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The eMC  

Last Updated 03 Jul 2008

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Timoptol 0.25% eye drops

Timoptol (Tim-op-tol) is a medicine which is used in raised intra-ocular pressure. Timoptol contains timolol maleate. It is made by Merck Sharp & Dohme Limited.

The information in this Medicine Guide for Timoptol varies according to the condition being treated and the particular preparation used.

There are 6 preparations of Timoptol available. If Timoptol 0.25% eye drops is not the preparation you are looking for, please select from the drop down list below.

Select your preparation (type) of Timoptol

Timoptol 0.25% eye drops

Information specific to Timoptol 0.25% eye drops when used in raised intra-ocular pressure

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Your medicine

Medicines are used to treat, control or prevent a condition. Some medicines will give you immediate relief from your symptoms while others take much longer to work.

Timoptol has been prescribed for your current medical problems and should not be used for other medical problems. Do not share your medicine with other people as it may not be suitable for them and could cause them harm. In the same way, you should not use medicines that belong to other people.

The pharmacy label on your medicine tells you how much medicine you should take. It also tells you how often to take your medicine. This is the dose that you and your prescriber have agreed you should take. Depending on your response to the medicine, how the medicine works and the goals of your treatment, your prescriber may vary your dose. You should not change the dose of your medicine unless you are told to do so by your prescriber.

Timoptol blocks the effects of certain chemicals in the body. It can be used to lower the pressure in the eye helping to treat conditions such as open angle glaucoma or secondary glaucoma.

When using Timoptol it is very important that you tell your doctor if you develop an eye infection, receive an eye injury or have any type of surgery on your eye.

Timoptol can be absorbed into the body even though it is prescribed for eye problems. This can lead to side-effects that affect parts of the body other than the eye. It is possible that side effects that occur with the oral form or the injection form of timolol maleate may also occur with the eye drops.

If you feel that the medicine is making you unwell or you do not think it is working, then talk to your prescriber.

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When to take your medicine

Some medicines work best if they are taken at a specific time of day. Getting the most from your medicine can also be affected by what you eat, when you eat and the times at which you take other medicines. Make sure you follow any specific instructions given to you by your prescriber or that are in the Patient Information Leaflet that comes with this medicine.

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How to take your medicine

Some medicines have specific instructions about how to take them. This is because they work better when taken correctly. These instructions can include getting the right dose and special instructions for preparing the medicine.

In the case of Timoptol:

  • the dropper or tip of the bottle must not touch any part of the eye or any other surface as this may contaminate the drops remaining in the bottle
  • remove soft contact lenses before using Timoptol. Do not put the lenses back in your eyes for at least 15 minutes. This is because Timoptol contains a preservative called benzalkonium chloride which may be deposited on soft contact lenses. Other types of contact lenses are less likely to be affected by the preservative but you should seek advice about wearing them while putting drops in
  • detailed advice on how to use Timoptol can be found in the Patient Information Leaflet that comes with this medicine

If you are having problems taking this form of Timoptol, you should talk to your prescriber or pharmacist. They may be able to give you advice on other ways to take your medicine or other preparations that are easier for you to take.

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Taking too much of your medicine

Taking extra doses of some medicines can be harmful. In some cases even one extra dose can cause you problems. If you take extra doses of your medicine, you must get medical advice immediately. You may need a test to assess the effect of taking extra doses. This is because the effects of taking too much medicine are very complex and it is therefore essential that you seek medical advice.

Contact your prescriber, pharmacist, specialist clinic or NHS Direct on 0845 46 47 for advice.

Make sure you take all of your medicine containers with you if you are advised to go to hospital.

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Stopping your medicine

If you are not having any problems using this medicine then do not stop using it, unless advised to do so by your prescriber. If, however, you find that this medicine is causing you problems then you should talk to your prescriber about your concerns.

In some instances stopping Timoptol abruptly can worsen your condition. If your prescriber decides that it is best that you do not take this medicine any more, they may advise you to reduce the dose gradually over time.

If you are in any doubt, contact your prescriber, pharmacist, specialist clinic or NHS Direct on 0845 46 47.

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Looking after your medicine

The instructions on how you should keep your medicine are on the pharmacy label. It is a good idea to keep your medicine in the original container. This will help to keep your medicine in the best condition and also allow you to check the instructions. Do not take the medicine if the packaging appears to have been tampered with or if the medicine shows any signs of damage. Make sure that the medicine is out of the sight and reach of children.

In the case of Timoptol:

  • do not store in temperatures above 25°C
  • store the medicine in the outer carton
  • you must dispose of this medicine 28 days after opening it. It is a good idea to make a note of the date when you opened it

You must not take the medicine after the expiry date shown on the packaging. If you have any unused medicine, return it to your pharmacist who will dispose of it safely.

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Whether this medicine is suitable for you

Timoptol is not suitable for everyone and some people should never use it. Other people should only use it with special care. It is important that the person prescribing this medicine knows your full medical history.

Your prescriber may only prescribe this medicine with special care or may not prescribe it at all if you:

Furthermore the prescriber may only prescribe this medicine with special care or may not prescribe it at all for a child or an infant.

As part of the process of assessing suitability to take this medicine a prescriber may also arrange tests:

  • to check that this medicine is having the desired effect

Over time it is possible that Timoptol can become unsuitable for some people, or they may become unsuitable for it. If at any time it appears that Timoptol has become unsuitable, it is important that the prescriber is contacted immediately.

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A medicine is only made available to the public if the clinical trials have shown that the benefits of taking the medicine outweigh the risks.

Once a medicine has been licensed, information on the medicine's effects, both intended and unintended, is continuously recorded and updated.

Some side-effects may be serious while others may only be a mild inconvenience. Very occasionally, certain side-effects can be beneficial.

Everyone's reaction to a medicine is different. It is difficult to predict which side-effects you will have from taking a particular medicine, or whether you will have any side-effects at all. The important thing is to tell your prescriber or pharmacist if you are having problems with your medicine.

The frequency of these side-effects is unknown:

These side effects have been reported when the active ingredient in Timoptol has been given by mouth or by injection. The frequency of these side-effects is unknown :

If you feel unwell or if you have concerns about a side-effect, you will need to seek advice. If you feel very ill, get medical help straight away. Contact your prescriber, pharmacist, nurse or call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47.

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Taking other medicines

If you are taking more than one medicine they may interact with each other. At times your prescriber may decide to use medicines that interact, in other cases this may not be appropriate.

The decision to use medicines that interact depends on your specific circumstances. Your prescriber may decide to use medicines that interact, if it is believed that the benefits of taking the medicines together outweigh the risks. In such cases, it may be necessary to alter your dose or monitor you more closely.

Tell your prescriber the names of all the medicines that you are taking so that they can consider all possible interactions. This includes all the medicines which have been prescribed by your GP, hospital doctor, dentist, nurse, health visitor, midwife or pharmacist. You must also tell your prescriber about medicines which you have bought over the counter without prescriptions.

The following medicines may interact with Timoptol:

The following types of medicine may interact with Timoptol:

If you are taking Timoptol and one of the above medicines or types of medicines, make sure your prescriber knows about it.

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Complementary preparations and vitamins

Medicines can interact with complementary preparations and vitamins. In general, there is not much information available about interactions between medicines and complementary preparations or vitamins.

If you are planning to take or are already taking any complementary preparations and vitamins you should ask your prescriber whether there are any known interactions with Timoptol.

Your prescriber can advise whether it is appropriate for you to take combinations that are known to interact. They can also discuss with you the possible effect that the complementary preparations and vitamins may have on your condition.

If you experience any unusual effects while taking this medicine in combination with complementary preparations and vitamins, you should tell your prescriber.

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Driving and operating machinery

When taking any medicine you should be aware that it might interfere with your ability to drive or operate machinery safely.

In the case of Timoptol:

  • this medicine could affect your ability to drive or operate machinery

You should see how this medicine affects you before you judge whether you are safe to drive or operate machinery. If you are in any doubt about whether you should drive or operate machinery, talk to your prescriber.

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Medicines can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your prescriber may advise you to avoid certain foods.

In the case of Timoptol:

  • there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet when using Timoptol
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Alcohol can interact with certain medicines.

In the case of Timoptol:

  • there are no known interactions between alcohol and Timoptol
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Family planning and pregnancy

Most medicines, in some way, can affect the development of a baby in the womb. The effect on the baby differs between medicines and also depends on the stage of pregnancy that you have reached when you take the medicine.

In the case of Timoptol:

  • you should only use this medicine during pregnancy if your doctor thinks that you need it

You need to discuss your specific circumstances with your doctor to weigh up the overall risks and benefits of taking this medicine. You and your doctor can make a decision about whether you are going to take this medicine during pregnancy.

If the decision is that you should not have Timoptol, then you should discuss whether there is an alternative medicine that you could take during pregnancy.

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Certain medicines can pass into breast milk and may reach your baby through breast-feeding.

In the case of Timoptol:

  • you should only use this medicine while breast-feeding if your doctor thinks you need it

Before you have your baby you should discuss breast-feeding with your doctor or midwife. They will help you decide what is best for you and your baby based on the benefits and risks associated with this medicine. If you wish to breast-feed you should discuss with your prescriber whether there are any other medicines you could take which would also allow you to breast-feed. You should not stop this medicine without taking advice from your doctor.

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Ingredients of your medicine

Medicines contain active ingredients. They may also contain other, additional ingredients that help ensure the stability, safety and effectiveness of the medicine. They are also added to improve the medicine's taste and appearance and to make it easier to take. Some may be used to prolong the life of the medicine.

You should check that you are able to take the ingredients in your medicine, especially if you have any allergies.

Timoptol contains:

  • benzalkonium chloride
  • disodium phosphate dodecahydrate or disodium phosphate dihydrate or anhydrous disodium phosphate
  • sodium dihydrogen phosphate dihydrate or sodium dihydrogen phosphate monoydrate
  • sodium hydroxide
  • water for injections

If you are not able to take any of the ingredients in your medicine, talk to your prescriber or pharmacist to see if they can suggest an alternative medicine. If you have reacted badly to Timoptol before, do not take Timoptol. Talk to your prescriber, pharmacist or nurse as soon as possible.

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Timoptol, Version 2, last updated 03 Jul 2008