Last reviewed 01/2018

The indications for beta-blockers include:

  • reduction of myocardial oxygen demand in coronary artery disease

  • control of hypertension

  • control of certain arrhythmias: involving the atrio-ventricular node

  • the use of beta-blockers after a myocardial infarction is known to lead to a reduction in morbidity and mortality

  • in heart failure:
    • the use of beta-blockers in heart failure should be left to the experienced
    • there are two classical indications for the use of beta-blockers in heart failure: heart failure associated with thyrotoxicosis and failure due to poor ventricular filling in diastole

  • in the symptomatic treatment of sympathetic overactivity due to hyperthyroidism whilst waiting for antithyroid drugs to take effect (10-20 days) or when the hyperthyroidism is self-limiting e.g. subacute thyroiditis