June 2015
Volume 56, Issue 7
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   June 2015
Safety and Adverse Events of Concurrent Use of Topical Beta-blockers and Systemic Medications
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Priya Patel
    Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, West Orange, NJ
  • Albert S Khouri
    Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, West Orange, NJ
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships Priya Patel, None; Albert Khouri, None
  • Footnotes
    Support None
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science June 2015, Vol.56, 5693. doi:
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      Priya Patel, Albert S Khouri; Safety and Adverse Events of Concurrent Use of Topical Beta-blockers and Systemic Medications. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2015;56(7 ):5693.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Caution is advised when using beta-blocker eye drops with certain systemic medications or comorbid conditions. We hypothesize that use of topical beta-blockers in such circumstances is common. Through a retrospective chart review, this study seeks to assess the frequency and extent of adverse effects.


Medical records of patients seen at the Rutgers New Jersey Medical School outpatient clinic between 12/2013 and 02/2014 were reviewed. Patients that were being actively treated with an ocular beta-blocker were included. Information on demographics, medical history, ocular and systemic medications and adverse reactions to medications was collected. Conditions and medications were deemed cautionary or contraindicated based on known adverse effects and warnings included in regulatory package insert information. Percentages and means were used for analysis.


Data from 62 patients (34 F, 28 M) were analyzed. Mean age was 59 ± 13 years. 33 % (14/62) of patients were on caution medications, the most common of which were systemic beta-blockers and calcium channel antagonists. Furthermore, the only contraindicated comorbidities seen were asthma and COPD in 10 % (6/62) of patients. Diabetes mellitus was considered a relatively contraindicated comorbidity and was seen in 29% (18/62) of patients. Although 16 % (10/62) noted adverse effects, only 1 patient required a change in medication due to medication interaction. This data is summarized in Table 1.


The concurrent use of topical beta-blockers with cautionary medications and comorbid conditions is prevalent. Adverse effects were noted in about 16% of patients but discontinuations were rare.  


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