beta-adrenoceptor blocking drugs
beta-adrenoceptor blocking drugsBeta blockers. Drugs that selectively block the action of adrenaline on the BETA ADRENOCEPTORS. Stimulation of beta adrenoceptors speeds the heart and increases its contractility. Beta blockers have the opposite effect. They are used to treat HEART FAILURE, ANGINA PECTORIS, complicated high blood pressure, heart irregularities, ANXIETY and MIGRAINE. Overdosage causes a very slow pulse, low blood pressure, convulsions and coma. Up to 35 per cent of patients have genetic mutations that affect their response to these drugs. This large class of drugs includes atenolol, propranolol, sotalol, levobunolol, metoprolol, timolol, betaxolol, esmolol, celiprolol, nodolol, carvedilol, bisoprolol, pindolol, oxprenolol, acebutolol, etc. Beta blockers have been found to reduce the risk of death in hospital among high-risk patients undergoing major non-cardiac surgery. They were developed by the Scottish-born pharmacologist Sir James Whyte Black (1924) who also developed the drug CIMETIDINE. See also ADRENERGIC-BLOCKING DRUGS.
Collins Dictionary of Medicine © Robert M. Youngson 2004, 2005