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Beta Blockers

Also called: Beta 2 Blockers, Beta-Adrenergic Blockers, B-Blockers, Beta 1 Blockers

- Summary
- About beta blockers
- Conditions treated
- Conditions of concern
- Potential side effects
- Drug or other interactions
- Lifestyle considerations
- Symptoms of overdose
- Pregnancy use issues
- Child use issues
- Elderly use issues
- Questions for your doctor

Reviewed By:
Kerry Prewitt, M.D., FACC
Abdou Elhendy, MD, PhD, FACC, FAHA
Robert I. Hamby, M.D., FACC, FACP


Beta blockers are prescription medications that reduce the workload of the heart and lower blood pressure. They are commonly prescribed to relieve angina (a certain type of chest pain, pressure or discomfort) or to treat heart failure. They are also prescribed for people who have high blood pressure (hypertension).

Patients who take beta blockers may experience side effects such as a very slow heart rate (bradycardia), dizziness or increased tiredness. Patients may also become more sensitive to cold.


There are a number of factors that can affect the use of beta blockers, including medical conditions and other drugs. Patients should provide their physician with a detailed medical history and current medications to determine if beta blockers are appropriate for them. In addition, patients are urged to not stop taking beta blockers abruptly, unless ordered to do so by their physicians. Otherwise, they could experience a rebound effect that increases their risk of angina and heart attack. Any unusual symptoms resulting from taking beta blockers should be reported to a physician.

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Review Date: 05-16-2007

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