Beta blockers are prescription medications that prevent norepinephrine and epinephrine (also called adrenaline) from attaching to the beta receptors on your nerves. To learn more about beta blockers, read on.

Things You Will Need

You will need additional information about beta blockers from your doctor.

Step 1

Beta blockers are often prescribed to treat high blood pressure, angina (or chest pain), migraines, an abnormal heart rhythm, glaucoma, and a few other health conditions. Sometimes they may be prescribed to a person who has suffered a heart attack in order to prevent future heart attacks.

Step 2

Some people take beta blockers for the treatment of anxiety. Indeed, some individuals who have to do a lot of public speaking for their jobs sometimes take very low doses of beta blockers right before their speaking engagements in order to better manage their feelings of stage fright.

Step 3

You should be aware that some people who use beta blockers do experience side effects. The most common beta blocker side effects include a cold feeling in the hands, weakness, aches and pains, dizziness, and fatigue.

Step 4

Rarer beta blocker side effects may include a decreased libido, feelings of depression and sadness, insomnia, and shortness of breath.

Step 5

People with asthma are typically not prescribed beta blockers because beta blocker side effects can include asthma attacks in people with asthmatic histories. Diabetics are also advised not to use beta blockers because they may mask diabetic symptoms and thereby place the diabetic individual's life in danger.

Step 6

Beta blocker side effects may also include an impact on cholesterol levels, raising both "bad" and "good" cholesterol levels in some individuals, so people with high cholesterol should proceed with caution when it comes to beta blockers.

Patients are strongly advised to wean slowly off of beta blockers rather than stopping them abruptly, as an abrupt stop can lead to heart-related health problems.

Tips & Warnings

Beta blockers are effective but serious medications and beta blocker side effects can be quite pronounced in some individuals. Talk at length with your doctor about whether or not beta blockers would be an appropriate treatment choice for you, given your particular health history and medical needs.

Then again, if your doctor does happen to approve the use of this particular medication for you, you may find that it greatly improves your quality of life on a wide variety of levels. Remember, you can start off on a very low dosage if either you or your doctor has any special concerns or worries about using this medicine.