Timolol

Generic Name: Timolol

  • What is this medication and its most common uses?

    Timolol is a medicine known as a beta-blocker, which is used alone or in combination with other medicines to treat high blood pressure. Timolol is used to treat people who have survived a heart attack, to reduce the chance of death and having another heart attack. Timolol is also used to prevent migraines.

  • What should I know when beginning and continuing on this medication?

    How does this medication work?

    Timolol works by decreasing your heart rate, and relaxing and widening your blood vessels, allowing your blood to flow through with less resistance. This helps to lower your blood pressure.

    What are the beneficial effects of this medication and when should I begin to have results?

    What:

    High Blood Pressure: By lowering your blood pressure, timolol may lower your risk of a stroke or a heart attack.

    After a Heart Attack: Timolol has been shown to reduce the chance of death due to a heart attack.

    Migraine: Timolol may reduce the frequency of migraines you may experience.

    When: Everyone responds differently to treatment, so try to be patient and follow your healthcare provider's directions. Though you may not feel an improvement or change in the way you feel, it is very important to keep taking your medicine as prescribed to keep your condition under control.

    How do I know it is working?

    High Blood Pressure: Check your blood pressure regularly. Your healthcare provider will also check your blood pressure at every visit. Following an appropriate diet and exercise plan will also affect your blood pressure results.

    Migraine: You may feel relief and improvement in the frequency of your migraine headache after you take Timolol. This is a good indicator that the medicine is working. Recording your headache frequency and medication use may be helpful to you and your healthcare provider in monitoring your progress.

  • What are the possible side effects of this medication?

    The following is not a full list of side effects. Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Only your healthcare provider can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this medication.

    Do not stop taking timolol without first talking to your healthcare provider. Stopping timolol suddenly may cause severe chest pain or a heart attack.

    More common side effects may include: slow heart rate, tiredness.

    Less common side effects may include:

    Worsened heart failure with symptoms such as weight gain, increased shortness of breath, or a slow heartbeat.

    Timolol may hide symptoms of low blood sugar levels if you have diabetes.

  • Who should not take this medication?

    Do not take timolol if you are allergic to it or any of its ingredients.

    Do not take timolol if you have certain heart problems (such as heart failure, a slow heartbeat, or your heart skips a beat).

    Do not take timolol if you have asthma or other breathing problems.

  • What should I tell my healthcare provider before I take the first dose of this medication?

    Tell your healthcare provider about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with timolol. Also, talk to your healthcare provider about your complete medical history, especially if you have kidney, liver, thyroid, or heart problems; lung problems (such as bronchitis or emphysema); diabetes; problems with your blood flow; myasthenia gravis (a disease characterized by long-lasting fatigue and muscle weakness); if you are scheduled for surgery; or if you are breastfeeding.

    Tell your healthcare provider if you have a history of severe allergic reactions to any allergens, because timolol may decrease the effectiveness of epinephrine, a medicine used to treat such reactions.

  • What is the usual dosage?

    The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your healthcare provider uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your healthcare provider may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your healthcare provider's approval.

    Adults: The usual starting dose is 10 milligrams twice a day. Your healthcare provider may adjust your dose as needed, until the desired effect is achieved.

    If you are elderly, or have kidney or liver impairment, your healthcare provider may adjust your dose appropriately.

    It is important that you do not stop taking this medication abruptly. If you need to change or stop taking this medication, it is important that you only do this with the guidance of your healthcare provider.

  • How should I take this medication?

    Take timolol exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider.

    If you do not see an improvement in your migraines in 6 to 8 weeks, call your healthcare provider.

  • What should I avoid while taking this medication?

    Do not change your dose or stop taking timolol without first talking to your healthcare provider.

  • What are the possible food and drug interactions associated with this medication?

    If timolol is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your healthcare provider before combining timolol with any of the following: blood pressure/heart medications known as calcium channel blockers (such as verapamil or diltiazem), clonidine, digoxin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) (such as naproxen or ibuprofen), quinidine, or reserpine.

  • May I receive this medication if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    The effects of timolol during pregnancy are unknown. Timolol can be found in your breast milk if you take it while breastfeeding. Do not breastfeed while you are taking timolol. Tell your healthcare provider immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of this medication?

    If you miss a dose of timolol, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and return to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at once.

  • How should I store this medication?

    Store at room temperature. Protect from light.