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Betaxolol

Brand names of betaxolol

  • Betoptic
  • Betoptic-Pilo [CD]
  • Betoptic-S
  • Kerlone
  • Novo-Betaxolol
  • Sab-Betaxolol

Betaxolol belongs to the class of drugs known as selective beta receptor blockers and this medication is prescribed to treat hypertension as well as glaucoma. As any other selective beta receptor blocker, betaxolol usually has lesser systemic side effects compared to non-selective beta blockers, for instance, unlike timolol, this medication does not result in bronchospasm (a condition facilitated by beta2 receptors). In addition, betaxolol is more akin to beta1 receptors compared to metoprolol. Besides it action on the heart, this medication also lessens the pressure inside the eyes (known as intraocular pressure). While the exact manner in which betaxolol reduces intraocular pressure is yet to be ascertained, it is believed that this action of this medication is brought about owing to the lessening in the production of a liquid called aqueous humor inside the eyes. The lowering of the intraocular pressure lessens the chances of any harm to the optic nerve as well as blindness in people suffering from high intraocular pressure attributable to glaucoma.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the sale and ocular use of betaxolol in the form of a 0.5 per cent solution (brand name, Betoptic) in 1985 and, later, as a 0.25 per cent solution (brand name, Betoptic S) in 1989.

Things you need to tell your physician before taking betaxolol

As in the case of using any prescription medication, before you start using betaxolol, it is essential to tell your physician or pharmacist if you have allergic reactions to this medication, any ingredient of this drug, a different beta-blocker (for instance, metipranolol, timolol) or suffer from any other type of allergy. It is worth mentioning here that this medication may enclose certain inactive ingredients (benzalkonium chloride, a preservative) that may result in allergies or additional disorders/ symptoms. If you are not sure about the contents of betaxolol, ask your physician for further details.

People having specific health conditions should not use betaxolol. Before you begin treatment with betaxolol, you should talk to your physician if you are suffering from specific severe heart conditions (such as severe heart failure, cardiogenic shock); or any specific type of problem related to the heart rhythm (such as atrioventricular block of second- or third degree, sinus bradycardia). Also tell your physician or pharmacist about your entire medical history, particularly if you have or ever had low levels of blood sugar (hypoglycemia); diabetes; disorders related to muscle weakness (such as myasthenia gravis); an overactive thyroid (also called hyperthyroidism); heart failure (the type that is treated and stable); breathing troubles (such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, also called COPD, asthma); and/ or poor blood circulation to the brain (a condition known as cerebrovascular insufficiency).

In case you have an eye injury or infection or have had an eye operation consult your physician regarding continuing using the betaxolol bottle that you have been using. It is possible that in such circumstances you physician will ask you to discard the current bottle and use a new one. In addition, before undergoing any type of surgery, including a dental operation, ensure that you let your surgeon or dentist know that you are using betaxolol.

Using betaxolol may cause dizziness or result in blurred vision. Therefore, never operate a machine, drive or undertake any activity that needs you to be alert and have a clear vision till such a time when you are certain about the consequences of this medication on your body and when you are confident that you can perform these activities safely. It is essential to restrict or avoid consuming alcoholic beverages while undergoing treatment with betaxolol.

People having diabetes should use this medication cautiously because it is likely to conceal the rapid/ pounding heartbeat which you generally experience when the levels of your blood sugar drop drastically (a condition called hypoglycemia). However, betaxolol does not have any effect on any other symptom of low levels of blood sugar, for instance, sweating or light-headedness.

Pregnant women should strictly use betaxolol when it is essential for their condition. Before using this medication, they need to talk over with their physician regarding the benefits and risks of using betaxolol during pregnancy. While it is yet to be ascertained whether betaxolol passes onto breast milk, new mothers taking this medication should consult their physician prior to breast feeding.

Usage

The selective beta receptor blocker drug betaxolol is used independently or in combination with other medicines for treating high intraocular pressure (pressure within the eyes) attributable to glaucoma (open-angle sort) or any other ailment related to the eye (for instance, ocular hypertension). When the high pressure within the eyes is lowered, it aids in putting off loss of eyesight. As aforementioned, betaxolol is a selective beta blocker that works to reduce the amount of aqueous humour (a liquid produced inside the eyes).

How to use betaxolol

Betaxolol is available in the form of a solution and used as eye drops. Before applying this eye drop, you should essentially wash your hands. Do not touch the tip of the dropper or allow it to touch your eyes or any surface to ensure that there is no contamination.

In case you wear contact lenses, you need to remove the lenses prior to applying the eye drops. You need to wait for a minimum of 15 minutes before you wear the contact lenses again.

Prior to using the medication, shake the bottle properly. Then, incline your head backward, look up and pull the lower eyelid down to create a pouch. Place the dropper straight above the eye and put one drop of the medication in the pouch. This medication is normally used twice every day. Alternately, you may also use it as per the instructions of your physician. After applying the eye drop, look downward and close your eyes gently for about one to two minutes. Place one of your fingers at the corner of the eye (close to the nose) and press the area gently, as doing this will not allow the medication to drain out. Repeat the same steps to apply the eye drop to the other eye or to the same eye in case the dose is over one drop.

Provided you are also using a different type of medication for your eyes (for instance, ointments or drops), you need to wait for no less than 10 minutes prior to applying the other medication(s). Always apply eye drops prior to using any eye ointment to enable the drops to go into the eye.

To get the maximum advantage of using betaxolol you need to use it on a regular basis. In addition, you should use this medication at the same time every day, as it will help you to remember that you have to use betaxolol. It is worth mentioning here that the majority of people having intraocular pressure or glaucoma feel well.

How betaxolol works

Glaucoma is an aliment of the eye that may result in blindness. This condition develops when the drainage of aqueous humour (a liquid produced within the eyes) is affected, causing an elevated pressure inside the eyeball (called intraocular pressure). When the intraocular pressure (IOP) increases, it may possibly harm the optic nerve and also result in the gradual advancement of blindness. Betaxolol is a selective beta receptor blocker that helps to reduce aqueous humour production and, in this way, it helps to lower the intraocular pressure.

Side effects

Serious:
Common:
  • eye inflammation
  • eye irritation
  • swelling
  • tearing
Less common:
  • bitter or odd taste in the mouth
  • blurred vision
  • headache
  • increased sensitivity to light
  • insomnia
  • poor night vision
  • sinus irritation

Possible interactions

Herbal medicines or minerals:
A number of herbal remedies as well as minerals may interact with betaxolol and these should never be used in combination. For example, ginseng is likely to raise the blood pressure, which, in turn, diminishes the advantages of using this medication. Herbs like saw palmetto, goldenseal, hawthorn, licorice, ma huang and yohimbe may also possibly raise the blood pressure and, hence, these should not be used in conjunction. On the other hand, using garlic and calcium may aid in lowering blood pressure. Although a German Commission E monograph has been approved for the herb Indian snakeroot for treating high blood pressure, it is essential to consult your physician before taking it while using this medication. People who have hypertension should take care to ensure that they stay away from ephedra and Siberian ginseng root. In addition, people having glaucoma should avoid ephedra, scopolia root, and belladonna as well as henbane leaf.
Alcohol:
People undergoing treatment with betaxolol should be cautious while consuming alcoholic beverages or taking any food/ medicine that contains alcohol. They should know that alcohol has the aptitude to amplify betaxolol’s ability to lower blood pressure and, at the same time, enhance the mild tranquilizing effect of this medication.
Tobacco smoking:
You should avoid smoking while undergoing treatment with betaxolol, because nicotine may possibly diminish the efficiency of this medication. In addition, taking this medication in high doses results in the deterioration of bronchial contraction caused by habitual smoking.
Exposure to heat:
You should be careful while exposing yourself to hot environs, as this may result in a drop in blood pressure and also inflate the actions of betaxolol.
Exposure to cold:
While undergoing treatment with betaxolol you need to be cautious when exposed to cold environs. Exposure to cold is likely to result in an increase in a deficit of blood circulation to the extremities that usually occur as a side effect of this medication. Aged adults should adopt additional precautions to check hypothermia.
Occurrence of unrelated illness:
People using betaxolol should be aware of the fact that occurrence of any unrelated ailments may result in a drop in blood pressure and necessitate changes in the dosage of the medication. Even vomiting and nausea may disturb the dosing of betaxolol. Hence, it is advisable that you talk to your physician for his/ her guidance and help in these situations.
Heavy exercise or exertion:
If you are using betaxolol consult your physician regarding any exercise program that is most appropriate for you. It is essential to select the exercise program keeping in view your physical condition as well as the use of this medication.

Discontinuation

An abrupt discontinuation of betaxolol should be avoided. Before you stop using this selective beta receptor blocker, it is important to consult your physician and decrease its dose gradually under his/ her supervision over a period of two to three weeks.

Storage instructions

Betaxolol should always be stored in the container in which you bought it. Close the container firmly and keep it in a place that is not accessible by children. This medication should always be kept at room temperature and in a place free from extreme heat and dampness. You should never keep this medication in your bathroom. Discard all medications whose expiry date has lapsed or those that are no longer required. Consult your physician regarding the appropriate and safe manner of disposing of these products.

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