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 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, TOPROL XL), nadolol (CORGARD), 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 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 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

  • 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… …   Medical dictionary

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

  • blocking agent — noun a class of drugs that inhibit (block) some biological process • Syn: ↑blocker • Derivationally related forms: ↑block (for: ↑blocker) • Hypernyms: ↑medicine, ↑ …   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-blocker — be·ta block·er (bāʹtə blŏk ər, bēʹ ) n. A drug, such as propanolol, that opposes the excitatory effects of norepinephrine released from sympathetic nerve endings at beta receptors and is used for the treatment of angina, hypertension, arrhythmia …   Universalium

  • 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 -blocker — in full beta adrenergic blocking agent Any of a class of synthetic drugs used to treat a wide range of diseases and conditions of the sympathetic nervous system (see autonomic nervous system). Stimulation by epinephrine of beta adrenergic… …   Universalium

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