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The Great Beta-Blocker Debate: The Pros and Cons


Newly diagnosed hypertension in a patient whose blood pressure is 152/94 mm Hg. What agents will you consider for this patient? Beta-blockers? Think again.

The patient is a 55-year-old white man with no significant medical history. He has newly diagnosed hypertension: his blood pressure in your office is 152/94 mm Hg.

What agents will you consider for this patient?

Once upon a time, a beta-blocker might have been high on your list. When, if ever, should you consider prescribing these agents?

Here to debate the pros and cons of these agents are Gregory Rutecki, MD, Professor of Medicine at the University of South Alabama, and Bradley Wright, PharmD, at the Auburn University School of Pharmacy and the University of South Alabama.

Dr Rutecki focuses on the negative effects of beta-blockers; warns of the special risks of atenolol; and makes a case for consideration of carvedilol. Dr Wright zeroes in on the role of these agents in patients with a history of MI or congestive heart failure and discusses the possible mortality benefit from beta-blockers in patients with COPD.

Pros and Cons of Beta-Blockers

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