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.

Copyright 2012 AudibleRx (TM), all rights reserved. Please do not copy or publish or distribute without consent and approval from AudibleRx (TM).