The idea of using beta-blockers as a treatment for ventricular fibrillation occurred to James Black over 60 years ago. He developed propranolol and cimetidine, among other pharmacologic agents, work for which he won the Nobel Prize in 1988. Beta-blockers were reported to lower blood pressure by Brian Pritchard in 1964, and he and John Cruickshank wrote Beta-blockers in Clinical Practice, a major early text on the subject, shortly thereafter in 1967. The role of beta-blockers has expanded over the years, as they have demonstrated their efficacy for treating several conditions affecting cardiovascular health. This booklet, The Beta-Blocker Story, offers an update on the role of beta-blockers in cardiovascular medicine.
The role of beta-blockers is reviewed in the treatment of the following conditions:
Ischemic heart disease