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What Is a Beta blocker?

Beta blockers are a type of prescription medication used to treat a variety of conditions affecting the heart and blood vessels. Some of the most common uses of beta blockers include, but are not limited to:
Beta receptors are located in a number of places within the body, including the heart and blood vessels. Stress hormones (such as adrenaline) bind to these receptors and cause certain reactions in the body, such as an increased heart rate and an increased force with which the heart pumps blood. By blocking beta receptors, beta blockers cause the reverse effect of stress hormones. They lower the heart rate, as well as both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
(For more information on what a beta blocker is, click Beta Blockers. This article provides a complete overview of beta blockers, including information on their uses, how they work, possible side effects, and what to tell your healthcare provider before starting treatment with these medications.)
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