Beta blockers usually are not a good choice for lowering blood pressure in black people. They are not a first-line medicine for treating high blood pressure in general. But they may be useful for people of any race who have both heart disease and high blood pressure. This is especially true for people with heart failure or who’ve had a heart attack.

Some types of beta blockers don’t work as well for black people as they do for white people. These include atenolol, propranolol, and metoprolol. Other types of beta blockers work equally well for all races. Labetalol, carvedilol, and nebivolol may be good choices for lowering blood pressure.

Every person is different. Medicines do not work the same for all people. Finding the right medicine for you is like fitting a key into a lock. Not every key will fit in your lock. Even though some beta blockers may work for black people, you and your doctor need to work together to find the right one that will work for you.

Check with your doctor if beta blockers can work for you!