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Encyclopedia > Beta blockers

Beta blockers or beta-adrenergic blocking agents are a class of drugs used to treat a variety of cardiovascular conditions and some other diseases.

Beta blockers block the action of epinephrine and norepinephrine on the β-adrenergic receptors in the body (primarily in the heart, peripheral blood vessels, bronchi, pancreas, and liver). The hormones and neurotransmitters stimulate the sympathetic nervous system by acting on these receptors.

There are two types of beta receptors: β1_receptors located mainly in the heart, and β2_receptors located all over the body, but mainly in the lungs, muscles and arterioles.

Activition of β1-receptors by epinephrine increases the heart rate and the blood pressure, and the heart consumes more oxygen. Drugs that block these receptors therefore have the reverse effect: they lower the heart rate and blood pressure and hence are used in conditions when the heart itself is deprived of oxygen. They are routinely prescribed in patients with ischemic heart disease. In addition, beta blockers prevent the release of renin, which is a hormone produced by the kidneys which leads to constriction of blood vessels.

Drugs that block beta 2 receptors generally have a relaxing effect and are prescribed for anxiety, migraine, esophageal varices and asthma or any reactive airway disease. Doing so can precipitate bronchospasm.

Since they lower heart rate, beta blockers have been abused by some Olympic marksmen to provide more aiming time between heartbeats.

Some musicians use beta blockers to avoid stage fright during auditions, and performances.

External link

  • Musicians using beta blockers (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2004/10/17/MNGB599PJC1.DTL)

Beta blockers edit (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Template:Beta_blockers&action=edit)
Cardioselective edit (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Template:Beta_blockers_%28cardioselective%29&action=edit)

{Acebutolol} {Atenolol} {Betaxolol} {Bisoprolol} {Esmolol} {Metoprolol} {Nebivolol}

Non_cardioselective edit (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Template:Beta-blockers-%28non_cardioselective%29&action=edit)

{Nadolol} {Oxprenolol} {Propranolol} {Pindolol} {Sotalol}

  Results from FactBites:
Beta blocker - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (970 words)
Beta blockers (sometimes written as β-blockers) are a class of drugs used for various indications, but particularly for the management of hypertension and cardiac arrhythmias.
Beta blockers block the action of endogenous catecholamines, epinephrine (adrenaline) and norepinephrine (noradrenaline) in particular, on β-adrenergic receptors, part of the sympathetic nervous system which mediates the "fight or flight" response.
Although beta blockers were once contraindicated in congestive heart failure, as they have the potential to worsen the condition, studies in the late 1990s showed their positive effects on morbidity and mortality in congestive heart failure (Hjalmarson, 2000; Leizorovicz, 2002; Packer, 2002).
Beta Blockers and Performance Anxiety (2032 words)
Beta blockers are not FDA approved for use in anxiety or stage fright, but these medications can be prescribed for this purpose because there is scientific literature to support this use.
In the case of beta blockers, physical dependence is not usually an issue when they are used for stage fright, as they are used in low doses and are not taken on a chronic basis.
Beta blockers have not been shown to directly improve a musician's emotional state, except to the extent that some musicians feel better when their physical problems are relieved.
  More results at FactBites »



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