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 irregular heart rhythms and may be used during anesthesia.

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?

This medicine is for injection into a vein. It is given by a health care professional in a hospital or clinic setting.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

What if I miss a dose?

This does not apply.

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
  • barbiturates like phenobarbital
  • cimetidine
  • ciprofloxacin
  • diazepam
  • fluconazole
  • haloperidol
  • isoniazid
  • medicines for cholesterol like cholestyramine or colestipol
  • medicines to control heart rhythm
  • medicines for high blood pressure
  • medicines for HIV
  • medicines for mental depression
  • 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?

Your condition will be monitored carefully while you are receiving this medicine.

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.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
  • allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
  • breathing problems
  • changes in blood sugar
  • cold hands or feet
  • difficulty sleeping, nightmares
  • dry peeling skin
  • hallucinations
  • muscle cramps or weakness
  • slow heart rate
  • swelling of the legs and ankles
  • vomiting

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • change in sex drive or performance
  • diarrhea
  • dry sore eyes
  • hair loss
  • nausea
  • weak or tired

Where should I keep my medicine?

This drug is given in a hospital or clinic and will not be stored at home.

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Last Updated: July 20, 2009
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