Use Strategies to Help Heart Attack Patients Get Appropriate Beta-Blockers

There's more focus on ensuring proper use of beta-blockers in patients who've had a heart attack.

Expect most of these patients to start on carvedilol (Coreg, etc) or metoprolol (Toprol-XL, etc) within 24 hours after a heart attack. Atenolol (Tenormin, etc) hasn't been shown to improve outcomes after a heart attack...and there's currently a shortage of it.

Watch for titration of beta-blocker doses. Many patients will start on low doses...such as carvedilol 6.25 mg twice daily or metoprolol succinate 25 mg once daily...then increase as tolerated.

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