There are medicines known as beta blockers
. These medicines affect the way your body will respond to nerve impulses. In general, this decreases the force, along with rate, of your heart's contractions. This action can reduce blood pressure and lower the heart's oxygen demand.
Beta blockers are effective because they block the effects of a certain hormone called epinephrine. This is also called adrenaline. By taking beta blockers, your heart will beat with less force and beat more slowly. This results in lower blood pressure. They can be used to open blood vessels which can improve blood flow.
Treating high blood pressure is the main reason people take these drugs. There also types that are used to relieve chest pain as well as to stop heart attacks for those who had them in the past. They may be prescribed to treat other conditions, like tremors, migraine headaches, generalized anxiety disorder, and heartbeat irregularities. They can also be prescribed in eye drop form, to treat some types of glaucoma.
How Beta Blockers work
Beta-adrenergic blocking agent is the full name of these drugs. This type of drug works because they block the beta receptors that are in the body. Beta receptors can be found in many places inside the body, and this includes the heart and the blood vessels. When stress hormones like adrenaline bind up with these receptors, it causes certain reactions to take place inside body. These may include:
- Increased heart rate
- Increased heart pump force
- Higher blood pressure
- Lung opening of airways
- Constricted blood vessels
Side effects of Beta Blockers
Most of those who use beta blockers will not have any problems, but some side effects may occur. The more common effects of using beta blockers are slower heart rate, dizziness, and fatigue. Other side effects that are less common include: trouble sleeping, depression, and loss of sex drive.
Generally, you doctor will be able to treat any of the side effects. It is important, though, that you tell your doctor should you notice any of the serious side effects. This would include chest pain, difficulty in breathing, or any rapid weight gain.
The central nervous system (CNS) side effects of using beta blockers are: headache, depression, dizziness, confusion, and nightmares.
There can be sexual problems as well when using beta blockers. These are: impotence, decreased sex drive, and an abnormal curve of the penis. Tell you doctor if you develop the above listed sexual side effects if you taking beta blockers. He can prescribe erectile dysfunction medication. He may also prescribe a different type of beta blocker.
You and your doctor should discuss the warnings associated with your beta blocker before you take the medicine. This will ensure a safer treatment process. If you hae certain medical conditions, you should not use beta blockers. These might include hypothyroidism, liver disease, and asthma. Beta blockers may make these conditions worse in some cases. Its use can lead to serious health complications.
Overdosing on beta blockers is possible. The exact type of symptoms found with overdose can vary. This often depends on the medication that was ingested. Overdose symptoms may include: low blood pressure, low heart rate, and breathing problems. Emergency treatment for overdose may include stomach pumping, medications, as well as other treatment options.