Beta blockers are a type of drug that will affect our body responses to a certain nerve impulses. This will decrease the rate or force of the heart’s contractions which in turn will lower your blood pressure and reduce the heart demand for oxygen.
Purpose of using beta blockers
The main purpose of using beta blockers is for treating high blood pressure (hypertension).
Beta blockers are also use to treat angina , a type of chest pain.
It is also used as a treatment for avoiding second heart attacks if they already suffered from one before.
Beta blockers are also used to treat tremors, migraine and abnormal heartbeat.
It is also used in eye drops to treat glaucoma.
Also know as beta-adrenergic blockers. It is only available with a healthcare provider’s prescription.
They are available in capsule, liquid, tablet and injectable forms.
Here’s a few names for beta blockers, atenolol (Tenormin), metoprolol (Lopressor), nadolol (Corgard), propranolol (Inderal), and timolol (Blocadren).
Timolol and a few other types of beta blockers are used as eye drops to treat an eye condition called glaucoma. A few example for eye drops that have beta blockers are betaxolol (Betoptic), cartelol (Ocupress), and timolol (Timoptic).
Side effects of beta blockers
The common side effects of beta blockers are dizziness, drowsiness, lightheadedness, sleep problems, unusual tiredness or weakness, and decreased sexual ability.
For men , they can suffer from impotence or a delay in ejaculation.
The side effects may go away after a while when the body can adapt to the drug. If the problem still persist, you need to get advice from your healthcare provider.
If you suffer from below conditions after taking beta blockers then you need to inform your healthcare provider immediately:
1. Having difficulty breathing.
2. Getting abnormal heartbeat.
3. Suffering from cold hands and feet.
4. Swollen lower legs, ankles and feet.
5. Mental problems.
Other side effects may also occur.
If you have an unusual symptoms after taking beta blockers, you need to inform your doctor or healthcare provider immediately.
Beta blockers will also interact with a number of medicines. If this happens then the effects of both drugs will change or the risk of side effects will be bigger than usual.
You should inform your healthcare provider if you are taking other medicines other than beta blockers.
Below are the lists of medicines that may interact with beta blockers:
1. Calcium channel blockers/other blood pressure medicines. They may cause unwanted effects on your heart.
2. Consumable insulin and diabetes medicines. Can cause high blood pressure or it can also hide the symptoms of low blood sugar.
3. Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAO) such as phenelzine (Nardil) or tranylcypromine (Parnate), used to treat conditions including Parkinson’s disease and depression. May cause serious high blood pressure if taken at the same time or within two weeks of each other.
4. Cocaine.Combining cocaine and beta blockers will cause heart problems,hypertension and fast heartbeat. Cocaine is also known to lessen the effects of beta blockers.
5. Allergy skin tests and shots. Beta blockers can increase the chance of serious reactions to these medicines.
The lists above is not a complete lists of drugs than can have interaction with beta blockers. You are advised to consult your healthcare provider before combining any drugs with beta blockers.