Beta-blockers - Interactions 

Interactions with other medicines 

When two or more medicines are taken at the same time, the effects of one of the medicines can be altered by the other (drug-drug interaction). Beta-blockers (including beta-blocker eye drops) can interact with other medicines.

Some of the more common interactions are listed below. However, this is not a complete list.

If you want to check your medicines are safe to take with beta-blockers, ask your GP or pharmacist, or read the patient information leaflet that comes with your medicine.

Anti-arrhythmics

Anti-arrhythmics are medicines that control irregular heartbeats. There is a risk of myocardial depression (impaired function of the heart) and arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats) when beta-blockers are taken with these medicines.

Antihypertensives

Antihypertensives (medicines given to lower blood pressure) can cause low blood pressure (hypotension) when taken with beta-blockers.

Antipsychotics

Antipsychotics are medicines used to treat severe mental health problems. Some types of beta-blockers (for example, sotalol) can increase the risk of arrhythmias when given to people taking antipsychotics.

Other medication

Some specific medicines known to interact with beta-blockers are listed below.

  • Clonidine is medicine used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension) and migraine. Rebound hypertension (a sharp and sudden rise in blood pressure) can occur if you stop taking clonidine while taking a beta-blocker.
  • Diltiazem and digoxin can cause heart block and a slow heart rate when taken with beta-blockers.
  • Mefloquine can cause a slow heart rate when used with beta-blockers.
  • Verapamilnifedipine and nisoldipine can cause severe low blood pressure and heart failure when taken with beta-blockers.

Page last reviewed: 03/04/2012

Next review due: 03/04/2014

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Interactions with food and alcohol

Alcohol can cause low blood pressure in people taking beta-blockers.

However, there are no known interactions between beta-blockers and specific foods.