Vasodilating Versus First-Generation β-Blockers for Cardiovascular Protection

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Hassan Fares, MD; Carl J. Lavie, MD, FACC; Hector O. Ventura, MD, FACC

Table of Contents

Postgraduate Medicine:

Volume 124 No. 2

Category:

Clinical Focus

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DOI: 10.3810/pgm.2012.03.2532
Abstract: The utility of β-blockers in the treatment of hypertension has created much speculation as to their efficacy in patients with comorbid conditions, and there are concerns regarding their adverse metabolic effects. It is important to note that these findings were observed with traditional β-blockers, such as atenolol and metoprolol. The newer generation of β-blockers, namely carvedilol and nebivolol, is changing the manner in which β-blockers are viewed in hypertension management. Their ability to inhibit A1 adrenoreceptors and influence nitric oxide leads to vasodilation, which traditional β-blockers fail to do. These agents have been shown to have favorable metabolic effects while maintaining the beneficial cardiovascular effects of this drug class in post-myocardial infarction patients and the heart failure population.

Keywords: hypertension; β-blockers; cardiovascular disease