Think twice about beta-blockers after a heart attack

Since the 1960s, it’s been common practice for doctors to prescribe a drug known as a beta-blocker to patients recovering from a heart attack.

They’re an inexpensive medication and prevent future heart attacks. A no-brainer, right?

But, as with most things medical, time and research have proven this wisdom to be … well, not so wise after all.

Here’s why you might want to think twice and discuss with your doctor before taking beta-blockers…

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Beta-blockers may be unecessary

Beta-blockers, also called beta-adrenergic blocking agents, block the release of the stress hormones adrenaline and noradrenaline in certain parts of the body. This results in a slowing of the heart rate and reduces the force at which blood is pumped around your body.

They have been typically prescribed to treat atrial fibrillation (AFib), heart failure and angina — and heart attack.

But a new study shows that about half of heart attack patients discharged from the hospital with a prescription for beta-blockers really don’t benefit from them at all. Considering the risks associated with the drug, this is good to know…

In 2017, researchers at Sweden’s Karolinska Institutet, Lund University and Uppsala University began a study involving more than 5000 patients at 45 hospitals who had suffered a small heart attack and retained heart function.

At discharge, these patients were randomly assigned either to receive or not receive beta-blockers.

After six years, there was a statistically insignificant difference between the groups in terms of a second heart attack (7.9 percent for those taking beta-blockers vs. 8.3 percent for those not).

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Weigh the pros and cons

This study is only about the effect of starting beta-blocker treatment after a small heart attack.

Naturally, if you’ve suffered a more severe heart attack, or have ongoing issues with heart failure, medications may be necessary.

But if they’re really not going to make a difference, knowing the pros and cons could help you and your doctor decide if they’re right for you.

Here are just a few things we know:

And finally, beta-blockers can make you more likely to end up with a dangerous infection due to antibiotic resistance.

You should never stop taking beta-blockers, or any medication, without first speaking with your doctor.

But if your doctor is proposing a prescription for beta-blockers for a minor heart attack, it’s worth your while to discuss the pros and cons before beginning this course of medication.

Editor’s note: There are numerous safe and natural ways to decrease your risk of blood clots including the 25-cent vitamin, the nutrient that acts as a natural blood thinner and the powerful herb that helps clear plaque. To discover these and more, click here for Hushed Up Natural Heart Cures and Common Misconceptions of Popular Heart Treatments!


Unnecessary use of beta-blockers after a heart attack? — Science Daiyk

Beta-Blockers after Myocardial Infarction and Preserved Ejection Fraction — New England Journal of Medicine

Joyce Hollman

By Joyce Hollman

Joyce Hollman is a writer based in Kennebunk, Maine, specializing in the medical/healthcare and natural/alternative health space. Health challenges of her own led Joyce on a journey to discover ways to feel better through organic living, utilizing natural health strategies. Now, practicing yoga and meditation, and working towards living in a chemical-free home, her experiences make her the perfect conduit to help others live and feel better naturally.