β-Adrenoceptor blockers have been in use as antihypertensive agents for about 10 years.1 The newer drugs in this group differ in various ways from propranolol (Inderal - ICI), the first to be widely used in hypertension. Of the new (β-blockers oxprenolol (Trasicor - Ciba) and practolol (Eraldin -ICI) are marketed in Britain. Pindolol (Visken - Sandoz) has been available in Australasia for about two years and is soon to be introduced here; alprenolol (Aptin - Astra) is not available in Britain, but is widely used in Scandinavia. This article discusses the place of these drugs in the treatment of hypertension.
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