How does this medication work? What will it do for me?
Levobunolol belongs to the class of medications known as beta-blockers. Levobunolol is used to control intraocular (eye) pressure in people with chronic open-angle glaucoma or mild-to-moderate ocular hypertension (increased pressure within the eye).
Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.
Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.
What form(s) does this medication come in?
Levobunolol is no longer being manufactured for sale in Canada and is no longer available under any brand names. This article is being kept available for reference purposes only. If you are using this medication, speak with your doctor or pharmacist for information about your treatment options.
How should I use this medication?
The recommended dose of levobunolol eye drops is 1 drop of levobunolol 0.5% once or twice a day in the affected eye(s). Doses greater than 1 drop twice daily have not been found to be any more effective.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist to show you the correct way to instill the eye drops. This medication is for external use only. Do not touch the dropper tip to any surface, since this may contaminate the solution. Protect the medication from light and excessive heat. Discard any unused solution after the end of the treatment period.
Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are using the medication without consulting your doctor.
It is important to use this medication regularly and exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose, use it as soon as possible and continue with your regular schedule. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
Store this medication at room temperature, protect it and moisture, and keep it out of the reach of children.
Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.
Who should NOT take this medication?
Do not take this medication if you:
- are allergic to levobunolol or any ingredients of this medication
- have asthma or a history of asthma or severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (e.g., chronic bronchitis or emphysema)
- have certain abnormal heart rhythms associated with slowing down of the heart rate
- have overt heart failure
- suffer from cardiogenic shock
What side effects are possible with this medication?
Many medications can cause side effects. A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. Side effects can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent.
The side effects listed below are not experienced by everyone who takes this medication. If you are concerned about side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor.
The following side effects have been reported by at least 1% of people taking this medication. Many of these side effects can be managed, and some may go away on their own over time.
Contact your doctor if you experience these side effects and they are severe or bothersome. Your pharmacist may be able to advise you on managing side effects.
- blurred vision (temporary)
- crusting of eyelashes
- decreased night vision
- dizziness or light headedness when rising from a lying or sitting position
- dry eyes
- feeling like you have something in your eye
- increased sensitivity of eye to light
- itching, stinging, burning, or watering of eye or other eye irritation
- stinging of eye or other eye irritation (when medication is applied)
Although most of the side effects listed below don't happen very often, they could lead to serious problems if you do not seek medical attention.
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
- blurred vision or other change in vision
- droopy upper eyelid
- eye pain
- fast, slow or irregular heartbeat
- seeing "double"
- shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- signs of depression (e.g., poor concentration, changes in weight, changes in sleep, decreased interest in activities, thoughts of suicide)
- signs of heart problems (e.g., fast, irregular heartbeat or pulse, chest pain, sudden weight gain, difficulty breathing, leg swelling)
- swelling, irritation, or inflammation of eye or eyelid
Stop taking the medication and seek immediate medical attention if any of the following occur:
- signs of a serious allergic reaction (e.g., abdominal cramps, difficulty breathing, nausea and vomiting, or swelling of the face and throat)
Some people may experience side effects other than those listed. Check with your doctor if you notice any symptom that worries you while you are taking this medication.
Are there any other precautions or warnings for this medication?
Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.
Allergies: This medication should be used with caution by anyone with a known allergy to other beta-blockers (e.g., metoprolol, atenolol).
Medical conditions: This medication belongs to the family of medications known as beta-blockers. Although levobunolol is given as an eye drop, small amounts may be absorbed into the bloodstream. For this reason, it should not be used by anyone who must avoid internal use of beta-blockers. This includes those with abnormally low heart rate, certain abnormal heart rhythms, uncontrolled congestive heart failure, asthma, or severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Sulfites: This product contains sodium metabisulfite, a sulfite that may cause allergic-type reactions, including anaphylaxis, in certain susceptible people. Sulfite sensitivity is seen more frequently in those with asthma.
Pregnancy: This medication has not been studied for use by pregnant women. It should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefits outweigh the potential risks.
Breast-feeding: It is not known if levobunolol passes into breast milk. Related medications have been shown to pass into breast milk. Talk to your doctor about breast-feeding while using levobunolol.
Children: The safety and effectiveness of this medication have not been established for use by children.
What other drugs could interact with this medication?
There may be an interaction between levobunolol and any of the following:
- alpha/beta agonists (e.g., epinephrine, norepinephrine)
- beta-adrenergic blockers (e.g., atenolol, propranolol, sotalol)
- beta 2-agonists (e.g., salbutamol, formoterol, terbutaline)
- calcium channel blockers (e.g., diltiazem, nifedipine, verapamil)
- ergot alkaloids (e.g., dihydroergotamine, ergonovine, ergotamine, methylergonovine)
- grass pollen allergen extract
- theophyllines (e.g., aminophylline, oxtriphylline, theophylline)
If you are taking any of these medications, speak with your doctor or pharmacist. Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may want you to:
- stop taking one of the medications,
- change one of the medications to another,
- change how you are taking one or both of the medications, or
- leave everything as is.
An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. Speak to your doctor about how any drug interactions are being managed or should be managed.
Medications other than those listed above may interact with this medication. Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications you are taking. Also tell them about any supplements you take. Since caffeine, alcohol, the nicotine from cigarettes, or street drugs can affect the action of many medications, you should let your prescriber know if you use them.
All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2023. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/drug/getdrug/Betagan