Beta Adrenergic blockers Cheat Sheet

What Beta Adrenergic Blockers do?

β-Adrenergic blockers inhibit response to β-adrenergic stimulation, thus decreasing cardiac output. β-Adrenergic blockers block the release of catecholamines, epinephrine, and norepinephrine, thus decreasing the heart rate and BP. β-Adrenergic blockers decrease the workload of the heart and decrease oxygen demands. Used for angina, dysrhythmias, hypertension, migraine headaches, prevention of myocardial infarction, and glaucoma. β-Adrenergic blockers are contraindicated in the client with asthma, bradycardia, heart failure (with exceptions), severe renal or hepatic disease, hyperthyroidism, or brain attack (stroke); carvedilol, metoprolol, and bisoprolol have been approved for use in heart failure once the client has been stabilized by ACE inhibitor and diuretic therapy.


β-Adrenergic blockers should be used with caution in the client with diabetes mellitus because the medication may mask symptoms of hypoglycemia.  β-Adrenergic blockers should be used with caution in the client taking antihypertensive medications.

You should Memorize the following table, for better understanding. 


Side/adverse effects of Beta Adrenergic Blockers
  • Bradycardia
  • Bronchospasm
  • Hypotension
  • Weakness, fatigue
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Hyperglycemia
  • Agranulocytosis
  • Behavioral or psychotic response
  • Depression
  • Nightmares

Nursing  Interventions

  • Monitor vital signs.
  • Withhold the medication if the pulse or BP is not within the prescribed parameters.
  • Monitor for signs of heart failure or worsening heart failure.
  • Assess for respiratory distress and for signs of wheezing and dyspnea.
  • Instruct the client to report dizziness, light-headedness, or nasal congestion.
  • Instruct the client not to stop the medication because rebound hypertension, rebound tachycardia, or an anginal attack can occur.
  • Advise the client taking insulin that the β-adrenergic blocker can mask early signs of hypoglycemia, such as tachycardia and nervousness.
  • Instruct the client taking insulin to monitor the blood glucose level.
  • Instruct the client in how to take pulse and BP.
  • Instruct the client to change positions slowly to prevent orthostatic hypotension.
  • Instruct the client to avoid over-the-counter medications, especially cold medications and nasal decongestants.

Leave a Reply