Beta-blockers given the boot in Britain

June 28, 2006

British doctors are being advised not to prescribe beta-blockers and to ease most current users off them and onto new treatment for high blood pressure.

The National Institute for Heath and Clinical Excellence released guidelines that called for changing beta-blocker treatments to a combination of calcium channel blockers, ACE inhibitors and diuretics, the Times of London reports.

The new treatments are thought to better open blood vessels and regulate hormones and have fewer side effects, like developing type 2 diabetes.

People who take beta-blockers for other conditions, like angina or anxiety, will be kept on them.

The Blood Pressure Association told the newspaper there isn't a need for panic but patients and doctors should begin the discussion on how beta-blockers are being used and developing a plan to reduce the regimen.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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