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Old 02-17-2010, 12:57 PM   #3
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Re: Reducing heart rate with beta blockers in hypertension is it harmful or Atenolol?

McMahon - Beta blockers are undisputed as the best treatment for heart failure and coronary Issues. The article questions the benefits when used for hypertension. The article also mentions that beta blockers are still very effective in men around 50 years old or younger. This is due to some hemodynamic effect in peripheral circualtion and pulse rates for younger men. The article appears to be an all out attack on Atenolol (mainly). As we know, not all beta blockers are created equal, and Carvedilol and Toprol are the only beta blockers currently approved for heart failure by the FDA. Most beta blockers were never tested for heart failure in clinical trials. With the exception of Bucindolol which showed almost no benefit in heart failure and Nebivolol which was effective but did not show such robust numbers, and Bisoprolol which is as effective as Toprol and Carvedilol but not yet approved in the U.S. only in the U.K.

The article mentions that amlodipine and perindopril were more effective then Atenolol and a diuretic on some end points. If any medication is combined with such a highly effective drug as Perindopril in huge clinical trials, the results would be very positive. If amlodipine was also combined with a diuretic, the results versus Atenolol would have been worse.

Once again, I beleive much of the attack on Atenolol is industry funded. It seems Atenolol is the most researched drug in over 800 clinical trials. It appears very easy to find many negative studies to smear the drug's
reputation. With all these research trials, their has to be some negatives. Their are many drugs that were never tested in Clinical trials, and some only tested once with a very short term trial and they are being prescribed everyday. I would rather take Atenolol if I had a choice among some newer untested drug. Because a pill was not found to be dangerous in only one study, does not prove that the pill is any better or worse than others.