Do not stop taking timolol without talking to your doctor first. If timolol is stopped suddenly, it may cause chest pain or heart attack in some people.
Why is this medication prescribed?
Timolol is used to treat high blood pressure and to improve survival after a heart attack. It is also is used to prevent migraine headaches. Timolol is in a class of medications called beta blockers. It works by relaxing blood vessels and slowing heart rate to improve blood flow and decrease blood pressure.
High blood pressure is a common condition and when not treated, can cause damage to the brain, heart, blood vessels, kidneys and other parts of the body. Damage to these organs may cause heart disease, a heart attack, heart failure, stroke, kidney failure, loss of vision, and other problems. In addition to taking medication, making lifestyle changes will also help to control your blood pressure. These changes include eating a diet that is low in fat and salt, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising at least 30 minutes most days, not smoking, and using alcohol in moderation.
How should this medicine be used?
Timolol comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It is usually taken one or two times a day. To help you remember to take timolol, take it around the same time(s) every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take timolol exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Timolol helps control your condition but will not cure it. Continue to take timolol even if you feel well. Do not stop taking timolol without talking to your doctor.
Other uses for this medicine
Timolol is also sometimes used to prevent angina (chest pain). Talk to your doctor about the risks of using this medication for your condition.
This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking timolol,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to timolol, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in timolol tablets. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking. Be sure to mention any of the following: aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn), clonidine (Catapres, Kapvay, in Clorpres), digoxin (Lanoxin), diltiazem (Cardizem, Cartia XT, Dilacor, Tiazac, others), medications for glaucoma, nifedipine (Adalat, Afeditab CR, Procardia), other medications for heart disease or high blood pressure, quinidine, reserpine , and verapamil (Calan, Covera, Verelan).
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had asthma or other lung diseases; heart, liver, or kidney disease; diabetes; severe allergies; muscle disease; or thyroid problems.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking timolol, call your doctor.
- if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking timolol.
- you should know that this medication may make you drowsy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this medication affects you.
- remember that alcohol can add to the drowsiness caused by this medication.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Timolol may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- dizziness or lightheadedness
- excessive tiredness
- cold hands and feet
If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
- difficulty breathing
- swelling of the feet or hands
- unusual weight gain
- chest pain
- slow, irregular heartbeat
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).
It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location – one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach. http://www.upandaway.org
Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA's Safe Disposal of Medicines website (http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
In case of emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will need to determine your response to timolol. Your doctor may ask you to check your pulse (heart rate). Ask your pharmacist or doctor to teach you how to take your pulse. If your pulse is faster or slower than it should be, call your doctor.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
Brand names of combination products
- Timolide® (containing Hydrochlorothiazide, Timolol)¶
¶ This branded product is no longer on the market. Generic alternatives may be available.