On call: Beta blockers, heart rate, and exercise

On call

Beta blockers, heart rate, and exercise

Published: January, 2006

Q. Recommendations about maximum heart rate don't seem to apply to me, since I take Tenormin for high blood pressure. How can I figure out my maximum rate? I'm 48 years old, and I don't take any other drugs or have any other problems.

A. Unfortunately, since you take a beta blocker, you cannot determine your maximum heart rate without a stress test. There are many different beta blockers, and they vary considerably in their tendency to slow the pulse. In addition, some people slow down on small doses, while others retain a fairly normal heart rate on large doses.

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