Beta-blockers, also known as beta-adrenergic blocking agents, are medications that lower your blood pressure. Beta blockers work by blocking the effects of the hormone epinephrine. The epinephrine hormone increases the heart rate and blood pressure. When an individual takes beta blockers, the heart beats more slowly and with less force. This effect leads to reduced blood pressure and blood flow. In addition, the drug inhibits your kidneys from producing angiotensin II allowing your blood vessels to relax and blood to flow more easily, rather then constrict. It also decreases the amount of oxygen needed by the heart to prevent and treat angina.
Your physician and pharmacist will advise the use of beta-blockers depending on your kidney function and medical conditions. Talk to your healthcare provider if you experience difficulty breathing from taking beta-blockers.
If you become ill, and are unable to maintain fluid intake or have an acute decline in renal function, contact your healthcare provider at the kidney care clinic to discuss if you should hold any antihypertensive medication. ACE inhibitors, ARBs, and diuretics that are taken while you are ill may leave you at a risk for dehydration.
Here is a helpful handout from BC Renal Agency to help you learn about this medication!