Can Hawthorn And Labetalol Be Taken Together?

In our latest question and answer, our pharmacist discusses whether or not it is safe to combine hawthorn and labetaolol.

Question

Can you take labetalol and Hawthorn 4:1 extract together?

Asked by pam On Jan 19, 2023

Answered by
Medical Content Reviewed By HelloPharmacist Staff

Published Jan 20, 2023
Last updated Jan 20, 2023

Key points

  • Several studies have shown that hawthorn can help lower blood pressure. However, it is important to be cautious when taking hawthorn with other blood pressure medications as it may cause the blood pressure to drop too low (hypotension), which can cause symptoms such as dizziness and lightheadedness.
  • It is important to talk to your healthcare provider before taking hawthorn or any other supplement so you can be appropriately monitored.

Answer

Thanks so much for your question! There is a potential interaction between hawthorn and labetalol but studies are far from definitive in regard to how clinically significant it is.

Interaction Detail

Hawthorn has been used in traditional medicine to help treat cardiovascular conditions and several studies have reported that hawthorn may lower blood pressure. One such study reported the following:

"Hawthorn can significantly lower blood pressure in people with mild hypertension if taken for at least 12 weeks. Further research is needed to confirm the long-term effects of hawthorn."
Advances in Integrative Medicine Volume 7, Issue 3, September 2020, Pages 167-175

The concern, therefore, with combining hawthorn with other medications that can lower blood pressure, like labetalol, is that blood pressure may drop too low (i.e., cause hypotension) which can result in side effects such as dizziness, drowsiness, and lightheadedness.

How Does Hawthorn Work For Blood Pressure?

Although more studies are needed to better understand how hawthorn works, some studies suggest that it works by dilating blood vessels, which can help to lower blood pressure by reducing the resistance that the heart has to pump against.

Additionally, hawthorn may help to improve the strength and efficiency of the heart muscle, which can help to reduce the workload on the heart and lower blood pressure.

Managing The Interaction

When taking both labetalol and hawthorn, it is important to monitor blood pressure closely and be sure to let your doctor know about all the medication you are taking.

If any adverse effects occur, it may be necessary to adjust the dosage or frequency of the medications or to discontinue one of the medications.

In some cases, the blood pressure-lowering effect of hawthorn can be seen as a positive, helping individuals reach their blood pressure goals, so I certainly don't want to have this answer come off as something you absolutely need to avoid.

The takeaway should be that it is important to know that hawthorn can lower blood pressure, and you need to keep an eye on it. Make sure your doctor is aware of your medications so you can be appropriately monitored.

Final Words

Thanks for reaching out to us!

I want to point out that this interaction with hawthorn would really apply to any blood pressure medication, not just labetalol. Hawthorn isn't known to affect how labetalol works or is metabolized. This is purely an interaction involving similar effects on blood pressure.

Be sure to use our 'drug-herbal interaction checker' if anything else comes up, or simply contact us again and we'd be more than happy to answer any question.

References

  • Hypotensive effects of hawthorn for patients with diabetes taking prescription drugs: a randomised controlled trial, PubMed
  • The effect of hawthorn (Crataegus spp.) on blood pressure: A systematic review, ScienceDirect
  • Effect of hawthorn standardized extract on flow mediated dilation in prehypertensive and mildly hypertensive adults: a randomized, controlled cross-over trial, PubMed
  • Hawthorn (Crataegus spp.) in the treatment of cardiovascular disease, PubMed

About the Pharmacist

Dr. Brian Staiger, PharmD

Dr. Brian has been practicing pharmacy for over 13 years and has wide-ranging experiences in many different areas of the profession. From retail, clinical, program development, and administrative responsibilities, he's your knowledgeable and go-to source for all your pharmacy and medication-related questions! Dr. Brian Staiger also has herbalist training and educational certificates in the field of medical ethnobotany. Feel free to send him an email at Hello@HelloPharmacist.com! You can also connect with Dr. Brian Staiger on LinkedIn.

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