To the Editor: The 34th most commonly prescribed medication in the United States in 1983 was an eye drop used in the management of glaucoma, timolol (Timoptic, Merck Sharp and Dohme). Beta-blocking agents given for the topical ophthalmic effects are contraindicated in patients with bronchial asthma, bronchospasm, or severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The National Registry of Drug-Induced Ocular Side Effects, at the Department of Ophthalmology, Oregon Health Sciences University, has now received over 200 reports of possible major timolol-induced respiratory effects. Although the manufacturer's package insert has included asthma as a contraindication to timolol administration since 1983, physicians and.
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