Blockers of beta-adrenergic receptors, commonly known as beta-blockers, are an important role in the regulation of body functions have catecholamines: epinephrine and norepinephrine. They are secreted into the blood and act on special sensitive nerve endings – adrenoreceptors which divided into two large groups: alpha and beta-adrenergic receptors. Beta-adrenergic receptors are located in many organs and tissues and are divided into two subgroups.
Beta-blockers affect the sympathetic nervous system. These drugs have been used in medicine for a long time, since the 1960s. The discovery of beta-blockers significantly increased the effectiveness of treatment of cardiovascular diseases, as well as hypertension. Therefore, the scientists who first synthesized and tested these drugs in clinical practice were awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1988.
The hormone adrenaline and other catecholamines stimulate beta-1 and beta-2-adrenergic receptors, which are found in various organs. The mechanism of action of beta-blockers is that they block beta-1-adrenergic receptors, “shielding” the heart from the effects of adrenaline and other “accelerating” hormones. As a result, the work of the heart is facilitated: it is reduced less often and with less force. Thus, the frequency of attacks of angina and violations of the heart rhythm is reduced. The probability of sudden cardiac death decreases.
Today it is difficult to imagine cardiology without the use of funds that belong to the category of beta-blockers. These drugs have proven themselves in the treatment of such complex diseases as hypertension, tachycardia, heart failure. They have proved effective in the practice of therapy of coronary heart disease and metabolic syndrome.