Chapter

b-Adrenoreceptor antagonists and heart failure

Henry J. Dargie and Desmond Fitzgerald

in Oxford Textbook of Heart Failure

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780199577729
Published online July 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199697809 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/med/9780199577729.003.0038

Series: Oxford Textbooks

b-Adrenoreceptor antagonists and heart failure

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Sir James Black’s quest for a substance that would block the potentiallyharmful effects of adrenaline on the ischaemic heart led tohis invention of the β -adrenoceptor (AR) antagonistspronethaloland propranalol between 1959 and 1962. The ubiquitous natureof adrenaline ensured that these β -AR antagonists, commonlyreferred to in clinical practice as β-blockers, found a role in multipleaspects of cardiovascular therapeutics. Sir James could nothave predicted the colossal impact his discovery of β -blockers subsequentlywould have in improving the lives and preventing thedeaths of countless patients over the subsequent 50 years. Regardedby basic scientists as the father of analytical pharmacology, he wasalso a committed exponent of what we now regard as translationalmedical research. James Black’s achievement in discoveringβ -blockers followed by histamine type 2 antagonists (H2 blockers), the first effective treatment for peptic ulcer, was recognized by theaward of the Nobel Prize in 1986.

Chapter.  7916 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Cardiovascular Medicine

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