Beta Blocker Side Effects – Should You Be on a Beta Blocker?

The latest data indicate that beta blockers (BB) do not appear to be of any assistance in three definite groups of stable patients. In this study they analysed data from 44,708 patients:

1. Those with coronary artery disease (CAD) but no history of heart attack (31%)

2. Those with a far away history of heart attack (one year or more) (27%); and

3. Those with coronary risk factors only (42%).

We know that there are plenty of benefits of this medication after an acute heart attack or if you have heart failure. What we are talking about is those 3 groups above. They are used for heart disease by lowering your hearts need by:

1. Lowering your heart rate

2. Lowering your blood pressure

Beta Blocker shared side effects:

shared side effects include:

  • Fatigue
  • Cold hands
  • Headache
  • Upset stomach
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Loss of sex excursion
  • Depression

rule author Dr Bangalore (New York University School of Medicine, NY) report their findings in the Journal of the American Medical Association, published online October 2. They found some pretty interesting stuff. They found NO association with reduced cardiovascular events, already in the prior heart attack patient group. They followed these patients for 44 months and looked at outcomes of cardiovascular death, heart attack or stroke.

How long should you continue to take a beta blocker after a heart attack?

Well it is really not known. There are few things to consider.

1. Are you in heart failure? If so then there are nevertheless benefits.

2. Are you inclined to heart arrythmias?

3. Do you have a high resting heart rate?

4. Are you continuing with your heart health program?

The latest European Society of Cardiology guidelines recommend long-term therapy only in patients with reduced left ventricular function.

already though there are guidelines in place, BB are being prescribed because of the perception that they are perhaps advantageous. But physicians should be additional careful in making those exceptions.

There are lots of patients who have had a heart attack, stent or bypass and are nevertheless on BB but they are stable. This is something to discuss with your physician. Beta blockers should not be used to treat high blood pressure, already though beta blockers are nevertheless widely used for high blood pressure despite the fact that it has been downgraded by many high blood pressure societies. If you have high blood pressure there are better drugs for treatment.

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