Introduction: In the perioperative setting, there is still a high incidence of adverse cardiac events due to sudden coronary plaque rupture or oxygen supply-demand imbalance. β-Blockers play an important role in preventing these cardiac events. Discussion, however, remains on the side effects accompanying this therapy. Areas covered: The evidence for perioperative use of β-blockers is summarized in this review in terms of risk reduction, perioperative safety and current clinical use. Furthermore, data on pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics and pharmacogenetics are presented. Expert opinion: In perioperative care, β-blockers are recommended and can be given safely when started early in a low dose, titrated to heart rate. In the future, there could be a place for added perioperative short-acting β-blockers to further optimize heart rate control.

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Expert Opinion on Drug Safety
Department of Anesthesiology

Ravensbergen, N., Voûte, M., & Poldermans, D. (2011). Safety of perioperative β-blocker use: How do β-blockers compare in terms of side effects?. Expert Opinion on Drug Safety (Vol. 10, pp. 545–558). doi:10.1517/14740338.2011.552500