Do not simply stop beta-blockers: possible heart attack

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Hypertensive patients should not discontinue beta-blockers without medical advice. Because the consequence can be tachycardia or even a heart attack.

Experts speak of high blood pressure when the blood pressure is at least 24 hours above the systolic and diastolic values ​​of 140 to 90 mmHg. However, the warning signs of high blood pressure are often not felt or interpreted by sufferers as directly described by the patient with high blood pressure. It is all the more important to measure blood pressure regularly at the doctor’s office, in the pharmacy or at home. The better sufferers know their blood pressure values ​​and receive drug therapy when necessary, the easier it is to prevent subsequent damage such as strokes and heart attacks. Anyone taking a beta blocker to lower blood pressure should not simply stop taking it on their own if side effects or other reasons occur. It is important to always do this in consultation with the treating family doctor or cardiologist.

Lower blood pressure: what therapies are there?

Blood pressure lowering drugs such as beta blockers should never be stopped on your own without consulting a doctor. (Iconic image) © imagebroker/Imago

About three million people in Germany live with high blood pressure, about one in three is affected. Over 30 percent of sufferers do not know anything about their illness – why is that so? High blood pressure causes no or only non-specific symptoms. “You can’t see and you can’t feel, that’s the insidious thing about high blood pressure. That is why high blood pressure is also called the “silent killer”, as Prof. Dr. Dr. Thomas Eschenhagen, member of the scientific advisory board of the German Heart Foundation and head of the Institute of Experimental Pharmacology and Toxicology at the University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf, describes the German Heart Foundation. High blood pressure is actually the #1 risk factor for stroke and heart attack.

88 percent of sufferers who know their high blood pressure can be treated German Heart Foundation. More than three-quarters of patients also achieve blood pressure values ​​within the normal range as a result of the therapy.

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If blood pressure cannot be brought below 140 to 90 mmHg simply by an adapted lifestyle with lots of exercise and a healthy Mediterranean diet, drugs called antihypertensives are usually used. These require a prescription and are prescribed by the attending physician. Preparations that are loud German Heart Foundation used in drug treatment of high blood pressure are:

  • Beta blockers, alpha 2 agonists and alpha blockers
  • ACE inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers
  • Calcium antagonists/calcium channel blockers
  • Diuretics (medicines that drain water)
  • Direct renin inhibitors (substances such as irbesartan and candesartan)

Withdrawal of beta-blockers: what to watch out for in high blood pressure and heart failure

In many cases, a lower dose of beta-blocker is started at the beginning of blood pressure treatment and gradually increased. As a result, possible side effects can be reduced or avoided. The same applies at the end of treatment with beta-blockers: the doctor recommends that the tablets should never be stopped suddenly, but gradually reduced. The original evening dose is gradually reduced to zero over the course of weeks. Only then should you stop taking beta blockers completely, as in Focus Online practical tips is described.

Abrupt discontinuation of antihypertensive medication can result in serious side effects such as cardiac arrhythmia, a rapid rise in blood pressure, or even tachycardia. People with heart failure or reduced blood supply to the heart muscle (angina) may even have a heart attack if they suddenly stop taking beta blockers. The higher the dose of beta-blockers initially used, the higher the risk of side effects Focus online further. Reasons for discontinuing a beta-blocker may be side effects of the drug from ingestion, a change in drug, or temporary therapy.

This article contains only general information on the relevant health topic and is therefore not intended for self-diagnosis, treatment or medication. In no case does it replace a doctor’s visit. Unfortunately, our editors are not authorized to answer individual questions regarding clinical images.

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