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    Information about Propranolol

    Propranolol uses

    Propranolol is used in the treatment of Hypertension (high blood pressure), Prevention of migraine, Anxiety, Arrhythmia, Tremors and heart attack.

    How propranolol works

    Propranolol is a beta blocker. It works by affecting the body’s response to nerve impulses, especially in the heart. It slows down your heart rate and makes it easier for the heart to pump blood around the body. It also widens the blood vessels in the body for better blood flow.

    Common side effects of propranolol

    Slow heart rate, Nightmare, Tiredness, Cold extremities, Weakness, Arrhythmia (irregular heartbeats)
    Content Details
    Written By
    Dr. Betina Chandolia
    MDS, BDS
    Reviewed By
    Dr. Ashish Ranjan
    MD (Pharmacology), MBBS
    Last updated on:
    18 Feb 2020 | 05:21 PM (IST)
    Want to know more?
    Read Our Editorial Policy

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    Expert advice for Propranolol

    • It is not the first-choice treatment for high blood pressure according to the latest guidelines.
    • It may hide the symptoms of low blood sugar if you have diabetes. Monitor blood sugar levels regularly.
    • To lower the chance of feeling dizzy or passing out, rise slowly if you have been sitting or lying down.
    • Use caution while driving or doing anything that requires concentration as Propranolol can cause dizziness and sleepiness.
    • Inform your doctor if you notice increased swelling around your legs or ankles, sudden weight gain or sudden shortness of breath as these may be symptoms of heart failure.
    • Do not stop taking the medication suddenly without talking to your doctor.

    Frequently asked questions for Propranolol


    Q. My doctor has prescribed Propranolol even though my blood pressure is within normal limits. Is it because of the chest pain that I complained of?

    Yes, it is possible that your doctor prescribed Propranolol for chest pain (angina). Propranolol is a beta-blocker which is used to lower high blood pressure, prevent angina, treat or prevent heart attacks or reduce your risk of heart problems following a heart attack. Propranolol is also used to treat irregularities in heartbeat, including those caused by anxiety, essential tremor (shaking of head, chin and hands). It also prevents migraine headaches, overactive thyroid (thyrotoxicosis and hyperthyroidism) and bleeding in food pipe caused by high blood pressure.

    Q. When can I expect a relief in my symptoms after starting Propranolol for high blood pressure?

    Propranolol usually starts working within a few hours of taking it. However, it may take up to a week to see the full benefits of the symptoms of high blood pressure or heart conditions. You may not notice any difference, but that does not mean it is not working. For migraine, it may take a few weeks before you notice any difference, so keep taking the medicine.

    Q. Can Propranolol be used in asthmatics?

    No, Propranolol cannot be used in asthmatics. Propranolol is a non-specific beta receptor blocker. Using Propranolol in asthma patients can cause breathing problems, which may trigger an asthma attack.

    Q. Can I take fluoxetine with Propranolol?

    No, you should avoid taking fluoxetine with Propranolol. This is because, fluoxetine may cause an increase in levels of Propranolol in body which may increase its toxicity.

    Q. Can I stop taking Propranolol as my chest pain is under control?

    No, you should not stop taking Propranolol suddenly because that may worsen your angina or may cause a heart attack. Tell your doctor and if there is a need to stop Propranolol, your doctor will reduce your dose gradually over a period of a few weeks.

    Q. Is Propranolol good for anxiety?

    Yes, Propranolol helps relieve your physical symptoms of anxiety. The dose and duration of taking Propranolol will be suggested by your doctor, depending on whether your symptoms are a recurring problem or occur only in stressful conditions. However, Propranolol is usually given for a short time for anxiety.

    Q. I have been on indomethacin since several months. Will it be a problem if I start taking Propranolol along with it?

    Yes, indomethacin may interfere with the working of Propranolol and make it less effective. As a result, your blood pressure may increase. Speak to your doctor who will prescribe you a different medicine to control blood pressure.

    Content on this page was last updated on 18 February, 2020, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)