Communication, Blood Pressure and Beta-Blockers


When I was a pharmacy student at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, CA, I spent one year working as an intern pharmacist in a local pharmacy.  After I had been there for a short while, the pharmacist that I was working with decided I was ready to counsel patients about their prescriptions.  Shortly thereafter, there I was, discussing a medication with a patient.  This was a blood pressure medication.  This was before OBRA 90 had come about so we did not have the official mandate to counsel; however, regularly we still talked with patients about their medications.

I went on to explain that this was a “beta-blocker” and describe the receptors that it affected and discussed the half-life of the medication.  When I was done I asked if they had any questions, they said no, and off they went.  The pharmacist that I worked with had been listening in.  He said, “Steve, do you think anyone really cares that this is a beta-blocker and do you think they really need to know about the beta receptors that it is blocking?”  His point was that I needed to stick to the specifics; make sure the patient knew how they were going to take their medication, why they were taking it, and what to expect.  That was a point well taken, and one that I have incorporated into each and every counseling session ever since.

Well, here I am, almost 30 years later, ready to talk about beta-blockers again.  These medications work to block the body’s natural chemicals that affect your blood vessels and your heart.  Beta-blockers may decrease blood pressure by relaxing your blood vessels, slow down your heart rate and decrease the strain on your heart.  In general, beta-blockers are used to treat hypertension (high blood pressure), angina (chest pain) and to improve survival after a heart attack.

Currently I have Medication Specific Counseling SessionsTM for the following beta-blockers posted on AudibleRxTM. 

  • Atenolol (Tenormin-TM)
  • Carvedilol (Coreg-TM)
  • Carvedilol (Coreg CR-TM)
  • Metoprolol (Lopressor-TM)
  • Metoprolol XR (Toprol XR-TM)
  • Nadolol (Corgard-TM)
  • Nebivolol (Bystolic-TM)
  • Propranolol (Inderal-TM)
  • Propranolol LA (Inderal LA-TM)


If you take any ACE inhibitors or ARB's for your blood pressure, please remember to read my blog on the Renin Angiotensin Aldosterone System.

Thanks
Steve
www.AudibleRx.com
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