Rapid Rx Quiz: Beta-Blockers

Mary L. Windle, PharmD


March 28, 2022

Because of the risk for exacerbation, patients with Raynaud phenomenon should generally avoid beta-blockers.

Patients aged older than 60 years merit more attention in the context of beta-blockers. These medications are not recommended for the treatment of hypertension in patients aged older than 60 years unless they also have ischemic heart disease, heart failure, or another compelling reason to use beta-blockers. Meta-analyses of beta-blocker studies reveal that the drug class is an inferior first-line hypertension treatment for older patients without heart failure or angina.

Beta-blockers are effective in providing hypermetabolic symptomatic relief. They are also useful in adjuvant therapy with surgery, antithyroid medications, and radioactive iodide treatment in patients with toxic nodular goiters and Graves disease.

Data suggest that beta-blockers such as propranolol may be used as part of complementary treatment for several types of cancer because of its ability to decrease cancer cell proliferation rates and improve cancer outcomes.

Learn more about Raynaud phenomenon.


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