Medications in this class include:
- Bisoprolol (Monocor®)
- Carvedilol (Coreg®)
- Metoprolol (Lopressor®)
How do beta-blockers work?
Beta-blockers block the stress hormones that cause your heart to enlarge and become weak. They also lower your resting heart rate. Beta-blockers have been shown to make people with heart failure live longer and feel better.
When should I take this medication?
- Take this medication at the same time(s) every day.
What are the common side effects?
- Beta-blockers can cause your blood pressure to drop and may make you feel dizzy
- They also slow the heart rate, which can also cause you to feel dizzy or lightheaded
- If you have a history of asthma, beta-blockers may make you feel wheezy or short of breath. It this happens, contact your healthcare provider immediately.
- Feeling less interested or able to have sex.
- Trouble sleeping.
- Constipation, diarrhea or an upset stomach.
- Feeling tired or weak.
- Initially, you may feel more tired, short of breath or dizzy. As your heart begins to adjust, you should begin to feel better. This may take several months. However, if your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse, you may need to reduce or stop the beta-blocker after a discussion with your health care provider.
What should I remember while taking this medication?
- This medicine can make you feel dizzy.
- To avoid feeling dizzy, stand up slowly if you have been sitting or lying down.
- Drinking alcohol may make dizziness worse.
- Do not drive a car or operate machinery if this medication makes you feel dizzy.
- This medication may cause changes in your blood sugar levels. It may also hide your usual signs of low blood sugar. If you have diabetes, ask your health care provider how this will affect the way you manage your diabetes.
- Do not change the dose or stop taking this medicine without talking to your doctor and/or pharmacist, even if you feel well. Suddenly stopping this medication can cause serious heart problems.
- Check with your health care provider and/or pharmacist before taking any other medication, vitamin or herbal remedy.
What should I do if I miss a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the dose you missed. Take the next dose at the regular time. Do not take two doses at the same time. If you are unsure of what to do, talk to your health care provider or pharmacist.