Can you tell me more about the side-effects of beta-blockers?
Like all medicines, beta-blockers can cause side-effects. Many of these are mild and will go away after a few weeks. If you have side-effects, it’s important to talk to your doctor who prescribed your medicine rather than stopping taking it. He or she may need to change the dosage or your medicine.
Beta-blockers are medicines that are used to treat a number of conditions including angina, high blood pressure, heart failure, heart attack, glaucoma and anxiety.
Your doctor may prescribe you beta-blockers if you have a heart condition, such as:
Your doctor may also suggest beta-blockers to:
Beta-blockers are also used to relieve the symptoms of anxiety.
Beta-blockers affect the way your heart works by slowing it down and causing it to beat with less force.
They can also help to reduce your blood pressure.
Beta-blockers are only available on prescription from a doctor. The type of beta-blocker you’re prescribed will depend on why you need them. They come as:
The effects of some beta-blockers don’t last very long. So if you need beta-blocker tablets to help control a long-term condition, you may need to take them once or twice a day.
Beta-blockers may be prescribed in combination with other drugs such as nitrates.
Don’t stop taking your beta-blocker medicine suddenly as this may make your symptoms worse. If you need to stop taking them, your doctor will tell you how to reduce your dose gradually.
Always ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice and read the patient information leaflet that comes with your medicine.
Beta-blockers may affect other parts of your body, such as your lungs and muscles.
Your doctor may not prescribe you a beta-blocker, or will need to monitor you closely, if you have:
Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Side-effects are the unwanted effects of taking a medicine. If you have side-effects from your beta-blocker medicine, it’s important to talk to your doctor before you stop taking it.
This section doesn’t include every possible side-effect of beta-blockers. Please read the patient information leaflet that comes with your medicine for more details. Some common side-effects are:
Other side-effects can include:
Check with your doctor or pharmacist before you take any other medicines at the same time as a beta-blocker.
All medicines have a generic name. Many medicines also have one or more brand name. Generic names are in lower case, whereas brand names start with a capital letter. The main types of beta-blocker are shown in the table.
|Generic names||Examples of common brand names|
Reviewed by Kuljeet Battoo, Bupa Health Information Team, July 2013.
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This information was published by Bupa's Health Information Team and is based on reputable sources of medical evidence. It has been reviewed by appropriate medical or clinical professionals. Photos are only for illustrative purposes and do not reflect every presentation of a condition. The content is intended only for general information and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional. For more details on how we produce our content and its sources, visit the about our health information page.
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