There are millions of receptors in your body. Their job is to detect certain hormones and respond accordingly. The beta receptors are a common type that can be found in your heart, respiratory paths, arteries, and kidneys. Beta receptors fall into two types: Beta 1 receptors and beta 2 receptors.
Where are the beta receptors?
Beta 1 receptors are the dominant type of receptors found in the heart and the kidney. In the heart, beta 1 receptors are in charge of increasing heart rate and the force of contraction. Beta 2 receptors are usually found in smooth muscle such as the lungs and all the muscles around the body. When activated, beta 2 receptors allow the vascular and nonvascular muscles to relax.
Beta blockers block the beta receptors in your body, causing them to respond much slower than they are supposed to. When the beta receptors associated with your heart muscle receive adrenaline, your heart will react by pumping blood through the arteries around your body. However, with beta blockers, the process will be slow down.
Depending on your condition, you will need to block off different receptors. Your doctor will help you prescribe the suitable beta blockers.
Common beta blockers include:
All of the beta blockers above are able to block the beta 1 receptors. However, for beta 2 receptors, you will need one of the following:
Atenolol, bisoprolol, and metoprolol are considered the best choice to control the blood supply to the whole body since we only need to block the beta 1 receptors.
Your body and beta blockers
Your body deal differently with different types of beta blockers. The drugs can be either excreted by your kidneys (Atenolol, Bisoprolol, Pindolol, Sotalol) or metabolized by your livers (Bisoprolol, Carvedilol, Labetalol, Metoprolol, Oxprenolol, Pindolol, Propranolol).
If you have problems with your liver, the better choice of drugs will be atenolol or sotalol. Likewise, if you have kidney dysfunction, your body will prefer carvedilol, labetalol, metoprolol, oxprenolol or propranolol.
Beta 2 blockers may induce breathing difficulties since it can affect the receptors in your lung, causing your airways to be narrowed. This is especially dangerous for those who already have respiratory conditions like asthma. If you experience breathing difficulties, consider changing to beta 1 selective drug such as atenolol, bisoprolol or metoprolol.
Since each type of beta blockers come with different benefits and side effects, it is important to discuss your medical history carefully with your doctor so that he can prescribe a drug that is most beneficial and least harmful for you.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnose or treatment.
Review Date: April 17, 2017 | Last Modified: April 17, 2017
What are Beta Blockers? https://www.medicinehow.com/what-are-beta-blockers/ Assessed October 9, 2016.
Beta adrenergic receptors. http://pharmacologycorner.com/beta-receptors-1-2-3/#beta%201%20receptors Assessed October 9, 2016.