Home A-E Beta-Blockers: Uses, Types & Side Effects

Beta-Blockers: Uses, Types & Side Effects

Beta-blockers are drugs that reduce stress in the heart and blood vessels. They can also be used for other conditions, including migraines, anxiety, tremor, and other conditions. In this article, we discuss the uses and types of beta-blockers and their possible side effects.


Adrenaline is a hormone that makes you afraid, ready to run, or ready to fight. When you’re scared, angry, or running, your heart rate and blood pressure increase. These are due to the action of the hormone adrenaline on your cardiovascular system. If the body abnormally releases this hormone, you may experience some of the symptoms you experience while running, e.g. rapid heartbeat, high blood pressure, excessive sweating, anxiety, and perception of your heartbeat.

Adrenaline rush

Beta-blockers work by blocking the action of adrenaline on the heart and other organs. Therefore, it widens the blood vessels and reduces the heartbeat.

Uses of Beta-blockers

They are drugs used to manage cardiovascular complaints, such as:

  • Angina
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Hypertension
  • A rapid heartbeat
  • Heart attack

Other uses of beta-blockers include the management of:



Various types of beta-blockers are available for use for various conditions. It is the doctor’s discretion to prescribe any of them to you based on the symptom you have. Examples include:

  • Acebutolol
  • Atenolol
  • Betaxolol
  • Bisoprolol
  • Carvedilol
  • Esmolol
  • Labetalol
  • Metoprolol
  • Nadolol
  • Nebivolol
  • Pindolol
  • Propranolol
  • Sotalol
  • Timolol

Side effects

Beta-blockers block adrenaline all around the body and can cause side effects by doing the opposite of what adrenaline originally does. Some of these include:

  • Slowing of the heartbeat
  • Reduction of the blood pressure
  • Cold feet and hands
  • Tiredness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Memory loss
  • Confusion
  • Swelling of the body
  • Heart block
  • Exacerbation of asthma


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