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Timolol Maleate 0.5% or 0.1% Gel-Forming Solution for Infantile Hemangiomas: A Retrospective, Multicenter, Cohort Study


Address correspondence to Elena Pope, M.D., FRCPC, Department of Dermatology, Hospital for Sick Children, 555 University Avenue, Toronto M5G 1X8, Canada, or email:


Abstract:  Therapeutic options for superficial infantile hemangiomas (IH) are limited. Recently, timolol maleate gel, a topical nonselective beta-blocker, has been reported as a potentially effective treatment for superficial IH. This study is an extension of a previously published pilot study designed to further investigate the efficacy and safety and to identify predictors of good response of topical 0.5% or 0.1% timolol maleate gel-forming solution. This was a retrospective cohort study including patients enrolled from five centers. Patients were included if they were treated with timolol maleate 0.1% or 0.5% gel-forming solution and had photographic documentation of the IH and at least one follow-up visit. Patients with concomitant active treatment using other IH treatments were excluded. The primary endpoint was change in the appearance of IH as evaluated using a visual analog scale (VAS). Data from 73 subjects were available for final analysis. Timolol maleate gel-forming solution 0.5% was used in 85% (62/73) of patients, the remainder being treated with 0.1%. The median age at treatment initiation was 4.27 months (interquartile range [IQR] 2.63–7.21 mos), and patients were treated for a mean of 3.4 ± 2.7 months. All patients except one improved, with a mean improvement of 45 ± 29.5%. Predictors of better response were superficial type of hemangioma (p = 0.01), 0.5% timolol concentration (p = 0.01), and duration of use longer than 3 months (p = 0.04). Sleeping disturbance was noted in one patient. This study further demonstrates the efficacy and tolerability of topical timolol maleate and gradual improvement with longer treatment in patients with superficial IH.