Both digitalis glycosides and beta-blockers slow atrioventricular conduction and decrease heart rate. Concomitant use can increase the risk of bradycardia.
Calcium Channel Blockers
Caution should be exercised when patients receiving a beta blocker are administered a calcium-channel-blocking drug with negative inotropic and/or chronotropic effects. Both agents may depress myocardial contractility or atrioventricular conduction.
There have been reports of significant bradycardia, heart failure, and cardiovascular collapse with concurrent use of verapamil and beta-blockers.
Co-administration of propranolol and diltiazem in patients with cardiac disease has been associated with bradycardia, hypotension, high-degree heart block, and heart failure.
When combined with beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors can cause hypotension, particularly in the setting of acute myocardial infarction.
The antihypertensive effects of clonidine may be antagonized by beta-blockers. Inderal should be administered cautiously to patients withdrawing from clonidine.
Prazosin has been associated with prolongation of first dose hypotension in the presence of beta-blockers.
Postural hypotension has been reported in patients taking both beta-blockers and terazosin or doxazosin.
Patients receiving catecholamine-depleting drugs, such as reserpine, should be closely observed for excessive reduction of resting sympathetic nervous activity, which may result in hypotension, marked bradycardia, vertigo, syncopal attacks, or orthostatic hypotension.
Patients on long-term therapy with propranolol may experience uncontrolled hypertension if administered epinephrine as a consequence of unopposed alpha-receptor stimulation. Epinephrine is therefore not indicated in the treatment of propranolol overdose (see OVERDOSAGE).
Isoproterenol and Dobutamine
Propranolol is a competitive inhibitor of beta-receptor agonists, and its effects can be reversed by administration of such agents, e.g., dobutamine or isoproterenol. Also, propranolol may reduce sensitivity to dobutamine stress echocardiography in patients undergoing evaluation for myocardial ischemia.