The prescription drug carteolol is prescribed for the treatment of high blood pressure and to reduce pressure in the eye caused by open-angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension. A nonselective beta-adrenergic blocking agent, carteolol works by reducing cardiac output. It also helps increase airway resistance in the bronchioles and the bronchi.
When administered for the treatment of ocular disorders as an eye drop, the drug helps reduce elevated intraocular pressure. The medication is often prescribed alone as the sole treatment option or in combination with other drugs that also help to lower intraocular pressure. It reduces pressure by lowering the fluid within the eye.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classifies carteolol as a Category C drug, because it has not been definitively determined if the drug poses a risk to unborn babies. A person should discuss the use of the drug with her doctor if she suspects she may be pregnant or plans to become pregnant. She also should avoid using the medication if she is breastfeeding before discussing with her doctor the possibility of it passing to the infant through her breast milk.
Users of carteolol should avoid the use of alcohol, because drowsiness and dizziness may occur after taking the medication. The drug may also cause impaired thinking or slow reactions, so caution should be taken when operating a motor vehicle. The eye drop form of the medication can cause blurred vision.
A patient should tell his physician if he has a history of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, or a serious disease such as heart disease or liver disorder. Patients suffering from certain diseases or disorders may require further testing before being administered carteolol. The patient should discuss any medications he may be taking with his doctor, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, as well as any herbal supplements or vitamins.
Tips for using carteolol include removing contact lenses prior to administering the medication in eye drop form, because soft contact lenses often absorb the drug's preservatives. Avoid contaminating the eye dropper tip by keeping it away from surfaces, refraining from touching it and avoiding inadvertently touching the eye with it when administering the eye drops. Administration of the eye drops may cause watery eyes, burning, or eye redness to occur. Use of the medication in tablet form can cause sleep problems, anxiety, decreased sex drive and lethargy. A person who experiences shortness of breath, chest pain, nausea, discolored stool, cold hands and feet, swelling of the hands and feet, or fainting should seek medical help immediately.