How Acebutolol Works and Treatment Instructions
Acebutolol belongs to a group of drugs called beta-adrenergic blocking agents, more often known as beta blockers. As the name implies, these medications block beta receptors in the body. In addition to blocking beta receptors, however, acebutolol also very slightly stimulates the beta receptors. Only a few beta blockers do this; this slight stimulatory action is known as "intrinsic sympathomimetic activity," or ISA.
Beta receptors are located in a number of places within the body, including the heart and blood vessels. Stress hormones (such as adrenaline) bind to these receptors and cause certain reactions in the body, such as:
- Increased force with which the heart pumps blood
- Increased heart rate
- Higher blood pressure (both systolic and diastolic blood pressure)
- Constricted blood vessels.
By blocking beta receptors, acebutolol causes the reverse effect of stress hormones and reduces blood pressure. It also suppresses certain irregular heartbeats that originate in the wrong part of the heart (known specifically as premature ventricular contractions or PVCs).
It is also important to note that acebutolol is more likely to block beta-1 receptors (such as those in the heart), opposed to beta-2 receptors (such as those found in the lungs). Theoretically, this may make the medication safer than other beta blockers for people with breathing problems such as asthma.
Some general considerations include the following:
- Acebutolol comes in capsule form. It is usually taken by mouth once or twice a day.
- You can take this medication either with a meal or on an empty stomach.
- For the medication to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed. Acebutolol will not work if you stop taking it.
- In general, this medication should not be stopped suddenly, as serious problems (including heart attacks) may result.