Oral atenolol (25 mg twice daily and 50 mg and 100 mg once daily) and placebo were tested as additional therapy in a double-masked, randomised, cross-over study. Twenty-four patients (16 with chronic simple glaucoma and 6 with ocular hypertension) participated who had an intraocular pressure (IOP) higher than 21 mmHg. The mean fall of intraocular pressure varied between 28% and 36% and was observed 2 to 6 hours after administration. After 2 weeks of treatment there was still a small fall in intraocular pressure (13%) after 12 hours (for the 25 mg dose) and 24 hours (for the 50 mg and 100 mg dose), but this was not significant (p less than 0.5). There was a fall in blood pressure and reduced pulse rate which persisted for at least 30 hours. Some patients complained of tiredness during treatment periods. Oral atenolol may be useful additional therapy for glaucoma.
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