Timolol (Apo-Timol) 10 mg tabs: Discontinuation

Timolol 10 mg tablets are being discontinued. People will need to switch to a different beta blocker.

About the timolol discontinuation

Timolol is a beta blocker used by about 100 people in New Zealand. Current supplies of Apo-Timol expired in July 2021. 

The Apotex brand Apo-Timol is the only Medsafe-approved brand of timolol in New Zealand. Pharmac has tried to source another brand of timolol but we have been unable to.

Apotex is withdrawing from the New Zealand market. We are working to find alternatives for all Apotex medicines.

What to do if you take timolol

You will need to talk to your health care provider about the best alternative for you. There are a number of funded beta blockers available. 

Your health care professional knows you and your clinical circumstances best. They are in the best place to advise you on the options.

We know that changing medicines can be disruptive. We apologise for any inconvenience.

What prescribers need to know

You will need to:

  • ensure no new patients start on timolol tablets. From 1 March 2021, new patients were unable to receive funded timolol 10 mg tablets.
  • support your patients who are currently using timolol tablets to change to an alternative treatment as soon as possible. 

Members of our Cardiovascular Subcommittee (one of our expert clinical advisory groups) consider that other funded beta blockers would be appropriate alternatives to timolol. 

We appreciate that it is not always easy to change patients onto different medicines. We apologise for any inconvenience caused to you and your patients as a result of this change. 

Information for pharmacists

From 1 March 2021, timolol is only funded for people who had been dispensed timolol before that date.

We ask that you advise people to visit their prescriber to change to a suitable alternative treatment.

We have asked prescribers to move their patients to an alternative funded treatment.

Affected product: 

  • Chemical: Timolol
  • Brand: Apo-Timol
  • Presentation: Tablet 10 mg
  • Pharmacode: 750727

Who to contact

If you take timolol, talk to your health care professional. PHARMAC cannot give individual clinical advice.

If you have questions about this discontinuation, email enquiry@pharmac.govt.nz