In this week's edition of Everything You Learned In Med School Was Wrong, a division of the NHS, the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE), is recommending that beta-blockers no longer be prescribed as first-line hypertension therapy. Their recs:
Patients aged 55 and over and those of African or Caribbean descent should be given a calcium channel blocker or a thiazide-type diuretic initially. Those under 55 should be given an ACE inhibitor or an angiotensin receptor blocker.The argument, which isn't bad, is that beta-blockers come with far too many side-effects: increased risk of type II DM, loss of energy, libido, and "enjoyment of life" (interesting side-effect).
I'm not sure why the cardioprotective properties of beta-blockers vs. calcium channel blockers isn't factoring in here, mainly because this is a nice article for the lay public and not the slightly less lay-med psychiatrist-to-be. And this is the Brits. But wowsers.