Beta-blockers are an important class of drug used mainly in the management of cardiovascular disorders.


  • Angina
  • Post-myocardial infarction
  • Heart failure: beta-blockers were previously avoided in heart failure but there is now strong evidence that certain beta-blockers improve both symptoms and mortality
  • Arrhythmias: beta-blockers have now replaced digoxin as the rate-control drug of choice in atrial fibrillation
  • Hypertension: the role of beta-blockers has diminished in recent years due to a lack of evidence in terms of reducing stroke and myocardial infarction.
  • Thyrotoxicosis
  • Migraine prophylaxis
  • Anxiety

Adverse effects

  • Bronchospasm
  • Cold peripheries
  • Fatigue
  • Sleep disturbances, including nightmares
  • Erectile dysfunction


  • Uncontrolled heart failure
  • Asthma
  • Sick sinus syndrome
  • Concurrent verapamil use: may precipitate severe bradycardia