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Managing Diabetes - Drugs and New Products

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Drugs for Blood Pressure

  ACE-inhibitors (information to be supplied)

  AT1 receptor blockers (information to be supplied)

  Beta-blockers

  Calcium antagonists (information to be supplied)

Beta-blockers

What are beta-blockers?

These drugs block the action of adrenaline and stop it from stimulating special receptors in the body known as beta-receptors. They are used to treat high blood pressure, angina and abnormal rhythms of the heart.

What are the common preparations?

Commonly used beta-blockers include Atenolol, metoprolol, propranolol, nadolol and sotalol.

What are the side effects?

  • wheezing
  • feeling tired and run down
  • cold hands and cold feet
  • nightmares (with some preparations)
  • erectile dysfunction
  • breathlessness
  • excessive slowing of the pulse
  • dizzyness
  • depression
Who should not take beta-blockers?
  • People with asthma (wheezing)
  • People with circulatory problems (peripheral vascular disease)
What precautions should be taken?
  • certain drugs may increase the effects of beta-blockers e.g. may cause excessive slowing of the heart
  • you should not stop these tablets abruptly -this can be dangerous, especially if you have angina. Always renew your prescription early and do not discontinue without discussion with your doctor

 

Dr. Nishan Wijenaike, Consultant Physician
2002 West Suffolk Hospitals Diabetes Service
October 2002

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West Suffolk Hospitals NHS Trust, Hardwick Lane, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk IP33 2QZ, tel:01284 713000