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Drugs reference index «Betimol»



Brand names: Timoptic-XE, Timoptic, Betimol, Timolol maleate (ophthalmic)

Why is Betimol prescribed?

This form of timolol is an ophthalmic (applied directly in the eye) medication that effectively reduces internal pressure in the eye. Timolol is used in the treatment of glaucoma to lower elevated eye pressure that could damage vision and, with other glaucoma medications, to further reduce pressure in the eye.

Most important fact about Betimol

Although timolol drops are applied only to the eye, the medication is absorbed and may have effects in other parts of the body. If you have diabetes, asthma, or other respiratory disease, or decreased heart function, make sure your doctor is aware of the problem.

How should you take Betimol?

Timolol should be used exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you need to use other eye medications along with timolol, use them at least 10 minutes before you instill timolol eyedrops. If you wear contact lenses, remove them before using timolol eyedrops and wait 15 minutes before reinserting them.

Handle the timolol solution carefully to avoid contamination. Do not let the tip of the dispenser actually touch the eye. Do not enlarge the hole in the dispenser tip; it is designed to provide just 1 drop. Do not wash the dispenser tip with water, soap, or any other cleaner.

To administer timolol eyedrops, follow these steps:

  1. Wash your hands thoroughly.
  2. Tilt your head back and gently pull your lower eyelid down to form a pocket.
  3. Turn the bottle upside down, holding it with your thumb or index finger over the finger push area.
  4. Press the bottle lightly until a single drop falls into the eye.
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 with the other eye if necessary.
  6. Replace the cap firmly.
  • If you miss a dose...If you use timolol eyedrops once a day, apply it as soon as you remember. If you do not remember until the next day, skip the dose you missed and go back to your regular schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once. If you use timolol eyedrops 2 or more times a day, apply it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and go back to your regular schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.
  • Storage instructions...Store at room temperature, protected from light. Keep from freezing.

What side effects may occur?

Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any side effects develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor immediately. Only your doctor can determine whether it is safe to continue using Betimol. If timolol is absorbed into the bloodstream, it can cause additional side effects.

  • Side effects may include:Burning and stinging on instillation of the drug

Why should Betimol not be prescribed?

Do not use timolol if you have bronchial asthma, a history of bronchial asthma, or other serious breathing disorders such as emphysema, slow heartbeat, heart block (conduction disorder), active heart failure, or inadequate blood supply to the circulatory system (cardiogenic shock), or if you have ever had an allergic reaction or are sensitive to timolol or any of its ingredients.

Special warnings about Betimol

Use timolol cautiously if you have a history of heart failure or poor circulation to the brain.

Tell your doctor if you have any type of allergy. The frequency and severity of allergic reactions may increase while you are using timolol.

Timolol may mask the symptoms of low blood sugar. If you are diabetic, discuss this possibility with your doctor.

Tell your doctor or dentist that you are using timolol if you have a medical emergency or before you have surgery or dental treatment.

Timolol may mask symptoms of an overactive thyroid. If your doctor suspects you have excessive thyroid function, he or she will manage your case carefully to avoid such symptoms as rapid heartbeat, which can occur when the drug is withdrawn too abruptly.

The antiglaucoma effects of this timolol may decrease if you use the medication for a long time.

Some older individuals may be more sensitive to this product than younger people. If you develop an eye infection, suffer an eye injury, or have eye surgery, check with your doctor. You may need to stop using timolol.

Possible food and drug interactions when taking Betimol

If timolol is used with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining timolol with the following:

EpinephrineCatecholamine-depleting drugs, such as blood pressure drugs that contain reserpineClonidineDigitalisHeart and blood pressure medications known as calcium channel blockersQuinidine

Timolol eyedrops should not be used with other topical beta-blockers and should be used with caution if you are taking oral beta-blockers.

Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. No information is available about the safety of using timolol during pregnancy.

Timolol appears in breast milk and may harm a nursing infant. If using timolol is essential to your health, your doctor may advise you to stop breastfeeding until your treatment is finished.

Recommended dosage for Betimol


Your doctor will tailor an individual timolol dosage depending on your medical condition and how you responded to any previous glaucoma treatment.

The usual recommended starting dose of the regular solution is to place 1 drop of 0.25 percent timolol in the affected eye(s) twice a day. If you do not respond satisfactorily to this dosage, your doctor may tell you to place 1 drop of 0.5 percent timolol in the affected eye(s) twice a day.

The usual dose of the gel-forming solution is 1 drop of either 0.25 percent or 0.5 percent in the affected eye(s) once a day. Invert the closed container and shake it once before you use it.


Seek medical treatment immediately if you think you might have used too much timolol. Call your local poison control center or your doctor for assistance.

  • Symptoms of timolol overdose inlcude:Dizziness, headache, heart failure, shortness of breath, slow heartbeat, wheezing
  • Betimol Prescribing Information (FDA)
  • Betimol Advanced Consumer (Micromedex) - Includes Dosage Information
  • Betimol Drops MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)
  • Timolol Ophthalmic Prescribing Information (FDA)
  • Istalol Prescribing Information (FDA)
  • Istalol Drops MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)
  • Istalol Consumer Overview