Understanding How Acebutolol Works and Pediatric/Off-Label Indications

How Does It Work?

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:
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.

Can It Be Used in Children or Teens?

Acebutolol is not approved for use in children or teens. Talk with your child's healthcare provider about the benefits and risks of using acebutolol in children.

Off-Label Uses of Acebutolol

On occasion, your healthcare provider may recommend acebutolol for something other than high blood pressure. For example, sometimes, the medication is used off-label for treating angina (chest pain).
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Acebutolol Drug Information

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