1. Why Beta-adrenergic Blocking Agents are Prescribed?

    Beta blockers are a class of medication that your health care provider may provide to treat one or more medical conditions including high blood pressure, CAD, and heart failure. There are other reasons that these pills may be prescribed for you including migraine headaches, tremors, and anxiety. You can easily determine if you have been prescribed these drug by identifying the letters -lol at the end of the medications generic name. Commonly prescribed beta-adrenergic blocking agents include metoprolol, atenolol, propranolol, and carvedilol.

  2. How These Pills Work

    Beta-adrenergic blocking agents work to reduce your blood pressure by decreasing heart rate and cardiac output, or the amount of blood the myorcardium ejects with each beat. This effect is achieved by blocking the receptors that increase the heart rate and the force of cardiac muscle contraction. Most people who are prescribed these medications are able to enjoy their heart protective effects without experiencing bothersome side effects. Unfortunately, a small percentage of people taking these pills may experience fatigue, excessive slowing of the heart rate, heart block, breathing difficulty, or erectile dysfunction. Ensure that you discuss any potential side effects with your healthcare provider immediately who may need to choose an alternative medicine to treat your condition.

    Beta blockers should be used cautiously since these medications may blunt or mask symptoms of low blood sugar

  3. Special Considerations

    Beta-blockers are potent blood pressure medicines and should not be stopped abruptly. Your health care provider will typically instruct you on how to gradually reduce the dose over one to two weeks to prevent abnormal heart rhythms, increased heart rate, or chest pain that can occur from abrupt stoppage. Although commonly prescribed for diabetics, these should be used cautiously since these medications may blunt or mask symptoms of low blood sugar that include sweating, rapid pulse, and shakiness.

  4. The Importance of Compliance
    Seeing your healthcare provider on a routine basis is not enough if you do not follow the instructions that have been given once a health and wellness concern is identified. One of the most important steps that you can take to prevent worsening of your health is to take any medications that are prescribed. Most people will require lifetime treatment with medications for certain chronic diseases, but some will be able to eventually stop taking their medicines if strict compliance with diet and lifestyle changes can be maintained. Chronic health problems such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol are significant contributors to worse events such as heart attack, stroke, and congestive heart failure if not appropriately managed.