Technische Universität München

The Entrepreneurial University

Beta-blockers block the action of catecholamines on β-adrenergic receptors. Their chronic use in clinical practice is associated with detrimental effects on insulin sensitivity, glycaemic control and the incidence of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Research has shown that most β-blockers significantly decrease insulin sensitivity and increase the risk for development of new-onset diabetes. The mechanisms of this effect are not fully understood, but several possibilities have been put forward: body weight gain, decrease in insulin secretion, and probably most important, reduced blood flow to muscles and subsequent reduced insulin-stimulated glucose uptake.
Recent data suggests that beta-blockers induce a worsening of sexual activity, erectile dysfunctions and a reduction of plasma testosterone concentrations in male hypertensive patients.