Brand names and manufacturer

Ciplar (Cipla)

Betabloc (USV)

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Type: OTC/Prescription/schedule

Propranolol is a prescription drug available from your pharmacy store only with the prescription of a qualified medical practitioner.


Propranolol pronounced as: proe-PRAN-oh-lol

What is propranolol?

Propranolol is an anti hypertensive / non selective beta blocker.

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Common uses of propranolol

Propranolol is used in the treatment of following conditions

  • Hypertension
  • Angina( chest pain)
  • Myocardial infarction
  • Cardiac arrhythmias
  • Migraine
  • Pheochromocytoma( adrenal gland tumour)
  • Essential tremors
  • Preoperatively and in the management of hyper thyroid state.
  • Portal hypertension

How to use propranolol

Take Propranolol exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If do not understand these instructions ask your pharmacist, nurse or doctor to explain them to you.

Do not take the medication in larger amounts or for longer duration than recommended by your doctor. Take Propranolol with a full glass of water.

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Take Propranolol at the same time every day to avoid forgetting.

Do not skip doses or stop taking Propranolol without consulting your doctor.

Propranolol should be tapered gradually over a period of weeks Stopping suddenly may worsen hypertension or cause other serious cardiac problems like worsening of angina.

What should I discuss with my health care provider before taking propranolol?

Always remember to inform your health expert if you are currently taking any OTC or prescription drugs like,

  • Cimetidine( anti histamine)
  • Other Anti hypertensive drugs
  • Theophylline (asthma drug)
  • Anti migraine drugs like ergotamine
  • Oral anti coagulant like warfarin

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Inform your doctor if you have following medical diseases, as propranolol should be used cautiously  in these conditions

  • Bronchial asthma, chronic bronchitis
  • Raynauds disease
  • History of heart failure or heart attack within 1mnth
  • Slow pulse rate with heart block
  • Liver or kidney disease
  • Diabetes

When not to take propranolol

Do not use propranolol if you have 2nd and 3rd degree heart block.

What are the precautions I should follow for propranolol?


Old people:

Pregnant woman:

1st trimester of pregnancy

Propranolol belongs to FDA pregnancy category C. This means that propranolol may harm an unborn baby if used during pregnancy but potential benefit may warrant use of the drug in pregnant woman despite potential risks. Always inform your doctor if you are pregnant or are planning for conception.

2nd and 3rd trimester of pregnancy

Propranolol belongs to  FDA pregnancy category D. This means that propranolol can harm an unborn baby and cause birth defects if used during pregnancy. Do not use propranolol with out your doctor consent however its use is justified if the benefits to the mother outweigh the risks. Always inform your doctor if you are pregnant or are planning for conception.

Lactating women: It is not known whether propranolol passes into breast milk or if it could harm the baby. Do not take propranolol with out first talking to doctor if you are breast feeding a baby.


Strictly avoid alcohol when on propranolol medication as it increases its side effects

What are the dosage forms propranolol is available in the market

Propranolol is available in the form of tablets, capsules and injection.

Doses for propranolol

Use as directed by your physician, your physician prescribes depending on the severity of disease.

Use the complete course of medication as prescribed by your physician even though you feel better after one or two days of usage of medication.

What about if I missed the dose of propranolol

If it is almost the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at same time to cover up the missed dose.

What should I do if I over dosage propranolol

In case of overdose contact your nearest poison control centre or emergency medical centre for immediate care by physician.

The overdose symptoms of Propranolol are

  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing
  • Oedema of feet and ankles
  • Slow heart rate

What are the common side effects of propranolol?

Propranolol may cause following side effects

  • Nausea & vomiting
  • Giddiness
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Fatigue

When to consult the health expert about the side effects of propranolol

Consult your doctor immediately if notice following symptoms.

  • Allergic reaction like swollen lips, hives, difficulty in breathing, rashes. Peeling of skin etc
  • Oedema in both the feet, unusual weight gain
  • Chest pain, breathing difficulty,
  • Palpitations, Irregular heart beat
  • Tingling & numbness in extremities
  • Behavioural changes
  • Visual disturbances
  • Cold clammy toes and fingers

How do I store propranolol?

Store propranolol at room temp (15 – 30 degrees C). Avoid excessive heat, moisture or direct sunlight, never store in the bathroom.

Keep it out of reach of children. Make sure that any leftover portion is disposed off safely.

What is the most important information I should know about propranolol

  • Never stop Propranolol abruptly without consulting your doctor as it causes rebound hypertension and worsening of angina or attack of MI.
  • If you are a diabetic on Propranolol medication keep a close watch on your blood sugar levels as it may cause hypoglycaemia and mask its symptoms.
  • Inform your surgeon or dentist prior to any planned procedure regarding Propranolol medication as it may increase the side effects of anaesthetic drugs.
  • Inform your lab personnel regarding Propranolol medication as it may interfere with certain lab tests like glaucoma screening test, dobutamine stress echocardiography.
  • It causes dizziness when used for the first time when getting up from sitting or lying down position due to postural hypotension. Therefore when dizzy do not drive or get involve in activity which requires you to be alert.
  • Visit your doctor regularly for monitoring your blood pressure and pulse rate when taking Propranolol.
  • 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.
  • Adopt healthy lifestyle changes like regular exercise, healthy diet, quit smoking, alcohol to lower your blood pressure and improve your overall health.

It is imp to read manufacturing packaging instruction carefully if available and always do not hesitate to consult pharmacist or physician for any information.

Written by: team

Date last updated: August 14, 2015