Beta-blockers
  • Coenzyme Q 10 (CoQ 10 ) —Supplementation Possibly Helpful
  • Chromium —Possible Helpful Interaction
  • Coleus forskohlii —Theoretical Interaction
En Español (Spanish Version)

Beta-blockers are used for hypertension as well as for a variety of heart conditions.

Drugs that fall into this family include

  • Acebutolol hydrochloride (Sectral)
  • Atenolol (Tenormin)
  • Alprenolol
  • Betaxolol hydrochloride (Kerlone)
  • Bisoprolol fumarate (Zebeta)
  • Carteolol (Cartrol)
  • Carvedilol (Coreg)
  • Esmolol hydrochloride (Brevibloc)
  • Labetalol hydrochloride (Normodyne, Trandate)
  • Metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol XL)
  • Nadolol (Corgard)
  • Penbutolol (Levatol)
  • Pindolol (Visken)
  • Propranolol hydrochloride (Betachron E-R, Inderal, Inderal LA)
  • Sotalol (Betapace)
  • Timolol maleate (Blocadren)
  • and others
Supplementation Possibly Helpful
There is some evidence that beta-blockers (specifically propranolol, metoprolol, and alprenolol) might impair the body's ability to utilize the substance coenzyme Q 10 (CoQ 10 ). 1,2 This is particularly worrisome, because CoQ 10 appears to play a significant role in normal heart function. 3 Depletion of CoQ 10 might be responsible for some of the side effects of beta-blockers. In one study, CoQ 10 supplements reduced side effects caused by the beta-blocker propranolol. 4 The beta-blocker timolol may interfere with CoQ 10 production to a lesser extent than other beta-blockers.

Possible Helpful Interaction
Beta-blockers have been known to reduce levels of HDL ("good") cholesterol. According to one study, chromium supplementation can offset this adverse effect. 5

Theoretical Interaction
The herb Coleus forskohlii relaxes blood vessels and might have unpredictable effects on blood pressure if combined with beta-blockers.




Kishi H, et al. Bioenergetics in clinical medicine. III. Inhibition of coenzyme Q 10 -enzymes by clinically used anti-hypertensive drugs. Res Commun Chem Pathol Pharmacol. 1975;12:533-540. Kishi T, et al. Bioenergetics in clinical medicine. XV. Inhibition of coenzyme Q 10 -enzymes by clinically used adrenergic blockers of beta receptors. Res Commun Chem Pathol Pharmacol. 1977;17:157-164. Folkers K. Basic chemical research on coenzyme Q 10 and integrated clinical research on therapy of diseases. As cited in: Lenaz G, ed. Coenzyme Q. New York, NY: John Wiley and Sons; 1985. Hamada M, Kazatain Y, Ochi T, et al. Correlation between serum CoQ 10 level and myocardial contractility in hypertensive patients. In: Biomedical and Clinical Aspects of Coenzyme Q, Vol 4. Amsterdam: Elsevier; 1984: 263-270. Roeback JR, et al. Effects of chromium supplementation on serum high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels in men taking beta-blockers. A randomized, controlled trial. Ann Intern Med . 1991;115:917-924.
Last Reviewed August 2013



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