Skip to main content

Beta-Adrenergic Antagonists: Indications and Potential Immunomodulatory Side Effects in the Critically Ill

Buy Article:

$63.00 plus tax (Refund Policy)


Pharmacologic blockade of β-adrenergic receptors is a frequent therapeutic intervention in critically ill patients. Today's strategies predominantly include the treatment of cardiovascular diseases like hypertension and cardiac arrhythmias. Furthermore, β-adrenergic antagonists are routinely used to prevent the catecholamine-induced hypermetabolism in critically ill patients suffering from severe burn injury.

In addition to these well known beneficial effects of β-adrenoceptor blocking agents it has been demonstrated, that the adrenergic system is involved in the modulation of cellular immune functions.

Therefore, the immunomodulatory properties of β-adrenergic antagonists have been established during the last years and the scientific focus was addressed on the proposed immunologic side effects of a β-adrenergic blockade and its potential effect on the clinical course of critical illness.

This manuscript reviews the rational and the effect of the therapeutic use of β-adrenergic antagonists in critically ill patients on the base of the current literature and further emphasizes on potential immunologic side effects.

Keywords: Propranolol; adrenergic antagonist; critical care medicine; critical illness; endocrine-immune interaction; immune system; β-blocker

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department Trauma Surgery, University Hospital of Essen, Hufelandstr. 55, 45147 Essen, Germany.

Publication date: March 1, 2009

More about this publication?
  • Current Medicinal Chemistry covers all the latest and outstanding developments in medicinal chemistry and rational drug design. Each issue contains a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of the current topics in medicinal chemistry. Current Medicinal Chemistry is an essential journal for every medicinal chemist who wishes to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments.

Access Key

Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Partial Open Access Content
Partial Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more