GENERIC NAME: betaxolol
BRAND NAME: Kerlone (Discontinued Brand)
DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Betaxolol is a beta-adrenergic blocking drug. The nerves of the sympathetic nervous system--a subdivision of the autonomic nervous system--release a chemical related to adrenaline that binds to the heart-rate controlling cells in the heart as well as the muscles of the heart. Binding causes the heart to beat faster and the muscles of the heart to contract more vigorously and work harder. Betaxolol blocks the binding of the adrenaline-like chemical and prevents the increases in heart rate and muscular contraction. As a result, blood pressure is lowered. By reducing the heart rate and muscular contraction, betaxolol also reduces the heart's need for oxygen to generate energy. Since angina pectoris (heart pain) occurs when the heart's need for oxygen is too great and exceeds the supply of oxygen, betaxolol can prevent angina pectoris. Betaxolol was approved by the FDA in 1985.
PRESCRIBED FOR: Betaxolol is prescribed for patients with high blood pressure (hypertension). Like other beta-blockers, it can be used to treat chest pain (angina pectoris) related to coronary artery disease. However, it is not approved for this use.
SIDE EFFECTS: Betaxolol generally is well tolerated, and side effects usually are mild and transient. Common side effects include:
- abdominal cramps,
- memory loss,
- slow heart rate,
- low blood pressure,
- cold extremities,
- sore throat, and
- shortness of breath or
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