Beta blocker overdose

Hang on, please don’t escape reading this post title. This might sound meticulously head banging scientific scrap if you aren’t a part of medical family but the topic has some essence in real life so tried to coin it in simplest form possible by me. First lets do a background check about beta blockers, which are a set of drugs blocking beta receptors and have various uses in treatment of hypertension, angina, myocardial infarction, glaucoma etc. Many people are using this drugs although they might not know that the drug is a beta blocker.Some examples of beta blockers are- propranolol, metoprolol, esmolol, pindolol, acebutolol etc. This are generic names not the company names so if you check the generic name in the packet of your medicine you might find some of these.

Now lets focus on what is done when a beta-blocker overdose situation occurs. Such overdose are treated by glucagon a hormone normally known to increase the blood glucose level and used in treating hypoglycemia (i.e. low blood glucose situations; eg. fasting for long periods might cause hypoglycemia). Todays post is focused on how glucagon helps us dealing with the overdose situation. Glucagon is a hormone normally produced in our pancreas and it’s role is to increases blood glucose level (somewhat opposite to insulin action, another pancreatic hormone). Following is the likely explanation: normal beta functions in our body are like dilating our bronchial muscle in respiratory tract, increasing our heart rate etc. and to achieve these beta receptor functions increase a component in body called cAMP.  So, if beta action is blocked by beta-blocking drugs the action of cAMP will fall. Here is how glucagon helps in overdose situation, it raises the level of cAMP which was primarily suppressed by beta-blockers. So if a beta-blocker overdose slowed or stopped the heart the glucagon might bring the pace back.

Hope that was not a overdose of medical talk. There are a lot of such interesting stuff about beta blockers to discuss, afraid can’t talk about it here since this post was dedicated to the hidden hero, glucagon. In some other post, some other day will try bringing up some other yummy discussion about beta blockers. The above discussion is probably a complicated stuff to understand for persons of non medical background but if you understood, CONGRATULATIONs!

The Glucagon Emergency Rescue Kit, easily iden...
The Glucagon Emergency Rescue Kit

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