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Blood Pressure Drugs Can Interfere with Exercise

The beta blocker drugs used to treat blood pressure and heart problems can markedly impair your ability to exercise, according to a study from Switzerland (European Journal of Applied Physiology, October 2005). How hard you can exercise is limited by the ability of your heart to pump blood from your lungs to your exercising muscles. Beta blockers markedly reduce blood flow and oxygen supply to muscles. Beta blocker brand names include Toprol, Inderal, Blocadron, Coreg, Inopran, Levatol, Pindolol, Sectral, Tenormin, Timolol Trandate, Zebeta and Bisoprol.

Beta blockers are prescribed to treat people who have had heart attacks, heart pain, heart failure, rapid heart beat and atrial fibrillation. However, even though many physicians prescribe beta blockers to treat high blood pressure, there is no data show that they prevent heart attacks in healthy people. If beta blockers interfere with your ability to exercise, ask your doctor if you can take other types of medications such as ace inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers or calcium channel blockers. Better yet, control your blood pressure with diet.

Checked 12/30/08

May 19th, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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