Potentially hazardous co-prescribing of β-adrenoceptor antagonists and agonists in the community

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    14 Citations (Scopus)


    Aim. The aim of this study was to investigate the co-prescribing of β-antagonists and β-agonists in the community, and to assess the potential hazards of such co-prescribing. Methods. The study was set in the population of Tayside, Scotland (population approximately 400 000), between January 1993 and March 1993. An automated person-specific prescribing database was used, which could also be linked to hospital admissions. Patients who were co-prescribed β-antagonists and β-agonists on the same day or within 30 days were selected. A model was used to identify those who showed an asthmatic profile, on the basis of age, and previous prescribing and hospitalization history, and for whom the co-prescribing was judged to be particularly hazardous. Results. Altogether, 0.9% of 15 824 patients who received a β-antagonist during the study period received a β-agonist on the same day. This figure increased to 274 (1.7%) for 30-day co-prescription. A few instances of particularly hazardous co-prescribing were identified, which involved young people who had previously received prescriptions for corticosteroids and been hospitalized for asthma. Conclusion. Potentially hazardous co-prescribing of β-agonists and β-antagonists occurs despite labelled warnings, even in patients who appear to be at high risk. These events are quite rare but probably should not occur at all.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)423-425
    Number of pages3
    JournalBritish Journal of General Practice
    Issue number408
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 1996


    • β-agonists
    • β-antagonists
    • Asthma
    • Co-prescribing

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Family Practice


    Dive into the research topics of 'Potentially hazardous co-prescribing of β-adrenoceptor antagonists and agonists in the community'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this