Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Beta-adrenoceptor-blocking drugs and blood sugar control in diabetes mellitus.

Br Med J 1979; 1 doi: (Published 20 January 1979) Cite this as: Br Med J 1979;1:159
  1. A D Wright,
  2. S G Barber,
  3. M J Kendall,
  4. P H Poole


    The effects on diabetic control of the relative cardioselective beta-blocker metoprolol and the non-selective drug propranolol were compared in 20 hypertensive diabetic patients receiving diet alone or diet and oral hypoglycaemic agents. Each drug was given for one month in a double-blind, cross-over study. Fasting, noon, and mid-afternoon blood sugar concentrations rose by 1.0-1.5 mmol/l (18-27 mg/100 ml). The rise with propranolol was not significantly greater than with metoprolol. In a few patients the rise was clinically important. The small overall change observed in diabetic control should not deter the use of beta-blockers in non-insulin-dependent diabetics, provided control is carefully monitored at the onset of treatment.