Betaxolol | Side Effects, Dosage, Uses & More
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Generic Name:

betaxolol, Oral tablet

All Brands

  • Kerlone
SECTION 1 of 5

Highlights for betaxolol

Oral tablet
1

Betaxolol is an oral drug that’s used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension). Lowering your blood pressure can reduce your chances for a heart attack or stroke.

2

The standard adult dose is 10 mg taken by mouth once per day. You may take betaxolol alone or in combination with a water pill (diuretic). Your doctor may increase your dose up to 20 mg per day.

3

You shouldn’t use this drug if you have a very slow heart rate, heart block, or unstable heart failure. You should use betaxolol with caution if you have asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) because it may make it harder for you to breathe or use certain breathing medications.

4

Don’t stop taking betaxolol suddenly. Doing so may lead to chest pain (angina), irregular heart rhythms, and even a heart attack. Your risk for these problems may be higher if you already have a heart issue.

5

Common side effects include a slower than normal heart rate, tiredness, headache, dizziness, muscle aches and pains, and upset stomach.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

People with diabetes

Betaxolol can mask signs of low blood sugar, especially a fast heart rate. You may need to monitor your blood sugar more closely while you take this medication.

Risk for stopping the drug

You shouldn’t stop taking betaxolol suddenly. Doing so may lead to chest pain (angina), irregular heart rhythms, and even a heart attack. Your risk for these problems may be higher if you already have a heart issue. If you need to stop taking betaxolol, your doctor will slowly decrease your dose over two weeks.

Surgery/procedure warning

Tell your doctor about all your medications before you have any type of surgery or medical procedure. This medication may make it harder for the heart to respond to adrenaline. This may increase your risk for complications with anesthesia and surgical procedures. You shouldn’t stop taking this drug before surgery unless your doctor tells you to.

What is betaxolol?

Betaxolol is a prescription drug. It is available in these forms: oral tablet and eye drops.

Betaxolol is available as a generic drug. Generic drugs usually cost less. In some cases they may not be available in every strength or form as the brand. Talk to your healthcare provider to see if the generic will work for you.

Betaxolol may be taken as part of a combination therapy with other drugs to reduce blood pressure. It’s often taken with a water pill (diuretic).

Why it's used

Betaxolol is used to reduce high blood pressure.

How it works

Betaxolol belongs to a class of drugs called beta-blockers.

More Details

How it works

Betaxolol belongs to a class of drugs called beta-blockers. A class of drugs refers to medications that work similarly. They have a similar chemical structure and are often used to treat similar conditions.

Betaxolol works by relaxing your blood vessels and slowing down your heart rate. This reduces high blood pressure levels.

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betaxolol Side Effects

Oral tablet

Most Common Side Effects

The most common side effects that occur with betaxolol include:

  • slower than normal heart rate

  • tiredness

  • headache

  • dizziness

  • muscle aches and pains

  • upset stomach

If these effects are mild, they may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. If they’re more severe or don’t go away, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Serious Side Effects

If you experience any of these serious side effects, call your doctor right away. If your symptoms are potentially life-threatening or if you think you’re experiencing a medical emergency, call 9-1-1.

  • very low blood pressure. Symptoms include:

    • severe dizziness
    • lightheadedness
    • fainting
  • drop in blood pressure when you stand up from a sitting or lying position (orthostatic hypotension). Symptoms include:

    • dizziness or lightheadedness when you stand up
  • very slow heart rate. Symptoms include:

    • tiredness
    • severe dizziness
    • lightheadedness
    • fainting
  • irregular heart rate or palpitations. Symptoms include:

    • feeling like your heart is fluttering
    • feeling like your heart is pounding
  • poor circulation. Symptoms include:

    • cold or blue fingers or toes
  • swelling of your legs or ankles

  • severe allergic reaction. Symptoms include:

    • itching
    • hives
    • rash
    • swelling of your throat or tongue
    • trouble breathing or swallowing
  • extreme confusion

  • depression

  • liver damage. Symptoms include:

    • yellowing of your skin and the whites of your eyes
    • nausea
    • not wanting to eat
    • dark-colored urine
    • feeling extremely tired
  • heart failure. Symptoms can include:

    • shortness of breath
    • chronic coughing or wheezing
    • buildup of fluid in ankles and legs or chest
    • tiredness
    • lightheadedness
    • nausea
    • lack of appetite
    • confusion or trouble thinking
    • fast heart rate
Pharmacist's Advice
Healthline Pharmacist Editorial Team

Betaxolol may cause drowsiness and tiredness.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.
SECTION 3 of 5

betaxolol May Interact with Other Medications

Oral tablet

Betaxolol can interact with other medications, herbs, or vitamins you might be taking. That’s why your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. If you’re curious about how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Note: You can reduce your chances of drug interactions by having all of your prescriptions filled at the same pharmacy. That way, a pharmacist can check for possible drug interactions.

Medications that might interact with this drug

High blood pressure drugs

When used with betaxolol, these drugs can make your blood pressure drop to dangerously low levels. Some of these medicines may also slow down your heart rate or cause an irregular heart rate or heart failure.

These drugs include:

  • alpha blockers
    • doxazosin
    • prazosin
    • terazosin
  • catecholamine-depleting drugs, such as:
    • reserpine
    • guanethidine
  • clonidine
  • calcium-channel blockers, such as:
    • nifedipine
    • verapamil
    • diltiazem

Heart rhythm drugs

These drugs can slow down or prevent the heart from doing its job, which betaxolol can also do. Taking these drugs together increases your risk of having too slow of a heart rate (bradycardia) due to problems with the electrical system of the heart (heart block).

These drugs include:

  • digoxin
  • amiodarone
  • disopyramide

Sedation drugs

These drugs can slow down or prevent the heart from doing its job, which betaxolol can also do. Taking these drugs together increases your risk of having too slow of a heart rate (bradycardia) due to problems with the electrical system of the heart (heart block).

These drugs include:

  • anesthesia  

Diabetes drugs

Betaxolol can mask signs of low blood sugar, especially fast heart rate. If you’re on medications for diabetes, you may need to monitor your blood sugar more closely. Your doctor may adjust the dose of your diabetes drugs, especially if you’re at a higher risk for low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).

These drugs include:

  • glimepiride
  • glipizide
  • glyburide
  • insulin
  • nateglinide
  • repaglinide

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.
Betaxolol warnings
heart problems
People with heart problems

You shouldn’t take betaxolol if you have certain heart problems.  These include unstable heart failure, second- or third-degree heart block, and a very slow heart rate (bradycardia). This medication can cause or worsen heart failure. If you stop taking this drug suddenly, it can increase your risk of chest pain (angina) or a heart attack.

breathing problems
People with breathing problems

Use this drug with caution if you have asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It may make it harder for you to breathe or use certain breathing medications.

surgery
People who plan to have surgery or a procedure

Tell your doctor about all your medications before you have any type of surgery or medical procedure. This medication may make it harder for the heart to respond to adrenaline. This may increase your risk for complications with anesthesia and surgical procedures. You shouldn’t stop taking this drug before surgery unless your doctor tells you to.

People with diabetes
People with diabetes

Betaxolol can mask signs of low blood sugar, especially a fast heart rate. If you’re on a diabetes drug, you may need to monitor your blood sugar more closely.

thyroid problems
People with thyroid problems

Betaxolol may mask the symptoms of hyperthyroidism, such as a fast heart rate. If you stop taking this drug suddenly, your thyroid symptoms may get worse and you may need urgent medical attention. Tell your doctor if you have any thyroid problems before starting this drug.

kidney problems
People with kidney problems

Use this drug with caution if you have kidney problems. This medication is removed from your body by your kidneys. If your kidneys aren’t working well, more of the drug can stay in your body longer. This puts you at risk for more side effects.

untreated pheochromocytoma
People with untreated pheochromocytoma

You shouldn’t use this drug if you have pheochromocytoma (is a type of tumor that can cause very high blood pressure). It can mask the symptoms of your condition.

Pregnant women
Pregnant women

Betaxolol is a pregnancy category C drug. That means two things:

  1. Research in animals has shown adverse effects to the fetus when the mother takes the drug.
  2. There haven’t been enough studies done in humans to be certain how the drug might affect the fetus.

Tell your doctor if you’re pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Betaxolol should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

breast-feeding
Women who are breast-feeding

Betaxolol passes into breast milk and can serious effects in a child who is breastfed.

You and your doctor may need to decide if you’ll take betaxolol or breastfeed. 

For seniors
For seniors

Older adults who take betaxolol have a higher risk of having a slow heart rate. If you are a senior, you may need a lower dose.

For children
For children

This medicine hasn’t been studied in children and shouldn’t be used in children younger than 18 years.

allergies
Allergies

Betaxolol can cause a severe allergic reaction. Symptoms include:

  • trouble breathing or swallowing
  • swelling of your throat or tongue
  • hives
  • rash
  • itching

Don’t take this drug again if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to it before. Taking it a second time after an allergic reaction could be fatal.

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How to Take betaxolol (Dosage)

Oral tablet

All possible dosages and forms may not be included here. Your dose, form, and how often you take it will depend on:

  • your age
  • the condition being treated
  • how severe your condition is
  • other medical conditions you have
  • how you react to the first dose

What are you taking this medication for?

High blood pressure (hypertension)

Generic: betaxolol

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 10 mg, 20 mg
Adult dosage (ages 18–64 years)

The usual dose is 10 mg taken by mouth once per day. You can take this drug alone or with a water pill (diuretic). Your doctor can increase your dose to 20 mg per day if needed.

Child dosage (ages 0–17 years)

This medicine hasn’t been studied in children and shouldn’t be used in children younger than 18 years.

Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)

Your doctor may start you at 5 mg taken once per day. If needed, your doctor may increase your dose up to 20 mg per day. Older adults are at higher risk of having a slow heart rate while taking betaxolol.

Special considerations

People with kidney failure: If you have severe kidney disease and are on dialysis, your dose should be reduced to 5 mg taken once per day. The maximum dose is 20 mg taken once per day.

Warnings

If you need to stop taking betaxolol, your doctor will decrease your dose gradually over 2 weeks. Your doctor will monitor you closely. You should also limit your physical activity when being taken off this drug because of the risk of chest pain (angina) and heart attack.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always to speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.
Pharmacist's Advice
Healthline Pharmacist Editorial Team

Betaxolol comes with serious risks if you don't take it as prescribed.

If you don't take it at all

If you don’t take betaxolol at all, your blood pressure may still be high. High blood pressure increases your chance of having a stroke and heart attack.

If you stop taking it suddenly

Do not stop taking betaxolol suddenly. Doing so may lead to chest pain (angina), irregular heart rhythms, and even a heart attack. You’re at higher risk for these effects if you already have a heart problem. If you need to stop taking betaxolol, your doctor will slowly decrease your dose over two weeks.

What to do if you miss a dose

If you forget to take your dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it’s just a few hours until the time for your next dose, then wait and only take one dose at that time. Never try to catch up by taking two doses at once. This could cause serious side effects.

If you take too much

If you take too much betaxolol, you may have these severe side effects:

  • very low blood pressure (hypotension)
  • a dangerously slow heart rate (bradycardia)
  • heart failure. This may cause swelling of your legs and ankles.
  • trouble breathing
  • very low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)

If you think that you’ve taken too much betaxolol, call your doctor or go to the emergency room right away.

How to tell this drug is working

You may be able to tell that this drug is working if your blood pressure is lower. Your doctor will monitor your blood pressure at your checkups. You can also check your blood pressure at home. Keep a log with the date, time of day, and your blood pressure readings. Bring this diary with you to your doctor appointments.

Betaxolol is a long-term drug treatment.

Important considerations for taking betaxolol

Betaxolol must be stored at the right temperature

  • Store betaxolol at room temperature between 68°F (20°C) and 77°F (25°C).
  • Don’t freeze betaxolol.
  • Keep it away from light.
  • Keep it away from high temperature.
  • Keep your drugs away from areas where they could get wet, such as bathrooms. Store this drug away from moisture and damp locations.

Travel

When traveling with your medication:

  • Always carry it with you in your carry-on bag.
  • Don’t worry about airport x-ray machines. They can’t hurt this medication.
  • You may need to show airport staff the pharmacy label for your medication. Always carry the original prescription-labeled box with you.
  • Don’t leave this medicine in the car, especially when the temperature is hot or freezing.

Self-management

You may need to check your blood pressure at home. You should keep a log with the date, time of day, and your blood pressure readings. Bring this diary with you to your doctor appointments.

You may also need to buy your own blood pressure monitoring machine. You can buy one at most pharmacies.

Clinical monitoring

During treatment with betaxolol, your doctor will monitor your:

  • kidney function
  • liver function
  • blood sugar levels
  • blood pressure
  • heart rate

Hidden costs

You may need to buy your own blood pressure monitoring machine to check your blood sugar at home.

Are there any alternatives?

There are other drugs available to treat your condition. Some may be more suitable for you than others. Talk to your doctor about possible alternatives.

What does the pill look like?

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How Much Does betaxolol Cost?

Oral tablet

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Lowest price for betaxolol

Walmart $29.37
Walgreens $48.33
Duane Reade $48.33
These prices represent the lowest priced national pharmacies for betaxolol on GoodRx. They may be lower than your insurance.

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These prices represent the lowest priced national pharmacies for betaxolol on GoodRx. They may be lower than your insurance.

Content developed in collaboration with University of Illinois-Chicago, Drug Information Group

Medically reviewed by Creighton University, Center for Drug Information and Evidence-Based Practice on September 1, 2015

Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.
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