Beta-blockers Historically, first-line therapy for reducing IOP has been the prescribing of a group of medications classed as beta-blockers. Remember: ‘first-line’ prescribing is often influenced by economic factors as well as clinical ones. Most have generic names that end in ‘ol’ as in Timolol or Carteolol.
This class of medication reduces secretion of aqueous humour, so allows less fluid in, and therefore an associated reduction in IOP. Some patients will be successfully managed for years on these medications, some will then experience a loss of the drug’s IOP-lowering effects, and some patients’ initial beneficial response may be lost in weeks or months. It is also quite possible that IOP will be reduced initially, but not sufficiently to continue on this medication.