What is Propranolol?

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Propranolol (Inderal) is a beta-blocker used to manage a variety of conditions, including hypertension (HTN).

Why is it important to manage HTN?

Uncontrolled HTN can lead to heart attacks, aneurisms, strokes, heart failure, kidney disease, vision loss, memory impairment and erectile dysfunction.

How can propranolol lower blood pressure?

Propranolol lowers blood pressure by affecting splanchnic vasoconstriction.

How is propranolol administered?

Propranolol is typical administered by mouth twice daily (propranolol should be taken at the same time every day).

Should propranolol be taken with food?

Research shows that immediate release propranolol should be taken on an empty stomach.

What is a typical propranolol dose?

The typical initial adult dose of immediate release propranolol used for the treatment of HTN is 40 mg twice daily.

What are propranolol side effects?

Propranolol side effects include: low blood pressure, bradycardia, dizziness, nightmares, hyperglycemia, hyperkalemia, hyperlipidemia, hypoglycemia, abdominal pain, constipation, decreased appetite, dyspnea, pulmonary edema, wheezing.

What are propranolol safety concerns?

Propranolol safety concerns include:

Low blood pressure - Low blood pressure is one of the most common/dangerous side effects of propranolol. Caution is advised.

Elderly patients - Bradycardia may occur more frequently in elderly patients. Caution is advised.

Diabetes patients - Caution is advised in diabetes patients.

Heart failure patients - Caution is advised in patients with compensated heart failure.

Smokers - Cigerette smoke may affect propranolol levels in the body.

Drug interactions - Propranolol may interact with other medications...be sure to inform health care providers about any other medications (including herbal supplements) that may be taken concurrently with propranolol.

Pregnancy - Propranolol may affect child development. Health care providers should be notified if individuals taking propranolol become pregnant.

Breast-feeding - Propranolol may be excreted into breast milk. Health care providers should be notified if individuals taking propranolol are, or plan to, breast-feed their children.

Liver impairment - Caution is advised in patients with liver impairment.

Renal impairment - Caution is advised in patients with kidney impairment.

Thyroid disease - Propranolol may mask the signs of hyperthyroidism. Caution is advised.

Major surgery - Caution is advised in patients undergoing major surgery.

Abruptly stopping propranolol therapy - Beta-blocker therapy should never be abruptly stopped. Individuals taking a beta-blocker, such as propranolol, should be gradually tapered off the medication over a 1- 2 week period. Abruptly stopping beta-blocker therapy can lead to an acute attack of hypertension. Health care providers should always be contacted before medications are discontinued. Caution is advised.

What are propranolol monitoring parameters?

Propranolol monitoring parameters include: blood pressure and heart rate.

About the Author

Marc Macera, PharmD, RPh's picture



Ph. Bhagavan P S RPh's picture

Good and refreshing. Thank you

Bhagavan P.S. B Pharm

Rtd. Dy Dir.(Pharmacy),Govt of Karnataka, India

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