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Propranolol Overview

Propranolol can be used to treat a wide variety of conditions - from high blood pressure to migraine headaches and even mental health issues.

Brand Names: Bedranol, Propranolol Accord, Propranolol Actavis, Syprol

Used for: High blood pressure, angina, arrhythmia, migraines, tremors, heart conditions, anxiety and more.

Availability: Prescription.

Dosage: 1% ; 500 mg ; 100 mg-1% ; 100 mg ; 200 mg-1% ; 200 mg ; 2%

Pregnancy: Catagory B (Topical) C (Oral).

Side effects: Skin rash, hives, blistering, burning, itching, peeling, redness, stinging, swelling.

Warnings: Avoid alcohol as this may put increased pressure on the liver.

Notes: None

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Propranolol pronounced as (pro PRAN oh lol)

Learn About:

How to take - Side Effects - Things To Avoid - Pregnancy

Propranolol belongs to a class of medications known as beta blockers.

It works by acting on chemicals in your bloodstream to affect the circulation of blood through your body and stop your heart from beating too quickly.

Our GPs can talk through the symptoms you’ve been experiencing and advise on whether propranolol could help address your condition.

How Propranolol is taken

Propranolol is typically taken orally and comes in tablet, capsule or liquid form. Since it can be used to treat such a wide range of conditions there’s no ‘average’ dose.

Once you’ve started taking propranolol, you shouldn’t stop or alter your dosage without speaking to a doctor. Suddenly stopping can cause conditions to get worse, while changing the dosage could have negative effects.

If you miss a dose, take the next one as soon as you remember. If it’s nearing the time that you’re scheduled to take your next dose, you shouldn’t take the missed dose. It’s important not to double up on doses, since this can cause a variety of unpleasant symptoms.

What can Propranolol be used to treat?

Propranolol has a wide range of applications and is frequently used to treat conditions like:

  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Angina
  • Arrhythmia
  • Migraines
  • Tremors
  • Atrial Fibrillation

It can also help patients to manage the symptoms of mental health issues like anxiety, by preventing a racing heartbeat, shaking and sweating excessively.

What Are The Side Effects of Propranolol?

Propranolol can have several common side effects, including:

  • A reduction in heart rate
  • Diarrhoea
  • Hair loss
  • Drowsiness and low-energy
  • Changes in libido (sex drive)

These will usually fade of their own accord within a few days to a week or so. But if you’re experiencing severe symptoms like these or they persist for more than two weeks, be sure to speak to a doctor.

The medication can also have several, more serious side effects. If you notice any of the following or are worried about anything you’re experiencing, you should talk to a doctor as soon as possible or ring the emergency services if needed.

These more serious side effects include:

  • Allergic reactions like rashes, itching and swelling
  • Problems breathing
  • Changes in blood sugar levels
  • Hallucinations
  • Muscle cramps
  • Rapid weight gain
  • Vomiting
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side-effects of propranolol

Things to avoid

Propranolol can interact with a wide range of different medications, including prescribed drugs, over-the-counter medicine and even herbal remedies, and can also have several negative effects on those dealing with existing conditions.

There are potentially hundreds of interactions, so it’s vital to ensure you discuss your current medication with your doctor before starting on a course of the drug. Just some of these include:

  • Other blood pressure medication
  • Drugs used to treat problems with heart rhythm
  • Various anaesthetics
  • Malaria medication
  • Phenothiazines
  • Asthma medication
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen
  • Blood thinners

Propranolol and alcohol

When taking propranolol, it’s usually not recommended to drink alcohol, since this can contribute to lower blood pressure caused by the drug.

It can also make side effects like dizziness and fainting more likely, so you should steer clear while taking the medication.

Is It Safe to Use Propranolol During Pregnancy?

Propranolol is rarely recommended for pregnant women and breastfeeding mums, since studies have shown it can have serious negative effects.

Beta blockers like this have been shown to increase the risk of birth defects and are usually only prescribed when there’s no other alternative.

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pregnancy and propranolol

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