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What Is Coreg®?

By B. Chisholm
Updated May 17, 2024
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Coreg® is a medication used to treat high blood pressure or hypertension, chronic heart failure and angina. The active ingredient contained in Coreg® is carvedilol, a beta blocker with some alpha-blocking activity. It is available in most countries by prescription only and comes in various strengths. A controlled-release preparation is also available in some countries.

The mechanism of action of Coreg® is via the alpha and beta receptors, both of which it blocks to some extent. Beta receptors are involved in the action of adrenaline and noradrenalin, the fight or flight chemicals which come into play during times of stress. By blocking these receptors in the heart Coreg® reduces their action, which in turn lowers blood pressure and reduces the force of the heart beating.

Angina occurs when the heart doesn't get enough oxygen, often due to narrowing of the blood vessels. By reducing the amount of energy used by the heart, Coreg® decreases the need for oxygen and prevents angina attacks. Coreg®'s blocking action on the alpha receptors, which are present in the walls of the blood vessels, also helps to reduce the effort required by the heart to pump the blood. These effects are useful in some patients with certain types of chronic heart failure.

As with any medication, Coreg® may interact with other medications so any concomitant medications, including over-the-counter, homeopathic and complementary drugs should be discussed with the prescribing doctor. Pregnancy, desired pregnancy and breastfeeding should also be discussed. Beta-blockers may be contraindicated in people with underlying conditions such as certain allergies, diabetes or kidney failure, so it is vital they are mentioned to the doctor.

Coreg® may cause adverse side effects in some patients. The most common of these is postural hypotension, or dizziness on standing. This may especially be experienced when treatment is started, so the patient should get up slowly and avoid driving or handling heavy machinery if it occurs. Other side effects may include tiredness and headache. Should untoward effects be experienced they should be discussed with the prescribing doctor.

The dose of Coreg® will depend on the condition being treated, the severity thereof, and which dosage form is used. The controlled release preparation is usually taken once daily and the plain preparation twice daily. The dose prescribed should never be exceeded and tablets should be kept in a safe place, out of reach of children. In most patients antihypertensive therapy is long term.

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