According to Patient, beta-blockers
are drugs prescribed to many patients to lower blood pressure, treat angina, control abnormal heart rhythms and prevent heart attack. The medication is effective and powerful but there are still beta-blocker risks you should discuss with your doctor.
Beta-blockers slow the heart by blocking adrenaline your body produces naturally. According to WebMD, although many people who take beta-blockers
will not have side effects, others may experience fatigue, dizziness or shortness of breath, as well as headache, upset stomach, constipation or diarrhea, or other minor discomforts.
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Here are seven risks of beta-blockers your doctor doesn't tell you:
People with asthma or COPD should not take beta-blockers, which may trigger severe asthma attacks or otherwise worsen symptoms, according to the Mayo Clinic
. Doctors don't normally prescribe them for those conditions.
If you have diabetes, beta-blockers could prevent warning signs of low blood sugar like a rapid heartbeat. Be sure to monitor your blood sugar as directed if you take beta-blockers, reports the Mayo Clinic.
Beta-blockers may trigger a modest increase in triglycerides, fats in the blood, while slightly decreasing high-density lipoprotein, the "good" cholesterol that cleans the arteries of unhealthy cholesterol, according to the Mayo Clinic. Although these effects are generally temporary, be sure you have regular cholesterol checks.
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Beta blockers are occasionally prescribed for other conditions not related to blood pressure. Doctors don't usually prescribe them for low blood pressure or a slow pulse, which can lower the heart rate, causing dizziness and lightheadedness, according to WebMD. Patients should record their pulse regularly and contact their doctor if the pulse is slower than normal.
Beta blockers stimulate the muscles that surround the air passages so they contract and lead to difficulty in breathing, according to MedicineNet.com.
Talk to your doctor about all other medications you take, including those sold over the counter. Aspirin, for example, may interact with your prescribed beta-blockers and reduce the effects.
Suddenly stopping the medication could increase beta-blocker risks such as heart troubles or even a heart attack. A doctor will advise you on stopping the medication by slowly decreasing the dosage.
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