Betagan Drops 5ml contains the active ingredient levobunolol hydrochloride that fits into a group of medicines known as beta-blockers. It works by blocking the beta receptors in the eye in order to reduce pressure in the eyeball and relieve conditions like glaucoma.
The pressure within the eyeball is naturally maintained by a continuous flow of liquid called aqueous humour through the eyeball. This fluid drains out of the eyeball, however if the outflow is blocked then the fluid builds up in the eye and increases pressure. This pressure therefore needs to be reduced as it could damage the optic nerve and cause vision impairments. The levobunolol works to reduce the amount of fluid that is secreted into the eyeball in order to decrease pressure within the eye.
Directions for using Betagan Drops 5ml:
- Wash your hands before using the eye drops.
- One drop should be put into the affected eye(s) once or twice a day, as directed by your doctor. Click here for instructions on how to put in the eye drops.
- When using the eye drops you should take care to not touch the dropper tip to any surface, or to your eye, in order to avoid contaminating the eye drops with germs that could cause eye infections.
- You can minimise the amount of medicine that is absorbed into your bloodstream and increase the local action in the eye, by pressing on your tear duct (the corner of the eye closest to the nose) while putting in the eye drops and for a few minutes after. It is recommended that you do this after putting in each drop. This is because sufficient levobunolol may be absorbed from the eye into the bloodstream to cause side effects on other parts of the body, or to react with medicines being taken by mouth, injection or suppository.
- Betagan eye drops are available in multi-dose bottles or preservative-free single-dose containers.
- The multi-dose bottles contain the preservative benzalkonium chloride, which can be absorbed by soft contact lenses and cause eye irritation. If you wear soft contact lenses, you should remove them before putting in these eye drops. You should wait at least 15 minutes after using the drops before putting your contact lenses back in. The preservative helps keep the eye drops sterile once they are in use. However, any medicine remaining in the bottle after it has been open for four weeks or more is likely to be contaminated with germs and should no longer be used. Dispose of carefully, preferably by returning to your pharmacy. You may find it helpful to write the date of first opening on the bottle.
- The preservative-free single-use drops can be used while you are wearing contact lenses. Each single-use vial contains enough solution to put one drop in both eyes. However, only treat both eyes if you have been told to do so by your doctor. If there is any medicine remaining in the vial after you have used it this should be thrown away and not kept for future use.
Caution before using Betagan Drops 5ml:
- Betagan eye drops are for use in the eye only and must not be taken by mouth.
- As with all eye drops, your vision may be blurred after putting the drops in. Wait until your vision is clear before driving or using machines. You should also take into account that this medicine can sometimes cause other visual disturbances, eg double vision, and dizziness or fatigue, all of which may affect your ability to drive or operate machinery.
- If you go into hospital or to the dentist to have an operation you should tell the person treating you that you are using these eye drops. This is because your blood pressure may fall too low if you are given certain types of anaesthetics while using this medicine.
- While using this medicine you should have regular eye examinations. If your eye(s) become irritated or any new eye problems occur, tell your doctor immediately.
- This medicine should not be used if you have any known sensitivity or allergy to its ingredients.
- It should also not be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding, unless considered essential by your doctor.
Use with caution in:
- People with a history of heart disease, inlcuding heart failure or a weak heart.
- People with slowed conduction of electrical messages between the chambers of the heart (1st degree heart block).
- People with a severe form of angina pectoris, not caused by exertion (Prinzmetal's angina).
- People with poor blood circulation in the arteries of the extremities, eg hands and feet (peripheral arterial disorders such as Raynaud's syndrome or intermittent claudication).
- Low blood pressure (hypotension).
- Decreased liver function.
- Decreased kidney function.
- People with an untreated tumour of the adrenal gland (phaeochromocytoma).
- Diabetes mellitus. (Beta-blockers such as levobunolol can be absorbed into the bloodstream after being applied into the eye. They may mask the symptoms of low blood sugar (hypoglycaemia) such as increased heart rate, sweating, tremor and nausea. For this reason, people with diabetes should carefully monitor their blood sugar while using these eye drops.)
- People with a history of sudden drops in blood sugar levels (hypoglycaemia).
- Overactive thyroid gland (this medicine may mask the symptoms of a thyroid storm or thyrotoxicosis).
- People with high acid levels in the blood (metabolic acidosis).
- People with a history of allergies. (Beta-blockers such as levobunolol can increase sensitivity to substances which cause allergy and the seriousness of severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis). People who experience an anaphylactic reaction while using this medicine may need larger than normal doses of adrenaline to treat the reaction. Seek further medical advice from your doctor if you have a history of allergies.)
- Abnormal muscle weakness (myasthenia gravis).
- People with chronic eye inflammation and defects of the transparent part of the front of the eyeball (cornea).
Not to be used in:
- History of asthma.
- Severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
- People with a slow heart rate caused by the pacemaker of the heart (sinus bradycardia).
- A problem common in the elderly, related to poor control of the working of the heart (sick sinus syndrome).
- People who have problems with the electrical impulse that causes the heart to beat, resulting in decreased heart function (sino-atrial heart block).
- People with a serious defect in the heart's electrical message pathways resulting in decreased function of the heart (2nd or 3rd degree heart block), when this is not controlled with a pacemaker.
- Uncontrolled heart failure.
- Failure of the heart to maintain adequate circulation of blood (cardiogenic shock).
Please contact your doctor or medical practitioner to understand more about the side effects of taking Betagan Drops 5ml.