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This information is generalized and not intended as specific medical advice. Consult your healthcare professional before taking or discontinuing any drug or commencing any course of treatment.

Medical warning:

Moderate. These medicines may cause some risk when taken together. Contact your healthcare professional (e.g. doctor or pharmacist) for more information.

How the interaction occurs:

When these two medicines are taken together, your body may not process theophylline properly. Your beta-blocker may interfere with the benefits of theophylline.

What might happen:

The effects of your theophylline may decrease and cause breathing problems.

What you should do about this interaction:

If you experience problems with your breathing or other effects, contact your doctor. It may be necessary to adjust the dose of your medicine or change you to a different beta-blocker. Cigarette smoking may make this interaction worse.Your healthcare professionals (e.g. doctor or pharmacist) may already be aware of this drug interaction and may be monitoring you for it. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with them first.


1.Horvath JS, Woolcock AJ, Tiller DJ, Donnelly P, Armstrong J, Caterson R. A comparison of metoprolol and propranolol on blood pressure and respiratory function in patients with hypertension. Aust N Z J Med 1978 Feb;8(1):1-6.

2.Mue S, Sasaki T, Shibahara S, Takahashi M, Ohmi T, Yamauchi K, Suzuki S, Hida W, Takishima T. Influence of metoprolol on hemodynamics and respiratory function in asthmatic patients. Int J Clin Pharmacol Biopharm 1979 Aug;17(8):346-50.

3.Conrad KA, Nyman DW. Effects of metoprolol and propranolol on theophylline elimination. Clin Pharmacol Ther 1980 Oct;28(4):463-7.

4.Kearney TE, Manoguerra AS, Curtis GP, Ziegler MG. Theophylline toxicity and the beta-adrenergic system. Ann Intern Med 1985 Jun;102(6):766-9.

5.Miners JO, Wing LM, Lillywhite KJ, Robson RA. Selectivity and dose-dependency of the inhibitory effect of propranolol on theophylline metabolism in man. Br J Clin Pharmacol 1985 Sep;20(3):219-23.

6.Farrar KT, Dunn AM. Beta-blockers in treatment of theophylline overdose. Lancet 1985 Apr 27;1(8435):983.

7.Amin DN, Henry JA. Propranolol administration in theophylline overdose. Lancet 1985 Mar 2;1(8427):520-1.

8.Lombardi TP, Bertino JS Jr, Goldberg A, Middleton E Jr, Slaughter RL. The effects of a beta-2 selective adrenergic agonist and a beta- nonselective antagonist on theophylline clearance. J Clin Pharmacol 1987 Jul; 27(7):523-9.

9.Cerasa LA, Bertino JS Jr, Ludwig EA, Savliwala M, Middleton E Jr, Slaughter RL. Lack of effect of atenolol on the pharmacokinetics of theophylline. Br J Clin Pharmacol 1988 Dec;26(6):800-2.

10.Corsi CM, Nafziger AN, Pieper JA, Bertino JS Jr. Lack of effect of atenolol and nadolol on the metabolism of theophylline. Br J Clin Pharmacol 1990 Feb;29(2):265-8.

Selected from data included with permission and copyrighted by First Databank, Inc. This copyrighted material has been downloaded from a licensed data provider and is not for distribution, expect as may be authorized by the applicable terms of use.

CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.

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