Taking a Beta-Blocker - Fairview Health Services
 
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Taking a Beta-Blocker

Your beta-blocker decreases your heart’s workload and helps it beat more regularly. This can reduce chest pain. It may also lower your blood pressure. This medication is sometimes used to treat other medical problems.

The name of my beta-blocker is: _____________________

I’m taking it for: _________________________ 

Medication Tips

  • Read the fact sheet that comes with your medication. Ask for a sheet if you don’t get one.

  • Take your beta blocker exactly as directed. Follow the directions on the label.

  • Take your medication at the same time or times every day.

  • If you take a long-acting tablet or capsule, swallow it whole. Do not chew it, crush it, or break it open unless you are told it is okay to do so.

  • If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember—unless it’s almost time for your next dose. If so, skip the missed dose. Do not take a double dose.

For Your Safety

  • Tell any healthcare provider you have (including your pharmacist) before taking any other prescription or over-the-counter medicines. This includes vitamin supplements and herbal remedies.

  • Do not stop taking your beta-blocker unless your healthcare provider tells you to. Doing so can make your condition worse. When it is time to stop, follow your healthcare provider’s instructions.

  • Do not drive or operate heavy machinery unless you are sure your beta-blocker doesn’t make you sleepy or dizzy.

  • To prevent dizziness, get up slowly after sitting or lying down.

  • Ask your healthcare provider to check your pulse rate before and after taking your beta blocker.

Possible Side Effects

Along with their intended effects, medications can have unwanted side effects. These effects may go away as your body adjusts to the medication. Possible side effects of beta blockers include:

  • Dizziness or lightheadedness

  • Tiredness, drowsiness, or weakness

  • Sexual dysfunction

  • Trouble sleeping

  • Mood changes or depression

Talk to your healthcare provider if you have side effects that bother you or don’t go away.

 

Call your doctor right away if you have any of the following:

  • Wheezing or trouble breathing

  • Chest pain or a slow or irregular heartbeat

  • Swelling in your lower legs or feet

  • Yellowing skin or eyes

  • Numbness or tingling

  • Skin rash or itching

 

NOTE: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a black box warning for this medication. The medication can cause potentially dangerous side effects if the medication is stopped too quickly. Take this medication only as directed. Do not stop taking this medication without talking to your healthcare provider first. When told you can stop taking this medication, follow all instructions you are given carefully. Talk with your healthcare provider about anything you don’t understand or to learn more about your medication.

 

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