Beta-blockers have been present and prescribed since 1970 and have been seen as the very best among hypertension drugs.

However, back in 2004 British Hypertension Society reported that there are better and newer drugs like these and that patients should be switched to Ace inhibitors, calcium-channel blockers and diuretics.

The similar report came recently from the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (Nice) in which doctors were advised to change medications but they were also given a pattern. Other treatments, that include prescribing first calcium channel blocker or a thiazide-type and then beta blockers, should be given to patients older than 55 and patients of African or Caribbean descent. Patients younger than 55 should be given either ACE inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers.

The decision was made after the reviews of the latest medical evidence that showed beta-blockers were 25% less effective at reducing a stroke than other drugs. Besides being less effective, beta-blockers are said to cause more side effects like increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, loss of libido, energy, etc

Doctors now fear that their offices will be filled with unsatisfied patients who would ask for new prescriptions or that they would just suddenly stops taking beta blockers, which was not the idea.

The bottom line is that there is no rush in switching the drugs immediately. The best way to do it is through planned and measured way over the next few months during routine appointments.