Boots WebMD Partners in Health
Return To Boots

Heart disease health centre

Select a topic to explore more.
Select An Article


Beta-blockers are one of the most commonly prescribed medications for heart disease.

Beta-blockers, also known as beta-adrenoceptor blocking agents, work by slowing down the heart and stopping it beating too quickly and too forcefully. This reduces the amount of work the heart has to do and also increases the amount of blood it is able to pump with each beat. This is done by blocking the release of the hormones adrenaline and noradrenaline in some parts of the body.

Beta-blockers are life savers for people with heart failure and others with fragile hearts badly damaged by heart attacks. However, they're also given to people whose hearts aren't so fragile, including people with:

Other non-heart related uses for beta- blockers include:

Beta-blocker side-effects

Side effects of beta-blocker treatment include:

Never stop taking beta-blockers without seeking medical advice.

Make sure your doctor or pharmacist knows about other medical conditions, such as asthma, and treatments you are taking, including supplements so they can check for possible interactions between medicines.

Beta-blocker medication should be taken as directed by the doctor. Seek medical advice if a dose is missed or an extra dose taken by mistake.

Next Article:

WebMD Medical Reference

Medically Reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks on October 22, 2014

Heart disease newsletter

The latest heart health news and information, delivered to your inbox.
Sign Up

Popular slideshows & tools on BootsWebMD

man holding back
Myths & facts about back pain
hands grabbing knee
How to keep your joints healthy
bowl of soup
Small changes that lead to weight loss
cute baby
Simple tips to keep baby's skin healthy
cute dog
10 common allergy triggers
Do you know what causes hair loss?
woman exercising
Exercises for low back pain
sperm and egg
Facts to help you get pregnant
bucket with cleaning supplies in it
Cleaning for a healthy home
rash on skin
Soothe skin and prevent flare-ups
mother and child
Could your baby be allergic to milk?
pregnant woman eating healthy salad
Nutrition needs before pregnancy