Beta blockers or beta-adrenergic blocking agents are medicines that work by blocking the epinephrine or adrenaline and norepinephrine to bind with beta receptors on the nerves. The nerves produce the epinephrine and norepinephrine in the body and by the adrenal glands. These are neurotransmitters that can work actively where they are produced or other locations in the body once released in the blood. Beta receptors are classified into three types. They work by controlling several various functions depending on their location in the body.
Beta 1 is located in the eyes/heart/kidneys. Beta 2 is found in the GI tract, liver, lungs, blood vessels, uterus, and skeletal muscle. Beta 3 are receptors found in the fat cells.
This medicine can cause stomach cramps, diarrhea, vomiting, nausea. There are also other side effects that need to be reported to the doctor if experienced like blurry vision, rashes, insomnia, disorientation, hair loss, muscle cramps, weakness, fatigue. Considering that beta blockers can help in reducing blood pressure, it may also give a side effect of heart failure or heart block. This is when the patient taking it already have heart problems.
Sudden withdrawal from beta blockers should not be done as it can worsen chest pain and may lead to abnormal heart rhythms, heart attacks, and even death. The central nervous system can be affected by beta-blockers through confusion, headache, dizziness, depression, hallucinations, and nightmares.
Diseases that are treated with beta blockers
* High blood pressure
* Abnormal heart rhythms
* Heart failure
* Migraine prevention
* Prevention of heart attacks
* Panic disorder/anxiety/aggressive behavior
Drugs that can interact with beta blockers
Taking propranolol or pindolol with chlorpromazine or thioridazine can lead to hypotension or low blood pressure.
Taking phenobarbital and the like can increase breakdown and might reduce blood levels of metoprolol or propanolol which can lower the effectiveness of beta blocker.
Taking aspirin or NSAIDs such as ibuprofen can counteract the reducing effect of beta blockers to lower blood pressure.