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Beta-blockers can be a killer if you’re having an operation

Posted on: 15th December 2016

Concerns about beta-blockers

Beta-blocker drugs for high blood pressure almost double the chances of a heart attack, and even death in patients who are undergoing general surgery.

What are the risks?

The risk is even worse if the drugs are taken in combination with others, such as thiazides, calcium antagonists or renin-angiotensin system (RAS) inhibitors.

The heart patient taking drugs was almost twice as likely to suffer a major ‘cardiovascular event’ such as a heart attack, including a fatal attack, compared with the patient who wasn’t taking those types of drugs. The drugs’ dangers were uncovered by researchers who looked at the outcomes for 55,320 patients with high blood pressure who were having surgery for something other than a cardiovascular condition.

Source JAMA Internal Medicine, 2015