Blocker, beta adrenergic
A class of drugs, also more simply called beta blockers, that block beta-adrenergic substances such as adrenaline (epinephrine), a key agent in the "sympathetic" portion of the autonomic (involuntary) nervous system. By blocking the action of the sympathetic nervous system on the heart, these agents relieve stress on the heart. They slow the heart beat, lessen the force with which the heart muscle contracts and reduce blood vessel contraction in the heart, brain, and throughout the body. Beta blockers can serve to treat abnormal heart rhythms (cardiac arrhythmias). They are used specifically to prevent abnormally fast heart rates (tachycardias) or irregular heart rhythms such as premature ventricular beats. Since beta blockers reduce the demand of the heart muscle for oxygen and the chest pain of angina pectoris occurs when the oxygen demand of the heart exceeds the supply, beta blockers can be useful in treating angina. They have also become an important drug in improving survival after a person has had a heart attack. Thanks to their effect on blood vessels, beta blockers can lower the blood pressure and be of value in the treatment of hypertension. Other uses for beta blockers include the prevention of migraine headaches and the treatment of certain types of tremors (familial or hereditary essential tremors). The beta blockers (with brand names) include acebutolol (SECTRAL), atenolol (TENORMIN), bisoprolol (ZEBETA), metoprolol (LOPRESSOR, LOPRESSOR LA), and timolol (BLOCADREN). Beta blockers are also available in combination with a diuretic as, for example, with bisoprolol and hydrochlorothiazide (ZIAC). Beta blockers reduce the pressure within the eye (the intraocular pressure), probably by reducing the production of the liquid (aqueous humor) within the eye, and so are used to lessen the risk of damage to the optic nerve and loss of vision in glaucoma. Beta blocker preparations for this purpose include timolol ophthalmic solution (TIMOPTIC) and betaxolol hydrochloride (BETOPTIC, BETOPTIC).

Medical dictionary. 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • beta-adrenergic blocker — noun any of various drugs used in treating hypertension or arrhythmia; decreases force and rate of heart contractions by blocking beta adrenergic receptors of the autonomic nervous system • Syn: ↑beta blocker, ↑beta blocking agent, ↑beta… …   Useful english dictionary

  • beta-adrenergic blocking agent — noun any of various drugs used in treating hypertension or arrhythmia; decreases force and rate of heart contractions by blocking beta adrenergic receptors of the autonomic nervous system • Syn: ↑beta blocker, ↑beta blocking agent, ↑beta… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Beta adrenergic blocking drugs — A class of drugs, also called beta blockers, that block beta adrenergic substances such as adrenaline (epinephrine), a key agent in the sympathetic portion of the autonomic (involuntary) nervous system. By blocking the action of the sympathetic… …   Medical dictionary

  • beta-adrenergic blocker — beta blocker …   The new mediacal dictionary

  • beta-adrenergic blocker — see beta blocker …   Medical dictionary

  • blocker — noun 1. a football player whose responsibility is to block players attempting to stop an offensive play • Derivationally related forms: ↑block • Hypernyms: ↑football player, ↑footballer 2. a class of drugs that inhibit (block) some biological… …   Useful english dictionary

  • beta blocker — noun any of various drugs used in treating hypertension or arrhythmia; decreases force and rate of heart contractions by blocking beta adrenergic receptors of the autonomic nervous system • Syn: ↑beta blocking agent, ↑beta adrenergic blocker,… …   Useful english dictionary

  • beta-blocking agent — noun any of various drugs used in treating hypertension or arrhythmia; decreases force and rate of heart contractions by blocking beta adrenergic receptors of the autonomic nervous system • Syn: ↑beta blocker, ↑beta adrenergic blocker, ↑beta… …   Useful english dictionary

  • beta — /bay teuh/ or, esp. Brit., /bee /, n. 1. the second letter of the Greek alphabet (B). 2. the consonant sound represented by this letter. 3. (cap.) Astron. a star that is usually the second brightest of a constellation: The second brightest star… …   Universalium

  • Beta blocker — Beta blockers Drug class Skeletal formula of propranolol, the first clinically successful beta blocker ATC code C07 …   Wikipedia

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