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propranolol

Pronunciation

Generic Name: propranolol (pro PRAN oh lol)
Brand Name: Inderal, Inderal LA, InnoPran XL, Inderal XL, Hemangeol

What is propranolol?

Propranolol is a beta-blocker. Beta-blockers affect the heart and circulation (blood flow through arteries and veins).

Propranolol is used to treat tremors, angina (chest pain), hypertension (high blood pressure), heart rhythm disorders, and other heart or circulatory conditions. It is also used to treat or prevent heart attack, and to reduce the severity and frequency of migraine headaches.

Propranolol may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about propranolol?

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to propranolol, if you have asthma, a slow heart rate, or a serious heart condition such as "sick sinus syndrome" or "AV block" (unless you have a pacemaker).

If you need surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time that you are using propranolol. You may need to stop using the medicine for a short time.

Do not skip doses or stop using propranolol without first talking to your doctor. You may need to use less and less before you stop the medication completely.

Avoid drinking alcohol. It may increase your blood levels of propranolol.

Propranolol is only part of a complete program of treatment for hypertension that may also include diet, exercise, and weight control. Follow your diet, medication, and exercise routines very closely if you are being treated for hypertension.

If you are being treated for high blood pressure, keep using this medication even if you feel well. High blood pressure often has no symptoms. You may need to use blood pressure medication for the rest of your life.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking propranolol?

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to propranolol, if you have asthma, a slow heart rate, or a serious heart condition such as "sick sinus syndrome" or "AV block" (unless you have a pacemaker).

To make sure you can safely take propranolol, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

  • a muscle disorder;

  • bronchitis, emphysema, or other breathing disorders;

  • diabetes (propranolol can make it harder for you to tell when you have low blood sugar);

  • low blood pressure;

  • congestive heart failure;

  • depression;

  • liver or kidney disease;

  • a thyroid disorder;

  • pheochromocytoma; or

  • problems with circulation (such as Raynaud's syndrome).

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether propranolol will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication.

Propranolol can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I take propranolol?

Take exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

You may take propranolol with or without food, but take it the same way each time.

Take the medicine at the same time each day.

Do not crush, chew, break, or open an extended-release capsule. Swallow it whole. Breaking or opening the pill may cause too much of the drug to be released at one time.

To be sure you get the correct dose, measure the liquid with a marked measuring spoon or medicine cup, not with a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.

Do not skip doses or stop using propranolol without first talking to your doctor. You may need to use less and less before you stop the medication completely.

Your blood pressure will need to be checked often. Visit your doctor regularly.

If you need surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time that you are using propranolol. You may need to stop using the medicine for a short time.

Propranolol is only part of a complete program of treatment for hypertension that may also include diet, exercise, and weight control. Follow your diet, medication, and exercise routines very closely if you are being treated for hypertension.

If you are being treated for high blood pressure, keep using this medication even if you feel well. High blood pressure often has no symptoms. You may need to use blood pressure medication for the rest of your life.

This medication can cause unusual results with certain medical tests. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using propranolol.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

For regular (short-acting) propranolol: Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if your next dose is less than 4 hours away.

For extended-release propranolol (Inderal LA, InnoPran XL and others): Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if your next dose is less than 8 hours away.

Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Overdose symptoms may include slow or uneven heartbeats, dizziness, weakness, or fainting.

What should I avoid while taking propranolol?

Avoid drinking alcohol. It may increase your blood levels of propranolol.

Avoid getting up too fast from a sitting or lying position, or you may feel dizzy. Get up slowly and steady yourself to prevent a fall.

Propranolol side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • fast, slow, or uneven heartbeats;

  • feeling light-headed, fainting;

  • feeling short of breath, even with mild exertion;

  • swelling of your ankles or feet;

  • nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);

  • cold feeling in your hands and feet;

  • depression, confusion, hallucinations; or

  • severe skin reaction -- fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain, followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, stomach cramps;

  • decreased sex drive, impotence, or difficulty having an orgasm;

  • sleep problems (insomnia); or

  • tired feeling.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

Propranolol dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Hypertension:

Initial dose: 40 mg orally twice a day or 80 mg sustained release once a day, whether used alone or added to a diuretic. The dose should be administered at bedtime (approximately 10 PM).
Maintenance dose: 120 to 240 mg/day or 120 to 160 mg/day of sustained release
Maximum dose: 640 mg/day.

Usual Adult Dose for Angina Pectoris:

Total daily doses of 80 to 320 mg orally 2 to 4 times a day have been shown to increase exercise tolerance and to reduce ischemic changes in the ECG.
Sustained release: Initial dose: 80 mg orally once a day. Dosage should be gradually increased at 3 to 7 day intervals. The average optimal dosage appears to be 160 mg/day.

Usual Adult Dose for Arrhythmias:

Oral: 10 to 30 mg 3 to 4 times a day, before meals and at bedtime.
IV: 1 to 3 mg at a rate not exceeding 1 mg/min.
Sufficient time should be allowed for the drug to reach the site of action even when a slow circulation is present. A second dose may be given after 2 minutes. Thereafter, additional drug should not be given in less than 4 hours. Additional propranolol should not be given when the desired alteration in rate and/or rhythm is achieved.

Usual Adult Dose for Myocardial Infarction:

180 to 240 mg/day in 3 to 4 divided doses.

Usual Adult Dose for Migraine Prophylaxis:

Initial dose: 80 mg/day orally in divided doses.
Maintenance dose: 160 to 240 mg/day.
The dosage may be increased gradually to achieve optimum migraine prophylaxis. If a satisfactory response is not obtained within 4 to 6 weeks after reaching the maximum dose, propranolol therapy should be discontinued.
Sustained release: Initial dose: 80 mg orally once a day.
Maintenance dose: 160 to 240 mg once a day.

Usual Adult Dose for Benign Essential Tremor:

Initial dose: 40 mg orally twice a day.
Maintenance dose: 120 to 320 mg/day.
Optimum reduction of essential tremor is usually achieved with a dose of 120 mg/day.
Occasionally, it may be necessary to administer 240 to 320 mg/day.

Usual Adult Dose for Aortic Stenosis:

20 to 40 mg orally 3 to 4 times a day, before meals and at bedtime.
Sustained release: 80 to 160 mg orally once a day.

Usual Adult Dose for Pheochromocytoma:

Preoperatively: 60 mg/day orally in divided doses for 3 days prior to surgery, concomitantly with an alpha-adrenergic blocking agent.
Management of Inoperable Tumor: 30 mg/day orally in divided doses.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Arrhythmias:

Oral: Children: Initial: 0.5 to 1 mg/kg/day in divided doses every 6 to 8 hours; titrate dosage upward every 3 to 5 days; usual dose: 2 to 4 mg/kg/day; higher doses may be needed; do not exceed 16 mg/kg/day

IV: Children: 0.01 to 0.1 mg/kg slow IV over 10 minutes; maximum dose: 1 mg (infants); 3 mg (children).

Usual Pediatric Dose for Hypertension:

Children:
Immediate release formulations:
Initial: 0.5 to 1 mg/kg/day in divided doses every 6 to 12 hours; increase gradually every 5 to 7 days
Usual dose: 1 to 5 mg/kg/day
Maximum dose: 8 mg/kg/day

Children and Adolescents 1 to 17 years:
Immediate release formulations:
Initial: 1 to 2 mg/kg/day divided in 2 to 3 doses/day; titrate dose to effect
Maximum dose: 4 mg/kg/day up to 640 mg/day; sustained release formulation may be dosed once daily. (National High Blood Pressure Education Program Working Group on High Blood Pressure in Children and Adolescents).

Usual Pediatric Dose for Thyrotoxicosis:

Neonates: Oral: 2 mg/kg/day in divided doses every 6 to 12 hours; occasionally higher doses may be required.

Adolescents: Oral: 10 to 40 mg/dose every 6 hours.

What other drugs will affect propranolol?

Tell your doctor about all other medications you use, especially:

  • cimetidine (Tagamet);

  • clonidine (Catapres);

  • digitalis (digoxin, Lanoxin);

  • dobutamine (Dobutrex);

  • haloperidol (Haldol);

  • isoproterenol (Isuprel);

  • a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven);

  • an antidepressant such as amitriptyline (Elavil, Vanatrip, Limbitrol), clomipramine (Anafranil), desipramine (Norpramin), imipramine (Janimine, Tofranil), and others;

  • an MAO inhibitor such as furazolidone (Furoxone), isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam, Zelapar), or tranylcypromine (Parnate);

  • aspirin or other NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn, Naprelan, Treximet), celecoxib (Celebrex), diclofenac (Arthrotec, Cambia, Cataflam, Voltaren, Flector Patch, Pennsaid, Solareze), indomethacin (Indocin), meloxicam (Mobic), and others;

  • doxazosin (Cardura), prazosin (Minipress), terazosin (Hytrin);

  • heart or blood pressure medicine such as amlodipine (Norvasc, Caduet, Exforge, Lotrel, Tekamlo, Tribenzor, Twynsta, Amturnide), diltiazem (Cartia, Cardizem), nifedipine (Nifedical, Procardia), reserpine (Serpasil), verapamil (Calan, Covera, Isoptin, Verelan), and others;

  • amiodarone (Cordarone, Pacerone), propafenone (Rythmol), quinidine (Quin-G); or

  • an ACE inhibitor such as benazepril (Lotensin), captopril (Capoten), fosinopril (Monopril), enalapril (Vasotec), lisinopril (Prinivil, Zestril), moexipril (Univasc), perindopril (Aceon), quinapril (Accupril), ramipril (Altace), or trandolapril (Mavik).

This list is not complete and other drugs may interact with propranolol. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about propranolol.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 11.01. Revision Date: 2012-10-22, 2:34:16 PM.

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