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Diabetes

Diabetes and Beta Blockers

05/26/2009

Question:

Do certain beta blockers carry less risk than others of developing diabetes in patients who are prediabetic (FBS 100-125)?

Answer:

I have not found studies that answer the exact question you pose. However there are some studies which claim lesser effects of some beta blockers than others on mechanisms which affect insulin secretion and/or tissue sensitivity to insulin.  It is conceivable that those physiologic effects could translate to altered risk of progression of diabetes.  However the ones for which a lesser effect on blood sugar is suggested (e.g. carvedilol) are less likely to be available as a generic drug and hence more expensive.  I don't know what the difference would be in effectiveness or the trade-off in cost vs benefit.

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Response by:

Robert M Cohen, MD Robert M Cohen, MD
Professor of Clinical Medicine
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati