Skip to main content

Cartrol Side Effects

Generic name: carteolol

Note: This document contains side effect information about carteolol. Some dosage forms listed on this page may not apply to the brand name Cartrol.

Applies to carteolol: oral tablet.


Do not stop taking carteolol without first talking to your doctor. Stopping suddenly may make your condition worse.

If you need to have any type of surgery, you may need to temporarily stop using carteolol. Be sure the surgeon knows ahead of time that you are using carteolol.

Carteolol can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert.

Avoid drinking alcohol, which could increase drowsiness and dizziness while you are taking carteolol.

Carteolol 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.

Hypertension often has no symptoms, so you may not even feel that you have high blood pressure. Continue using this medicine as directed, even if you feel well. You may need to use blood pressure medication for the rest of your life.

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction while taking carteolol (the active ingredient contained in Cartrol) hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

Less serious side effects of carteolol may include:

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to carteolol: oral tablet.


Carteolol (the active ingredient contained in Cartrol) is generally well-tolerated. Side effects are usually mild and transient.[Ref]

Nervous system

Nervous system side effects include headache in up to 1% to 17%, asthenia in 8%, insomnia in 5%, dizziness in 8%, paresthesias in 2%, and vertigo, nervousness, headache or fatigue in 1% of patients.[Ref]


Cardiovascular problems include chest pain in 2% and edema in 1% of patients. Carteolol may cause or worsen AV heart block. In the rare cases of new or worsened congestive heart failure that are associated with carteolol (the active ingredient contained in Cartrol) a cause-and-effect relationship is not established.[Ref]

The etiology of "chest pain" was not described in studies and reviews from the medical literature.[Ref]


Gastrointestinal complaints of abdominal or epigastric pain in 1% to 7% and diarrhea or nausea in 2% of patients is reported.[Ref]


Respiratory side effects are rare. Cough, pharyngitis, or sinusitis are reported in 1% to 5% of patients. Dyspnea is reported rarely. Patients with a history of reactive airways disease may be more likely to become short of breath while taking carteolol (the active ingredient contained in Cartrol) as during therapy with any beta-blocker.[Ref]


Musculoskeletal pain is reported in approximately 3% to 13% of patients.[Ref]

Carteolol and pindolol, beta-adrenergic receptor antagonists with intrinsic sympathomimetic activity (ISA), have more commonly been associated with muscle cramps and elevated serum creatine phosphokinase (CK) levels than beta-blockers without ISA.[Ref]


Genitourinary complaints of impotence are reported in less than 1% of male patients.[Ref]


Psychiatric side effects including reports of depression have been associated with carteolol (the active ingredient contained in Cartrol) [Ref]


1. "Multum Information Services, Inc. Expert Review Panel"

2. Tarkiainen A, Saraste K, Seppala T, Gordin A, Auvinen J (1981) "A controlled study of the antihypertensive effect of carteolol, a new beta-adrenergic receptor blocking drug, in combination with hydrochlorothiazide and amiloride." Eur J Clin Pharmacol, 19, p. 239-44

3. Simon H, Schuppan U (1983) "The treatment of angina pectoris with the new beta-receptor blocker carteolol. Results of a controlled trial in comparison with pindolol." Arzneimittelforschung, 33, p. 318-21

4. Frishman WH, Covey S (1990) "Penbutolol and carteolol: two new beta-adrenergic blockers with partial agonism." J Clin Pharmacol, 30, p. 412-21

5. Luther RR, Glassman HN, Jordan DC (1988) "A comparison of carteolol and nadolol in the treatment of stable angina pectoris." J Clin Pharmacol, 28, p. 634-9

6. Velasquez MT, Byrne D, Hoffmann RG (1985) "Antihypertensive effect of carteolol in thiazide-treated hypertensive subjects." J Clin Pharmacol, 25, p. 601-6

7. Luther RR, Maurath CJ, Klepper MJ, Peckinpaugh RO, Ringham GL (1986) "Carteolol treatment of essential hypertension: a long-term study of safety and efficacy." J Int Med Res, 14, p. 175-84

8. Luther RR, Glassman HN, Jordan DC, Klepper MJ (1986) "Long-term treatment of angina pectoris with carteolol: a new beta-adrenergic receptor blocking agent." J Int Med Res, 14, p. 167-74

9. (1989) "Carteolol and penbutolol for hypertension." Med Lett Drugs Ther, 31, p. 70-1

10. Imai Y, Watanabe N, Hashimoto J, Nishiyama A, Sakuma H, Sekino H, Omata K, Abe K (1995) "Muscle cramps and elevated serum creatine phosphokinase levels induced by beta-adrenoceptor blockers." Eur J Clin Pharmacol, 48, p. 29-34

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Some side effects may not be reported. You may report them to the FDA.