Generic Name: propranolol (proe-PRAN-oh-lol)
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Oct 16, 2020.
Commonly used brand name(s)
In the U.S.
Available Dosage Forms:
Therapeutic Class: Cardiovascular Agent
Pharmacologic Class: Beta-Adrenergic Blocker, Nonselective
Uses for propranolol
Propranolol injection is used to control fast heartbeats and abnormal heart rhythms .
Propranolol is a beta-blocker. It works by affecting the response to nerve impulses in certain parts of the body, like the heart. As a result, the heart beats slower and at a regular rhythm .
Propranolol is available only with your doctor's prescription .
Before using propranolol
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For propranolol, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to propranolol or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of propranolol injection in the pediatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established .
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatrics-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of propranolol injection in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more likely to have age-related liver, kidney, or heart problems, which may require an adjustment of dosage in patients receiving propranolol injection .
There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.
Interactions with medicines
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are receiving propranolol, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Using propranolol with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.
Using propranolol with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
- Bupivacaine Liposome
- Eslicarbazepine Acetate
- Iobenguane I 131
- Peginterferon Alfa-2b
Using propranolol with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
- Amtolmetin Guacil
- Choline Salicylate
- Flufenamic Acid
- Insulin Aspart, Recombinant
- Insulin Degludec
- Insulin Detemir
- Insulin Glargine, Recombinant
- Insulin Glulisine
- Insulin Human Inhaled
- Insulin Human Isophane (NPH)
- Insulin Human Regular
- Insulin Lispro, Recombinant
- Mefenamic Acid
- Niflumic Acid
- Nimesulide Beta Cyclodextrin
- Salicylic Acid
- Sodium Salicylate
- St John's Wort
- Tiaprofenic Acid
- Tolfenamic Acid
Interactions with food/tobacco/alcohol
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Using propranolol with any of the following is usually not recommended, but may be unavoidable in some cases. If used together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use propranolol, or give you special instructions about the use of food, alcohol, or tobacco.
Other medical problems
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of propranolol. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Angina (severe chest pain)—May provoke chest pain if stopped too quickly .
- Asthma or
- Bradycardia (slow heartbeat) or
- Heart block or
- Heart failure—Should not use in patients with these conditions .
- Diabetes or
- Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) or
- Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)—May cover up some of the signs and symptoms of these diseases, such as a fast heartbeat .
- Kidney disease or
- Liver disease—Use with caution. The effects may be increased because of slower removal of the medicine from the body .
- Lung disease (e.g., bronchitis, emphysema)—May cause difficulty with breathing in patients with this condition .
- Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome (rare heart condition)—May cause a very slow heartbeat in patients with this condition .
Proper use of propranolol
A nurse or other trained health professional will give you propranolol. Propranolol is given through a needle placed in one of your veins .
Precautions while using propranolol
Your doctor will only give you a few doses of propranolol until your condition improves, and then you will be switched to an oral medicine that works the same way. If you have any concerns about this, talk to your doctor .
Propranolol side effects
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
- Blurred vision
- chest pain or discomfort
- decreased urine output
- dilated neck veins
- dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up from a lying or sitting position suddenly
- extreme fatigue
- irregular breathing
- lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting
- shortness of breath
- slow or irregular heartbeat
- swelling of face, fingers, feet, or lower legs
- tightness in chest
- troubled breathing
- unusual tiredness or weakness
- weight gain
- Blisters, hives, or itching
- fever and chills
- general feeling of discomfort or illness
- hair loss
- muscle or joint pain
- skin rash
- sore throat
- swollen glands
Incidence not determined
- Abdominal pain, usually after eating a meal
- abdominal tenderness
- black, tarry stools
- blood in urine
- bloody nose
- bloody stools
- body aches or pain
- burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, "pins and needles", or tingling feelings
- decreased awareness or responsiveness
- difficult or labored breathing
- dryness or soreness of throat
- general feeling of tiredness or weakness
- heavier menstrual periods
- lower back or side pain
- mimicry of speech or movements
- no blood pressure or pulse
- noisy breathing
- painful or difficult urination
- paleness or cold feeling in fingertips and toes
- peculiar postures or movements, mannerisms, or grimacing
- pinpoint red or purple spots on skin
- rectal bleeding
- reddened skin
- runny nose
- severe sleepiness
- sores on the skin
- sores, ulcers, or white spots on lips or in mouth
- stopping of heart
- tender, swollen glands in neck
- tingling or pain in fingers or toes when exposed to cold
- trouble in swallowing
- unusual bleeding or bruising
- voice changes
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
- Decreased interest in sexual intercourse
- dry eyes
- inability to have or keep an erection
- loss in sexual ability, desire, drive, or performance
- pain of penis on erection
- skin irritation or rash, including rash that looks like psoriasis
- thinning of hair
Incidence not determined
- Confusion about identity, place, and time
- disturbed color perception
- double vision
- halos around lights
- loss of strength or energy
- loss of vision
- mental depression
- muscle weakness
- night blindness
- overbright appearance of lights
- quick to react or overreact emotionally
- rapidly changing moods
- seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there
- short-term memory loss
- trouble sleeping
- tunnel vision
- unable to sleep
- unusual drowsiness, dullness, or feeling of sluggishness
- vivid dreams
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
More about propranolol
- Side Effects
- During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
- Dosage Information
- Patient Tips
- Drug Images
- Drug Interactions
- Compare Alternatives
- Support Group
- Pricing & Coupons
- En Español
- 1110 Reviews
- Drug class: group II antiarrhythmics
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