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Why must I use extra care administering eye drops if I have high blood pressure and am taking a beta blocker?


Many eye drop medications are also beta blockers. Therefore, if proper technique is not used, the eye drop medication can be absorbed into the bloodstream. This in turn may cause enhanced side effects such as low blood pressure, dizziness, and headache.

The primary reason to use proper technique in administering eye drops is to get the most benefit from your medication. It also is important to use proper technique to avoid or reduce potential side effects from the eye drop medication.

Proper eye drop technique

  • Wash your hands thoroughly.
  • With your forefinger, pull down the lower eyelid to form a pocket. Holding the medication container between the thumb and forefinger of the opposite hand, and bracing the remaining fingers against the side of your nose, place the dispenser close to the eye but not touching.
  • Tilt your head back, and administer the correct number of drops one at a time.
  • Immediately press your forefinger gently against the inside corner of your eye to prevent the medication from entering the tear duct. Hold your finger in place for three to four minutes. Or, gently close your eyes for a few minutes (to keep medication in contact with the eye).
  • Wash off any medication that falls on your face.

Get more information about your medications.

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Answers to questions regarding information about medications or health conditions are not for diagnostic or treatment purposes and are not conclusive as to the presence or absence of any health condition. Consult your physician for diagnosis and treatment of your medical condition. The information provided is not a substitute for medical advice. Advances in medicine may cause this information to become outdated, invalid or subject to debate. Professional opinions and interpretations of the scientific literature may vary. Walgreens' terms of use and general warranty disclaimer apply to all services provided. If you are in need of immediate medical attention, contact your physician, poison control center or emergency medical professional. If you need to speak with a pharmacist for non-emergency matters, contact your local Walgreens pharmacist or call a pharmacist toll-free at 1 (877) 250-5823.

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