Beta-Blockers for Fast Heart Rates
How It Works
Beta-blockers help slow the heart rate by
blocking the effect of the hormone adrenaline. This reduces the number of
electrical impulses that pass through the
atrioventricular (AV) node to the lower heart chambers
Why It Is Used
Beta-blockers are used to help control
the heart rate and prevent episodes of
supraventricular tachycardia. They are also used to
treat high blood pressure and angina (chest pain).
How Well It Works
Beta-blockers are very effective at
slowing the heart rate.1 Some of the medicines have also been shown to be
helpful for people with coronary artery disease or heart failure.
Side effects of beta-blockers include:
See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug
Reference is not available in all systems.)
What To Think About
Beta-blockers can sometimes slow
down the heart rate too much. Close monitoring during treatment is important,
although most people do not have serious side effects from this
Some of these medicines may make symptoms worse in
people who have asthma,
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or heart
failure with a lot of excess fluid build-up.
Complete the new medication information form (PDF)(What is a PDF document?) to help you understand this medication.
Drugs for cardiac arrhythmias (2007). Treatment Guidelines From The Medical Letter, 5(58): 51-58.