Timlol, also known and sold under the trade names of Betimol, Istalol and others, is a product which is used alone, or in a combination in the treatment of high pressure in the eye, most commonly caused by glaucoma or a specific condition, known as ocular hypertension.
This medication belongs to a group of drugs known as beta blockers. It is considered to work by decreasing the amount of fluid that the eye normally produces, and that way it decreases the pressure inside the eye, at the same time preventing blindness.
This product is available in the forms of solution and gel forming solution.
2 What to Know Before Using
Before the decision to start the treatment with this medication is made, it is very important to get informed about the expected beneficial effects, as well as about the potential side effects and risks.
For the decision to be made, it is essential for the beneficial effects to outweigh the potential risks. This is a decision that you and your doctor, together, will have to make. During the consultations, it is very important to inform the doctor about:
Allergies – Inform the doctor about any allergic reactions to any kind of medications, prescribed or no prescribed. Also, inform the healthcare professional about any allergic reactions to any specific kind of food, dye, fabric and etc.
Pediatric – There are no studies done that would confirm the safety of this medication to be used within pediatric patients. Because of this, it should be used only in cases where the beneficial effects outweigh the potential risks.
Geriatric – Proper studies done have not shown any age-connected risks when this medication is used within geriatric patients. However, in most cases there is an increased level of sensitivity within geriatric patients, and because of the treatment requires extra caution when this medication is used.
Pregnancy – Inform the doctor if you are currently pregnant or have any plans about pregnancy in the near future. There are no studies done that would confirm the safety of this medication to be used during pregnancy. It is unknown how would it affect the fetus. Because of this, it should be used only in cases where the beneficial effects outweigh the potential risks.
Breastfeeding – Inform the doctor if you are currently breastfeeding. Proper studies done have shown that this medication is extracted in the milk, as well as that there is a minimal risk when this medication is used within nursing mothers. Because of this, it is recommended not to be used during the period of breastfeeding.
Drug interactions – Inform the doctor if you are currently using any other medications, prescribed or no prescribed, even vitamins and herbal tea. This is important because certain medications should not be used in a combination with others, because of the possibility that certain interactions could occur. However, sometimes the doctor may decide to use a specific type of a combination including two or more medications to treat your condition, if he or she considers that combination to prove as beneficial regarding your condition.
Other interactions – Certain medications should not be used in a combination with specific type of food, tobacco and alcohol. Because of this, it is important to get informed if there is a need for you to follow a specific type of diet, and discontinue your use of tobacco and/or alcohol during the treatment.
Other medical problems – Inform the doctor about your medical history, any other medical problems and conditions from the past or at the moment. Especially, inform the doctor if there are any of the following conditions present – asthma, bradycardia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart block, heart failure, blood vessel disease, stroke, diabetes, hyperthyroidism, hypoglycemia, lung disease, or myasthenia gravis.
For proper use, follow the directions given by your doctor. Wash your hands before every time you apply the eye drops. Tilt your head backwards and pull the lower eyelid to make a space.
In this space apply the prescribed number of eye drops. Close your eyes and massage the eye gently. If you are using contact lens, remove them before you apply the eye drops. Wait at least 10 to 15 minutes before you replace the contact lens after the application is done.
The dose is individual for every patient, prescribed by the doctor and based on your condition and the prognosis of the treatment. The usual dose is one drop a day. Use this medication regularly in order to get the most beneficial effects from its use.
If you forget a dose, apply it as soon as you remember. Do not double to catch up. This product is harmful if swallowed. If swallowing or overdose is suspected, inform the doctor right away for further directions.
4 Precautions to Take
Visit the doctor regularly so that he or she could track your condition and make any adjustments if necessary.
These adjustments may refer to the dose – e.g. the doctor may decide to increase or decrease the dose, or to the treatment itself – the doctor may decide to discontinue the treatment if there are any serious side effects present, or if your condition does not improve or worsens.
Inform the doctor about any allergic reactions to any kind of medications, prescribed or no prescribed. This is important because this product may contain inactive substances that could cause interactions to occur. Inform the doctor if you are currently pregnant.
The doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication, due to the lack of studies that would confirm the safety of this medication to be used during pregnancy.
If you have any plans about pregnancy in the near future, the doctor may advise you to start using a proven form of birth control to help prevent pregnancy during the treatment. Inform the doctor if you are currently breastfeeding.
This is important because this medication should not be used within nursing mothers. This medication may cause temporary blurred vision. Avoid driving and other activities which require clear vision.
5 Potential Side Effects
Along with its needed beneficial effects, there are potential side effects which could occur. These side effects do not occur within all patients, also they could be mild or more serious.
Based on the present side effects, the doctor may decide to discontinue the treatment with this product. Because of this, it is very important to get informed about the potential side effects so that you would be able to notice their presence and inform the doctor right away.
Common side effects – temporary blurred vision, temporary stinging/burning/itching/redness of the eye, watery or dry eyes, or headache. These side effects are common and are not considered as serious. However, if they persist or worsen, inform the doctor as soon as possible.
Serious side effects – dizziness, eye pain/swelling/discharge, slow/irregular heartbeat, muscle weakness, mood changes, coldness/numbness of the feet and hands, trouble breathing, sudden unexplained weight gain, chest pain, weakness on one side of the body, constipation, fainting, or vision changes. These are serious side effects whose presence must be reported to the doctor as soon as possible.
A very serious allergic reaction is not common, but if you notice any of the following symptoms, inform
the doctor right away – skin rash, itching/swelling of the hands/feet/face/tongue, severe dizziness, or trouble breathing.
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