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June 1996

Topical β-Adrenergic Antagonists and Quinidine: A Risky Interaction

Author Affiliations

Baltimore, Md

Arch Ophthalmol. 1996;114(6):745-746. doi:10.1001/archopht.1996.01100130737019

As ophthalmologists we are well aware of the potential side effects of the antiglaucoma medications that we prescribe for our patients. Congestive heart failure or bronchospasm can develop in susceptible patients who are administered topical noncardioselective β-blockers.1 Excessive doses of adrenergic agonists can result in systemic hypertension or dysrhythmias; fatigue has been reported following the administration of α-2 agonists.2 Even cholinergic agents, particularly cholinesterase inhibitors, can result in side effects that are related to the gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, pulmonary, and central nervous systems.1 Finally, it remains to be seen what list of side effects besides bitter taste will be related to the recently introduced topical carbonic anhydrase inhibitor, dorzolamide hydrochloride. Topical administration of medications can result in significant levels in the bloodstream, and, in fact, this route of administration is more similar to intravenous absorption than oral ingestion. However, equally important to the side effects of these medications

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