Reviewed by Michael Gill, B. Sc.
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Most Recent Beta Blocker Clinical Trials

What Are Beta Blocker Clinical Trials?

Beta blockers are medications that are primarily used to reduce blood pressure and strain on the heart. They are also referred to as beta-antagonists or beta-adrenergic blocking agents.

There are decades of research about the effectiveness of using beta blockers to treat conditions such as heart failure. Clinical trials and research today focuses on using beta blockers to treat other conditions such as Hyperadrenergic Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS), long Covid syndrome (PASC), anxiety and depression, hyperthyroidism, types of cancer, malaria, and osteoporosis. Other clinical trials are looking at deprescribing beta blockers for certain types of heart failure including heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF).

Why Are Beta Blockers Being Studied In Clinical Trials?

Beta Blockers have been widely used by clinicians since the late 1950s and were originally created to help treat angina. Today these medications are also widely used to treat many heart conditions, high blood pressure, glaucoma, migraines, and even some types of tremors. Since beta blockers help prevent “fight or flight” stress responses in the body, researchers and clinicians are now seeing more broad applications.

How Do Beta Blockers Work?

Beta blockers work by suppressing the effects of hormones on the nervous system, such as adrenaline, helping relax the body. These medications block the release of adrenaline and noradrenaline hormones, reducing blood pressure and pulse in most patients.

There are three types of beta blockers: Beta-1 (B1), Beta-2 (B2), and Beta-3 (B3). Each type targets a different area of the body and triggers different responses accordingly.

Beta Blockers typically come in the form of a tablet. Commonly used beta blockers include atenolol, bisoprolol, carvedilol, esmolol, labetalol, metoprolol, propranolol, and sotalol.

What Are a Few of the Break-Through Clinical Trials Involving Beta Blockers?

2020: Beta Blockers to Treat Anxiety and PTSD – This study followed 92 patients at a U.S. military outpatient psychiatric clinic who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and anxiety. 86% of patients reported seeing a positive difference using and/or continuing use of atenolol.

2020: Beta Blockers to Treat Osteoporosis – This study, looking at 397 participants, found that use of beta blockers improves bone mineral density and lowers fracture risk in adults with osteoporosis. This study supports past research on the link between bone loss and beta blockers, but details dosages and other treatment factors.

2021: Beta Blockers to Treat POTS – Trial participants were given the beta blocker ivabradine to treat common symptoms associated with POTS. The study found participants experienced improvement in their symptoms in just one month on the drug.

Who Are The Key Opinion Leaders On Beta Blocker Clinical Trial Research?

Dr. Christine W. Lary, PhD

Dr. Lary is a Senior Biostatistician and Faculty Scientist in the Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation at Maine Medical Center Research Institute in Portland, Maine. She has led and participated in a variety of medical studies including leading a study on beta blockers and osteoporosis.

Dr. Pam R. Taub, MD, FACC, FASPC

Dr. Taub is the Director of the Step Family Foundation Cardiovascular Rehabilitation and Wellness Center and is a Professor of Medicine at the University of California in San Diego, California. She has conducted multiple well-known cardiovascular studies including a study linking beta blockers to improving symptoms in patients with POTS.

About The Author

Michael Gill preview

Michael Gill - B. Sc.

First Published: October 25th, 2021

Last Reviewed: October 13th, 2022

Michael Gill holds a Bachelors of Science in Integrated Science and Mathematics from McMaster University. During his degree he devoted considerable time modeling the pharmacodynamics of promising drug candidates. Since then, he has leveraged this knowledge of the investigational new drug ecosystem to help his father navigate clinical trials for multiple myeloma, an experience which prompted him to co-found Power Life Sciences: a company that helps patients access randomized controlled trials.

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