Beta blockers are a type of medicine that is used to lower blood pressure, treat chest pain (angina), and heart failure. Taking a beta blocker can help to prevent a heart attack.
Why this is important:
Beta blockers relieve the stress on your heart by slowing the heart rate and reducing the force with which your heart muscles contract to pump blood. They also help keep blood vessels from constricting in your heart, brain, and body.
If you had a heart attack, you should receive a prescription for a beta blocker before you leave the hospital. The chart above shows the percentage of heart attack patients that were given a beta blocker before, or when, they were discharged from the hospital.