Living With Polio

Beta Blockers?

Post-Polio Health, Volume 30, Number 2, Spring 2014.
Ask Dr. Maynard
Frederick M. Maynard, MD

Question: I’m interested in finding out if polio survivors should or should not take beta blockers.

I have atrial fibrillation and the doctors keep trying me on beta blockers and I have trouble taking them. Do they work for atrial fibrillation?

Answer: Some polio survivors can tolerate, and benefit from, taking beta blockers, but many are unable to tolerate them because of severe weakness and fatigue. If you are one of those with significant side effects, you should not take them. There are other drugs that can be used for your heart condition. Beta blockers are not essential for the successful management of atrial fibrillation. I would suggest seeking a second opinion from a cardiologist if your current doctor insists you take them.

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