Allergen Immunotherapy/Beta-Blockers Interactions

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:

Serious. These medicines may interact and cause very harmful effects. Contact your healthcare professional (e.g. doctor or pharmacist) for more information.

How the interaction occurs:

Beta-blockers may mask the signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis.

What might happen:

Taking beta-blockers with immunotherapy may interfere with how your body responds to an allergic reaction.The effect of epinephrine on severe allergic reactions may be decreased if you are also taking beta-blockers.

What you should do about this interaction:

Avoid taking these medications together. If they are taken together, your blood pressure and heart rate should be closely monitored. If you carry epinephrine as a precaution against allergic reactions, discuss the fact that you are also taking a beta-blocker with your doctor and what to do in the event of an emergency situation.Your healthcare professionals (e.g. doctor or pharmacist) may already be aware of this 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.Cox L, Nelson H, Lockey R, Calabria C, Chacko T, Finegold I, Nelson M, etal. Allergen immunotherapy: a practice parameter third update. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2011 Jan;127(1 Suppl):S1-55.
  • 2.Bickell WH, Dice WH. Military antishock trousers in a patient with adrenergic-resistant anaphylaxis. Ann Emerg Med 1984 Mar;13(3):189-90.
  • 3.Jacobs RL, Rake GW, Fournier DC, Chilton RJ, Culver WG, Beckmann CH. Potentiated anaphylaxis in patients with drug-induced beta-adrenergic blockade. J Allergy Clin Immunol 1981;68(2):125-7.
  • 4.Kivity S, Yarchovsky J. Relapsing anaphylaxis to bee sting in a patient treated with beta-blocker and Ca blocker. J Allergy Clin Immunol 1990 Mar;85(3):669-70.
  • 5.Lang DM. Do beta-blockers really enhance the risk of anaphylaxis during immunotherapy?. Curr Allergy Asthma Rep 2008 Mar;8(1):37-44.
  • 6.Awai LE, Mekori YA. Insect sting anaphylaxis and beta-adrenergic blockade: a relative contraindication. Ann Allergy 1984 Jul;53(1):48-9.
  • 7.Newman BR, Schultz LK. Epinephrine-resistant anaphylaxis in a patient taking propranolol hydrochloride. Ann Allergy 1981 Jul;47(1):35-7.

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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.