- Management of hypertension.
- Management of angina pectoris.
- Migraine prophylaxis.
- Tremors (essential, lithium-induced, parkinsonian).
- Aggressive behavior.
- Antipsychotic-associated akathisia.
- Situational anxiety.
- Esophageal varices.
- Reduction of intraocular pressure.
Blocks stimulation of beta1 (myocardial) and beta2 (pulmonary, vascular, and uterine) receptor sites.
Decreased heart rate and BP.
Absorption: 30% absorbed after oral administration.
Distribution: Minimal penetration of the CNS. Crosses the placenta and enters breast milk.
Metabolism and Excretion: 70% excreted unchanged by the kidneys.
Half-life: 10–24 hr (↑ in renal impairment).
TIME/ACTION PROFILE (anithypertensive effects)
|PO†||up to 5 days||6–9 days||24 hr|
- Uncompensated HF;
- Pulmonary edema;
- Cardiogenic shock;
- Bradycardia or heart block.
Use Cautiously in:
- Renal impairment (CCr <50 mL/min);
- Hepatic impairment;
- Pulmonary disease (including asthma);
- Diabetes mellitus (may mask signs of hypoglycemia);
- Thyrotoxicosis (may mask symptoms);
- Patients with a history of severe allergic reactions (intensity of reactions may be ↑);
- OB: Crosses the placenta and may cause fetal/neonatal bradycardia, hypotension, hypoglycemia, or respiratory depression;
- Lactation: Pedi: Safety not established;
- Geri: ↑ sensitivity to beta blockers; initial dose ↓ recommended.
Adverse Reactions/Side Effects
CNS: fatigue, weakness, anxiety, depression, dizziness, drowsiness, insomnia, memory loss, mental status changes, nightmares
EENT: blurred vision, dry eyes, nasal stuffiness
Resp: bronchospasm, wheezing
CV: ARRHYTHMIAS, BRADYCARDIA, HF, PULMONARY EDEMA, orthostatic hypotension, peripheral vasoconstriction
GI: constipation, diarrhea, nausea
GU: erectile dysfunction, ↓ libido
Derm: itching, rashes
Endo: hyperglycemia, hypoglycemia
MS: arthralgia, back pain, muscle cramps
Misc: drug-induced lupus syndrome
* CAPITALS indicate life-threatening.
Underline indicate most frequent.
- General anesthesia, IV phenytoin, diltiazem, and verapamil may cause additive myocardial depression.
- Additive bradycardia may occur with digoxin.
- Additive hypotension may occur with other antihypertensives, acute ingestion of alcohol, or nitrates.
- Concurrent use with amphetamines, cocaine, ephedrine, epinephrine, norepinephrine, phenylephrine, or pseudoephedrine may result in unopposed alpha-adrenergic stimulation (excessive hypertension, bradycardia).
- Concurrent use with clonidine ↑ hypotension and bradycardia.
- Concurrent thyroid administration may ↓ effectiveness.
- May alter the effectiveness of insulins or oral hypoglycemic agents (dosage adjustments may be necessary).
- May ↓ the effectiveness of theophylline.
- May ↓ the effects of dopamine or dobutamine.
- Use cautiously within 14 days of MAO inhibitor therapy (may result in hypertension).
- Concurrent NSAIDs may ↓ antihypertensive action.
PO (Adults): Antianginal– 40 mg once daily initially; may ↑ by 40–80 mg/day q 3–7 days as needed (up to 240 mg/day). Antihypertensive– 40 mg once daily initially; may ↑ by 40–80 mg/day q 7 days as needed (up to 320 mg/day).
PO (Adults): CCr 31–50 mL/min– ↑ dosing interval to 24–36 hr; CCr 10–30 mL/min– ↑ dosing interval to 24–48 hr; CCr <10 mL/min– ↑ dosing interval to 40–60 hr.
Availability (generic available)
Tablets: 20 mg, 40 mg, 80 mg
In Combination with: bendroflumethiazide (Corzide). See combination drugs.
- Monitor BP and pulse frequently during dose adjustment and periodically during therapy. Assess for orthostatic hypotension when assisting patient up from supine position.
- Monitor intake and output ratios and daily weight. Assess patient routinely for evidence of fluid overload (peripheral edema, dyspnea, rales/crackles, fatigue, weight gain, jugular venous distention).
- Hypertension: Check frequency of refills to determine compliance.
- Angina: Assess frequency and characteristics of angina periodically during therapy.
Lab Test Considerations:
May cause increased BUN, serum lipoprotein, potassium, triglyceride, and uric acid levels.
- May cause increased ANA titers.
- May cause increase in blood glucose levels.
Toxicity and Overdose:
Monitor patients receiving beta blockers for signs of overdose (bradycardia, severe dizziness or fainting, severe drowsiness, dyspnea, bluish fingernails or palms, seizures). Notify physician or other health care professional immediately if these signs occur.
- Discontinuation of concurrent clonidine should be done gradually, with beta blocker discontinued first; then, after several days, discontinue clonidine.
- PO Take apical pulse before administering. If <50 bpm or if arrhythmia occurs, withhold medication and notify physician or other health care professional.
- May be administered with food or on an empty stomach.
- Tablets may be crushed and mixed with food.
- Instruct patient to take medication exactly as directed, at the same time each day, even if feeling well; do not skip or double up on missed doses. Take missed doses as soon as possible up to 8 hr before next dose. Abrupt withdrawal may precipitate life-threatening arrhythmias, hypertension, or myocardial ischemia.
- Advise patient to ensure that enough medication is available for weekends, holidays, and vacations. A written prescription may be kept in wallet for emergencies.
- Teach patient and family how to check pulse and BP. Instruct them to check pulse daily and BP biweekly. Advise patient to hold dose and contact health care professional if pulse is <50 bpm or if BP changes significantly.
- May cause drowsiness or dizziness. Caution patients to avoid driving or other activities that require alertness until response to the drug is known.
- Advise patients to make position changes slowly to minimize orthostatic hypotension, especially during initiation of therapy or when dose is increased.
- Caution patient that this medication may increase sensitivity to cold.
- Instruct patient to consult health care professional before taking any OTC medications, especially cold preparations, concurrently with this medication.
- Patients with diabetes should closely monitor blood glucose, especially if weakness, malaise, irritability, or fatigue occurs. Medication may mask some signs of hypoglycemia, but dizziness and sweating may still occur.
- Advise patient to notify health care professional if slow pulse, difficulty breathing, wheezing, cold hands and feet, dizziness, confusion, depression, rash, fever, sore throat, unusual bleeding, or bruising occurs.
- Instruct patient to inform health care professional of medication regimen before treatment or surgery.
- Advise patient to carry identification describing disease process and medication regimen at all times.
- Hypertension: Reinforce the need to continue additional therapies for hypertension (weight loss, sodium restriction, stress reduction, regular exercise, moderation of alcohol consumption, and smoking cessation). Medication controls but does not cure hypertension.
- Angina: Caution patient to avoid overexertion with decrease in chest pain.
- Decrease in BP.
Reduction in frequency of angina.
- Increase in activity tolerance. May require up to 5 days before therapeutic effects are seen.
Emergency Central is a collection of disease, drug, and test information including 5-Minute Emergency Medicine Consult, Davis’s Drug, McGraw-Hill Medical’s Diagnosaurus®, Pocket Guide to Diagnostic Tests, and MEDLINE Journals created for emergency medicine professionals. Complete Product Information.