beta blockers in thyrotoxicosis

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  • beta blockers should be considered in all patients with significant hyperthyroidism
  • beta blockers ameliorate many of the acute symptoms of hyperthyroidism - eg. tachycardia, tremor, restlessness - within 1-2 days of starting therapy but do not affect the underlying disease. Propanolol is used customarily but other non-selective beta blockers are equally useful; nadolol and atenolol require only daily administration and may increase compliance. If initiated, beta blockers should be continued until the patient is rendered euthyroid by other means of treatment
  • in cases of thyroiditis or in those with mild toxic nodular hyperthyroidism treated with radioiodine, beta blockers may be the only treatment required
  • beta blockers are contra-indicated in patients with asthma should be used with caution in patients with heart failure

Last reviewed 01/2018