Are ACE Inhibitors and Beta-blockers Dangerous in Patients at Risk for Anaphylaxis?

Christopher A. Coop, Rebecca S. Schapira, Theodore M. Freeman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


The objective of this article is to review the available studies regarding angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and beta-blockers and their effect on patients at risk for anaphylaxis. A literature search was conducted in PUBMED to identify peer-reviewed articles using the following keywords: anaphylaxis, ACE inhibitor, beta-blocker, food allergy, radiocontrast media, venom allergy, skin testing, and immunotherapy. Some studies show an increased risk of anaphylaxis in patients who are taking ACE inhibitors and beta-blockers, whereas others studies do not show an increased risk. For venom immunotherapy, there are more data supporting the concomitant use of beta-blockers and ACE inhibitors in the build-up and maintenance phases. Most of the medical literature is limited to case reports and retrospective data. Prospective controlled trials are needed on this important topic. For those patients at risk of anaphylaxis who lack cardiovascular disease, it is recommended to avoid beta-blockers and possibly ACE inhibitors. However, for those patients with cardiovascular disease, beta-blockers and ACE inhibitors have been shown to increase life expectancy. Consideration should be given for the concomitant use of these medications while patients are receiving venom immunotherapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1207-1211
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • ACE inhibitor
  • Anaphylaxis
  • Beta-blocker
  • Food Allergy
  • Immunotherapy
  • Radiocontrast media
  • Skin testing
  • Venom allergy


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