modifying stress - beta blockers social+ethical implications

  • Created by: Elyseee
  • Created on: 08-01-21 12:12
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  • beta blockers - social and ethical implications
    • social - off label prescription
      • not licenced for use for anxiety and stress
      • Well-controlled, long-term research is limited
      • Hsiang-wen lin et al (2006) proportion of off-label beta blocker use was average of about 52% of beta blocker prescriptions
      • Creates dilemma of health professionals
      • Wittich et al (2012) potential issues with lawsuits against doctors and drug companies if there are adverse effects, may be issues of valid consent if off-label use is not explained to patients
    • social - possible over prescription
      • stats from the prescribing primary care health and social care information  indicate prescription of propranolol increased by 7% between 2012-2013
      • May be to increased use for heart problems, some medical professionals expressed concern of overprescribing for stress
      • Other psychological therapies more expensive than beta blockers - more cost effective
      • Established it’s unlikely to deal with root of cause of stress
    • ethical - side effects
      • end to be mild and temporary
      • Eg) dizziness, diarrhoea, nausea, cold hands and feet
      • May cause issues with sleep and shortness of breath in asthmatics
      • Compared to benzodiazepines the effects are minimal
      • Stopping them suddenly can cause heart palpitations or rise in blood pressure, body will have become used to drug’s effects in slowing down sympathetic response
      • Individual may become psychologically dependent on drug
    • ethical - enhancing performance
      • Eg) music and sport, raises ethical questions
      • They are banned for use in most sports, suggests they’re viewed as unethical
      • May be seen as providing unfair advantage
      • Some might argue they don’t specifically enhance performance in the way steroids might - stopping anxiety interfering with performance may be acceptable


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