Efficacy of TIMOLOL nasal spray as a treatment for epistaxis in hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia. A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial

Sci Rep. 2019 Aug 19;9(1):11986. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-48502-9.


Hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia is a rare vascular genetic disease. Epistaxis is the most frequent and disabling manifestation, and timolol appears to be a new therapeutic option as non-selective beta-blockers have in vitro and in vivo anti-angiogenic properties. Our main objective was to evaluate the efficacy of TIMOLOL nasal spray as a treatment for epistaxis in hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia. This study is a single-center, randomized, phase 2, double-blind placebo-controlled study with an allocation ratio of 1:1. It was proposed to patients with hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia monitored at the French Reference Center, and we included patients aged over 18 years, diagnosed with hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia and epistaxis. The treatment was self-administered by the patient with a posology of one spray (50 µL) of timolol 0.5% or placebo in each nostril twice a day for 28 consecutive days. The primary efficacy endpoint was mean monthly epistaxis duration, assessed by monitoring epistaxis grids. A total of 58 patients were randomized and treated. The baseline characteristics were similar in the 2 groups. Mean monthly epistaxis duration measured at 3 months was not significantly different in the 26 patients receiving the drug in comparison with the placebo group (p = 0.54). Toxicity was low and no severe adverse events were reported. One limitation is that we included all HHT patients with nosebleeds and did not take into account history of nasal surgery or nasal crusts. Timolol, administered by nasal spray at a dose of 0.25 mg in each nostril twice a day for 28 consecutive days, did not improve epistaxis in patients with hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia at 4 months after the beginning of the treatment.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adrenergic beta-Antagonists / administration & dosage*
  • Adrenergic beta-Antagonists / adverse effects
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Epistaxis / diagnosis
  • Epistaxis / drug therapy*
  • Epistaxis / etiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nasal Sprays
  • Recurrence
  • Telangiectasia, Hereditary Hemorrhagic / complications*
  • Telangiectasia, Hereditary Hemorrhagic / diagnosis
  • Telangiectasia, Hereditary Hemorrhagic / therapy
  • Timolol / administration & dosage*
  • Timolol / adverse effects
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Adrenergic beta-Antagonists
  • Nasal Sprays
  • Timolol