Propranolol helps to keep your blood pressure under control.
It is also used to treat angina pectoris (chest pain which occurs when the heart does not receive enough blood supply), arrhythmia (irregular or abnormal heartbeat), and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (abnormally thick heart muscle).
This medicine may also be used to reduce the risks of complications after a heart attack.
Propranolol may be used to treat other conditions as decided by your doctor.
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.
Your doctor will also discuss the use of this medicine as different brands and preparations of Propranolol may only be used for a specific condition.
This medicine is available as a conventional tablet or oral solution and an extended-release capsule.
If you are taking the tablet, swallow it whole with a glass of water.
If you are taking the oral solution, use the measuring device (e.g. oral syringe, cup) provided to measure your prescribed dose.
If you are taking the extended-release type of capsule (usually labelled as "XL", "LA", or "SR"), swallow it whole. Do not divide, chew, or crush the capsule.
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 treatment timeframe depending on the type and severity of your condition and your 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 suddenly as this may 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 dosing 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:
- current or history of asthma or bronchospasm (breathing distress caused by tightening and narrowing of the airways)
- very slow heartbeat
- cardiogenic shock (a serious sudden condition when the heart cannot supply enough oxygen-rich blood to the brain and vital organs of the body)
- 2nd- or 3rd-degree heart block
- uncontrolled heart failure (weakness and inability of the heart to pump blood)
- sick sinus rhythm (abnormal heart rhythms due to problems with your heart's natural pacemaker)
- low blood pressure
- metabolic acidosis (a condition when there is too much acid in the blood)
- very poor blood circulation in the arms and legs
- Prinzmetal's angina (a rare type of chest pain that occurs when a person is at rest)
- untreated phaeochromocytoma (a rare tumour of the adrenal gland causing high blood pressure)
as Propanolol may not be suitable for you.
Do not take this medicine if you have not been eating (fasting) for a long period of time.
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- other heart problems e.g. 1st-degree heart block
- myasthenia gravis (muscle weakness disorder)
- history of severe allergic reactions to a variety of allergens (substances that cause allergic reactions)
- thyroid disease
- kidney disease
- liver disease
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Be sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist before giving Propranolol to a child or the elderly. Children and elderly people may be more sensitive to the side effects.
If you are going to have an operation, including minor surgery and dental work, inform your doctor or dentist that you are taking this medicine.
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.
What lifestyle changes can I make to improve my blood pressure?
- Routine tests (e.g. heart function, blood sugar levels) may be needed while you are being treated with this medicine. Your doctor will advise you about how often you need to have these tests.
- Your doctor may advise you to monitor your blood pressure regularly during treatment.
Regular exercise and eating a healthy diet will help control your blood pressure and improve your overall health. Engage in physical activity like walking for 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 stop your smoking habit.
Propranolol may cause any of the following side effects: nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, constipation, tiredness, sleep disturbances or nightmares, and feeling cold in the arms or legs.
Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience any of the following:
- rashes, breathlessness, swelling of the face, eyes, or mouth
- slow or abnormal heartbeat
- severe dizziness, fainting or passing out
- new or worsening chest pain
- headache, feeling sleepy or weak, fast heartbeat, feeling confused, hunger, sweating
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. clonidine, diltiazem, verapamil
- other medicines for irregular heartbeat e.g. amiodarone, disopyramide, quinidine
- medicines for migraine e.g. ergotamine, dihydroergotamine, rizatriptan
- NSAIDs (medicines for pain and inflammation) e.g. ibuprofen, indometacin
- medicines to treat depression
- warfarin (blood-thinning medicine)
- chlorpromazine (medicine for mood disorders)
- lidocaine (medicine to block pain and sensation)
- insulin (medicine for diabetes)
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.
Protect from light, moisture, or excessive heat.
Do not refrigerate or freeze the oral solution.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.