JOHN BAVOSI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JOHN BAVOSI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Heart disease and beta blocker drugs. Artwork of a heart and a symbol representing the use of beta blocker drugs. Beta blockers are used to treat angina, to lower blood pressure, or to correct abnormal rhythms. They are also used to treat patients who develop heart symptoms in response to stress or tension. Beta blockers selectively block the beta-adrenergic receptors of the sympathetic nervous system which controls increases in cardiac activity. In this way they decrease the activity of the heart and reduce its oxygen requirement, thus alleviating angina. High blood pressure is reduced because the rate and force with which the heart pumps blood into the circulation is lowered.
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