Beta blockers, also known as Beta Adrenergic Blocking Agents, are medication used to keep blood pressure under control. Beta blockers do this by reducing blood pressure levels when it is higher than normal. What beta blockers primarily do is that they block the effects of adrenaline or the hormone epinephrine, which in turn, slows down the heartbeat, reducing blood pressure. Furthermore, beta blockers also work towards opening up the blood vessels which improves the blood flow and allows for the blood to flow smoothly and more efficiently.
Beta blockers can be of two kinds; those that affect the heart alone, and those that work on both the heart and the blood vessels. Depending on your needs and requirements, the beta blockers will be administered as per treatment.
Some common beta blockers that are used consist of Nadolol, Nebivolol, Bisoprolo, Acebutolol, Metoprolol etc.
Beta blockers are prescribed by doctors in order to treat, improve or prevent symptoms pertaining to a number of different conditions. The effects of beta blockers are usually tested on the following conditions:
Beta blockers may be subject to a number of side effects. The side effects of beta blockers range from being highly common to less common. Some of the most common side effects of beta blockers are as follows:
One of the effects of beta blockers which make it an inappropriate medium of treatment, is the ability it possesses to trigger asthma attacks in individuals who suffer from asthma or have suffered from it at some point in their lives. Another effect of beta blockers that may make doctors hesitant in prescribing them is how they can increase triglyceride levels and reduce levels of good cholesterol in the body. However, these effects of beta blockers are short lived and temporary.
One of the side effects of beta blockers that has raised much concern is that of weight gain. Betablockers, especially the older developed ones can possibly lead to weight gain, while the newer ones don’t necessarily lead to that outcome. Furthermore, beta blockers that may lead to weight gain are only prescribed on a last resort basis, that is, if other medications are not working or if a specific betablocker needs to be administered to treat the problem.
One of the possible explanations illustrating why beta blockers may lead to weight gain is that they have the effect of slowing down the metabolism, automatically causing weight issues. Another plausible explanation is that in case you have switched to a beta blocker from a diuretic in order to treat high blood pressure, it may result in a weight gain of a few pounds that was being laid off by the diuretic.
One very important thing to be cautious of when you begin to gain weight is being mindful of how much of it you are gaining. If you are on beta blockers in order to treat heart failure concerns, then a weight gain of more than 4 pounds should be immediately reported to a doctor. Such a weight gain could be a sign of fluid accumulating in the legs, chest or abdomen, signaling a worsening in the heart failure.