Propranolol helps to keep your blood pressure under control.
It is also used to treat angina pectoris (chest pain), irregular heartbeat, and thickened heart muscles.
This medicine may also be used to prevent further heart attacks or reduce risks of complications after a heart attack.
Propranolol may also be used to:
- help prevent migraine attacks
- manage tremors (involuntary, rhythmic shaking), phaeochromocytoma (tumour of the adrenal glands), overactive thyroid glands, and anxiety
Take Propranolol exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not take more or less than instructed by your doctor.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist about whether you should take this medicine with or without food. Different preparations of this medicine may be taken differently. Try to take it at the same time each day.
This medicine is available as a tablet, capsule or as an oral solution.
If you are taking the extended-release (usually labeled as “ER”) capsule, swallow it whole. Do not divide, chew or crush the capsule.
If you are taking the oral solution, shake the bottle well before you take it to ensure that the liquid is evenly mixed. Use the measuring spoon or cup provided to measure out your prescribed dose.
Do not change from one brand or preparation of Propranolol to another unless instructed to do so by your doctor.
The dose of this medicine will be decided by your doctor. Your doctor will advise you on the dose and course of the treatment depending on your condition and response to the medication.
Propranolol must be taken regularly for it to be effective. Continue taking this medicine even when you feel better. Do not stop taking it unless instructed by the doctor, as stopping it suddenly could worsen your condition.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your normal schedule.
DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.
If you often forget to take your medicine, let your doctor and pharmacist know.
Alert your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- lung disease e.g. asthma, bronchospasm (breathing distress caused by narrowing of the airways), blocked airway
- slow heartbeat
- shock caused by a heart problem
- heart block (2nd or 3rd degree)
- uncontrolled heart failure (weakness and inability of the heart to pump blood)
- abnormal heart rhythm
- low blood pressure
- increased acidity of the blood
- poor blood circulation due to a blood vessel disorder
- Prinzmetal’s angina (a rare type of chest pain that occurs when a person is at rest)
- untreated phaeochromocytoma
as Propanolol may not be suitable for you.
Inform your doctor if you have the following:
- liver disease
- kidney disease
- thyroid disease
- myasthenia gravis (muscle weakness disorder)
- claudication (cramping muscle pain or numbness in the extremities)
- psoriasis (a type of skin disease that is caused by itchy patches of thick, red skin and silvery scales)
- Raynaud's disease (poor blood circulation which makes the toes and fingers numb and pale)
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
If you are going for an operation, including minor surgery and dental work, inform your doctor or dentist that you are taking this medicine.
Be sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist before giving Propranolol to an elderly person. Elderly people may be more sensitive to the side effects.
Why is it important to keep my appointments with the doctor?
Keep your appointments with your doctor. Your doctor needs to monitor your condition and check your response to the medication regularly.
- Routine monitoring of heart rate and blood pressure may be needed while you are being treated with this medicine.
- Your doctor may also need to monitor the electrical activity of your heart. Your doctor will advise you how often you need to have these tests.
What lifestyle changes can I make to improve my blood pressure?
Regular exercise and eating a healthy diet will help lower your blood pressure and improve your overall health. Engage in physical activity (e.g. walking) at least 30 to 60 minutes on most days of the week. If you have not exercised for a long time, start with light exercises such as slow walks. Speak to your doctor about what type of exercise would be suitable for you. Follow a healthy diet plan by eating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy products and reduce your intake of foods high in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium. Cutting down on deep-fried foods and using less salt when cooking can kick-start your healthy diet.
If you smoke, you should try to quit. Smoking is harmful to your blood pressure, heart and overall health. Speak to your doctor or pharmacist about ways to kick your smoking habit.
Try to keep stress levels under control as stress will cause your blood pressure to go up.
Propranolol may cause dizziness. If affected, do not drive or take part in any activity in which you need to be alert.
Other side effects include any of the following: tiredness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, constipation, dry mouth, stomach pain or discomfort, sleep disturbances, nightmares, cold hands or feet, and rash.
Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience any of the following:
- rashes, breathlessness, swollen eyes
- slow or irregular heartbeat
- chest pain
- severe dizziness, fainting or passing out
- unusual changes in mood or behaviour (being depressed, agitated, or having compulsive and impulsive behaviour)
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any of these medicines:
- other medicines for high blood pressure e.g. reserpine, clonidine, nifedipine, verapamil
- medicines to block pain and sensation e.g. lidocaine
- medicines for diabetes e.g. insulin
- medicines for heart disease e.g. quinidine, amiodarone, propafenone
- warfarin (a blood-thinning medicine)
- medicines for mood disorder e.g. chlorpromazine
- medicines for pain and inflammation e.g. ibuprofen, indometacin
- ergotamine (medicine for migraine)
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Propranolol.
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.