Betoptic Warnings and Precautions
Before you start taking Betoptic, let your healthcare provider know if you have diabetes, asthma, or hyperthyroidism. Warnings and precautions for Betoptic also include watching out for potential drug interactions, avoiding this medication if you have severe heart failure, and using extra caution while using Betoptic if you are pregnant.
You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to using Betoptic® (betaxolol hydrochloride) if you have:
- Myasthenia gravis
- Heart failure
- Had a recent heart attack
- A slow heart rate (bradycardia)
- Heart block
- An upcoming surgery
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Any allergies, including allergies to food, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about any other medications you are taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking this medicine include the following:
- Even though Betoptic is an eye drop, a significant amount of the medication may be absorbed into the bloodstream. Therefore, most of the usual warnings of precautions with other beta blockers also apply to Betoptic.
- Betoptic should not be used alone for treating closed angle glaucoma.
- If you will be having surgery, make sure your surgeon and anesthesiologist know you take Betoptic, as it may affect the choice of medications used during the surgery.
- Betoptic can worsen allergic reactions and may make epinephrine (one of the standard treatments for life-threatening allergic reactions) less effective. If you have a history of severe allergic reactions, Betoptic (or any other beta blocker) may not be the best choice for you.
- Like all beta blockers, Betoptic can worsen heart failure in some situations. If you have heart failure, your healthcare provider may need to monitor you very closely while you take Betoptic. Let your healthcare provider know immediately if your heart failure symptoms seem to worsen.
- Beta blockers can worsen breathing problems like asthma or COPD. In many cases, Betoptic is not recommended for people with such lung problems.
- Betoptic can worsen myasthenia gravis symptoms or may even potentially cause myasthenia gravis. Let your healthcare provider know if you develop symptoms of this condition, such as muscle weakness, double vision, or a droopy eyelid.
- Beta blockers can mask some of the symptoms of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), particularly the "racing heart" feeling. This can cause serious problems for people with diabetes, who need to be able to sense that they have low blood sugar (in order to correct it before it becomes life-threatening). Some beta blockers may also worsen low blood sugar, although it is not known if this is a problem for Betoptic.
- Beta blockers can mask some of the symptoms of an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism).
- Betoptic can potentially interact with a number of other medications (see Betoptic Drug Interactions).
- Betoptic is considered a pregnancy Category C medication. This means that it may not be safe for use during pregnancy, although the full risks are not currently known (see Betaxolol and Pregnancy).
- Betoptic passes through breast milk in humans. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start breastfeeding, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking the drug (see Betaxolol and Breastfeeding).