What are beta-blockers?

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Practitioner

Beta blockers are drugs that are often used to treat heart conditions. They lower heart rate and blood pressure, which allows the heart to work more efficiently. These drugs also help prevent migraines in some people. Beta blockers approved by the FDA for this purpose include propranolol (Inderal) and timolol. Other beta blockers, such as atenolol and metoprolol, have also been used to prevent migraines. 

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Beta blockers are a form of medication used to treat high blood pressure, angina (chest pain) and other conditions. This class of medications works by blocking the action of adrenaline in the body.    

  • Examples of Beta Blockers:
  • acebutolol (Sectral)
  • atenolol (Tenormin)
  • betaxolol (Kerlone)
  • bisoprolol/hydrochlorothiazide (Ziac)
  • bisoprolol (Zebeta)
  • carteolol (Cartrol)
  • metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol XL)
  • nadolol (Corgard)
  • propranolol (Inderal)
  • sotalol (Betapace)
  • timolol (Blocadren)

Beta blockers reduce the heart's workload and are used for high blood pressure, chest pain and to prevent a repeat heart attack.

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