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Betagan - Uses & Side Effects
Generic name: Levobunolol hydrochloride
Betagan eyedrops are given to treat chronic open-angle glaucoma (increased pressure inside the eye). This medication is in a class called beta blockers. It works by lowering pressure within the eyeball. Betagan has been shown to be effective in lowering intraocular pressure and may be used in patients with chronic open-angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension.
- The recommended starting dose is 1 or 2 drops of Betagan 0.5% in the affected eye(s) once a day.
- For more severe glaucoma, your doctor may have you use Betagan 0.5% twice a day.
Uses of Betagan
- Betagan is used to treat glaucoma, a condition in which increased pressure in the eye can lead to gradual loss of vision. Levobunolol decreases the pressure in the eye.
- Prostaglandin analogs and ocular hypotensive lipids are used to lower eye pressure in eyes with glaucoma. They may be used alone or in combination with other medications. Prostaglandin analogs and ocular hypotensive lipids lower eye pressure by increasing the drainage of aqueous humor (eye fluid) from the eye.
- This medication is used to reduce pressure in the eye caused by glaucoma or other eye conditions.
Side Effects of Betagan
Side effects from Betagan cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor. Only your doctor can determine whether it is safe for you to continue using this medication. You may feel a momentary burning and stinging when you place the drops in your eyes. More rarely, you may develop an eye inflammation. Beta blockers may cause muscle weakness; weakened muscles around the eyes may cause double vision or drooping eyelids. Other potential side effects include:
- Burning and tingling (pins and needles)
- chest pain
- congestive heart failure
- difficult or labored breathing
- hair loss
- heart palpitations
Warnings and precautions before taking Betagan:
- Betagan contains a sulfite preservative. In a few people, sulfites can cause an allergic reaction, which may be life-threatening. If you suffer from asthma, you are at increased risk for sulfite allergy.
- You should not wear soft contact lenses while you are using this medicine. This it because the medicine contains a preservative that can be absorbed by soft contact lenses and cause eye irritation.
- Beta blockers may increase the risks of anesthesia. If you are facing elective surgery, your doctor may want you to taper off Betagan prior to your operation.
- Use Betagan cautiously if you have diminished lung function.
- Since beta blockers may mask some signs and symptoms of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), you should use Betagan very carefully if you have low blood sugar, or if you have diabetes and are taking insulin or an oral antidiabetic medication.
- If your body tends to produce too much thyroid hormone, you should taper off Betagan very gradually rather than stopping the drug all at once. Abrupt withdrawal of any beta blocker may provoke a rush of thyroid hormone ("thyroid storm").
Drug Interaction :- If Betagan is used with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Betagan with the following:
- Calcium-blocking blood pressure medications such as Calan and Cardizem
- Digitalis (the heart medication Lanoxin)
- Epinephrine (Epifrin)
- Oral beta blockers such as the blood pressure medications Inderal and Tenormin
- Overuse of Betagan eyedrops may produce symptoms of beta blocker overdosage--slowed heartbeat, low blood pressure, breathing difficulty, and/or heart failure. Any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences. If you suspect an overdose of Betagan, seek medical attention immediately.
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