The Use of Beta-Blockers

In 1964 pharmacologist James Block won the Nobel Prize in physiology and medicine for his development of the first beta blocker, propranolol.

Beta blockers are prescribed for numerous conditions. The most common are:

  • Angina (chest pain)
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart attack
  • Heart failure
  • Rapid pulse
  • Anxiety
  • Overactive thyroid or a tremor (beta blockers reduce the symptoms associated with these conditions)

Beta blockers work by stopping or reducing the chemical reactions that are caused by the body's natural fight or flight response. In particular, beta blockers prevent the hormones adrenaline and noradrenaline from affecting the sympathetic nervous system.

Although adrenaline and noradrenaline are important for preparing the body to handle dangerous situations, overexposure to these hormones can be extremely harmful. The most common symptoms of overexposure to these hormones are:

  • Rapid heartbeat
  • High blood pressure
  • Excessive sweating
  • Anxiety
  • Erratic heart rhythm or palpitations
  • Hyperventilation or fast breathing

Since beta blockers prevent the release of adrenaline and noradrenaline, they decrease the body's need for oxygen. Calming the body from needing excess oxygen helps to reduce anxiety. Both of these effects help decrease the stress placed upon the heart. In addition to these benefits, beta blockers also widen blood vessels, allowing for an easier and steadier flow of blood throughout the body.

Generally speaking, there are two types of beta blockers, selective and nonselective. Selective beta blockers mainly affect the heart. Nonselective beta blockers affect other parts of the body as well. Although beta blockers have some side effects, they are well-tolerated by most patients.

At the NJ Heart and Lung Centerâ„¢ of Regency Jewish Heritage, we create an individualized plan for each patient. This is proven to prevent readmission to the hospital, and to improve independence.  

Regency Jewish has partnered with the area's leading cardiologists and pulmonologists to create a program that:   

  • Reduces hospital readmissions and patient length of stay
  • Maximizes ability for patient to regain ADL skills and independence
  • Offers 24/7/365 physician coverage through on-site staff and advanced telemedicine program
  • Has an on-site sleep study program to unlock Medicare benefit for Bipap utilization upon discharge
  • Offers STAT availability of Labs, X-Ray and other diagnostic tools

Our Outcomes & Capabilities include: 

  • Cardiologist and pulmonologist on site daily for immediate intervention
  • Specialized rehab & nursing protocols developed in partnership with leading cardiologists & pulmonologists
  • A plan proven to prevent readmission to the hospital and improve patient independence and functionality
  • Regular Communication Between Patient, Family, Staff & Physicians
  • Collaborative care planning with other physician & therapy specialists
  • Advanced staff education & training
  • Transitional care nurse & enhanced discharge-to-home process
  • Follow-up home visit within 24-48 hours
  • Educational material provided to patients & families

Regency prides itself on offering the very best of care in a patient-centered environment. This means always listening to our residents and patients and respecting their capabilities, while helping them to achieve maximum functionality and independence. And always maintaining the highest professional and quality standards in our staff and our facilities. Our 25 years of excellent care have led to us being awarded a Best Nursing Homes award by US News & World Today, a 5-Star rating by USA Today, and an A+ rating by the Better Business Bureau, among many other awards.   

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Are you interested in The NJ Heart and Lung Center for yourself or someone you love? A member of our team will be happy to answer your questions and schedule an on-site tour. Of course, you can also call us anytime.

The NJ Heart and Lung Center at Regency Jewish Heritage
380 DeMott Lane, Somerset, NJ 08873
(732) 873-2000
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The NJ Heart and Lung Center at Regency Gardens
296 Hamburg Turnpike, Wayne, NJ 07470
(973) 790-5800
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