Understanding Effects of Esmolol and Pediatric/Off-Label Indications

How Does Esmolol Work?

Esmolol 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. 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, esmolol causes the reverse effect of stress hormones and reduces blood pressure and heart rate. It is also important to note that esmolol 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). This can theoretically make the medication safer than other beta blockers for people with breathing problems such as asthma.
 
Esmolol is very rapid and short-acting, making it ideal for use in emergency situations when immediate (but temporary) treatment of rapid heart rates or hypertension is necessary.
 

Can Children Use It?

This medicine is not approved for use in children. Talk with your child's healthcare provider about the benefits and risks of using esmolol in children.
 

Off-Label Uses of Esmolol

On occasion, your healthcare provider may recommend esmolol for something other than the conditions discussed in this article. At this time, however, there are no universally accepted off-label uses for this drug.
 
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Esmolol Drug Information

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