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|Drug treatments: Beta blockers|
Many beta blockers are now available, including:
The drugs may differ in their effects and benefits.
Problems with beta blockers
On the downside, studies suggest an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes in people who take beta blockers. Also, people who already have diabetes should use caution taking beta blockers with other high blood pressure medications. This is because beta blockers may mask the symptoms of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), which can be dangerous.
Because beta blockers can narrow bronchial airways, patients with asthma, emphysema, and chronic bronchitis should be cautious when taking beta blockers and should watch for signs of increased wheezing or shortness of breath. Some beta blockers tend to lower HDL cholesterol (the "good" cholesterol).
In general, the benefits of beta blocker therapy usually outweigh the side effects.
Possible side effects include:
Reviewed By: Steven Kang, MD, Division of Cardiac Pacing and Electrophysiology, East Bay Arrhythmia, Cardiovascular Consultants Medical Group, Oakland, CA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.