Uses of beta-blockers 

Beta-blockers block the action of hormones like adrenaline in certain parts of the body.


Beta-blockers are particularly important for people with angina (chest pain caused by narrowing of the arteries to the heart), or for those who have had a heart attack.

They slow the heart down, help it pump more effectively and give it more time to receive its own blood supply. It helps prevent angina attacks and reduces your risk of having another heart attack if you've already had one.

Rhythm problems

Beta-blockers can also control irregular heartbeats by blocking or slowing the electrical nerve impulses that stimulate the heart.

This decreases the activity of the heart, and can also slow heart rate and prevent rhythm problems, such as atrial fibrillation.

Heart failure

Beta-blockers are also commonly used to treat heart failure. They help the heart pump more strongly and efficiently, and they also reduce rhythm problems. Patients then feel better and live longer.

Read more about the uses of beta-blockers.

Other uses

Beta-blockers are also sometimes used to prevent migraine or treat:

Page last reviewed: 30/06/2014

Next review due: 30/06/2016