Expert: Time to break the beta blocker habit?

Posted By News On November 12, 2012 - 5:30am
Expert: Time to break the beta blocker habit?

Knowing his family history, and growing concerns over the extended use of some beta blockers, Bero and his doctor are keeping a close eye on his condition.

"Diabetes can creep up on you very slowly, even before you know it," said Baliga. "Down the road, diabetes will likely cause more heart attacks, more strokes, more peripheral vascular disease and a variety of conditions," said Baliga.

"The newer classes of beta blockers seem to reduce those risks," said Baliga, a message he is hoping to get out to patients and doctors alike. "We need to be very vigilant about medications we're taking for our conditions," he said. "The last thing we want to do is to treat one condition and risk another."

Baliga says you should never switch medications without talking to you doctor first, but if you are taking beta blockers, you may want to discuss the class of drug your taking and the risks that may be involved.

First approved for use in the 1950s, beta blockers have been called the first "blockbuster" drug ever developed in the US. Today, millions of people take them for everything from heart disease to stage fright, from treating glaucoma to preventing migraines. But not all beta blockers are created equal. Studies show, over time, taking an older class of beta blockers can substantially increase your risk of developing diabetes. Dr. Ragavendra Baliga, a cardiologist at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center is helping to lead the charge to do away with the older versions of this popular medicine.

(Photo Credit: Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center)

Dr. Ragavendra Baliga, a cardiologist at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center examines a patient. Millions of people take Beta Blockers for everything from heart disease to stage fright, from treating glaucoma to preventing migraines. But not all beta blockers are created equal. Studies show, over time, taking an older class of beta blockers can substantially increase your risk of developing diabetes. Dr. Ragavendra Baliga is helping to lead the charge to do away with the older versions of this popular medicine.

(Photo Credit: Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center)

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