Generic Name: esmolol (ES-moe-lol)
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Feb 14, 2021.
Commonly used brand name(s)
In the U.S.
- Esmolol HCl
Available Dosage Forms:
Therapeutic Class: Cardiovascular Agent
Pharmacologic Class: Beta-Adrenergic Blocker, Cardioselective
Uses for esmolol
Esmolol is used to control rapid heartbeats or abnormal heart rhythms. Esmolol is also used to treat fast heartbeat and high blood pressure during surgery, after surgery, or during other medical procedures .
Esmolol is a beta-blocker. It works by affecting the response to nerve impulses in certain parts of the body, like the heart. As a result, the heart beats slower and decreases the blood pressure. When the blood pressure is lowered, the amount of blood and oxygen is increased to the heart .
Esmolol is available only with your doctor's prescription .
Before using esmolol
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For esmolol, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to esmolol or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of esmolol in the pediatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established .
No information is available on the relationship of age to the effects of esmolol in geriatric patients. However, elderly patients are more likely to have age-related kidney problems, which may require an adjustment in the dose for patients receiving esmolol .
There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.
Interactions with medicines
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are receiving esmolol, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Using esmolol with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
Using esmolol with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
- Amtolmetin Guacil
- Choline Salicylate
- Flufenamic Acid
- Insulin Aspart, Recombinant
- Insulin Degludec
- Insulin Detemir
- Insulin Glargine, Recombinant
- Insulin Glulisine
- Insulin Human Inhaled
- Insulin Human Isophane (NPH)
- Insulin Human Regular
- Insulin Lispro, Recombinant
- Mefenamic Acid
- Morphine Sulfate Liposome
- Niflumic Acid
- Nimesulide Beta Cyclodextrin
- Salicylic Acid
- Sodium Salicylate
- St John's Wort
- Tiaprofenic Acid
- Tolfenamic Acid
Interactions with food/tobacco/alcohol
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.
Other medical problems
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of esmolol. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Bradycardia (slow heartbeat) or
- Heart block or
- Heart failure—Should not use in patients with these conditions .
- Diabetes or
- Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)—May cover up some of the signs and symptoms of these diseases, such as a fast heartbeat .
- Hypotension (low blood pressure)—May worsen this condition .
- Kidney disease—Use with caution. The effects may be increased because of slower removal from the body .
- Lung disease (e.g. asthma, bronchitis, emphysema)—May cause difficulty with breathing in patients with this condition .
Proper use of esmolol
A nurse or other trained health professional will give you esmolol. Esmolol is given through a needle placed into one of your veins .
Precautions while using esmolol
Your doctor will only give you a few doses of esmolol until your condition improves, and then you will be switched to another medicine that works the same way. If you have any concerns about this, talk to your doctor .
Esmolol side effects
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
- Blurred vision
- dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up from a lying or sitting position suddenly
- increased sweating
- unusual tiredness or weakness
- Itching of skin
- numbness and tingling of face, fingers, or toes
- pain in arms, legs, or lower back, especially pain in calves and/or heels upon exertion
- pale, bluish-colored, or cold hands or feet
- weak or absent pulses in legs
- Blue lips and fingernails
- burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, "pins and needles", or tingling feelings
- changes in skin color
- changes in vision
- chest pain or discomfort
- coughing that sometimes produces a pink frothy sputum
- decrease in frequency of urination
- decrease in urine volume
- difficult, fast, noisy breathing, sometimes with wheezing
- difficulty in passing urine (dribbling)
- difficulty with speaking
- feeling of warmth
- feeling unusually cold
- lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting
- loss of bladder control
- muscle spasm or jerking of all extremities
- no heartbeat
- pain, tenderness, or swelling of foot or leg
- painful urination
- paleness of skin
- peeling of skin
- redness of the face, neck, arms and occasionally, upper chest
- shortness of breath
- slow or irregular heartbeat
- small clicking, bubbling, or rattling sounds in the lung when listening with a stethoscope
- sudden loss of consciousness
- swelling, redness, or burning of skin where the needle is placed
- tightness in chest
Get emergency help immediately if any of the following symptoms of overdose occur:
Symptoms of overdose
- Dilated neck veins
- extreme fatigue
- irregular breathing
- no blood pressure or pulse
- stopping of heart
- swelling of face, fingers, feet, or lower legs
- weight gain
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
- Hardening or thickening of skin where the needle is placed
- dry mouth
- sleepiness or unusual drowsiness
- trouble sleeping
- Acid or sour stomach
- change in taste or bad, unusual, or unpleasant (after) taste
- difficulty having a bowel movement (stool)
- feeling sad or empty
- lack of appetite
- lack or loss of strength
- loss of interest or pleasure
- shoulder pain
- stomach soreness, discomfort, upset, or pain
- stuffy nose
- trouble concentrating
- weight loss
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
More about esmolol
- Side Effects
- During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
- Dosage Information
- Drug Interactions
- Pricing & Coupons
- En Español
- Drug class: cardioselective beta blockers
- Other brands
Related treatment guides
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.