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- One of the non-subtype selective beta adrenergic antagonists
- Competitive antagonists of both alpha and beta adrenergic receptors; potency of the beta adrenergic blockade is fivefold to tenfold that of the alpha adrenergic blockade
- Blockade of alpha and beta adrenergic receptors contributes to the fall in blood pressure; alpha blockade leads to relaxation of arterial smooth muscle and vasodilation; beta blockade also contributes to fall in blood pressure in part by blocking reflex sympathetic stimulation of the heart
- Metabolized in the liver; ½ life is around 8 hours
- Administration: 20=80 mg IV pushes to a maximum of 300 mg/day, IV drip 0.5-2 mg/min, or tablets- strat 100 mg po twice daily, increase by 100 mg twice daily every 2-3 days to a maximum of 1.2 to 2.4 g/day.