Contraindications differ widely among Beta Blockers and Ought to be Cited for an Individual Drug, Not for the Entire Class

Curr Pharm Des. 2021 Jul 16. doi: 10.2174/1381612827666210716162130. Online ahead of print.


Beta-blockers (BBs) have significant side effects that contribute to low adherence and persistence. Therefore, the optimal choice of BB is a vital mode to prevent BB's side effects, leading to an increase in compliance, which can improve the outcomes in BBs' evidence-based indications such as acute myocardial infarction, heart failure, etc. The paper aims to suggest an improved method of reporting contraindications for BBs. We used a search of the following indexing databases: SCOPUS and PubMed, and web search engine Google Scholar to identify guidelines on arterial hypertension (HTN). HTN guidelines published during the last two decades were analyzed (from 2000 to 2020). Some of the contraindications (e.g., bradycardia, acute heart failure) are true for every BB. However, some contraindications do not belong to the whole BB class. For example, propranolol and carvedilol are contraindicated in chronic obstructive lung disease, but nebivolol and bisoprolol are not. To our knowledge, there is a lack of guidelines citing contraindications for individual BBs because they vary a lot within the class of BBs. We suggest that contraindications specific for some BBs (i.e., not for the whole class) ought to be listed with the exact name(s) of the individual BBs. In this way, we may decrease the number of wrong choices among BBs and consequently increase drug adherence (which is currently worse for the class of BBs than for most of the other antihypertensive drugs). It is an approach to improve both primary medical education and guidelines.

Keywords: acute myocardial infarction; arterial hypertension; beta blockers; chronic obstructive lung disease; contraindications; drug adherence; heart failure.