New US study questions beta blocker effects
Beta blockers are used as standard therapy for high blood pressure and coronary heart disease. Especially patients who have already had a heart attack or stroke swallow the pills, which are said to inhibit the effects of the "stress hormone" adrenaline and the neurotransmitter noradrenaline. However, according to a US study, the risk of heart attack and stroke is not reduced by taking beta blockers. The scientists from the School of Medicine at the University of New York were unable to find any protective effect of the medication at all.
Beta blockers do not reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke For around 40 years, beta blockers have been a common means of lowering high blood pressure. They are also said to protect against heart attacks and strokes. In a US study, however, the supposed "all-purpose weapon" against coronary heart disease proved to be useless. Accordingly, taking beta blockers does not reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke.
Scientists from the School of Medicine at the University of New York examined 44,708 patients with heart problems over a period of 3 years. "In this observational study of patients with either only known risk factors for coronary artery disease, a previously suffered myocardial infarction or a known coronary artery disease without a heart attack, the use of beta-blockers could not be associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular events," says the "Journal of the American Medical Association ”. Accordingly, taking the drug has no effect on the risk of heart attack or stroke. Even patients who had already suffered a heart attack are not protected from a second infarction by taking beta-blockers, the scientists said.
Beta-blockers often have strong side effects As early as 2009, scientists questioned the use of beta-blockers for the treatment of high blood pressure (hypertension). The drugs are less effective than long thought. At the time, advocates argued that the drugs may not be as effective but not harmful. The side effects are minor.
In medical circles, beta blockers are actually well tolerated. Nevertheless, there are always side effects that those affected often find to be very restrictive. These include dizziness, fatigue, depressed moods and erectile dysfunction. Heart failure, asthma attacks, delayed onset of symptoms associated with hypoglycaemia, slowing of the pulse and the increase in peripheral circulatory disorders can also occur.
In addition to the treatment of high blood pressure, beta blockers are used for coronary heart diseases and heart attacks, heart failure, rapid heartbeat, irregular heartbeat, tremor disorders, hyperthyroidism, migraines, glaucoma, pheochromocytoma, anxiety and for the prevention of esophageal variceal bleeding (bleeding from varicose veins) in the varicose veins. (ag)
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