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Propranolol

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Reviews
About Product
This content has been written and checked for quality and accuracy by
Adil Bhaloda Pharmacist GPhC: 2086262 Updated on: 30/09/2020 Next review: 30/03/2021

What is Propranolol?

Propranolol is a generic medicine which is used to treat a plethora of conditions relating to the heart and circularity system including:

  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Irregular heartbeat (atrial fibrillation)
  • Preventing heart disease, heart attacks and strokes
  • Preventing chest pain attributed to angina

It is also sometimes prescribed for situational anxiety, due to its ability to lessen anxiety symptoms.

It slows down the heart rate and makes it beat more regularly and with less force. If your doctor prescribes Propranolol, you may need to take it for a long time.

Propranolol is also used to prevent migraines and treat anxiety.

When used for anxiety, Propranolol only relieves the symptoms of anxiety such as a fast heartbeat, shaking and sweating. Propranolol will have no effect on the psychological effects of anxiety, such as worrying or overthinking. If you have difficulty with anxious feelings, particularly if they are interfering with your day-to-day life, speak to your doctor for advice.

Where can I buy Propranolol?

If you cannot go to your pharmacy to renew your prescription of Propranolol, you can buy Propranolol online from Prescription Doctor's trusted online pharmacy. All you have to do is fill out our online form, which will ask various questions about your overall health. Our doctor reviews your consultation to determine Propranolol is suitable for you. If deemed suitable, an electronic prescription will be issued for our UK based pharmacy to dispense.

Once our pharmacy dispense your item, it will be packaged in nondescript, tamper-proof packaging and dispatched straight to your preferred address via a next-day discreet delivery service courtesy of Royal Mail.

How does Propranolol work?

Propranolol belongs to a group of medications called beta-blockers.

Beta-receptors are stimulated by two hormones - adrenaline and noradrenaline. These two hormones cause your heart to beat faster and more forcefully.

Propranolol blocks these receptors and prevents adrenaline and noradrenaline from binding to them, thus reducing their effect. By blocking the hormones from binding, the heart beats slower and with less force.

This action helps to lower blood pressure and reduce the physical symptoms of anxiety, such as a racing heartbeat.

How to take Propranolol

You should swallow Propranolol tablets whole with a glass of water.

It is best to take Propranolol before a meal.

Do not crush or chew the tablets.

If you find it difficult to take Propranolol, your tablets may have a score line which you can use to break the tablet in half to make it easier to swallow.

For high blood pressure, the typical dose is 40mg twice or three times daily. Your doctor may increase your dose by 80mg per day at weekly intervals.

Do not take more than 320mg a day.

Always take Propranolol as prescribed by your doctor. You should keep taking Propranolol even if you feel well. Do not stop taking the medication unless your doctor tells you it is safe for you to do so.

If you are unsure about how to take Propranolol, speak to your doctor or ask a pharmacist for help. Further information on how to take Propranolol tablets can be found within the patient information leaflet supplied with your medication.

After taking Propranolol for the first time, you may feel dizzy. For this reason, it is best to take it before bed. Once your body becomes accustomed to it, you should be able to take it in the morning without feeling dizzy.

Side effects and cautions

Before you take Propranolol, it is important to familiarise yourself with the information detailed in the leaflet which is enclosed with your medication. This leaflet contains instructions on how to take and store Propranolol tablets, as well as associated side effects and a complete list of ingredients.

You can view the patient information leaflet for Propranolol online here.

Who should not take Propranolol?

Propranolol is not suitable for everyone. If you are unsure whether it is safe for you to take Propranolol, speak to your doctor.

Do not take Propranolol is you are:

  • Allergic to Propranolol or any of the other ingredients listed in the patient information leaflet.
  • Are on a fasting diet
  • Have a slow heart rate
  • Have asthma or any other breathing difficulties
  • Have diabetes or increased acidity of the blood (metabolic acidosis)
  • Have low blood pressure
  • Have untreated phaeochromocytoma
  • Have untreated/uncontrolled heart failure
  • Suffer from Prinzmetal's angina
  • Suffer from severe blood circulatory conditions
  • Suffer with heart conduction or rhythm problems

If any of the above apply to you, do not take Propranolol. You should arrange an appointment with your doctor to discuss your condition. Your doctor may be able to prescribe a more suitable treatment.

Who should speak to their doctor before taking Propranolol?

Speak to your doctor before taking propranolol if you:

  • Are elderly
  • Have Raynaud's disease or intermittent claudication
  • Have a history of allergic reactions
  • Have a weak heart or first degree heart block
  • Have blood circulation problems
  • Have kidney or liver disease
  • Have myasthenia gravis (muscle weakness)
  • Have or have had psoriasis
  • Have symptoms of hyperthyroidism (increased appetite, weight loss, sweating)
  • Smoke

If any of the above apply to you, your doctor will determine the safety of taking Propranolol based on your general health and your medical history.

Side effects of Propranolol

All medicines carry the risk of side effects, although not everybody experiences them. Understanding the side effects and being vigilant of them is an important part of your treatment.

Common side effects (may affect up to 1 in 10 people):

  • Cold fingers and toes
  • Slow heart beat
  • Numbness and spasms in the fingers which is followed by warmth and pain (Raynaud's syndrome)
  • Disturbed sleep/nightmares
  • Fatigue
  • Breathlessness

Uncommon side effects (may affect up to 1 in 100 people):

  • Feeling sick (nausea)
  • Being sick (vomiting)
  • Diarrhoea

This is not an exhaustive list of side effects. Further information regarding the safety of Propranolol, including a full list of side effects, can be found within the patient information leaflet enclosed with your medicine.

If you experience any side effects, regardless of whether they are listed above or in the patient information leaflet, inform your doctor or ask a pharmacist for advice.

Allergies

Do not take Propranolol if you are allergic to propranolol or any of the other ingredients listed in the patient information leaflet.

If you experience the signs of an allergic reaction after taking Propranolol, stop taking the medicine and go straight to your nearest accident and emergency department. Remember to take the packaging and any remaining medicine with you so that doctors know what you have taken.

Signs of an allergic reaction include:

  • Chest tightening
  • Dry, red and cracked skin
  • Itchy, red watery eyes
  • Raised, itchy, red rash (hives)
  • Swelling of the lips, tongue, eyes or face
  • Tummy pain, nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea
  • Wheezing

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

Do not take Propranolol if you are pregnant, think you might be pregnant, trying to start a family or breastfeeding.

If you become pregnant while taking Propranolol, inform your doctor straight away.

Other safety information

Always seek your doctor's advice before you buy Propranolol online from Prescription Doctor.

If you are going to have an operation in the near future, you must tell the anaesthetist or medical staff that you are taking Propranolol.

Do not take Propranolol past the expiry date printed on the packaging. The date refers to the last day of the specific month.

Never throw away medicine via household or water waste. Take any unwanted or expire medication to your local pharmacy and ask them to dispose of them safely on your behalf.

Always store Propranolol out of sight and reach from children and pets.

Never share your medicine with anybody else, even if they are experiencing the same symptoms or have been diagnosed with the same condition as you.


Frequently asked questions

What should I do if I forget to take Propranolol when I should?

If you forget to take Propranolol when you should, take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue to take Propranolol as you normally would.

Do not take more Propranolol to make up for the missed dose.

What should I do if I accidentally take more Propranolol than I should?

If you accidentally take more Propranolol than you should, seek immediate medical attention by contacting your doctor or going straight to your nearest casualty department. Remember to take the packaging and any remaining tablets with you so that doctors know exactly what you have taken.

Will Propranolol affect my ability to drive or operate machinery?

It is unlikely Propranolol will affect your ability to drive or operate machinery. However, if you feel dizzy or tired after taking Propranolol, you should not drive or operate machinery until you feel it is safe for you to do so.

Can I drink alcohol while taking Propranolol?

Alcohol may affect how Propranolol works, so it's best to avoid drinking alcohol.

How long does Propranolol take to work?

Propranolol takes only a couple of hours to start working, though it can take up to a week to reach its full effect. You should continue taking Propranolol as prescribed by your doctor, even if you do not notice an improvement in your condition.

How long does Propranolol last?

It takes 1 to 2 days for Propranolol to exit your body once you stop taking it. However, it can take up to 1 week for side effects to subside.

You should not stop taking Propranolol unless your doctor has told you to.


Table of contents

What is Propranolol?

How does Propranolol work?

How to take Propranolol?

Side effects and cautions

Frequently asked questions

Sources

Accord Healthcare Ltd, 2020. Propranolol 10 mg film-coated tablets: Summary of Product Characteristics

NHS, 2019. High blood pressure (hypertension)

Treatment information

  • Product Name: Propranolol
  • Manufacturer: Accord Healthcare Ltd
  • Active Ingredient(s): Propranolol hydrochloride
  • Administration: Oral
  • Presentation: Film-coated tablet
  • Available Strength: 10mg, 40mg and 80mg
  • Exemption: Prescription Only
  • Dosage: Take as prescribed by your doctor.
  • Description: Propranolol is a beta-blocker which is used to treat high blood pressure
  • Drug Class: Beta-blocker
  • Alcohol Consumption: Do not consume alcohol
  • When Pregnant: Speak to your doctor before taking Propranolol if you are pregnant
  • When Breastfeeding: Speak to your doctor before taking Propranolol if you are breastfeeding
Click here to view the Propranolol - Patient Information Leaflet

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