GENERIC NAME: acebutolol
BRAND NAME: Sectral
DISCONTINUED BRAND: Prent
DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Acebutolol is a drug that blocks receptors (beta-adrenergic receptors) on nerves of the sympathetic nervous system that is used to treat high blood pressure and ventricular arrhythmias (abnormal rhythms of the heart). Other beta-adrenergic agents within the same class as acebutolol include, atenolol (Tenormin), betaxolol (Betoptic), celiprolol (Cardem), bisoprolol (Zebeta), esmolol (Brevibloc), metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol-XL), and nebivolol (Bystolic). Acebutolol and other beta-adrenergic blocking drugs work by blocking the action of the neurotransmitters, norepinephrine and epinephrine, that nerves use to communicate with each other. Blocking the beta-1 adrenergic receptors in the heart allows the heart to beat more slowly thereby reducing the amount of blood that the heart must pump and, therefore, the work that the heart must do and the amount of oxygen it must use. Over time, this action improves the pumping of the heart.
Acebutolol and drugs within its class differ from other beta-adrenergic blocking drugs because they are selective beta blockers, that is, they block one type of beta-adrenergic receptor, the beta-l receptor, rather than multiple types of beta-adrenergic receptors like other beta-adrenergic blockers that are nonselective. This is especially important, in patients with asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) who require treatment with beta-adrenergic blocking drugs because blocking the non-beta-1 receptors can make asthma or COPD worse. Acebutolol was approved by the FDA in December 1984.
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