Pharmacodynamic Interactions with Exercise and Beta-Blocker Medications

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


It is recommended that all individuals who have high blood pressure should also participate in a regular exercise program to help control their blood pressure and decrease their risk for cardiovascular disease. Most of these individuals will also be on medications, and many will be on a medication from the class of antihypertensives called beta-blockers. Research has shown that a pharmacodynamic drug-exercise interaction exists when beta-blockers and exercise are taken together. Hemodynamic changes occur with this interaction, causing a decrease in exercising heart rate and cardiac output. Clinically, this results in patients feeling fatigued and that their ability to exercise is more difficult, which can result in poor exercise adherence. Health care professionals should routinely talk with their patients who are taking beta-blocker therapy about what to expect when the 2 treatments are taken together. This article provides background information about this drug-exercise interaction and several points of information that health care professionals can discuss with their patients, including how to monitor their exercise intensity without using the exercise heart rate response method.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)454-457
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Lifestyle Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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