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Beta blockers, also called beta-adrenergic blocking agents, treat a variety of conditions, such as high blood pressure, glaucoma and migraines. Find out more about this class of medication.By Mayo Clinic staff
Beta blockers, also known as beta-adrenergic blocking agents, are medications that reduce your blood pressure. Beta blockers work by blocking the effects of the hormone epinephrine, also known as adrenaline. When you take beta blockers, the heart beats more slowly and with less force, thereby reducing blood pressure. Beta blockers also help blood vessels open up to improve blood flow.
Examples of beta blockers
Some beta blockers mainly affect your heart, while others affect both your heart and your blood vessels. Which one is best for you depends on your health and the condition being treated.
Examples of beta blockers include:
- Acebutolol (Sectral)
- Atenolol (Tenormin)
- Bisoprolol (Zebeta)
- Nadolol (Corgard)
- Nebivolol (Bystolic)
- Propranolol (Inderal LA)
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- Types of blood pressure medications. American Heart Association. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HighBloodPressure/PreventionTreatmentofHighBloodPressure/Types-of-Blood-Pressure-Medications_UCM_303247_Article.jsp. Accessed Sept. 30, 2010.
- High blood pressure: Medicines to help you. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/forconsumers/byaudience/forwomen/ucm118594.htm. Accessed Sept. 30, 2010.
- Kaplan NM, et al. Indications and contraindications to the use of specific antihypertensive drugs. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Sept. 30, 2010.
- Chobanian AV, et al. The seventh report of the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure. New England Journal of Medicine. 2003;289:2560.