of the active drug in a brand-name medication. The generic is considered to be as safe and effective as the original drug. And generics tend to cost less than brand-name drugs. To find out how the cost of timolol compares with the cost of Timoptic, visit GoodRx.com.

If your doctor has prescribed Timoptic and you’re interested in using timolol instead, talk with your doctor. They may have a preference for one version or the other. You’ll also need to check your insurance plan, as it may only cover one or the other.

Other drugs are available that can treat your condition. Some may be a better fit for you than others. If you’re interested in finding an alternative to Timoptic, talk with your doctor. They can tell you about other medications that may work well for you.

Alternatives for decreasing eye pressure from ocular hypertension or open-angle glaucoma

Examples of other drugs that may be used to treat increased eye pressure include:

  • other forms of timolol (Betimol, Istalol)
  • latanoprost (Xalatan)
  • bimatoprost (Lumigan)
  • travoprost (Travatan-Z)
  • betaxolol (Betoptic)
  • carteolol
  • dorzolamide/timolol (Cosopt)
  • brimonidine/timolol (Combigan)
  • brimonidine (Alphagan-P)
  • brinzolamide (Azopt)
  • dorzolamide (Trusopt)
  • brinzolamide/brimonidine (Simbrinza)

You may wonder how Timoptic compares with other medications that are prescribed for similar uses. Here we look at how Timoptic and Xalatan are alike and different.

Ingredients

The active drug ingredient in Timoptic is timolol. The active drug ingredient in Xalatan is latanoprost.

Timoptic belongs to a class of medications called beta-blockers. (A class of medications is a group of drugs that work in a similar way.) Xalatan belongs to a class of medications called prostaglandin analogs.

Uses

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Timoptic and Xalatan to treatincreased eye pressure in adults with:

  • ocular hypertension (high pressure in the eye) or
  • open-angle glaucoma, an eye condition in which the optic nerve (the communication between your eye and brain) becomes damaged over time

Timoptic is also approved for use in children ages 2 years and older.

Drug forms and administration

Timoptic comes as eye drops in three forms:

  • Timoptic: a liquid solution in a multiuse bottle
  • Timoptic in Ocudose: a liquid solution in a single-use vial
  • Timoptic-XE: a gel-forming solution, which is a liquid solution that turns into gel in your eye

Timoptic and Timoptic in Ocudose are typically used twice daily. Timoptic-XE is typically used once daily.

Xalatan comes one form: a liquid solution in a multiuse bottle of eye drops. The drug is typically used once daily.

Side effects and risks

Timoptic and Xalatan both contain medications to decrease pressure in your eye or eyes. Therefore, these medications can cause very similar side effects, but some different ones as well. Below are examples of these side effects.

Mild side effects

These lists contain up to 10 of the most common mild side effects that can occur with each drug, or with both Timoptic and Xalatan (when taken individually).

  • Can occur with Timoptic:
    • nausea
    • dizziness
  • Can occur with Xalatan:
    • blurry vision
    • redness and enlargement of the blood vessels in your eye
    • swelling of your cornea (the clear outer layer of your eye)
  • Can occur with both Timoptic and Xalatan:
    • burning or stinging when putting the drops in your eye
    • feeling like something is in your eye
    • eye itchiness

Serious side effects

These lists contain examples of serious side effects that can occur with Timoptic, with Xalatan, or with both drugs (when taken individually).

  • Can occur with Timoptic:
    • muscle weakness
  • Can occur with Xalatan:
    • changes in your eye color
    • darkening of your eyelid
    • thicker or longer eyelashes
    • swelling of your eye
    • macular edema (fluid buildup in part of your eye)
  • Can occur with both Timoptic and Xalatan:

Effectiveness

The only condition both Timoptic and Xalatan are used to treat is increased eye pressure in adults with intraocular hypertension or open-angle glaucoma.

The use of Timoptic and latanoprost (the active drug in Xalatan) has been directly compared in a clinical study. The study began with two groups of people with open-angle glaucoma who had about equal eye pressure. The pressure was about 23.7 mm Hg* in people taking Timoptic and about 24.26 mm Hg in people taking latanoprost. After 3 months of treatment, eye pressure was decreased by:

  • about 7.27 mm Hg in people taking Timoptic
  • about 9.72 mm Hg in people taking latanoprost

These results showed that latanoprost decreased eye pressure more than Timoptic.

In some cases, both Timoptic and Xalatan may be used together to treat increased eye pressure that doesn’t decrease after treatment with one medication.

* The unit of measurement that’s used to describe eye pressure is millimeters of mercury (mm Hg).

Costs

According to estimates on GoodRx.com, the cost of Timoptic and Xalatan may vary depending on your treatment plan. The actual price you’ll pay for either drug depends on your insurance plan, your location, and the pharmacy you use. The price also depends on what form of Timoptic your doctor prescribes.

Timoptic and Xalatan are both brand-name drugs. There are currently generic forms of both medications. The generic form of Timoptic is called timolol. The generic form of Xalatan is called latanoprost. Brand-name medications usually cost more than generics.

Like Xalatan (above), the drug Lumigan has uses similar to those of Timoptic. Here’s a comparison of how Timoptic and Lumigan are alike and different.

Ingredients

The active drug ingredient in Timoptic is timolol. The active drug ingredient in Lumigan is bimatoprost.

Timoptic belongs to a class of medications called beta-blockers. (A class of medications is a group of drugs that work in a similar way.) Lumigan belongs to a class of medications called prostaglandin analogs.

Uses

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Timoptic and Lumigan to treatincreased eye pressure in adults with:

  • ocular hypertension (high pressure in the eye) or
  • open-angle glaucoma, an eye condition in which the optic nerve (the communication between your eye and brain) becomes damaged over time

Timoptic is also approved for use in children ages 2 years and older.

Lumigan is also approved for use in children ages 16 years and older.

Drug forms and administration

Timoptic comes as eye drops in three forms:

  • Timoptic: a liquid solution in a multiuse bottle
  • Timoptic in Ocudose: a liquid solution in a single-use vial
  • Timoptic-XE: a gel-forming solution, which is a liquid solution that turns into gel in your eye

Timoptic and Timoptic in Ocudose are typically used twice daily. Timoptic-XE is typically used once daily.

Lumigan is a liquid solution that comes as eye drops. The drug is typically used once daily.

Side effects and risks

Timoptic and Lumigan both contain drugs that decrease the pressure in your eye. Therefore, these medications can cause very similar side effects, but some different ones as well. Below are examples of these side effects.

Mild side effects

These lists contain up to 10 of the most common mild side effects that can occur with each drug, or with both Timoptic and Lumigan (when taken individually).

Serious side effects

These lists contain examples of serious side effects that can occur with Timoptic, with Lumigan, or with both drugs (when taken individually).

  • Can occur with Timoptic:
    • muscle weakness
  • Can occur with Lumigan:
    • changes in your eye color
    • thicker or longer eyelashes
    • swelling of your eye
    • macular edema (fluid buildup in part of your eye)
  • Can occur with both Timoptic and Lumigan:

Effectiveness

Timoptic and Lumigan have different FDA-approved uses, but they’re both used to treat increased eye pressure due to intraocular hypertension or open-angle glaucoma.

The use of Timoptic and Lumigan in treating glaucoma and intraocular hypertension has been directly compared in a clinical study. In the study, people took either Timoptic or Lumigan over 8 weeks.

More people taking Lumigan had lower eye pressure levels than people taking Timoptic. Prior to the study, the average eye pressure in everyone was about 20.3 mm Hg.* After 8 weeks of treatment, eye pressures decreased to:

  • 16.8 mm Hg in people taking Timoptic twice daily
  • 15.7 mm Hg in people taking Lumigan once daily

Although both drugs worked to decrease eye pressure, Lumigan was shown to reduce eye pressure more consistently over a 24-hour time period. Timoptic didn’t work as well during the night (from midnight to 4 a.m.) to decrease eye pressure.

* The unit of measurement that’s used to describe eye pressure is millimeters of mercury (mm Hg).

Costs

According to estimates on GoodRx.com, the cost of Timoptic and Lumigan may vary depending on your treatment plan. The actual price you’ll pay for either drug depends on your insurance plan, your location, and the pharmacy you use. The price also depends on what form of Timoptic your doctor prescribes.

Timoptic and Lumigan are both brand-name drugs. There are currently generic forms of both drugs. The generic form of Timoptic is called timolol. The generic form of Lumigan is called bimatoprost. Brand-name medications usually cost more than generics.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves prescription drugs such as Timoptic to treat certain conditions. Timoptic may also be used off-label for other conditions. Off-label use is when a drug that’s approved to treat one condition is used to treat a different condition.

Timoptic for decreasing eye pressure from ocular hypertension or open-angle glaucoma

Timoptic is approved by the FDA to treat increased eye pressure from either:

  • ocular hypertension (high pressure in the eye) or
  • open-angle glaucoma, an eye condition in which the optic nerve (the communication between your eye and brain) becomes damaged over time

Timoptic is approved for use in adults as well as children ages 2 years and older.

Ocular hypertension is a condition in which your eyes have higher pressure than normal. It often has no symptoms. Over time, ocular hypertension can eventually lead to an eye condition called glaucoma. With glaucoma, the drainage of your eye slowly becomes clogged. This causes a further increase in eye pressure, and the increased pressure can damage your optic nerve.

With open-angle glaucoma, the area where your iris touches your cornea is at the correct angle to properly drain. But the drain is clogged. In angle-closure glaucoma, the area between the iris and cornea is at a narrow or closed angle.

If you have open-angle glaucoma, you may not even notice any symptoms of the condition. This is because your eye pressure increases slowly over time.

* Your iris is the colored part of your eye. Your cornea is the clear outer layer of your eye.

Effectiveness for decreasing eye pressure from ocular hypertension or open-angle glaucoma

In clinical trials, Timoptic was shown to be an effective medication for people with increased eye pressure that hadn’t been treated before. People took Timoptic, pilocarpine (Isopto Carpine, Salagen), or epinephrine.

The results showed that Timoptic used twice a day worked better than pilocarpine used four times a day or epinephrine used twice a day. Actual eye pressure measurements from people in these studies weren’t reported.

Off-label use for Timoptic

In addition to the use listed above, Timoptic may be used off-label for other purposes. Off-label drug use is when a drug that’s approved for one or more use(s) is prescribed for a different one that’s not approved. Below is an example of an off-label use for Timoptic.

Timoptic for angle-closure glaucoma

Timoptic isn’t FDA-approved to treat angle-closure glaucoma (ACG). However, the drug may be prescribed off-label to treat the condition as recommended by a guideline from the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

Like open-angle glaucoma, ACG is caused by blocked drainage in your eye. This causes your eye pressure to increase quickly. The goal of ACG treatment is to open the angle between the iris* and cornea* so the eye can drain. To open the angle, the size of the pupil needs to be decreased. But Timoptic can’t do that. So researchers have studied the use of timolol (the active drug in Timoptic) with another drug to treat ACG.

If you’re interested in using Timoptic for ACG, talk with your doctor.

* Your iris is the colored part of your eye. Your cornea is the clear outer layer of your eye.

Timoptic and children

Timoptic is FDA-approved to treat increased eye pressure in children ages 2 years and older with either:

  • ocular hypertension (high pressure in the eye) or
  • open-angle glaucoma, an eye condition in which the optic nerve (the communication between your eye and brain) becomes damaged over time

Timoptic has been studied in children ages 2 years and older. Research showed that Timoptic was safe and effective for these children. Actual eye pressure measurements from children in these studies weren’t reported.

Timoptic can interact with several other medications. It can also interact with certain supplements as well as certain foods.

Different interactions can cause different effects. For instance, some interactions can interfere with how well a drug works. Other interactions can increase side effects or make them more severe.

Timoptic and other medications

Below are examples of medications that can interact with Timoptic. This section doesn’t contain all drugs that may interact with Timoptic.

Before taking Timoptic, talk with your doctor and pharmacist. Tell them about all prescription, over-the-counter, and other drugs you take. Also tell them about any vitamins, herbs, and supplements you use. Sharing this information can help you avoid potential interactions.

If you have questions about drug interactions that may affect you, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Timoptic and beta-blockers

Timoptic is a type of drug called a beta-blocker, and it works by decreasing the pressure in your eye. Taking Timoptic with other beta-blockers may increase your risk for developing side effects, such as feeling dizzy or tired. This is because beta-blockers can decrease your heart rate.

Beta-blocker eye drops

It’s not recommended that you use more than one beta-blocker eyedrop treatment at a time.

Examples of other eye drops that are beta-blockers include:

  • carteolol
  • betaxolol (Betoptic, Betoptic S)
  • other forms of timolol (Betimol, Istalol)

Beta-blockers taken by mouth

Beta-blockers can also be used for other conditions, such as hypertension (high blood pressure), heart failure, and migraine. These drugs are taken by mouth.

Examples of beta-blockers that are taken by mouth include:

Talking with your doctor

If you’re currently taking a beta-blocker, talk with your doctor about it before you start using Timoptic. They may monitor you more often than usual to see if you have side effects such as dizziness or feeling tired. Or your doctor may recommend a different medication to treat your increased eye pressure.

Timoptic and calcium channel blockers

Using Timoptic with calcium channel blockers may increase your risk for serious heart conditions, such as heart failure or a drop in blood pressure. This is because Timoptic and calcium channel blockers can both affect your heart.

If you have a history of heart problems, it’s not recommended that you use Timoptic while you’re taking a calcium channel blocker. This is due to the risk of serious side effects.

Examples of calcium channel blockers include:

  • amlodipine (Norvasc)
  • diltiazem (Cardizem, Cartia XT)
  • nifedipine (Procardia)
  • verapamil (Calan, Verelan)

If you’re taking a calcium channel blocker, talk with your doctor before you start using Timoptic. They may recommend a different medication to treat your increased eye pressure.

Timoptic with digoxin and calcium channel blockers

Using Timoptic along with digoxin (Lanoxin) and a calcium channel blocker may increase your risk for developing a heart condition called prolonged atrioventricular conduction time. With this condition, part of your heartbeat becomes too long. This can lead to serious symptoms, such as chest pain, fainting, or trouble breathing.

For examples of calcium channel blockers, see “Timoptic and calcium channel blockers” right above.

If you’re taking digoxin and a calcium channel blocker, talk with your doctor before you start taking Timoptic. They may recommend a different medication to treat your increased eye pressure.

Timoptic and clonidine

If you’re taking clonidine (Catapres), talk with your doctor before using Timoptic.

Stopping clonidine treatment can cause you to have a condition called rebound hypertension. This means that when you stop taking clonidine, you may develop an increase in your blood pressure.

Timoptic is a type of drug called a beta-blocker. Taking oral beta-blockers may increase the severity of rebound hypertension that occurs after stopping clonidine treatment. However, Timoptic comes in eyedrop form. And the interaction hasn’t been reported in people using Timoptic eye drops. But your doctor should monitor your blood pressure closely if you stop using clonidine while taking Timoptic.

Timoptic and CYP2D6 inhibitors

Timoptic is broken down in your liver by a protein called CYP2D6. Medications that block this protein from working are called CYP2D6 inhibitors. If you take a CYP2D6 inhibitor with Timoptic, Timoptic won’t be able to break down properly. As a result, you may have too much Timoptic in your body. This can cause you to experience more side effects from Timoptic, such as a decreased heart rate (To learn more, see the “Timoptic side effects” section above.)

Examples of CYP2D6 inhibitors include:

Before you start taking Timoptic, talk with your doctor about any medications you’re using. They can help determine if any of them are CYP2D6 inhibitors. Your doctor may monitor you more often than usual if you take any CYP2D6 inhibitors with Timoptic.

Timoptic and injectable epinephrine

If you’re taking a beta-blocker, such as Timoptic, your body may not respond to injectable epinephrine (EpiPen) as it should. Injectable epinephrine is used in cases of serious allergic reactions. However, taking Timoptic may cause your usual epinephrine dose to not treat an allergic reaction.

If you’re at a high risk for having an allergic reaction, talk with your doctor. They may recommend a medication other than Timoptic to treat your increased eye pressure.

Timoptic and herbs and supplements

There aren’t any herbs or supplements that have been specifically reported to interact with Timoptic. However, you should still check with your doctor or pharmacist before using any of these products while taking Timoptic.

Timoptic and foods

There aren’t any foods that have been specifically reported to interact with Timoptic. If you have any questions about eating certain foods with Timoptic, talk with your doctor.

Both Timoptic and alcohol can lower your blood pressure and make it harder to breathe. This can increase your risk for side effects, such as feeling dizzy or fainting. Talk with your doctor about what amount of alcohol is safe for you to drink while you’re taking Timoptic.

Sometimes, even after your doctor has prescribed the maximum dosage of Timoptic, your eye pressure may not be well controlled. If this happens, they may recommend adding another medication to treat the high eye pressure.

Other medications that your doctor may recommend along with Timoptic include:

  • latanoprost (Xalatan)
  • pilocarpine (Isopto Carpine)
  • brinzolamide (Azopt)

You should take Timoptic according to your doctor’s or healthcare provider’s instructions.

Preventing eye infections

Timoptic comes as eye drops that you’ll put in your eye or eyes as directed by your doctor. Be sure to wash your hands before you use Timoptic. It’s important to not touch the tip of the bottle with your hands. If you do, bacteria may grow on the tip of the bottle. This can lead you to develop an eye infection. In some cases, the infection can be serious. (To learn more, see the “Timoptic side effects” section above.)

In addition, avoid touching your eye with the bottle of Timoptic. This helps prevent bacteria from reaching the bottle tip.

Step-by-step directions

See the package instructions for Timoptic or Timoptic-XE to get step-by-step directions for each of these products. You can refer to the “Instructions for Use” section. You can also talk with your doctor or pharmacist. In addition, they can give you directions on how to use Timoptic in Ocudose.

Using Timoptic in Ocudose

It’s important that you don’t use Timoptic in Ocudose vials more than once. These vials don’t have any preservatives in them to help keep them fresh for several uses. This means that after you open a vial, it’s no longer sterile and bacteria could form. As a result, you could develop an eye infection if you use Timoptic in Ocudose more often than once. After each dose, be sure to dispose of the vial and any medication remaining in it.

When to use

You’ll likely use Timoptic or Timoptic in Ocudose in the affected eye or eyes twice daily. If you’re using Timoptic-XE, you’ll likely use the drug only once daily.

If you’re using other eye medications, separate them by at least 10 minutes from your dose of Timoptic. This is important to make sure that your eye absorbs both drugs. If you use the medications within 10 minutes of each other, one drug may wash out the other one. This means that one of your medications may not work properly.

To help make sure that you don’t miss a dose, try using a medication reminder. This can include setting an alarm on your phone or downloading a reminder app.

Timoptic is approved to treat increased eye pressure from either:

The inside of your eye contains fluid, and when the fluid builds up, the pressure in your eye increases. The higher the pressure in your eye is, the greater your risk for developing vision loss and damage to your optic nerve. (The optic nerve helps your eyes and brain communicate with each other.) In rare cases, the harm can be permanent.

There are many reasons why ocular hypertension may occur. These include:

  • increased fluid production in your eye
  • improper drainage of eye fluid
  • use of steroid medications
  • eye injury
  • general risk factors, such as race, age, and genetics

With open-angle glaucoma, the area where your iris* touches your cornea* is at the correct angle to properly drain. But the drain is clogged. Open-angle glaucoma may be genetic or the result of trauma to the eye.

* Your iris is the colored part of your eye. Your cornea is the clear outer layer of your eye.

What Timoptic does

It’s not known exactly how Timoptic works to decrease the pressure in your eye. However, the drug is believed to decrease the level of liquid in your eye called aqueous humor. As a result, the pressure in your eye may lower. Timoptic may also cause your eye to drain more liquid than usual. This decrease in liquid may also decrease the pressure in your eye.

How long does it take to work?

Timoptic usually begins decreasing eye pressure within 30 minutes of your first dose.

It’s not known if Timoptic is safe to use during pregnancy. No studies have been done on the drug during pregnancy. Therefore, Timoptic should be used during pregnancy only if the drug’s benefits are greater than the risk of possible harm to a developing baby.

In animal studies, there was no risk of birth defects when the mother was given Timoptic by mouth. However, bones were slower to form in the fetus.

In very high doses (between 14,000 and 142,000 times the maximum dose approved in humans), Timoptic caused an increased risk of fetal death in animal studies.

If you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant, talk with your doctor before you start taking Timoptic. They may monitor you more often than usual or recommend a different medication to treat your increased eye pressure.

It’s not known if Timoptic is safe to take during pregnancy. If you’re sexually active and you or your partner can become pregnant, talk with your doctor about your birth control needs while you’re using Timoptic.

For more information about taking Timoptic during pregnancy, see the “Timoptic and pregnancy” section above.

It’s not recommend that you use Timoptic while breastfeeding. The drug passes into breast milk. However, it’s not known what reactions or side effects may occur in breastfed children who are exposed to Timoptic.

If you’re breastfeeding or planning to breastfeed, talk with your doctor. They may be able to recommend a medication other than Timoptic to treat your increased eye pressure.

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about Timoptic.

Do I need to remove my contact lenses before using Timoptic?

It depends on which form of Timoptic you’re using.

  • Timoptic: You should remove your contact lenses before you use Timoptic. This is because contacts can absorb the preservative in the drug. After your dose, wait at least 15 minutes before putting your contacts back in.
  • Timoptic in Ocudose: You don’t need to remove your contact lenses before you use Timoptic in Ocudose. This is because Timoptic in Ocudose doesn’t contain a preservative.
  • Timoptic-XE: It’s not known how wearing contacts will affect your dose of Timoptic-XE. This is because the drug hasn’t been studied in people who wear contact lenses.

If you have more questions about contacts and using any form of Timoptic, talk with your doctor.

Why can’t I use Timoptic if I have certain heart or breathing problems?

Timoptic eye drops belong to a group of medications called beta-blockers. But beta-blockers may also be taken by mouth to treat other conditions, such as hypertension (high blood pressure) and heart failure. In some cases, using Timoptic may cause your heart failure to worsen. This is because the drug can decrease your heart rate, which may cause your heart to pump less blood. Therefore, you shouldn’t use Timoptic if you have certain heart problems.

Timoptic also shouldn’t be used in people with breathing problems, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or a history of lung disease. This is because beta-blockers can work in your airways. If you have lung disease, beta-blockers may cause you to develop serious side effects, such as trouble breathing.

If you have a heart or lung condition, talk with your doctor before using Timoptic. They may recommend a different medication to treat your increased eye pressure. Your doctor may also monitor you more often than normal during your treatment. This helps prevent you from develop serious side effects from the Timoptic. (For more about side effects, see the “Timoptic side effects” section above.)

Will Timoptic cure my condition?

No, Timoptic won’t cure your increased eye pressure. However, the drug can treat your condition by lowering the pressure in your eye or eyes. Timoptic can also help prevent vision loss or worsening disease from occurring.

There are currently no cures for increased eye pressure or open-angle glaucoma. However, these conditions can be controlled using medications, such as Timoptic, or eye surgery. You can talk with your doctor about the best treatment for your increased eye pressure.

When should I use Timoptic if I’m taking other eye medications?

If you’re using other eye medications, separate them by at least 10 minutes from your dose of Timoptic. This is important to make sure that your eye absorbs both drugs. If you use the medications within 10 minutes of each other, one drug may wash out the other one. This means that one of your medications may not work properly.

If you’re using Timoptic-XE, make sure it’s the last eye medication you use.

If you have questions about when to use your eye medications, talk with your doctor.

Can I drive while using Timoptic?

In some cases, you may want to wait for a time before driving after using Timoptic.

In some people, Timoptic can cause eye burning or stinging. This may cause your vision to be strained. It may also be hard for your eyes to focus for the first few minutes after using Timoptic. If your eyes burn or sting after a dose of Timoptic, you should wait until they feel better before driving.

If you have trouble seeing after using Timoptic, talk with your doctor about when it’s safe for you to drive. They may recommend that you wait until your vision clears up before you drive.

This drug comes with several precautions. Before taking Timoptic, talk with your doctor about your health history. Timoptic may not be right for you if you have certain medical conditions or other factors affecting your health. These include:

  • Other eye conditions. If you have corneal disease or another eye condition and touch your eye with the Timoptic bottle, bacteria may get on the bottle tip. Using contaminated Timoptic may cause you to develop an eye infection that can lead to serious side effects, such as loss of vision. If you do touch the tip of your Timoptic bottle to your eye, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They may be able to get you a new bottle of medication to help prevent you from developing an eye infection.
  • Angle-closure glaucoma. Timoptic shouldn’t be used by itself to treat angle-closure glaucoma. With this condition, the size of the pupil needs to be decreased, but Timoptic can’t do that. If you have angle-closure glaucoma, your doctor may recommend that you use Timoptic along with a medication to decrease the size of your pupil.
  • Diseases that cause weakened muscles. Timoptic may cause muscle weakness. If you already have a condition causing muscle weakness, such as myasthenia gravis, Timoptic can make this weakness worse. If you have a condition that causes weakened muscles, talk with your doctor before taking Timoptic. They can review the pros and cons of the drug with you.
  • Eye surgery, trauma to your eye, or eye infections. If you’re taking Timoptic and have eye surgery, trauma to your eye, or an eye infection, talk with your doctor. They may recommend that you get a new bottle of Timoptic or switch to a different medication to help prevent infections from occurring.
  • Lung conditions. If you have certain lung conditions, such as asthma or COPD, you shouldn’t use Timoptic. This is because the drug works in your airways. And when you have lung disease, Timoptic may cause serious side effects to occur, such as trouble breathing. If you have a history of lung conditions, ask your doctor what treatments other than Timoptic are right for you.
  • Heart conditions. If you certain heart conditions, such as a slow heart rate or heart failure, you shouldn’t use Timoptic. In some cases, using Timoptic may cause your heart failure to worsen. This is because the drug can decrease your heart rate, which may lead your heart to pump less blood. If you have a history of heart problems, ask your doctor what treatments other than Timoptic are right for you.
  • Diabetes. Timoptic should be used carefully if you have diabetes, especially if you’re at risk for low blood sugar. (You may be at risk if you take certain oral medications or insulin to treat your diabetes.) Timoptic can block the symptoms of low blood sugar, which may cause you not to realize that your blood sugar is low. This can lead to serious side effects, such as passing out. If you have diabetes, your doctor may monitor you more often than usual while you take Timoptic. They may also have you check your blood sugar levels more often than usual.
  • Hyperthyroidism. Timoptic use may cause symptoms of hyperthyroidism, such as an increased heart rate, to not occur. As a result, you may not realize that your thyroid levels are high. If you have a history of hyperthyroidism, your doctor may monitor your thyroid levels more often than usual.
  • Major surgery. If you plan to have major surgery, your doctor may have you pause your Timoptic use. (Major surgery includes surgery to an organ in your head, chest, belly, or pelvic area.) In some cases, beta-blockers, such as Timoptic, may increase your risk for side effects from anesthesia during a surgical procedure. One of these possible side effects is low blood pressure. If you’re taking Timoptic and planning to have surgery, talk with your doctor. They can advise on you which medications you should stop using and when to do so.
  • Allergic reaction. If you’ve had an allergic reaction to Timoptic or any of its ingredients, you shouldn’t take Timoptic. Ask your doctor what other medications are better options for you.
  • Pregnancy. It’s not known if Timoptic is safe to take during pregnancy. For more information, see the “Timoptic and pregnancy” section above.
  • Breastfeeding. It’s not recommended that you breastfeed while you’re using Timoptic. For more information, see the “Timoptic and breastfeeding” section above.

Note: For more information about the potential negative effects of Timoptic, see the “Timoptic side effects” section above.

Using more than the recommended dosage of Timoptic can lead to serious side effects.

Do not use more Timoptic than your doctor recommends.

Overdose symptoms

Symptoms of an overdose can include:

What to do in case of overdose

If you think you’ve taken too much of this drug, call your doctor. You can also call the American Association of Poison Control Centers at 800-222-1222 or use their online tool. But if your symptoms are severe, call 911 or your local emergency number, or go to the nearest emergency room right away.

When you get Timoptic from the pharmacy, the pharmacist will add an expiration date to the label on the bottle. This date is typically 1 year from the date they dispensed the medication.

If you’re using Timoptic in Ocudose, each vial should only be used once. After you open the vial and use it, you should discard it and the remainder of the medication.

The expiration date helps guarantee that the medication is effective during this time. The current stance of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is to avoid using expired medications. If you have unused medication that has gone past the expiration date, talk with your pharmacist about whether you might still be able to use it.

Storage

How long a medication remains good can depend on many factors, including how and where you store the medication.

You should store Timoptic eye drops and Timoptic-XE at room temperature (59°F to 77°F/15°C to 25°C). The medications shouldn’t be frozen. Be sure to keep Timoptic eye drops and Timoptic-XE in an upright position and out of the light.

You should store Timoptic in Ocudose at 59°F to 86°F (15°C to 30°C). The medication shouldn’t be frozen. Be sure to keep Timoptic in Ocudose vials away from light and in the foil wrap before use. You should use the vials within 1 month after opening the foil. This is because the eye drops may evaporate once the foil is opened.

Disposal

If you no longer need to take Timoptic and have leftover medication, it’s important to dispose of it safely. This helps prevent others, including children and pets, from taking the drug by accident. It also helps keep the drug from harming the environment.

This article provides several useful tips on medication disposal. You can also ask your pharmacist for information on how to dispose of your medication.

The following information is provided for clinicians and other healthcare professionals.

Indications

Timoptic is indicated for use to treat increased intraocular pressure in patients who have either:

Administration

Timoptic is administered as an eyedrop that is usually instilled twice daily. If using the gel-forming solution (Timoptic-XE), the drug should be used only once daily.

Mechanism of action

Timoptic is included under the beta-blocker classification of drugs. It is not known exactly how Timoptic works to treat increased intraocular pressure. However, it is believed that the drug may decrease the production of aqueous humor, which therefore reduces pressure in the eye. In addition, Timoptic may increase the drainage of fluid in the eye, which also decreases pressure that may occur in the eye.

Pharmacokinetics and metabolism

Although Timoptic is considered a topical medication, it does have some systemic absorption. In a study on systemic exposure after dosing, peak plasma levels of Timoptic were between 0.46 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL) and 0.35 ng/mL.

Timoptic appears to be metabolized in the liver by CYP2D6.

Contraindications

Timoptic is contraindicated in patients with:

Storage

Timoptic eye drops and Timoptic-XE should be stored at room temperature (59°F to 77°F/15°C to 25°C). The medications should not be frozen. Timoptic eye drops and Timoptic-XE should be stored in an upright position and kept out of the light.

Timoptic in Ocudose should be stored at 59°F to 86°F (15°C to 30°C). The medication should not be frozen. Timoptic in Ocudose vials should be kept away from light and in the foil wrap before use. The vials should be used within 1 month after opening the foil. This is because the eye drops may evaporate once the foil is opened.

Disclaimer: Medical News Today has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.