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A better take on beta blockers

Yale Medicine Magazine, 2002 - Autumn


A Yale study has debunked the myth that beta blockers—prescribed following a heart attack to guard against future episodes—commonly cause depression, fatigue and sexual dysfunction. Harlan M. Krumholz, M.D., senior author of a July paper in JAMA, found that there had been no systematic review of the alleged association and reviewed 15 clinical trials involving more than 35,000 patients. “We found no clear evidence that the use of beta blockers causes depression,” Krumholz said. There was a slight association with fatigue and sexual dysfunction, but Krumholz also found those symptoms among study subjects taking placebo. His conclusion? More patients than are now receiving the medication stand to benefit.