What are they for?
Beta-blockers help to prevent the heart from beating too quickly and too forcefully, reducing the work the heart has to do. They can:
- Increase the amount of blood your heart pumps out
- Control heart rhythm problems
- Help keep you well
- Increase your chances of living longer
|The beta-blocker you are taking is:
|The dose you should take is:
How do I take them?
Take them once a day in the morning. The doctor or nurse may ask you to take them before bedtime. Other medication, such as diuretics, may also need to be changed when you start taking beta-blockers but this will be discussed with you.
What are the main side effects?
- Tiredness, usually only for the first few days of starting this medication or increasing its dose
- Mood swings when you first start taking the beta-blockers
- Disturbed sleep
- Cold hands and, or feet
- If you have psoriasis, beta-blockers may make this skin condition worse
Which side effects should I tell my doctor or nurse about?
- Shortness of breath
- Extreme dizziness or fainting
What else do I need to know?
You will be prescribed a low dose of beta-blocker to begin with. It may have to be increased slowly until the right dose is reached. It can take a few weeks or months to experience the benefits of taking beta-blockers and you may even feel that your symptoms are getting worse to begin with. But, please be patient, in the long term, taking beta-blockers helps to reduce the risk of your condition getting worse.
If you have diabetes, taking beta-blockers can affect the way that you feel if you have low blood sugar. You may need to check your blood sugar more frequently when you first start taking beta-blockers.
If you have asthma, you may not be able to take betablockers, as they may make your asthma worse. Check with your doctor or nurse before taking them.
South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust would like your feedback. If you wish to share your experience about your care and treatment or on behalf of a patient, please contact The Patient Experience Department who will advise you on how best to do this.
This service is based at The James Cook University Hospital but also covers the Friarage Hospital in Northallerton, our community hospitals and community health services.