beta-blocker

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beta-blocker

or

beta-adrenergic blocking agent

(bā`tə ăd'rənûr`jĭk), drug that reduces the symptoms connected with hypertensionhypertension
or high blood pressure,
elevated blood pressure resulting from an increase in the amount of blood pumped by the heart or from increased resistance to the flow of blood through the small arterial blood vessels (arterioles).
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, cardiac arrhythmiasarrhythmia
, disturbance in the rate or rhythm of the heartbeat. Various arrhythmias can be symptoms of serious heart disorders; however, they are usually of no medical significance except in the presence of additional symptoms.
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, angina pectorisangina pectoris
, condition characterized by chest pain that occurs when the muscles of the heart receive an insufficient supply of oxygen. This results when the arteries that supply the heart muscle with oxygenated blood are narrowed by arteriosclerosis.
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, migrainemigraine
, headache characterized by recurrent attacks of severe pain, usually on one side of the head. It may be preceded by flashes or spots before the eyes or a ringing in the ears, and accompanied by double vision, nausea, vomiting, or dizziness.
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 headaches, and other disorders related to the sympathetic nervous systemnervous system,
network of specialized tissue that controls actions and reactions of the body and its adjustment to the environment. Virtually all members of the animal kingdom have at least a rudimentary nervous system.
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. Beta-blockers also are sometimes given after heart attacks to stabilize the heartbeat. Within the sympathetic nervous system, beta-adrenergic receptors are located mainly in the heart, lungs, kidneys, and blood vessels. Beta-blockers compete with the nerve-stimulating hormone epinephrineepinephrine
, hormone important to the body's metabolism, also known as adrenaline. Epinephrine, a catecholamine, together with norepinephrine, is secreted principally by the medulla of the adrenal gland.
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 for these receptor sites and thus interfere with the action of epinephrine, lowering blood pressure and heart rate, stopping arrhythmias, and preventing migraine headaches. Because it is also epinephrine that prepares the body for "fight or flight" in stressful or fearful situations, beta-blockers are sometimes used as antianxiety drugsantianxiety drug,
drug administered for the relief of anxiety. Although their action is not fully understood, most antianxiety medications appear to affect the action of neurotransmitters in the brain (see serotonin and norepinephrine).
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, especially for stage fright and the like. People taking a beta-blocker must avoid caffeine, alcohol, and salty foods, because the interaction of those substances and the drug can raise the heart rate and blood pressure. Propranolol (Inderal) is a commonly used beta-blocker.
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beta-blocker

Medicine any of a class of drugs, such as propranolol, that inhibit the activity of the nerves that are stimulated by adrenaline; they therefore decrease the contraction and speed of the heart: used in the treatment of high blood pressure and angina pectoris
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Unfortunately, beta-blockers do not have an effect beyond blood pressure and heart rate lowering in patients with diastolic heart failure.
A head-to-head comparison of TTFC and beta-blocker treatment in patients with OAG or OHT with insufficient IOP reduction with beta-blocker monotherapy has not been investigated previously.
The large-scale placebo-controlled beta-blocker studies in systolic heart failure revisited: results from CIBIS-II, COPERNICUS and SENIORS-SHF compared with stratified subsets from MERIT-HF.
This meta-meta-analysis also included three meta-analyses of comparative trials of beta-blockers versus diuretics and three meta-analyses of beta-blockers compared with other drugs.
As described above, new generations of beta-blockers, such as the long-acting and/or vasodilatory beta-blockers may overcome the relatively weak effect of beta-blockers in preventing cardiovascular events.
Patients in the first cohort received a higher percentage of their prescribed beta-blockers post-operatively than patients in the second cohort but overall most patients received most of their prescribed beta-blockers (Table 3).
Overall, the researchers found that adding beta-blockers as the second-line drug, in combination with thiazide diuretics or calcium channel blockers, caused an additional blood pressure reduction.
The incidence of depression in new users of beta-blockers and selected antihypertensives.
Beta-blockers attach themselves to the same receptors on cancer cells used by these hormones, potentially reducing their ability to stimulate the cell and trigger spread.
A Beta-blockers are used to treat high blood pressure, heart failure and other conditions.