PROPRANOLOL (proe PRAN oh lole) treats many conditions such as high blood pressure, tremors, and a type of arrhythmia known as AFib (atrial fibrillation). It works by lowering your blood pressure and heart rate, making it easier for your heart to pump blood to the rest of your body. It may be used to prevent migraine headaches. It works by relaxing the blood vessels in the brain that cause migraines. It belongs to a group of medications called beta blockers.
What should I tell my care team before I take this medication?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
Circulation problems or blood vessel disease
History of heart attack or heart disease, vasospastic angina
Lung or breathing disease, like asthma or emphysema
Slow heart rate
An unusual or allergic reaction to propranolol, other beta-blockers, medications, foods, dyes, or preservatives
Pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I use this medication?
Take this medication by mouth. Take it as directed on the prescription label at the same time every day. Keep taking it unless your care team tells you to stop.
Talk to your care team about the use of this medication in children. Special care may be needed.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.
What may interact with this medication?
Do not take this medication with any of the following:
Phenothiazines like chlorpromazine, mesoridazine, prochlorperazine, thioridazine
This medication may also interact with the following:
Aluminum hydroxide gel
Antiviral medications for HIV or AIDS
Barbiturates like phenobarbital
Certain medications for blood pressure, heart disease, irregular heart beat
Medications for cholesterol like cholestyramine or colestipol
Medications for mental depression
Medications for migraine headache like almotriptan, eletriptan, frovatriptan, naratriptan, rizatriptan, sumatriptan, zolmitriptan
NSAIDs, medications for pain and inflammation, like ibuprofen or naproxen
What side effects may I notice from receiving this medication?
Side effects that you should report to your care team as soon as possible:
Allergic reactions—skin rash, itching, hives, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
Heart failure—shortness of breath, swelling of the ankles, feet, or hands, sudden weight gain, unusual weakness or fatigue
Low blood pressure—dizziness, feeling faint or lightheaded, blurry vision
Raynaud's—cool, numb, or painful fingers or toes that may change color from pale, to blue, to red
Redness, blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin, including inside the mouth
Slow heartbeat—dizziness, feeling faint or lightheaded, confusion, trouble breathing, unusual weakness or fatigue
Worsening mood, feelings of depression
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your care team if they continue or are bothersome):
Change in sex drive or performance
What should I watch for while using this medication?
Visit your care team for regular checks on your progress. Check your blood pressure as directed. Ask your care team what your blood pressure should be. Also, find out when you should contact him or her.
Do not treat yourself for coughs, colds, or pain while you are using this medication without asking your care team for advice. Some medications may increase your blood pressure.
You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medication affects you. Do not stand up or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells. Alcohol may interfere with the effect of this medication. Avoid alcoholic drinks.
This medication may increase blood sugar. Ask your care team if changes in diet or medications are needed if you have diabetes.
Where should I keep my medication?
Keep out of the reach of children and pets.
Store at room temperature between 20 and 25 degrees C (68 and 77 degrees F). Protect from light. Throw away any unused medication after the expiration date.
K Health articles are all written and reviewed by MDs, PhDs, NPs, or PharmDs and are for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute and should not be relied on for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.
This information is educational only and should not be construed as specific instructions for individual patients nor as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Talk to your health care provider or pharmacist about the information and instructions. K Health assumes no liability for any use or reliance on this information.