Treating glaucoma with topical ophthalmic beta blockers can result in life-threatening systemic side effects. These medications should be avoided in some patients.
The role of beta blockers
Beta-adrenergic receptor antagonists, or beta blockers, are a class of drugs that interfere with the transmission of sympathetic nerve impulses by binding to beta-adrenergic receptors. By inhibiting sympathetic stimulation of a target organ, beta blockers compete with neurotransmitters for beta-1 or beta-2 adrenergic receptor sites.