propranolol (generic name)

Inderal (brand name)

Beta-blockers reduce the workload on the heart and help it to beat more regularly
(proe PRAN oh lole)
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What is this medicine?

PROPRANOLOL (proe PRAN oh lole) is a beta-blocker. Beta-blockers reduce the workload on the heart and help it to beat more regularly. This medicine is used to treat high blood pressure, to control irregular heart rhythms (arrhythmias) and to relieve chest pain caused by angina. It may also be helpful after a heart attack. This medicine is also used to prevent migraine headaches, relieve uncontrollable shaking (tremors), and help certain problems related to the thyroid gland and adrenal gland.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • circulation problems or blood vessel disease
  • diabetes
  • history of heart attack or heart disease, vasospastic angina
  • kidney disease
  • liver disease
  • lung or breathing disease, like asthma or emphysema
  • pheochromocytoma
  • slow heart rate
  • thyroid disease
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to propranolol, other beta-blockers, medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

Take this medicine by mouth. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Use a specially marked spoon or container to measure your medicine. Ask your pharmacist if you do not have one. Household spoons are not accurate. This medicine can be taken with or without food. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take it more often than directed. Do not stop taking except on your doctor's advice.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed. While this medicine may be used in children for selected conditions, precautions do apply.

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 medicine?

Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:
  • feverfew
  • phenothiazines like chlorpromazine, mesoridazine, prochlorperazine, thioridazine
  • sotalol

This medicine may also interact with the following medications:

  • aluminum hydroxide gel
  • antipyrine
  • antiviral medicines for HIV or AIDS
  • barbiturates like phenobarbital
  • cimetidine
  • ciprofloxacin
  • diazepam
  • fluconazole
  • haloperidol
  • isoniazid
  • medicines for cholesterol like cholestyramine or colestipol
  • medicines for depression, anxiety, or psychotic disturbances
  • medicines to control heart rhythm
  • medicines for blood pressure
  • medicines for migraine headache like almotriptan, eletriptan, frovatriptan, naratriptan, rizatriptan, sumatriptan, zolmitriptan
  • NSAIDs, medicines for pain and inflammation, like ibuprofen or naproxen
  • phenytoin
  • rifampin
  • teniposide
  • theophylline
  • thyroid medicines
  • tolbutamide
  • warfarin
  • zileuton

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular check ups. Check your blood pressure and pulse rate regularly. Ask your health care professional what your blood pressure and pulse rate should be, and when you should contact them.

You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this drug affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells. Alcohol can make you more drowsy and dizzy. Avoid alcoholic drinks.

This medicine can affect blood sugar levels. If you have diabetes, check with your doctor or health care professional before you change your diet or the dose of your diabetic medicine.

Do not treat yourself for coughs, colds, or pain while you are taking this medicine without asking your doctor or health care professional for advice. Some ingredients may increase your blood pressure.

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Last Updated: July 20, 2009
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