Learning About Pre-Op Beta-Blockers

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Beta-blockers are medicines that can help protect your heart when you are going to have surgery. They may help your heart work better by lowering your blood pressure and slowing your heartbeat. This may reduce your chance of having a heart attack or heart rhythm problems around the time of your surgery.

Do not take this medicine if you are allergic to any type of beta-blocker. Make sure to tell your doctor if you have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), severe asthma, or frequent asthma attacks.


These drugs include:

  • Propranolol (Inderal).
  • Atenolol (Tenormin).

Possible side effects

Common side effects of this medicine include:

  • Feeling tired.
  • Feeling dizzy or light-headed.

You may have other side effects or reactions not listed here. Check the information that comes with your medicine.

What to know about taking this medicine

  • Take your medicines exactly as prescribed. Call your doctor if you think you are having a problem with your medicine. After surgery, follow your doctor's instructions about taking beta-blockers.
  • Do not take two or more medicines at the same time unless the doctor told you to. Beta-blockers can interact with other medicines.
  • Check your pulse before you take this medicine. Do not take it if your pulse is below the number your doctor told you.
  • Take this medicine with a sip of water.
  • When you exercise, you may tire more easily. Get extra rest if you need it.
  • Tell your doctor if you think you are having a side effect. If side effects are a problem with one medicine, a different one may be used.

Where can you learn more?

Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd

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