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.
Hemangeol (propranolol oral liquid 4.28 milligrams) is given to infants who are at least 5 weeks old to treat a genetic condition called infantile hemangiomas. Hemangiomas are caused by blood vessels grouping together in an abnormal way. These blood vessels form benign (non-cancerous) growths that can develop into ulcers or red marks on the skin. Hemangiomas can also cause more serious complications inside the body (in the liver, brain, or digestive system).
Propranolol may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Babies who weigh less than 4.5 pounds should not be given Hemangeol oral liquid.
Before taking this medicine
You should not use propranolol if you are allergic to it, or if you have:
very slow heart beats that have caused you to faint; or
a serious heart condition such as "sick sinus syndrome" or "AV block" (unless you have a pacemaker).
Babies who weigh less than 4.5 pounds should not be given Hemangeol oral liquid.
To make sure propranolol is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
a muscle disorder;
bronchitis, emphysema, or other breathing disorders;
low blood sugar, or diabetes (propranolol can make it harder for you to tell when you have low blood sugar);
slow heartbeats, low blood pressure;
congestive heart failure;
liver or kidney disease;
a thyroid disorder;
pheochromocytoma (tumor of the adrenal gland); or
problems with circulation (such as Raynaud's syndrome).
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 medicine.
Propranolol can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
How should I take propranolol?
Follow all directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
Adults may take propranolol with or without food, but take it the same way each time.
Take this medicine at the same time each day.
Do not crush, chew, break, or open an extended-release capsule. Swallow it whole.
Hemangeol must be given to an infant during or just after a feeding. Doses should be spaced at least 9 hours apart. Make sure your child gets fed regularly while taking this medicine. Tell your doctor when the child has any changes in weight. Hemangeol doses are based on weight in children, and any changes may affect your child's dose.
Call your doctor if a child taking Hemangeol is sick with vomiting, or has any loss of appetite.
Measure liquid medicine with the dosing syringe provided, or with a special dose-measuring spoon or medicine cup. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.
Do not shake Hemangeol liquid.
Your blood pressure will need to be checked often.
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 suddenly. Stopping suddenly may make your condition worse. Follow your doctor's instructions about tapering your dose.
This medicine can cause unusual results with certain medical tests. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using propranolol.
If you are being treated for high blood pressure, keep using this medicine even if you feel well. High blood pressure often has no symptoms. You may need to use blood pressure medicine for the rest of your life.
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.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Do not allow liquid medicine to freeze. Throw away any unused Hemangeol 2 months after you first opened the bottle.
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 signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
slow or uneven heartbeats;
a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;
wheezing or trouble breathing;
shortness of breath (even with mild exertion), swelling, rapid weight gain;
sudden weakness, vision problems, or loss of coordination (especially in a child with hemangioma that affects the face or head);
cold feeling in your hands and feet;
depression, confusion, hallucinations;
low blood sugar in a baby--pale skin, blue or purple skin, sweating, fussiness, crying, not wanting to eat, feeling cold, drowsiness, weak or shallow breathing (breathing may stop for short periods), seizure (convulsions), or loss of consciousness; 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.
Common side effects may include:
decreased sex drive, impotence, or difficulty having an orgasm;
sleep problems (insomnia); or
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)
What other drugs will affect propranolol?
Tell your doctor about all medicines you use, and those you start or stop using during your treatment with propranolol, especially:
steroid medicine--prednisone and others.
This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with propranolol, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.
More about propranolol
- Side Effects
- During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
- Dosage Information
- Drug Images
- Drug Interactions
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- Drug class: group II antiarrhythmics
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- Propranolol Oral Solution
- Propranolol Oral Solution (Hemangeol)
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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: 12.01.
Date modified: February 01, 2018
Last reviewed: August 22, 2016