Do oral beta-blockers really exacerbate asthma? - PulmCCM
Dec 202011

Morales et al queried a database of 53,994 UK asthma patients, finding 1527 who were prescribed beta blockers, 441 with a brand-new prescription. The rate of oral steroid use in the 2 weeks prior to beta-blocker commencement was the same as in the 2 weeks after (0.9%). They did not examine exacerbation rates or steroid use longitudinally, but the original case reports blaming propranolol for asthma exacerbations occurred in people recently started on the drug. Thorax 2011;66:502-507.

Recent investigations suggest BB therapy may actually improve asthma. A 2002 meta-analysis found no significant adverse effects of beta-blocker therapy in people with mild-to-moderate asthma, and in fact, bronchodilator response increased with chronic beta-blocker treatment.

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  3 Responses to “Do oral beta-blockers really exacerbate asthma?”

  1. In my experiance it is opposite. I often stop the beta blockers for worsening asthma. And they really improve simply with that

  2. Asthma was always a contraindication for the BB administration, because they stimulate the broncho-constriction. I admire the endurance of the patients in this study!!!

  3. Your anecdotal experience is not to be ignored exactly but you should be more skeptical. that is what clinical trials and observational studies are for. to give us a better insight into reality. beta blockers are probably fine for most people with mild or moderate asthma although we should have a randomized trial.