September 7, 2016 – No Beta Blockers


Anchor lead:  Beta blockers may not be for you, Elizabeth Tracey reports

Beta blockers may actually cause more harm than good in some people who’ve had stents placed in their hearts, a recent study found, particularly elderly people.  Michael Blaha, a preventive cardiology expert at Johns Hopkins, says this is an area of active investigation.

Blaha: We’re changing our opinion about beta blockers a little bit.  It used to be we’d give beta blockers to everyone with coronary artery disease. Whether they had a myocardial infarction or a recent stent placed or they had heart failure, or whether they were just living with stable coronary artery disease.  We now know that not everyone needs to be on a beta blocker, in fact, asymptomatic patients with stable coronary artery disease that are not having symptoms of chest pain or shortness of breath, may not benefit from the long term use of a beta blocker, and there may be some side effects of the medication such as fatigue or in men, erectile dysfunction.   :31

Blaha says if you’re taking a beta blocker, a conversation with your physician about whether you really need one may be in order.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.