View Full Version : Do beta blockers 'fix' your heart or just mask symptoms?

10-22-12, 05:37 PM
I am just curious if a heart that has been calmed by beta blockers is considered healthy. Although I feel much more comfortable when my heart isn't racing (obviously), I'm still concerned that there's still damage being done that I'm not aware of.


10-07-13, 12:54 AM
Stimulants increase heart rate, but that is not necessarily bad for your heart. Exercise also increases heart rate, and exercise is good for your heart.

Fast resting heart rate is a proxy measure for poor health, it is not bad in and of itself. People who eat poorly and never exercise tend to have a fast resting heart rate. It is a correlation only.

If you eat healthy and exercise, but then you take a stimulant and it speeds up your heart, you may still be perfectly healthy. The stimulant is artificially increasing your heart rate.

There is no evidence that long-term therapeutic use of stimulants causes heart damage. This is even true in narcoleptics, who take much higher doses of stimulants than ADHD patients.

Drug abusers take even higher doses of stimulants, and they do tend to get heart attacks. However, they may or may not get progressive heart damage. If you heavily abuse cocaine for 10 years, but you never get a heart attack, then it is possible to have a healthy heart. Some evidence suggests that stimulant abuse is bad for your heart, even if you don't have an actual heart attack (myocardial infarction).

10-07-13, 01:37 AM
I don't think there can be a clear-cut answer to a question like this one. But I'd say health is not only disease prevention, and there's much more to heart health than having the heart rate under control by the use of a drug.

10-07-13, 02:54 AM
Elevated blood pressure would have more impact on your cardiovascular health than increased heart rate. Beta blockers lower BP as well as HR.

03-13-14, 11:26 AM
Beta-blockers such as Lopressor (metoprolol) blockade the receptors for -adrenaline hormone which causes your sympathetic nervous system (which controls your heart rate) to get excited. Therefore, it cuts off a way for your heart rate to go up, but it doesn't slow your heart rate.

03-14-14, 04:48 AM
I dont think it actually repairs heart damage but I am also not one to think that stimulants damage your heart either.

03-14-14, 05:15 PM
I dont think it actually repairs heart damage but I am also not one to think that stimulants damage your heart either.

The question itself is a bit flawed. Usually a high heart rate has nothing to do with a damaged heart, but a product of something else going on in the brain or the body. In the long term, though, it can cause damage to the heart -- you're much more likely to have a heart attack if you've had a high resting heart rate for years.

03-20-14, 04:16 AM
A beta blocker may be protective against cardio myopathy but not other damage.

There is evidence to suggest that heart damage can be caused by oxidative stress from circulating catecholamines - stuff stimulants increase.