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Betaxolol

pronounced asbe tax' oh lol

Why is this medication prescribed?

Betaxolol is used alone or with other medications to control high blood pressure. Betaxolol 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.

How should this medicine be used?

Betaxolol comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It is usually taken once a day. Take betaxolol at around the same time 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 betaxolol exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

Your doctor will probably start you on an average dose of betaxolol and may increase your dose after 7-14 days if your blood pressure is not controlled.

Betaxolol controls high blood pressure but does not cure it. It may take 1-2 weeks or longer before the full benefit of betaxolol is noted. Continue to take betaxolol even if you feel well. Do not stop taking betaxolol without talking to your doctor. If you suddenly stop taking betaxolol, your blood pressure may increases and you may develop new or worsening chest pain. Your doctor will probably decrease your dose gradually over about 2 weeks and will monitor you carefully during this time. Your doctor may also tell you to limit physical activity while your dose is being decreased.

Other uses for this medicine

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This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

What special precautions should I follow?

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Before taking betaxolol,

  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to betaxolol, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in betaxolol 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 or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: amiodarone (Cordarone, Pacerone); beta blocker eye drops such as betaxolol (Betoptic), Carteolol (Ocupress), levobunolol (Betagan), metipranolol (Optipranolol), and timolol (Betimol, Timoptic, in Cosopt); calcium channel blockers such as diltiazem (Cardizem, Dilacor, Tiazac, others), nifedipine (Adalat, Procardia), and verapamil (Calan, Verelan, Tarka, others); clonidine (Catapres); digoxin (Lanoxicaps, Lanoxin); disopyramide (Norpace); epinephrine (Epipen); and reserpine (Serpalan). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
  • tell your doctor if you have heart failure or any other heart problems. Your doctor may tell you not to take betaxolol if you have serious heart failure or certain other heart problems.
  • tell your doctor if you have or have ever had angina (chest pain); asthma or other lung disease; diabetes; psoriasis (a skin condition); pheochromocytoma (tumor on a small gland near the kidneys); or kidney, liver, or thyroid disease. Also tell your doctor if you have ever had a serious allergic reaction to any food, medication, or other substance.
  • tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking betaxolol, call your doctor.
  • tell any doctor, dentist, or eye doctor who will be treating you that you are taking betaxolol. This is especially important if you are having surgery, including dental surgery.
  • you should know that betaxolol may make you drowsy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this medication affects you.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

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Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

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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?

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Betaxolol may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • extreme tiredness

  • difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep

  • unusual dreams

  • heartburn

  • nausea

  • diarrhea

  • joint pain

  • decreased sexual ability in men

  • cold hands and feet

  • numbness, burning, or tingling in the arms, legs, hands, or feet

  • rash

Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately:

  • difficulty breathing, especially during activity or when lying down

  • swelling of the arms, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs

  • unexplained weight gain

  • fast, slow, pounding, or irregular heartbeat

  • chest pain

Betaxolol may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.

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 [at http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch] or by phone [1-800-332-1088].

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

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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). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.

In case of emergency/overdose

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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.

Symptoms of overdose may include:

  • difficulty breathing, especially during activity or when lying down

  • swelling of the arms, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs

  • unexplained weight gain

  • chest pain

  • fast, pounding, slow, or irregular heartbeat

What other information should I know?

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Keep all appointments with your doctor.

Before you are tested for glaucoma (increased pressure in your eyes that may lead to vision loss), tell your doctor and the technician that you are taking betaxolol.

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

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  • Kerlone®

This branded product is no longer on the market. Generic alternatives may be available.

Last Revised - 08/01/2009

ASHP Logo American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc. Disclaimer

AHFS® Consumer Medication Information. © Copyright, 2014. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc., 7272 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, Maryland. All Rights Reserved. Duplication for commercial use must be authorized by ASHP.