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Side Effects Of Timolol

Side Effects Of Timolol

What Is Timolol?

Timolol is a prescription medicine used to treat high blood pressure.

This drug is also used to prevent migraine headaches, treat chest pain, and improve chances of survival after a heart attack.

Timolol was once sold under the brand name Blocadren, but that brand is no longer on the market.

This medicine belongs to a class of drugs called beta-blockers. It works by relaxing blood vessels and slowing the heart rate.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved timolol in 1981. It's marketed by Mylan Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Timolol also comes in an ophthalmic formulation to treat glaucoma (an eye condition).

Pregnancy and Timolol

It's not known whether timolol could harm an unborn baby if taken during pregnancy, but it has been shown to have adverse pregnancy-related effects in animals.

Tell your doctor if you're pregnant, or plan to become pregnant, before using timolol.

Timolol passes into breast milk. Don't breastfeed a baby while taking this drug without first talking to your doctor.

Side Effects

  • Arm, back, or jaw pain
  • blisters, hives, welts, or itching
  • blue lips, fingernails, or skin
  • burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, "pins and needles", or tingling feelings
  • change in vision
  • chest pain or discomfort
  • chest tightness or heaviness
  • confusion about identity, place, and time
  • continuing ringing or buzzing or other unexplained noise in ears
  • coughing that sometimes produces a pink frothy sputum
  • depression
  • difficult, fast, noisy breathing, sometimes with wheezing
  • difficulty in chewing, swallowing, or talking
  • dilated neck veins
  • discharge, excessive tearing
  • disturbed color perception
  • dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up from a lying or sitting position suddenly
  • double vision
  • drooping eyelids
  • dry or itching eyes
  • extreme fatigue
  • false sense of well-being
  • fast, slow, irregular, pounding, or racing heartbeat or pulse
  • fear, nervousness
  • feeling of having something in the eye
  • fever and chills
  • flashes of light, floaters in vision
  • general feeling of discomfort or illness
  • hair loss
  • halos around lights


Topically administrated beta blockers could have profound and prolonged systemic side effects especially in older age group of patients. Extra caution should be observed when prescribing glaucoma treatment to these patients and careful medical and drug history should be sought. If they are found to have other respiratory or cardiovascular comorbidities like ischemic heart disease or COPD, then glaucoma regimen should be carefully chosen. A close liaison between patient’s physician and ophthalmologist is therefore necessary. A small dialogue among the treating physicians can save the patient from a potentially serious and life threatening situation. Acute care physicians including those in emergency and ICU should keep their angle of suspicion wide and if such patients are admitted with syncope or falls, systemic adverse drug reaction should be considered.

Who should NOT take this medication?

Do not use this medication if you:

  • are allergic to timolol or any ingredient of the medication
  • are in overt heart failure or cardiogenic shock (shock due to heart-related causes)
  • have an extremely slow heart rate or serious heart block
  • have asthma or severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (e.g., emphysema, chronic bronchitis)

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