Lege Artis Medicinae

[Modern beta-blocker therapy from the cardiologist’s viewpoint]

ÉDES István

AUGUST 20, 2010

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2010;20(08)

[Following the publication of some large, randomised trials (LIFE, ASCOT), the benefits of the use of beta-blockers in hypertension have been questioned. On the basis of these clinical trials it has been posited that beta-blockers administered for the treatment of hypertonia are less effecient for stroke prevention. It has been suggested that first-generation beta-blockers (atenolol) have adverse metabolic effects (insulin sensitivity, lipid parameteres), which might contribute to the differences observed in clinical outcomes. On the basis of a number of clinical trials and meta-analyses performed in recent years it is now evident that the most important goal is to reach target blood pressure levels, which is usually achieved by combination therapy. Choosing drugs on the basis of strict protocols is less important. In general, beta-blockers remain one of the most important drug class for the treatment of hypertension. The author reviews the pharmacology of the cardioselective, vasodilatory drug nebivolol in detail, as well as clinical trials on nebivolol. Nebivolol has a neutral (or rather beneficial) effect on metabolic parameters (lipid parameters, blood glucose level and insulin sensitivity) as well as on left ventricular function. If hypertension is associated with cardiovascular diseases (left ventricular dysfunction, ischaemic hears disease, atrial fibrillation), nebivolol offers an excellent therapeutic alternative due to its excellent tolerability and side effect profile.]

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