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Can Magnesium Interact With Atenolol?

By Adam Cloe Ph.D./M.D.

Supplements with minerals, including magnesium, can be taken to prevent deficiencies, but they can also affect different medications. Atenolol is a drug sometimes used to treat high blood pressure, but magnesium can interfere with its absorption. Talk to your doctor before taking magnesium and other minerals along with atenolol and other beta blockers.

Atenolol

Atenolol belongs to a class of medications known as beta blockers. The human hormone adrenaline or epinephrine affects many different parts of your bodies, including your cardiovascular system. Adrenaline binds to certain proteins in your arteries, known as beta adrenergic receptors, and causes the arteries to constrict. This causes your blood pressure to rise. Beta blockers block these receptors and help keep the arteries from constricting, helping you to keep your blood pressure low. These medications are commonly prescribed to treat high blood pressure.

Magnesium in the Body

Magnesium is a mineral that carries a positive charge when it is dissolved in water, causing it to be classified as a cation. Magnesium is important for the health of your tissues and, in addition to its role in speeding up different chemical reactions in the body, is also found in your bones. Magnesium can be found in supplements taken to prevent deficiencies and are also found as part of some antacids.

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Magnesium and Atenolol Absorption

One risk of taking magnesium supplements is that they can affect the absorption of different medications, including beta blockers such as atenolol. Magnesium supplements, including antacids with this mineral, inhibit the absorption of atenolol, causing the levels of this medication that get into your blood to be reduced, inhibiting its effectiveness. This effect occurs even if the magnesium supplement is taken four hours before or after the atenolol.

Considerations

Magnesium can interact with atenolol, but this is considered to be a minor drug interaction, so it can be overcome by increasing your dose of atenolol. You should talk to your doctor before taking magnesium supplements, particularly if you take other medications for high blood pressure, as magnesium can interact with these drugs as well. Because other substances may also interact with atenolol, tell your doctor about all supplements and over-the-counter drugs.

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