Betaxolol eye drops are used to control increased pressure within your eye (glaucoma).
Use the drops twice daily, preferably morning and evening.If you normally wear soft contact lenses, please make sure your doctor knows this.
About betaxolol eye drops
|Type of medicine||A beta-blocker eye preparation|
|Used for||Chronic open-angle glaucoma (also called primary open-angle glaucoma)|
|Available as||Eye drops, and single-dose eye drops|
In chronic open-angle glaucoma there is damage to the optic nerve at the back of your eye. It is usually caused by an increase in pressure within your eye. Betaxolol eye drops work by lowering the pressure in your eye. It is thought they do this by reducing the amount of fluid that you make that fills the front part of your eye (called aqueous humour). By reducing the amount of fluid produced, it reduces the pressure within your eye.
Before using betaxolol eye drops
Some medicines are not suitable for people with certain conditions, and sometimes a medicine can only be used if extra care is taken. For these reasons, before you start using the drops it is important that your doctor knows:
- If you have asthma or any other breathing problems.
- If you are pregnant or breast-feeding.
- If you have a heart condition.
- If you know you have a problem with the surface of your eye (the cornea), or if you have particularly dry eyes.
- If you have circulation problems or low blood pressure.
- If you are being treated for thyroid problems or diabetes.
- If you have a skin condition called psoriasis, or if you have a condition causing muscle weakness, called myasthenia gravis. The symptoms in these conditions could worsen.
- If you are taking any medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, as well as herbal and complementary medicines.
- If you have any allergies. It is particularly important that you tell your doctor if you have had a bad reaction to any eye drops.
How to use betaxolol eye drops
- Wash your hands well before you use the drops.
- Remove the cap (or twist off the tip of the unit if you are using a single-dose unit).
- Tilt your head back a little and pull the lower lid of your eye out to form a pocket.
- Hold the bottle (or single-dose unit) upside down near to your eye. Try not to touch your eye as you do this.
- Apply enough pressure to release one drop into your eye. Only use a second drop if the first drop missed going into your eye.
- Close your eye for a minute or two, and press gently on the side of your nose where the corner of your eye meets your nose. This helps to stop the drop from draining away and keeps it in your eye.
- Repeat the process in your other eye if you have been told to use the drops in both eyes. The contents of one single-dose unit are enough for both eyes.
- Replace the cap (or if you are using a single-dose unit, throw it away).
Getting the most from your treatment
- Before you start using the eye drops, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from the pack. It will give you more information about the eye drops and will provide you with a full list of the side-effects which you may experience from using them.
- Use one drop into the eye (or eyes) affected, twice a day. Remember to use the drops regularly - try not to miss any doses.
- If you do forget to use the drops, put them in as soon as you remember, but do not 'double up' to make up for any missed doses.
- Take care not to touch the tip of the dropper with your eye, fingers, or any other surface. This is to prevent the drops from becoming contaminated.
- If you are using any other eye drops, leave 5-10 minutes between applying each one. This is to prevent more liquid going into your eye than it can handle. Otherwise the drops will overflow from your eye and not have the intended effect.
- When first put in, eye drops can make your eyes water and may sometimes cause blurred vision. If this happens, it should quickly clear. Make sure you can see clearly again before you drive, or before you use tools or machines.
- Do not wear soft contact lenses if you are using eye drops from a bottle unless your doctor has advised that you can do so. This is because there is a preservative in bottles of eye drops which can affect some soft contact lenses. You may wear soft contact lenses if you are using the single-dose units, as there is no preservative in these drops (but remember to take out your lenses to apply the drops and wait for at least 15 minutes before putting your lenses back in).
- Keep your regular appointments with your eye clinic so that your progress can be checked.
- If you are having an operation or any dental treatment, remember to tell the person carrying out the treatment that you are using betaxolol eye drops. This is because the drops may interfere with some medicines used during surgery.
Can betaxolol eye drops cause problems?
Along with their useful effects, eye drops can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. The table below contains the most common ones associated with betaxolol. The best place to find a full list of the side-effects which can be associated with the drops, is from the manufacturer's printed information leaflet supplied with the drops. Alternatively, you can find an example of a manufacturer's information leaflet in the reference section below. Speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following continue or become troublesome.
|Common betaxolol side-effects (these affect less than 1 in 10 people)||What can I do if I experience this?|
|Eye discomfort or irritation||If troublesome, speak with your doctor|
|Headache||Drink plenty of water and ask your pharmacist to recommend a suitable painkiller. If the headache continues, speak with your doctor|
Important: if you experience the following, contact your doctor for advice straightaway:
- Any difficulties breathing, such as wheezing or feeling short of breath.
- An allergic-type reaction, such as any swelling around your face or eyes.
If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to the eye drops, speak with your doctor or pharmacist for further advice.
How to store betaxolol eye drops
- Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
- Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
- Always check the expiry information on the container. Eye drops in bottles keep for four weeks once the bottle has been opened, so do not use the drops if the bottle has been open for longer than this. This will help to prevent the risk of eye infections.
- Single-dose units should be used immediately the unit is opened. Do not store or re-use opened units for later doses. This is because the units do not contain any preservative.
Important information about all medicines
If you buy any medicines check with a pharmacist that they are safe to take with your other medicines.
If you suspect that someone has swallowed the drops by accident, go to the accident and emergency department of your local hospital. Take the container with you, even if it is empty.
This medicine is for you. Never give it to other people even if their condition appears to be the same as yours.
Do not keep out-of-date or unwanted medicines. Take them to your local pharmacy which will dispose of them for you.
If you have any questions about this medicine ask your pharmacist.
Further reading and references
Manufacturer's PIL, Betaxolol 0.5% Eye Drops; FDC International Ltd, The electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated June 2015.
Manufacturer's PIL, Betoptic® Suspension Single Dose; Alcon Laboratories (UK) Limited, The electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated November 2015.
British National Formulary; 72nd Edition (Sep 2016) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London