Excipient information presented when available (limited, particularly for generics); consult specific product labeling.
Solution, Ophthalmic, as hydrochloride:
Generic: 1% (5 mL, 10 mL, 15 mL)
Mechanism of Action
Blocks both beta1- and beta2-adrenergic receptors and reduces intraocular pressure by reducing aqueous humor production or possibly increases the outflow of aqueous humor
~25% of ophthalmic dose is absorbed systemically (Chrisp 1992)
Hepatic via CYP2D6 (Henness 2007)
Urine (Henness 2007)
Time to Peak
Plasma 0.25 hours (Henness 2007)
~5 hours (urinary elimination); 13.8 hours (terminal) (Henness 2007)
Use: Labeled Indications
Elevated intraocular pressure: Treatment of elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) in patients with chronic open-angle glaucoma and intraocular hypertension.
Hypersensitivity to carteolol or any component of the formulation; sinus bradycardia; second- or third-degree atrioventricular block; cardiogenic shock; bronchial asthma or history of; severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD); overt cardiac failure
Documentation of allergenic cross-reactivity for Ophthalmic Beta-Adrenergic Blocking Agents is limited. However, because of similarities in chemical structure and/or pharmacologic actions, the possibility of cross-sensitivity cannot be ruled out with certainty.
Dosage and Administration
Elevated intraocular pressure: Ophthalmic: Instill 1 drop in affected eye(s) twice daily
Refer to adult dosing.
For topical ophthalmic use only. Wash hands before use. To avoid contamination, do not touch dropper tip to eyelids or other surfaces when placing drops in eyes. Remove contact lenses prior to administration; wait 15 minutes before reinserting if using products containing benzalkonium chloride.
Store at 15°C to 25°C (59°F to 77°F). Protect from light.
Acetylcholinesterase Inhibitors: May enhance the bradycardic effect of Beta-Blockers. Monitor therapy
Alpha1-Blockers: Beta-Blockers may enhance the orthostatic hypotensive effect of Alpha1-Blockers. The risk associated with ophthalmic products is probably less than systemic products. Monitor therapy
Alpha2-Agonists: May enhance the AV-blocking effect of Beta-Blockers. Sinus node dysfunction may also be enhanced. Beta-Blockers may enhance the rebound hypertensive effect of Alpha2-Agonists. This effect can occur when the Alpha2-Agonist is abruptly withdrawn. Management: Closely monitor heart rate during treatment with a beta blocker and clonidine. Withdraw beta blockers several days before clonidine withdrawal when possible, and monitor blood pressure closely. Recommendations for other alpha2-agonists are unavailable. Exceptions: Apraclonidine. Consider therapy modification
Amiodarone: May enhance the bradycardic effect of Beta-Blockers. Possibly to the point of cardiac arrest. Amiodarone may increase the serum concentration of Beta-Blockers. Monitor therapy
Antipsychotic Agents (Phenothiazines): May enhance the hypotensive effect of Beta-Blockers. Beta-Blockers may decrease the metabolism of Antipsychotic Agents (Phenothiazines). Antipsychotic Agents (Phenothiazines) may decrease the metabolism of Beta-Blockers. Monitor therapy
Barbiturates: May decrease the serum concentration of Beta-Blockers. Monitor therapy
Beta2-Agonists: Beta-Blockers (Nonselective) may diminish the bronchodilatory effect of Beta2-Agonists. Avoid combination
Bradycardia-Causing Agents: May enhance the bradycardic effect of other Bradycardia-Causing Agents. Monitor therapy
Bupivacaine: Beta-Blockers may increase the serum concentration of Bupivacaine. Monitor therapy
Calcium Channel Blockers (Nondihydropyridine): May enhance the hypotensive effect of Beta-Blockers. Bradycardia and signs of heart failure have also been reported. Calcium Channel Blockers (Nondihydropyridine) may increase the serum concentration of Beta-Blockers. Exceptions: Bepridil. Monitor therapy
Cardiac Glycosides: Beta-Blockers may enhance the bradycardic effect of Cardiac Glycosides. Monitor therapy
Ceritinib: Bradycardia-Causing Agents may enhance the bradycardic effect of Ceritinib. Management: If this combination cannot be avoided, monitor patients for evidence of symptomatic bradycardia, and closely monitor blood pressure and heart rate during therapy. Exceptions are discussed in separate monographs. Consider therapy modification
Cholinergic Agonists: Beta-Blockers may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Cholinergic Agonists. Of particular concern are the potential for cardiac conduction abnormalities and bronchoconstriction. Monitor therapy
Dipyridamole: May enhance the bradycardic effect of Beta-Blockers. Monitor therapy
Disopyramide: May enhance the bradycardic effect of Beta-Blockers. Beta-Blockers may enhance the negative inotropic effect of Disopyramide. Monitor therapy
Dronedarone: May enhance the bradycardic effect of Beta-Blockers. Dronedarone may increase the serum concentration of Beta-Blockers. This likely applies only to those agents that are metabolized by CYP2D6. Management: Use lower initial beta-blocker doses; adequate tolerance of the combination, based on ECG findings, should be confirmed prior to any increase in beta-blocker dose. Consider therapy modification
EPINEPHrine (Nasal): Beta-Blockers (Nonselective) may enhance the hypertensive effect of EPINEPHrine (Nasal). Monitor therapy
EPINEPHrine (Oral Inhalation): Beta-Blockers (Nonselective) may enhance the hypertensive effect of EPINEPHrine (Oral Inhalation). Monitor therapy
Epinephrine (Racemic): Beta-Blockers (Nonselective) may enhance the hypertensive effect of Epinephrine (Racemic). Monitor therapy
EPINEPHrine (Systemic): Beta-Blockers (Nonselective) may enhance the hypertensive effect of EPINEPHrine (Systemic). Monitor therapy
Ergot Derivatives: Beta-Blockers may enhance the vasoconstricting effect of Ergot Derivatives. Exceptions: Nicergoline. Consider therapy modification
Fexinidazole [INT]: Bradycardia-Causing Agents may enhance the arrhythmogenic effect of Fexinidazole [INT]. Avoid combination
Fingolimod: Beta-Blockers may enhance the bradycardic effect of Fingolimod. Management: Avoid the concomitant use of fingolimod and beta-blockers if possible. If coadministration is necessary, patients should have overnight continuous ECG monitoring conducted after the first dose of fingolimod. Monitor patients for bradycardia. Consider therapy modification
Floctafenine: May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Beta-Blockers. Avoid combination
Grass Pollen Allergen Extract (5 Grass Extract): Beta-Blockers may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Grass Pollen Allergen Extract (5 Grass Extract). More specifically, Beta-Blockers may inhibit the ability to effectively treat severe allergic reactions to Grass Pollen Allergen Extract (5 Grass Extract) with epinephrine. Some other effects of epinephrine may be unaffected or even enhanced (e.g., vasoconstriction) during treatment with Beta-Blockers. Consider therapy modification
Insulins: Beta-Blockers may enhance the hypoglycemic effect of Insulins. Monitor therapy
Ivabradine: Bradycardia-Causing Agents may enhance the bradycardic effect of Ivabradine. Monitor therapy
Lacosamide: Bradycardia-Causing Agents may enhance the AV-blocking effect of Lacosamide. Monitor therapy
Lidocaine (Systemic): Beta-Blockers may increase the serum concentration of Lidocaine (Systemic). Monitor therapy
Lidocaine (Topical): Beta-Blockers may increase the serum concentration of Lidocaine (Topical). Monitor therapy
Mepivacaine: Beta-Blockers may increase the serum concentration of Mepivacaine. Monitor therapy
Methacholine: Beta-Blockers may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Methacholine. Monitor therapy
Methoxyflurane: May enhance the hypotensive effect of Beta-Blockers. Monitor therapy
Midodrine: May enhance the bradycardic effect of Bradycardia-Causing Agents. Monitor therapy
NIFEdipine: May enhance the hypotensive effect of Beta-Blockers. NIFEdipine may enhance the negative inotropic effect of Beta-Blockers. Monitor therapy
Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Agents: May diminish the antihypertensive effect of Beta-Blockers. Monitor therapy
Opioids (Anilidopiperidine): May enhance the bradycardic effect of Beta-Blockers. Opioids (Anilidopiperidine) may enhance the hypotensive effect of Beta-Blockers. Monitor therapy
Regorafenib: May enhance the bradycardic effect of Beta-Blockers. Monitor therapy
Reserpine: May enhance the hypotensive effect of Beta-Blockers. Monitor therapy
Rivastigmine: May enhance the bradycardic effect of Beta-Blockers. Avoid combination
Ruxolitinib: May enhance the bradycardic effect of Bradycardia-Causing Agents. Management: Ruxolitinib Canadian product labeling recommends avoiding use with bradycardia-causing agents to the extent possible. Monitor therapy
Siponimod: Bradycardia-Causing Agents may enhance the bradycardic effect of Siponimod. Management: Avoid coadministration of siponimod with drugs that may cause bradycardia. Consider therapy modification
Sulfonylureas: Beta-Blockers may enhance the hypoglycemic effect of Sulfonylureas. Cardioselective beta-blockers (eg, acebutolol, atenolol, metoprolol, and penbutolol) may be safer than nonselective beta-blockers. All beta-blockers appear to mask tachycardia as an initial symptom of hypoglycemia. Ophthalmic beta-blockers are probably associated with lower risk than systemic agents. Monitor therapy
Terlipressin: May enhance the bradycardic effect of Bradycardia-Causing Agents. Monitor therapy
Theophylline Derivatives: Beta-Blockers (Nonselective) may diminish the bronchodilatory effect of Theophylline Derivatives. Monitor therapy
Tofacitinib: May enhance the bradycardic effect of Bradycardia-Causing Agents. Monitor therapy
>10%: Ocular: Conjunctival hyperemia
1% to 10%: Ocular: Anisocoria, corneal punctate keratitis, corneal staining, corneal sensitivity decreased, eye pain, vision disturbances
Concerns related to adverse events:
- Anaphylactic reactions: Use caution with history of atopy or a history of severe anaphylaxis to a variety of allergens; patients taking beta-blockers may become more sensitive to repeated challenges. Treatment of anaphylaxis (eg, epinephrine) in patients taking beta-blockers may be ineffective or promote undesirable effects.
- Choroidal detachment: Beta-blockade and/or other aqueous suppressive therapy have been associated with choroidal detachment following filtration procedures.
- Diabetes: Use with caution in patients with diabetes mellitus (especially labile diabetes); may potentiate hypoglycemia and/or mask signs and symptoms.
- Heart failure (HF): Use with caution in patients with compensated heart failure and monitor for a worsening of the condition; may lead to heart failure in patients without a history of heart failure. Use is contraindicated in overt heart failure. In a scientific statement from the American Heart Association, carteolol has been determined to be an agent that may exacerbate underlying myocardial dysfunction (magnitude: major) (AHA [Page 2016]).
- Myasthenia gravis: Use with caution in patients with myasthenia gravis; may worsen disease or other myasthenic symptoms (diplopia, ptosis, and generalized weakness).
- Peripheral vascular disease and Raynaud disease: Can precipitate or aggravate symptoms of arterial insufficiency in patients with peripheral vascular disease (PVD) and Raynaud disease. Use with caution and monitor for progression of arterial obstruction.
- Respiratory disease: In general, patients with bronchospastic disease should not receive beta-blockers; if used at all, should be used cautiously with close monitoring. Severe respiratory reactions, including fatalities due to bronchospasm in patients with asthma, have been reported with ophthalmic use. Use is contraindicated in bronchial asthma or history of bronchial asthma and severe COPD.
- Thyroid disease: May mask signs of hyperthyroidism (eg, tachycardia). If thyrotoxicosis is suspected, carefully manage and monitor; abrupt withdrawal may exacerbate symptoms of hyperthyroidism or precipitate thyroid storm.
Concurrent drug therapy issues:
- Drug-drug interactions: Potentially significant interactions may exist, requiring dose or frequency adjustment, additional monitoring, and/or selection of alternative therapy. Consult drug interactions database for more detailed information
- Contact lens wearers: Some products may contain benzalkonium chloride, which may be absorbed by soft contact lenses; remove lens prior to administration and wait 15 minutes before reinserting.
Dosage form specific issues:
- Absorption: Systemic absorption of carteolol and adverse effects may occur with ophthalmic use, including respiratory and cardiovascular effects (eg, bradycardia and/or hypotension).
- Appropriate use: Should not be used alone in angle-closure glaucoma (has no effect on pupillary constriction). Multidose vials have been associated with development of bacterial keratitis; avoid contamination.
- Surgery: May block systemic effects of beta agonists (eg, epinephrine, norepinephrine); notify anesthesiologist if patient is receiving ophthalmic beta blocker therapy. Patients undergoing planned major surgery should be gradually tapered off therapy (if possible) prior to procedure. If necessary during surgery, effects of beta blocker therapy may be reversed by adrenergic agonists.
Intraocular pressure; monitor for systemic effect of beta-blockade with ophthalmic administration; blood pressure
Pregnancy Risk Factor
Adverse events were observed in some animal reproduction studies. The same adverse effects observed with systemic administration of beta-blockers may occur following ophthalmic use of carteolol. If ophthalmic agents are needed for the treatment of glaucoma during pregnancy, the minimum effective dose should be used in combination with punctal occlusion to decrease potential exposure to the fetus (Johnson 2001; Salim 2014; Samples 1988).
What is this drug used for?
- It is used to treat glaucoma.
- It is used to lower high eye pressure.
Frequently reported side effects of this drug
- Burning or watery eyes
- Trouble sleeping
- Sinus irritation
- Change in taste
Other side effects of this drug: Talk with your doctor right away if you have any of these signs of:
- Vision changes
- Eye pain
- Severe eye irritation
- Abnormal hearbeat
- Slow heartbeat
- Severe dizziness
- Passing out
- Muscle weakness
- Shortness of breath
- Excessive weight gain
- Swelling of arms or legs
- Signs of a significant reaction like wheezing; chest tightness; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; seizures; or swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Note: This is not a comprehensive list of all side effects. Talk to your doctor if you have questions.
Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. You must talk with the healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.