Abstract #84658 Published in IGR 21-1

Complete atrioventricular block due to timolol eye drops: a case report and literature review

Wang Z; Denys I; Chen F; Cai L; Wang X; Kapusta DR; Lv Y; Gao J
BMC pharmacology & toxicology 2019; 20: 73

BACKGROUND: Timolol Maleate is a non-selective beta-adrenergic blocker that is commonly used to treat open-angle glaucoma. Despite its topical administration, ophthalmic timolol enters systemic circulation and produces a systemic beta-adrenergic blockade. We report a case of long-term timolol use that uncovered and worsened an underlying cardiac conduction defect demonstrated as a third degree atrioventricular (AV) block. CASE PRESENTATION: A 62-year old male with a 13-year history of glaucoma was hospitalized due to shortness of breath, dizziness, and amaurosis. Electrocardiography indicated a heart rate (HR) of 29 bpm with complete atrioventricular (AV) block, and the HR was significantly increased with the treatment of isoprenaline. However, the patient experienced bradycardic episodes (- 20 Δbpm) immediately after self-administration of timolol eye drops. The AV block and bradycardia resolved 48-h after timolol cessation. The man was discharged 1 week later with an asymptomatic first-degree A-V block. However, he presented with a worsened A-V block at his one-year checkup. CONCLUSION: We conclude that chronic topical timolol administration may aggravate a cardiac conduction defect leading to an AV block that is only temporarily resolved by timolol cessation. Patients taking timolol should be routinely monitored for cardiovascular aberrations and if any detected, immediately discontinue timolol therapy. Individuals experiencing timolol induced cardiovascular side effects should receive long term follow-up even if symptoms resolve, as they may be indicative of an underlying conduction defect.

Geriatric Department, The Affiliated Guangji Hospital of Soochow University, Suzhou, Jiang Su Province, People's Republic of China, 215137.

Full article


11.3.4 Betablocker (Part of: 11 Medical treatment > 11.3 Adrenergic drugs)
9.4.15 Glaucoma in relation to systemic disease (Part of: 9 Clinical forms of glaucomas > 9.4 Glaucomas associated with other ocular and systemic disorders)

Issue 21-1

Select Issue