GENERIC NAME: carvedilol
BRAND NAME: Coreg, Coreg CR
DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Carvedilol is used for treating high blood pressure and congestive heart failure. It is related to labetalol (Normodyne, Trandate). Carvedilol blocks receptors of the adrenergic nervous system, the system of nerves in which adrenalin (epinephrine) is active. Nerves from the adrenergic system enter the heart and release an adrenergic chemical (norepinephrine) that attaches to receptors on the heart's muscle and stimulates the muscle to beat more rapidly and forcefully. By blocking the receptors, carvedilol reduces the heart's rate and force of contraction and thereby reduces the work of the heart. Carvedilol also blocks adrenergic receptors on arteries and causes the arteries to relax and the blood pressure to fall. The drop in blood pressure further reduces the work of the heart since it is easier to pump blood against a lower pressure. The FDA first approved carvedilol in 1995.
PRESCRIBED FOR: Carvedilol is used alone or with a diuretic ("water-pill") to control high blood pressure (hypertension). Carvedilol also may be used in combination with other drugs to manage mild or moderate congestive heart failure. It is also used for treating people who develop heart failure after a heart attack. When combined with other treatments for heart disease among patients with recent heart attacks, carvedilol can reduce the risk of a second heart attack by 40% and increase survival among patients with congestive heart failure.
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