Beta Blockers – Beta-adrenergic block agents
Q: What is it primarily addressing?
A: Treating high blood pressure, by lowering it.
A: Importantly, beta blockers are not recommended as a first treatment if only have high blood pressure. A MD would first prescribe meds like diuretics before considering beta blockers. Also, a MD may prescribe a beta block along with other meds to lower blood pressure.
A: Beta blockers are used to prevent, treat improve symptoms in people with irregular heart rhythm (arrhythmia), heart failure, chest pain (angina), heart attacks, migraine, certain types of tremors
Q: How does it work?
A: Blocking effects of the hormone epinephrine – also known as adrenaline.
A: Cause heart to beat more slowly and with less force – which lowers blood pressure.
A: Can also open up veins and arteries to improve blood flow.
Q: Are all beta-blockers the same.
A: No. Some mainly affect heart, while others affect heart and blood vessels.
Q: What’s the issue with beta blockers and black (African-American) people?
A: Beta blockers may not work as effectively for black and older people, especially when taken without other blood pressure meds.
Q: What are some kinds of Beta Blockers?
A: Acebutolol (Sectral)
A: Atenolol (Tenormin)
A: Bisoprolol (Zebeta)
A: Nadolol (Cogard)
A: Nebivolol (Bystolic)
Q: What are some side effects of beta blockers?
A: Cold hands or feet, fatigue, weight gain
A: Less common side effects are depression, shortness of breath, trouble sleeping
A: For people with asthma beta blockers not used because concern the meds may trigger severe asthma attacks.
A: For diabetics patients, beta blocker may block signs of low blood sugar, such as rapid heartbeat. Important to check blood sugar regularly if you have diabetes and taking a beta blocker.
A: Beta blockers can also affect cholestorol and triglyceride levels. Can cause a slight rise in triglycerides – a type of fat in your blood – and a modest decrease in good cholesterol (aka high-density lipoprotein – HDL). These changes often are temporary.
A: Same as usualy – don’t stop beta blockers cold – could increase risk of a heart attack or other heart problem.