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The Hunger Project Bolen Report
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Beta Adrenergic Blocking Drugs (Beta Blockers) Print E-mail

Dr. Kennedy "Beta adrenergic blocking" denotes 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 reduce 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). They are useful for about three weeks and then the effects wear off. They are not recommended to be used more than three weeks. Unfortunately, doctors tend to ignore that recommendation and leave people on these drugs for years with little if any beneficial effect.



The information in this article is not meant to be medical advice.�Treatment for a medical condition should come at the recommendation of your personal physician.

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