Beta-Blockers for Coronary Artery Disease
How It Works
Beta-blockers reduce the workload on the heart by slowing the heart rate. A more rapid heart rate caused by exertion and excitement increases the workload on the heart.
Why It Is Used
Beta-blockers lower heart rate and blood pressure and reduce the workload on the heart. This in turn can help relieve or prevent chest pain and discomfort (angina). Beta-blockers are often used with other medicines to treat a heart attack in progress.
Beta-blockers are also taken after a heart attack for a long time—maybe for the rest of your life—to lower the risk of sudden death.
How Well It Works
Beta-blockers can reduce the severity and frequency of angina.1
Side effects of beta-blockers may include:
See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference is not available in all systems.)
What To Think About
Your doctor may ask you to take your pulse regularly to make sure your heart rate is not too slow. To learn how to take your pulse, see the topic Taking a Pulse (Heart Rate).
eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise
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