Brevibloc is a prescription drug approved for the treatment of certain irregular heart rhythms in emergency situations. It can also be used to treat high blood pressure or a rapid heart rate during or after a surgery. The medicine is only used as a temporary treatment and is given by IV. Potential side effects include nausea, dizziness, and drowsiness.
Brevibloc® (esmolol hydrochloride) is a prescription medication approved to treat the following conditions:
- Certain irregular heart rhythms (arrhythmias) in emergency situations
- A rapid heart rate (tachycardia) or high blood pressure (hypertension) during or after surgery.
(Click Brevibloc Uses for more information on what the medication is used for, including possible off-label uses.)
Brand-name Brevibloc is made by Baxter Healthcare Corporation. Generic versions are made by various manufacturers.
Brevibloc 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:
- Increased force with which the heart pumps blood
- Increased heart rate
- Higher blood pressure (both systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure)
- Constricted blood vessels.
By blocking beta receptors, Brevibloc causes the reverse effect of stress hormones and reduces blood pressure and heart rate. It is also important to note that Brevibloc 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.
Brevibloc 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.