GENERIC NAME: bisoprolol
BRAND NAME: Zebeta
DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Bisoprolol belongs to a class of drugs called beta-adrenergic receptor blocking agents that also includes propranolol (Inderal), atenolol (Tenormin), and timolol (Blocadren). Bisoprolol is used for treating high blood pressure and heart pain (angina). Bisoprolol prevents the neurotransmitters (chemicals that nerves use to communicate with other nerves), norepinephrine and epinephrine (adrenaline), from binding to beta receptors on nerves. By blocking the effect of norepinephrine and epinephrine on the nerves reaching the heart and blood vessels, beta blockers reduce heart rate and the force with which the heart contracts and reduce blood pressure by dilating blood vessels but may constrict air passages by stimulating the muscles that surround the air passages. Angina occurs when the heart's need for oxygen exceeds the supply of oxygen-carrying blood. By slowing heart rate and decreasing the force with which the heart muscle contracts, bisoprolol reduces the work of the heart and the demand of the heart for oxygen. The FDA approved bisoprolol in July 1992.
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