Propranolol

  • Most commonly prescribed for anxiety, angina and heart failure
  • Slows down the rate at which the heart beats
  • Typically gets to work within just a couple of hours
From As low as £13.99
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What is Propranolol?

Propranolol is a tablet that is widely prescribed in the UK to treat a number of heart problems. Most commonly, propranolol is used to treat the symptoms of high blood pressure, angina, heart failure, anxiety and to prevent a second heart attack in people who have previously had one.

Propranolol is classed as a beta blocker and works by reducing the workload on the heart. It also controls the rate at which the heart beats. As a result of taking propranolol tablets, the stress on the heart is reduced and the rate at which the heart beats is also slowed down. This makes it easier for the blood to pump around your body.

Propranolol is one of two commonly prescribed beta-blockers, the other being Bisoprolol which is used mainly used to treat high blood pressure.

What is Propranolol used to treat?

Propranolol is a drug that can be used for a number of treatments, the most common of these being high blood pressure, angina, heart failure, heart attacks, anxiety and migraines.

This medicine is also available in a variety of strengths: 10 mg, 20 mg, 40 mg and 80 mg. Due to the severity of the conditions that propranolol beta blocker tablets are used for, this medication can only be purchased with a valid UK prescription.

You can buy Propranolol from Medicine Direct following an online consultation with one of our certified doctors, who will prescribe you this medication if they believe it to be a suitable medicine for you.

We sell this medication in packets of 28 tablets, 56 tablets, or 84 tablets, and if you order before 2pm we can offer you next day delivery on your purchase.

Who can take Propranolol?

This medication can be taken by both adults and children, although it may not be suitable for everyone to use.

Propranolol has not been officially approved in treating high blood pressure in children who are under the age of 12.

To ensure this medicine is safe for you, please make sure you tell your doctor if any of the below apply to you:

  • You have low blood pressure or a slow heart rate
  • You have lung disease
  • You have asthma
  • You have heart failure that is worsening with time
  • You have too much acid in your blood (metabolic acidosis)
  • You have had an allergic reaction to Propranolol or any other medicine in the past
  • You have severe blood circulation problems in your limbs; physical symptoms may include tingling in your fingers and toes, or your fingers and toes turn blue or pale

Propranolol contains lactose, so if you have been told by your doctor that you have an intolerance to certain sugars, you should contact your doctor before taking Propranolol.

Possible side effects

Like any medicine, Propranolol may cause side effects, although they will not affect everyone who uses it.

Propranolol side effects will normally improve as you keep taking the medicine and your body gets used to it.

The below side effects are common and will affect around 1 in every 100 people who use this medicine. They will usually pass quickly, but you should speak to your doctor or pharmacist if any of them last for longer than a few days or concern you:

  • You have nightmares or difficulty sleeping
  • You feel tired, dizzy or light-headed (these could be signs of a slow heart rate)
  • You feel sick
  • You have cold fingers or toes (this could be a sign that the blood supply to your hands and feet has been affected)

Please note, the above list is not exhaustive. Please refer to the Side Effects tab on this page for a list of rarer, more serious adverse effects you may experience. Always read the patient information leaflet for a comprehensive list of side effects.

Order online safely

Never order any medicine online unless it is from a pharmacy that is registered with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPC), like Medicine Direct.

All of our doctors are registered with the General Medical Council (GMC). This means they are able to legally provide professional medical advice to our customers, and prescribe medication just like your local GP.

After an online consultation, our doctors will assess your symptoms and prescribe the medicine they deem the most suitable for your case. You can then order this from Medicine Direct's online pharmacy.

If you place your order before 2pm, we can offer you next day delivery.

Propranolol Dosage

Always take Propranolol exactly as instructed by your doctor. Read the patient information leaflet thoroughly before taking a new medicine. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you are unsure of how to take it.

Doses for adults and children over the age of 12 are as follows:

For high blood pressure: The starting dose is normally 80 mg, which should be taken twice a day. Your doctor may increase the dose to up to 160 mg, to be taken twice a day.

For anxiety: The normal dose is 40 mg once a day. This can be increased to 40 mg three times a day.

For irregular heartbeats (arrhythmia): The normal dose is between 10 mg and 40 mg three or four times a day.

For migraines or angina (chest pain): The usual dose is 40 mg, to be taken two or three times a day. If this is not enough, your doctor may increase the dose to 120 mg to 240 mg each day. Your doctor or pharmacist will advise you on how you can split the dose up over the course of a day.

For too much thyroid hormone: The dose is between 10 mg and 40 mg, to be taken three or four times a day.

If you are elderly or have liver or kidney problems, your doctor may prescribe you a lower dose than those stated above.

If a child under 12 years old needs to take Propranolol, their doctor will base the dosage they should take on their weight.

How to take Propranolol

This medication can be taken with or without food as it does not upset your stomach. However, you should try to take it at the same time every day.

The tablets should be swallowed whole with a drink of water. If you have difficulty swallowing tablets, certain brands of Propranolol have a score line which lets you break them in half. Read the information leaflet that will come with your medicine to make sure you can do this with your tablets.

What if I take more than I am supposed to?

Taking too much Propranolol can cause breathing difficulties and slow down your heart rate. It may also result in trembling and/or dizziness.

If you take more of this medicine than you were instructed to, call a doctor or go to A&E straight away. If you are instructed to go to hospital, do not drive yourself there; either get someone else to take you, or call an ambulance.

What if I forget to take it?

If you accidentally miss a dose of Propranolol, take it as soon as you remember, as long as it is not almost time for your next dose. If it is nearly time for your next dose, skip the dose you missed and continue taking this medicine as usual.

Never double dose a medication to try and make up for missing a previous dose.

To get into the routine of taking Propranolol, it is best if you take it at the same time every day. Some people find it useful to set an alarm to remind them.

Propranolol FAQ's

Can I take Propranolol for situational anxiety?

Propranolol provides effective treatment for a number of conditions that affects the heart. Propranolol is also a common medication that is used to treat the effects of situational anxiety due to its ability to control the rate at which the heart beats. A common symptom of anxiety is an increased heart rate and due to the way that propranolol reduces the heart rate, this makes it an effective treatment for anxiety. Speak to your doctor about using Propranolol for anxiety.

Is Propranolol 10 mg good for anxiety?

A common prescription medicine for this condition is beta blockers. Anxiety currently affects thousands of people in the UK. It is a mental state that can lead to a number of related symptoms, most commonly an increased heart rate. Propranolol 10 mg can be used to treat anxiety in patients suffering from this condition and provides effective relief against the most common anxiety side effect, which is an increased heart rate. It can also help to relieve the physical symptoms of anxiety, such as sweating and shaking.

How long does propranolol take to work?

Propranolol is a very fast acting medication, typically getting to work within just a few hours after consumption. Depending on the condition, propranolol may take up to a week before you feel its full effects. Propranolol typically works faster when treating primary conditions such as high blood pressure, and slower when treating secondary conditions such as migraines.

What is the dose for a migraine?

The typical propranolol dosage for migraines is 10 mg – 40 mg to be taken 2-3 times daily. This dosage and frequency will provide effective treatment against the symptoms of painful migraines. Propranolol tablets, when treating migraines, should only be taken when other more common and conventional headache medication has been taken and failed to relieve the pain.

How can I buy Propranolol online in the UK?

Propranolol is a prescription only drug and can only be purchased if you have a prescription. You can purchase various strengths of propranolol online at Medicine Direct. If you do not have a prescription, you will be required to answer a few short questions relating to your condition. Our UK-based doctors will then review your answers and prescribe you with the appropriate dosage suited to your condition. If our doctor approves your order, your prescription will automatically be sent to our UK pharmacy, which will then dispense the medication directly to your specified delivery address. If you order before 2pm, we can offer you next day delivery on your purchase. Never buy any medicine online unless it is from a pharmacy that is registered with the General Pharmaceutical Council, like Medicine Direct. This will ensure you purchase nothing but genuine versions of the medicine you require. All of our doctors are also registered with the General Medical Council, which means that they can legally prescribe medicine just like your local GP.

Is it possible to overdose on Propranolol?

Taking too much of this medicine can slow down your heart rate and cause breathing difficulties. You should go to A&E or call your doctor straight away if you accidentally take too much Propranolol. To avoid overdosing on this medicine, try to take it at the same time every day. This will also help to make sure you do not forget to take it.

Can you drink alcohol while taking beta blockers?

If you drink alcohol while taking this medicine, it can increase the blood pressure-lowering effect. This might make you feel light-headed or dizzy. You should stop drinking alcohol for the first few days of taking this medicine, or if your doctor increases your dose. If you find that alcohol makes you dizzy, you should stop drinking alcohol.

What are the side effects of Propranolol?

Propranolol's main side effects are dizziness, sleeping difficulties, nightmares, feeling tired, cold hands and feet. Please, refer to the Side Effects tab on this page for a list of reactions you may suffer while using this medicine. Always read the patient information leaflet, which will accompany your medicine, for a comprehensive list of adverse effects.

Does Propranolol cause weight gain?

Some people who use Propranolol have said that they have put on weight during treatment, particularly in the first few months. However, this is not believed to be a common side effect of taking this medication, and there is not enough information available to explain why some people experience weight gain. One explanation could be that, because Propranolol makes you tired, you may be less active than you were before you started this course of medication. It may also have an effect on the way your body uses energy. Speak to your doctor if you are worried about gaining weight while you take this medicine.

Propranolol Side Effects

The more common adverse effects of Propranolol can be found on the main product page.

Less common reactions to this medicine may include vomiting, diarrhoea and nausea.

It is very important to inform your doctor if you experience any of the following side effects:

  • You have dry eyes and/or visual disturbances
  • You notice increased bruising, nosebleeds, a sore throat, or infections (your doctor may wish to give you a blood test)
  • Raynaud's syndrome
  • You have shortness of breath with a cough that gets worse with exercise, swollen ankles/legs, chest pain, or irregular heartbeat (these are symptoms of heart problems)
  • Your heart failure gets worse, you have a heart block, low blood pressure, you faint when you stand up, you feel dizzy, worsening of intermittent claudication
  • You have yellowing of the skin or the whites of your eyes turn yellow (these could be symptoms of a liver problem)
  • You have shortness of breath, wheezing and tightening of your chest (these can be signs of lung problems)
  • You have breathing difficulties (this is most likely to affect people who suffer from asthma)
  • Hair loss, dry/flaky skin, worsening of psoriasis
  • Hallucinations, confusion or changes in your mood
  • Pins and needles
  • Memory loss
  • You develop myasthenia gravis, or your case gets worse (physical symptoms include muscle weakness, difficulty chewing or swallowing and slurred speech)

It is unknown how likely you are to experience any of the following side effects, but you should speak to your doctor immediately if:

  • You get joint pain
  • You have changes in your blood sugar levels
  • You have signs of hyperthyroidism, which may be hidden
  • You notice a change in your potency or your sex drive
  • You notice worsening of pre-existing depression, angina or headaches
  • You have dry mouth, constipation, or conjunctivitis
  • You suffer fits (seizures), which are linked to low blood sugar levels
  • You have changes in your blood fats, which can lead to changes in the kidneys' function

Serious allergic reaction

Although it only happens in rare cases, it is possible to suffer a serious allergic reaction while taking Propranolol.

Stop taking the medicine and either call 999 or go to A&E straight away if you exhibit any of the following symptoms. You may need immediate treatment in hospital if:

  • You develop a skin rash that is red, itchy, swollen, blistered or peeling skin
  • You have tightness in your chest or throat
  • You are finding it difficult to breathe or speak
  • Your face, throat, mouth, lips, or tongue starts swelling
  • You are wheezing

The above lists may not be exhaustive. Always refer to the patient information leaflet, which will come with your medication, before you start to take it.

If you have any questions or concerns at all, please do not hesitate to discuss them with your doctor or pharmacist.

Propranolol Warnings and drug interactions

Propranolol can interact with other medicines, which may increase your risk of side effects, or may cause one or both medicines to be less effective.

Before taking a new medication, it is very important that you tell your doctor if you are currently taking any other medicines. This includes both prescription and non-prescription medication, herbal remedies, vitamins and supplements.

In particular, your doctor must be made aware if you are currently taking or have recently taken any of the following:

  • Any medicines for heart diseases, such as verapamil, diltiazem, nifedipine, nisoldipine, nicardipine, isradipine, lacidipine and dihydropyridine
  • Any medicines to help an irregular heartbeat, including disopyramide, quinidine, flecainide, amiodarone, propafenone
  • The migraine treatments ergotamine derivates or rizatriptan
  • Adrenaline
  • Any medicines used to treat diabetes, such as insulin
  • Any non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as naproxen or ibuprofen (these may increase your blood pressure)
  • The blood thinning medicine warfarin
  • Rifampicin, which is used in the treatment of infections
  • Theophylline
  • Barbiturates (for treating insomnia)
  • Smoking tobacco
  • Any medicines to treat high blood pressure or difficulty with urinating, such as prazosin
  • Diuretics (medication for getting rid of excess fluid in the body)
  • Any medicines to treat asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD)
  • Medicines used as treatment for nose or sinus congestion, as well as other cold remedies
  • Medicines specifically to treat high blood pressure

Please, make sure you read the patient information leaflet for a comprehensive list of medicines Propranolol may interact with. If you have any questions or concerns at all, we strongly advise you to discuss these with your doctor before you start a new course of medication.

Driving and operating machinery

As side effects associated with Propranolol include dizziness, visual disturbances and tiredness, you are advised to not drive, ride a bike or operate machinery if you experience any of these reactions.

Do not stop taking this medicine without speaking to your doctor first, but contact your doctor if any of these problems do not go away. Your doctor may need to run some tests to determine the cause.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

Propranolol is not believed to be dangerous to take when you are pregnant, although there is not enough research out there to prove this.

Speak to your doctor about the possible risks associated with this medicine if you are currently pregnant, think you might be pregnant, or are trying to get pregnant. There may be alternative medicines available which are more suitable for you.

It is also normally safe to take this medicine if you are breastfeeding. Small amounts of Propranolol will get into your breast milk, but not enough to affect your baby.

Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding before you start to use this medicine, particularly if your baby has any health problems or was born premature.

Propranolol Ingredients

The active ingredient contained in this medicine is propranolol hydrochloride.

The inactive ingredients also contained in the medicine are: lactose, magnesium stearate, maize starch, stearic acid, hypromellose (E464).

Inform your doctor if you have an allergy to any of the ingredients listed here. Read the patient information leaflet thoroughly before taking any new medicine, for a list of the ingredients.

Delivery Company Delivery Service Price Details
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Delivery specified for Saturday

Order Friday by 2pm (subject to Dr approval)

Please note that next day delivery to Northern Ireland, Scottish Highlands & Islands and British Isles cannot be guaranteed. Please contact our team for more information.

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This content has been written by James Nuttall and has been medically reviewed by our Superintendent Pharmacist Hussain Abdeh.

Hussain Abdeh - Doctor's Profile

Hussain Abdeh
MPharm: 2211840

Pharmacist Independent Prescriber

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