Study highlights beta-blocker misunderstanding

Beta-adrenoceptor blockers are being prescribed at unnecessarily high doses for cardiac failure when evidence shows they are just as effective at lower doses, says an Australian expert.

Dr Simon Dimmitt of the University of Western Australia says doses near the top of the dose-response curve may cause unintended effects and significant morbidity such as hypotension and bradycardia without increasing benefits.

His review of evidence shows patients randomised low or high doses do not always have different hospitalisation rates.

In one trial, high doses of new anti