Which medications in the drug class Beta-adrenergic blocker are used in the treatment of Graves Disease?

Updated: Apr 17, 2020
  • Author: Sai-Ching Jim Yeung, MD, PhD, FACP; Chief Editor: Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD, FACP  more...
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Beta-adrenergic blocker

Both cardioselective and noncardioselective types are important adjuncts in treating hyperthyroidism. Beta-blockade provides rapid relief of hyperadrenergic symptoms and signs of thyrotoxicosis (eg, palpitations, tremors, anxiety, heat intolerance, various eyelid signs) before any decrease in thyroid hormone levels demonstrated. Also useful in preventing episodes of hypokalemic periodic paralysis in susceptible individuals. DOC for thyroiditis, which is self-limiting. High-dose propranolol can inhibit peripheral T4-to-T3 conversion. Also useful in preparing thyrotoxic patients for surgery.

Propranolol (Inderal, Inderal LA)

DOC in treating cardiac arrhythmias resulting from hyperthyroidism. Controls cardiac and psychomotor manifestations within minutes.

Drug completely absorbed from GI tract; because of extensive first-pass metabolism in liver, systemic bioavailability affected by hepatic blood flow, intrinsic clearance in liver, and genetic and age differences in individuals.

Dosage prediction for IV from prior PO difficult; therefore, careful titration of IV dose necessary.

Atenolol (Tenormin)

Selectively blocks beta1 receptors with little or no effect on beta2 types. Useful in treating cardiac arrhythmias resulting from hyperthyroidism.

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