Beta Blockers and Its Side Effects

Beta blockers are drugs that are used to treat variety of conditions such as hypertension. These are beta adrenergic blocking agents.

Beta blockers are widely used to treat symptoms of social anxiety by blocking adrenaline receptors. It works best with performance anxiety such as music recitals, public speaking as it reduces anxiety.

B0008351 Beta blocker crystals
B0008351 Beta blocker crystals (Photo credit: wellcome images)

How do beta blockers work?

Beta blockers are used to block norepinephrine as well as epinephrine or adrenaline from becoming clotted in beta receptors or the nerves.  Beta blockers block the effect of adrenaline on the body. Adrenaline is made in the adrenal gland.

When the end of some nerves get stimulated, they release noradrenaline that stimulates beta adrenergic receptors. The stimulation of these receptors causes various effects such as increasing heart rate.

Adrenaline also stimulates beta adrenergic receptors. When you are frightened, your body releases a lot of adrenaline in the blood and that’s why your heart beat increases at such situations.  The beta blockers block the stimulation of the receptor and thus reduce the heart beat rate.

Beta blockers are used to treat chest pains, irregular heartbeat, hypertension, migraine attacks, tremors and more.

Side effects of beta blockers

Using beta blockers may develop some side effects. The common side effects include dry mouth, eyes and skin, cold hands and feet, drowsiness and dizziness. Owing to the narrowing of small blood vessels, some people develop cool hands and feet. Sometimes the heart rate becomes slow that cause drowsiness and dizziness.

Carvedilol is a non selective beta blocker and is used to treat congestive heart failure. The most common carvedilol side effects include dizziness, fatigue, diarrhea and weight gain. Besides other side effects including shortness of breath swelling of hands and feet also occur.

Some people develop Stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea are some of the side effects of using beta blockers. Cold feelings in hands and feet, insomnia, anxiety nervousness are other side effects. Tiredness, depression, impotence, nightmares and insomnia occur in some people.

Beta blockers also affect mood, emotion and state of mind. However, it is not advisable to stop the medication abruptly as it can put at high risk of strokes and heart attacks. People with asthmatics, diabetics should not use beta blockers. Also you should look at the avelox side effects.