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Dr. Dan B.
Dr. Dan B., Board Certified Ophthalmologist
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 3131
Experience:  Eye surgeon experienced in cataracts, glaucoma, retina & neuro-ophthalmology
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I am using Timolol gfs in Alcons drop-tainer bottle. This

Customer Question

I am using Timolol gfs in Alcon's drop-tainer bottle. This bottle requires pushing the bottom to dispense drops, not by squeezing the sides. The bottle is made of such thick and stiff plastic that I am uhable to obtain drops when I push the bottom. I can get drops by squeezing the sides, but this seems to dispense large drops since a bottle only lasts one half as long as my insurance company allows berween prescription refills. Are you aware of complaints of properly using this bottle, and do you have suggestions on getting around the problem?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Eye
Expert:  Dr. Dan B. replied 2 years ago.

Doctor DanB : Hello and thanks for your question. Are you available to chat?
Doctor DanB : I can certainly understand your quandary. I have not come across this particular problem, only because I don't have patients using that dropped dispenser as you are using. I do not have any quick fix for this problem. However if you are paying for Timolol through your insurance you may be paying a $10-$25 co-pay. Pharmacies such as Walmart, target, and Fred Meyer have Timolol available for only four dollars for a 30 day prescription. If you can afford that, you may just have your doctor call in twice the amount they normally give for a 30 day prescription and pay for it out of pocket; then you wouldn't run into those insurance limitations.  Does that make sense?
Doctor DanB : Does this information help address your concerns?  Do you have any other concerns or questions about this topic?     It appears as though you are not in the chat room currently.    I am happy to be able to help you today. I will also be happy to answer any other questions until you have the information you need.   If you would like to ask further questions or clarification regarding anything I've said, please let me know and I will be happy to address your concerns. Your feedback is important to me and will help me improve my encounter with future customers.  If at anytime you feel this process has been helpful, please press the ACCEPT button, if you see it.  This does not end our conversation, however-we can continue to discuss any of your concerns without further charges until you are satisfied.  Any positive feedback and/or bonus you may feel prompted to provide would be welcomed and is appreciated.  Thanks for your inquiry!  My opinion is solely informative and does not constitute a formal medical opinion or recommendation. For a formal medical opinion and/or recommendation you must see an eye doctor.
JACUSTOMER-j6axkn5w- :
I realize this is not a medical question about the eye, but rather a question about using devices for dispensing medicine to the eye. I was hoping to find someone who has patients who have had the same problem I have experienced. Let me give you a little more background. When I was using Xalatan for glaucoma, my insurance and pharmacist supplied me with medicine and eyedrop bottles made by Pfizer. Drops were dispensed by simply squeezing the sides of the bottle. Then when Xalatan went off patent, I was supplied with the generic form of the drug. That was Latanaprost by Alcon Labs. The bottle they use is called the drop-tainer bottle. When I first used their bottle, I naturally obtained drops by squeezing the sides. But the bottles only lasted half a month, not a full month I had been getting with the Xalatan. This was not good because my insurance company requires a month to pass between subscription refills. When I called Alcon about this they informed me I was using the bottle incorrectly. I was told the proper technique is to hold the bottle between the thumb and middle finger, then press the bottom of the bottle with the index finger until a drop falls into the eye, and with emphasis, do not squeeze the sides. This is not easy to do, but when I started doing it this way, the bottles lasted a full month, and everything was ok. Then I was switched by my doctor to Timoptic XE. I was given the generic form of this drug by my insurance company and pharmacist. This was Timolol gfs also by Alcon Labs and also comes in their drop-tainer style bottle. But the Timolol bottle is much less pliant than the Latanaprost bottle, and I am unable to manipulate it with enough force to get drops to leave the bottle by the "press the bottom' method. So I was forced to get drops by squeezing the sides, I soon ran into the same half month only problem as had occurred when first switching from Xalatan to Latanaprost. Alcon has no answer for me about this. I am trying to find other people with the same experience, and was hoping you had patients who have found solutions. Your suggestion about filing my prescriptions at Wal-Mart is a good one,and I may have to adopt it even though it is a 60 mile round trip to their merest store. Thanks for your ideas. I would appreciate any more information you might have. There must be several people who have been switched from using the branded form of a drug to the generic form, and have found themselves using Alcon's drop-tainer bottles. Alcon doesn't see fit to inform users in how to use these bottles until you call them about seemingly not getting full bottles. Users who are not aware of the technique are probably still squeezing the sides of their bottles, not only having the same timing problems I experienced, but over dosing themselves with extra large drops.
Doctor DanB :

Thank you for that additional information. I do have patients who have similar issues as you do regarding pushing too much medicine out with each drop administration and some have used the Alcon drop-tainer despenser, but I've not had anyone come across the Timolol problem as you have because it's not a drop I use a lot of. I will poll my patients who are using this and see what they've come up with, but I'm sure you're right--I'm sure many people have the same problem. I will scour the medical literature and see what I can come up for you and get back to you if I have any useful information. Good luck to you sir.

JACUSTOMER-j6axkn5w- :

I certainly appreciate your efforts at finding people with this problem. I can find no references to problems with the drop-tainer bottle on the internet, and neither my doctor nor pharmascist has encountered this sitution. Alcon had been no help at all. I am looking forward to anything you find.

Doctor DanB :

Thank you and good luck. I'll keep you updated as I find anything--hopefully I can.

Dr. Dan B., Board Certified Ophthalmologist
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 3131
Experience: Eye surgeon experienced in cataracts, glaucoma, retina & neuro-ophthalmology
Dr. Dan B. and other Eye Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Have you found out anything further concerning the difficulty in using the drop-tainer bottle for the gel forming Timolol medicine? Part of my problem is that this form of drop seems to be thicker than most other drops, probably because it is gel forming. I have been trying to find what the bottle of the non-gel Timolol is like. If it is similar to the Latanaprost bottle, I will switch to that form of Timolol.
Expert:  Dr. Dan B. replied 2 years ago.
Good morning. Unfortunately, I have so few patients on the gel form of this timolol, these patients aren't running into this because they aren't using the drop administrating device you are. The non-gel form of Timolol is not like the Travatan bottle, unfortunately, but it still may be easier to squeeze even without the drop administrating device.

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