Which medications in the drug class Beta-Blockers, Beta-1 Selective are used in the treatment of Unstable Angina?

Updated: Oct 01, 2020
  • Author: Walter Tan, MD, MS; Chief Editor: Eric H Yang, MD  more...
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Beta-Blockers, Beta-1 Selective

Selective beta1-adrenergic blocking agents limit heart rate, reduce blood pressure, and exert antiarrhythmic effects by targeting beta1 receptor sites. All beta-adrenergic blocking agents thus decrease myocardial oxygen demand and oppose the effects of elevated catecholamines. Infrequent situations in which beta-blocker therapy should be avoided in patients with unstable angina include nonischemic exacerbation of heart failure, cocaine-induced coronary vasoconstriction, and vasospastic angina.

Atenolol (Tenormin)

Atenolol (Tenormin)

Atenolol blocks beta1 receptors but has little or no effect on beta2 types. Beta blockers affect blood pressure via multiple mechanisms, including a negative chronotropic effect that decreases heart rate at rest and after exercise, a negative inotropic effect that decreases cardiac output, reduction of sympathetic outflow from the central nervous system (CNS), and suppression of renin release. Atenolol improves and preserves hemodynamic status by acting on myocardial contractility, reducing congestion, and decreasing myocardial energy expenditure.

Metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol XL)

Metoprolol is a selective beta1-adrenergic receptor blocker that decreases the automaticity of contractions. During intravenous (IV) administration, carefully monitor blood pressure, heart rate, and the electrocardiogram (ECG).

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