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Esmolol

Generic Name: esmolol (ES moe lol)
Brand Name: Brevibloc

Medically reviewed on August 9, 2018

What is esmolol?

Esmolol is a beta-blocker that affects the heart and circulation (blood flow through arteries and veins).

Esmolol is used to help keep the heart beating normally in people with certain heart rhythm disorders of the atrium (the upper chambers of the heart that allow blood to flow into the heart). Esmolol is used in people with atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter.

Esmolol is also used during surgery to help regulate blood pressure and heart rate.

Esmolol may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important Information

You should not be treated with esmolol if you have a serious heart condition ("sick sinus syndrome" or "AV block"), very slow heartbeats, heart failure, pulmonary hypertension, or if you are receiving certain IV heart or blood pressure medications.

In an emergency situation it may not be possible to tell your caregivers about your health conditions. Make sure any doctor caring for you afterward knows you have received esmolol.

Before taking this medicine

In an emergency situation it may not be possible to tell your caregivers about your health conditions. Make sure any doctor caring for you afterward knows you have received this medicine.

You should not be treated with esmolol if you are allergic to it, or if you have:

  • a serious heart condition such as "sick sinus syndrome" or "AV block" (second or third degree);

  • a history of slow heart beats that have caused you to faint;

  • heart failure;

  • pulmonary hypertension (increased pressure inside the blood vessels of the lungs and heart); or

  • a condition for which you are being treated with IV heart or blood pressure medication (such as diltiazem, nicardipine, or verapamil).

If possible before you receive esmolol, tell your doctor if you have:

It is not known whether this medicine will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

It is not known whether esmolol passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using this medicine.

In an emergency situation it may not be possible to tell your caregivers if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Make sure any doctor caring for your pregnancy or your baby knows you have received this medicine.

How is esmolol given?

Esmolol is injected into a vein through an IV. A healthcare provider will give you this injection.

Your breathing, blood pressure, oxygen levels, and other vital signs will be watched closely while you are receiving esmolol.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Since the medication will be administered by a healthcare provider, missing a dose should not occur.

What happens if I overdose?

Since esmolol is given by a healthcare professional in a medical setting, an overdose is unlikely to occur.

What should I avoid while receiving esmolol?

Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.

Esmolol side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Tell your caregivers right away if you have:

  • a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;

  • very slow heartbeats;

  • swelling in your hands or feet;

  • wheezing, chest tightness, feeling short of breath;

  • weak or shallow breathing;

  • pain, swelling, irritation, bruising, or skin changes around the IV needle;

  • cold feeling in your hands and feet;

  • high potassium--nausea, slow or unusual heart rate, weakness, loss of movement; or

  • low blood sugar--headache, hunger, sweating, irritability, dizziness, nausea, fast heart rate, and feeling anxious or shaky.

Common side effects may include:

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect esmolol?

Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any you start or stop using, especially:

  • digoxin, digitalis;

  • blood pressure medication;

  • diet pills, stimulants, ADHD medication (Ritalin, Adderall, and others);

  • insulin or oral diabetes medicine; or

  • medicines to treat asthma, colds, or allergies.

This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with esmolol, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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