Propranolol is a beta-blocker drug. Propranolol is used to treat or prevent some heart conditions, reduce the symptoms of angina pectoris (chest pain), lower blood pressure in people with hypertension, and improve survival after a heart attack. Propranolol is sometimes used to prevent migraine headaches, to reduce movement associated with essential tremor, and to reduce performance anxiety.
As pleurisy root and other plants in the Aesclepius genus contain cardiac glycosides, it is best to avoid use of pleurisy root with heart medications such as beta-blockers.1
Some beta-adrenergic blockers (called “nonselective” beta blockers) decrease the uptake of potassium from the blood into the cells,2 leading to excess potassium in the blood, a potentially dangerous condition known as hyperkalemia.3 People taking beta-blockers should therefore avoid taking potassium supplements, or eating large quantities of fruit (e.g., bananas), unless directed to do so by their doctor.
In a single-dose human study, piperine, a chemical found in black pepper and long pepper, was reported to increase blood levels of propranolol,4 which could increase the activity and risk of side effects of the drug.
In a single-dose human study, piperine, a chemical found in black pepper and long pepper, was reported to increase blood levels of propranolol,5 which could increase the activity and risk of side effects of the drug.
Propranolol inhibits enzymes dependent on coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10). In one trial, propranolol-induced symptoms were reduced in people given 60 mg of CoQ10 per day.6
1. Newall CA, Anderson LA, Phillipson JD. Herbal Medicines: A Guide for Health-Care Professionals. London: Pharmaceutical Press, 1996, 213–4.
2. Rosa RM, Silva P, Young JB, et al. Adrenergic modulation of extrarenal potassium disposal. N Engl J Med 1980;302:431–4.
3. Lundborg P. The effect of adrenergic blockade on potassium concentrations in different conditions. Acta Med Scand Suppl 1983;672:121–6 [review].
4. Bano G, Raina RK, Zutshi U, et al. Effect of piperine on bioavailability and pharmacokinetics of propranolol and theophylline in healthy volunteers. Eur J Clin Pharmacol 1991;41:615–7.
5. Bano G, Raina RK, Zutshi U, et al. Effect of piperine on bioavailability and pharmacokinetics of propranolol and theophylline in healthy volunteers. Eur J Clin Pharmacol 1991;41:615–7.
6. Hamada M, Kazatain Y, Ochi T, et al. Correlation between serum CoQ10 level and myocardial contractility in hypertensive patients. In Biomedical and Clinical Aspects of Coenzyme Q, vol 4, ed. K Folkers, Y Yamamura. Amsterdam: Elsevier, 1984, 263–70.
Last Review: 05-01-2013
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