and what is a beta blocker anyway?
Lisinopril belongs to a class of drugs called ACE inhibitors. Other examples of ACE inhibitors include captopril, enalapril, ramipril and trandolapril. They are used mainly in the treatment of hypertension (high blood pressure) and heart failure. They are also used in some people with diabetes, for some forms of kidney disease, and after a heart attack to help protect the heart.
ACE inhibitors (angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors) work by preventing the body from creating a hormone known as angiotensin II - a powerful vasoconstrictor. They do this by blocking (inhibiting) a chemical called angiotensin-converting enzyme. This plays a major role in the regulation of blood pressure and reducing pre/after load on the heart which improves the ability to pump blood around the body for the patient.
Beta blockers are another class of drugs that are used to treat a variety of conditions including high blood pressure, angina, and abnormal heart rhythms, heart failure, heart attack anxiety and migraine. Examples of beta blockers include metoprolol, propranolol, bisoprolol and nebivolol.
Beta blockers work by blocking beta receptors which stops adrenaline from stimulating these receptors. Beta receptors are found on cells of heart muscles, smooth muscles, airways, arteries, kidneys and other tissues. The site of action is important - for example, if beta-adrenergic receptors in the heart are blocked, the force and rate of the heartbeat is reduced. If beta receptors on smooth muscle are blocked they can reduce tremor associated with anxiety. In the eye they can reduce the intraocular pressure caused by glaucoma.
Different beta-blockers are used in different circumstances. There are slight differences between the individual beta-blockers. For example, some beta blockers block beta receptors in the heart only, there are differences in side-effects, as well as how many times a day some beta-blockers are taken.
For more information on beta blockers see:
- Lisinopril Information for Consumers
- Lisinopril Information for Healthcare Professionals (includes dosage details)
- Side Effects of Lisinopril (detailed)
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