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Propranolol - does it cause depression?

4 Answers

endlessPred 11 Nov 2013

Dose level is the difference. Of taken for performance fear or speech fear, it slows the heart and prevents that panic feeling allowing one to function well. This is a small dose. Higher doses are used therapeutically needed for heart problems as well as emotional. So the reason for use is important to know.

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lennongurl 9 Nov 2013

Yes it can. I took it for over a year to help prevent recurrent headaches when I was 15 years old. A few months after going off of it my depression started and I was diagnosed with major depression. It doesn't mean it can always cause it and if you are prone to depression it will bring it out. That is what my dr believes happened to me. Best of luck!

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chuck1957 8 Nov 2013

Camarie Yes most deffinetly i find with me even being depressed and high anxiety i am still better off taking the propranolol brand Inderal but i switch from the regular to the sr..sustained released it far out ways my anxiety no more heart flutters and when i take my antianxiety med's they work much better,But i am also on 2 different antidepressaints i have tried going off the propranolol sr several times to see if it well help but no go im doing much better with it and more so sence we changed it to the sr type.. good luck my friend ..
Chuck Wise Sr. retired Pharmacy Technician Cpht state of oregon means certified or licenced pharmacy technician.

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WildcatVet 8 Nov 2013

Hi, Camarie! It can in some people, more so if you're predisposed by a previous or family history of mental disorders.

*Psychiatric depression is associated with beta-blockers, particularly the more lipophilic, nonselective beta-blockers, like propranolol. Well described cases of major depressive episodes after initiation of propranolol therapy, which were dose-dependent and remittent upon drug discontinuation, have been reported.

One study of 34 hypertensive patients who were taking propranolol found the incidence of depressive symptoms in this population to be 50% to 74% (depending on the criteria used). Propranolol-induced depression may be more likely in patients with a personal or family history of depression. Of the 34 patients, 12 had a history of depression and 8 had a history of substance abuse, alcoholism, or a family history of psychiatric disorders.


Since none of the 12 patients with a history of depression were clinically depressed at the start of propranolol therapy and were comparable by age, diagnosis, and propranolol dosage to the other 22 patients, a comparison was made. Patients with a personal or family history of depression had significantly higher scores on depression scales than those without such histories.*

Hope this helps. Best wishes, WCV

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