Beta-blocker medication 2015-07-16T10:12:50-06:00

Surgery can be a time of physical and emotional stress, bringing chronic health problems such as high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, and irregular heart rhythms to crisis levels. Beta-blockers are a group of medications that block the stress hormone adrenaline, creating health benefits by blocking the harmful effects of adrenaline and slowing the pulse rate.

A New England Journal of Medicine (July 28, 2005; 353(4): 349-361) study of high-risk noncardiac surgery patients from 329 US hospitals concluded that beta-blocker medication reduced the risk of in-hospital death in patients having major surgery.

As with any medication, beta-blockers are not for everyone. In addition, some physicians choose to withhold beta blocker medication for patients with health conditions such as lung disease or a slow pulse rate.