Low Dose Beta Blockade in Acute Stroke "BEST"


Phase 3 Results

Trial Description

To investigate whether the apparent protective effect of propranolol on cerebral function in patients with subarachnoid hemorrhage also applied to patients with acute stroke.


  • Atenolol (Tenormin)Drug
    Other Names: tenormin
    Intervention Desc: Beta-adrenergic receptor antagonist (beta-blocker); anti-hypertensive
  • Propranolol (Inderal)Drug
    Intervention Desc: Beta-adrenergic receptor antagonist (beta-blocker) antihypertensive

Trial Design

Randomized trial of 302 patients.

Patient Involvement

Patients were randomly assigned to receive atenolol (50 mg daily), slow release propranolol (80 mg daily), or matching placebo capsules for three weeks or until discharge, whichever occurred first.


Type Measure Time Frame Safety Issue
Primary Neurological assessment at entry, day 8, and 1 and 6 months. Full functional assessments from day 8 onwards measured by activities of daily living and comparison of the number of days spent in hospital, or under nursing care during 6-month follow-up period.