Harvard Health Letter

Beta blockers

What you need to know about these blood pressure drugs.

Beta blockers are prescribed for conditions ranging from high blood pressure and glaucoma to anxiety attacks and migraines. They are primarily prescribed to help control hypertension and abnormal heart rhythms, but are also widely prescribed to prevent further heart problems in patients who've had heart attacks or who are suffering from heart failure.

Because beta blockers are so versatile, they are especially helpful for heart patients who often have multiple conditions, such as hypertension plus angina, says Dr. Andrew Eisenhauer, a cardiologist and assistant professor at Harvard Medical School.

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