The heart contains both beta-1 and beta-2 adrenergic receptors. Nonselective or selective beta-adrenergic agents can have adverse cardiovascular effects.


Groups given selective beta-2 agonists to provide bronchodilation:

(1) bronchial asthma

(2) chronic obstructive pulmonary disease


Cardiovascular effects of a beta-adrenergic agonist may include:

(1) sinus tachycardia, atrial fibrillation, ventricular tachycardia, or other tachyarrhythmia

(2) acute myocardial infarction

(3) congestive heart failure

(4) syncope

(5) cardiac arrest or sudden cardiac death


Risk factors for adverse cardiovascular effect:

(1) high dose of the beta-agonist

(2) frequent dosing of the beta-agonist

(3) underlying cardiovascular disease

(4) interacting drugs that interfere with the beta-agonist metabolism or otherwise heighten its response

(5) exposure to other stimulants (excessive thyroid hormone, amphetamines, cocaine, etc)

(6) new user


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