Metoprolol: The Benefit of the Drug and the Indication and the Action of Drug
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The general recommendation established by the Seventh Report of the Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of the Joint National Committee on High Blood Pressure (JNC 7) is to initiate a thiazide-type diuretic initially for stage 1 hypertensive patients without compelling indications for other therapies.
The effect of a drug present at the site of action is determined by that drug’s binding with a receptor. Receptors may be present on neurons in the central nervous system (i.e., opiate receptors) to depress pain sensation, on cardiac muscle to affect the intensity of contraction, or even within bacteria to disrupt maintenance of the bacterial cell wall. For most drugs, the concentration at the site of the receptor determines the intensity of a drug’s effect. However, other factors affect drug response as well. Density of receptors on the cell surface, the mechanism by which a signal is transmitted into the cell by second messengers (substances within the cell), or regulatory factors that control gene translation and protein production may influence drug effect.
Since the introduction of propranolol into clinical practice in 1964, β-blockers enjoyed a special place in the clinicians’ armamentarium against CDs, especially for patients with ischemic heart diseases, and are still one of the most extensively used therapeutic drugs in both cardiac and non-cardiac ailments. Current uses of β-blockers in CDs include ischemic heart diseases, hypertension, cardiac arrhythmias, and heart failure.
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