Blockers are a type of drug which block epinephrine
's effect on various
beta receptors in the body. They can be used to treat a variety of conditions, including many type
s of hypertension
caused by too much adrenaline
being produced by the body, or overly sensitive
There are esentially two types of beta receptors in the body, and some beta blockers work only one one type. The first type, a beta 1 receptor, is mostly located in the heart. These receptors are stimulated by adrenaline which causes the heart to beat faster. Primarily these receptors should be signaled when the body needs more blood pumped, such as during physical activity. Beta Blockers that block these types of receptors can be used to treat a variety of conditions such as high blood pressure, rapid heart beat, and some arrythmias by causing the heart rate to slow down and beat less forcefully. This also means that the heart does not need as much oxygen, and this can be an effective treatment for heart diesease or other problems where the heart is not getting enough oxygen. Studies have shown that these types of beta blockers have been very helpful in prolonging the life of persons who have had prior heart attacks or high blood pressure.
The other type of beta blocker blocks beta 2 receptors in addition to beta 1 receptors. Beta 2 receptors are found all over the body, primarily in muscles, the lungs, and arterioles. Beta 2 blockers cause a variety of effects such as relaxing the lungs, the arterioles, and muscles. Because of their ability to relax arterioles, they can be used to treat migranes. Because of the effect on muscles, they can be used to treat stage fright and shaking from anxiety.
Beta 1 blockers can be used to treat
Beta 2 blockers, in addition to the above, can be used to treat
Side effects from using beta blockers can include