Chapter: Nootropics

Read about PROPRANOLOL in “Drug safety during pregnancy and breastfeeding” section


AKA: Inderal, Inderal LA (long acting), propranolol hydrochloride.

A beta-andrenergic blocking agent medication prescribed for high blood pressure patients and used in the treatment of angina, hypertension, specific tremors, and certain cardiac arrhythmias.

Effects: Reduces fear and stress by blocking the muscle’s receptor sites for adrenaline; it also reduces the oxygen requirements of the heart and reduces the contractions of the blood vessels in the heart, scalp, and other areas. Taking it a half hour before an anxiety- or fear-inducing event may help an individual overcome his or her aversion to that situation.

Precautions: Most studies have been short term (six weeks or so), and more recent evidence does not support the claim that it works consistently over the long run. There is also evidence that it controls the physical symptoms of anxiety, but not the psychological ones.

It is not taken by anyone with an allergy to any beta-adrenergic blocker; by those with hypotension, as it lowers blood pressure, aggravates any condition of congestive heart failure, produces tingling in the extremities, and light-headedness; by those with asthma, pollen allergies, upper respiratory disease, or arterial spasms; or by those who have taken MAO inhibitors or other psychiatric or psychotropic drugs within the preceding two weeks. It is prescribed for those who have chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (e.g., asthma, bronchitis or emphysema), diabetes or hypoglycemia, kidney or liver problems, heart disease or poor circulation in the limbs, an overactive thyroid function, or surgery within the last two months (including dental surgery) that requires general or spinal anesthesia.

Common side effects include a slow pulse rate (fewer than 50 beats per minute), a coldness in the hands and feet, diarrhea, dizziness, drowsiness, a dryness of the mouth, eyes, and skin, fatigue, and numbness or tingling in the fingers and toes. Less frequent symptoms include abdominal pain, a loss of alertness, anxiety, difficult breathing, chest pain, confusion, constipation, depression, hallucinations, headache, impotence, insomnia, joint pain, and nightmares. Rare side effects include excessive bleeding and bruising, eyes that are dry and burning, fever, rash, sore throat, vomiting, and emotional instability. Other possible side effects include short-term memory loss, visual disturbances, weakness, and paranoia.

Overdose symptoms include a drop in blood pressure, bronchial muscle spasms leading to breathing difficulties, convulsions, fainting, heart failure, a slow or weak pulse, cold and sweaty skin, and weakness. Toxic psychosis will occur when the dosage is high (i.e., thousands of milligrams a day). Use is discontinued by decreasing the dosage gradually over a period of two weeks, as abrupt cessation could damage the heart.

For those over age 60, the side effects may be more severe and frequent. Prolonged use can weaken the heart muscles. It may mask symptoms of hypoglycemia or alter the results of some medical tests.

There is an enhanced beta blocker effect when combined with betaxolol eyedrops or Levobunolol eyedrops, and a diminished beta blocker effect when combined with Dextrothyroxine or Indomethacin. It can intensify the effects of antidiabetics, antihypertensives, barbiturates, insulin, and narcotics, and can lessen the effects of antihistamines and beta-agonists. It can decrease the effectiveness of Digitalis if taken for congestive heart failure, but increase its effectiveness if taken for any other medical reason.

There is an increased drop in blood pressure when taken with alcohol, calcium channel blockers, Clonidine, Diazoxide, or Guanabenz. When combined with angiotensin-converting (ACE) inhibitors or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), Propranolol could increase the antihypertensive effect of one or both drugs; with Encainide, it could damage the heart muscle; with Molindone, it could increase tranquilizer effect; with MAO inhibitors, it could raise blood pressure if the latter is discontinued; with cocaine, it could lead to an irregular heartbeat and a decreased beta-adrenergic effect; with daily marijuana use, it may promote circulation problems in the hands and feet; and with tobacco, it could lead to an irregular heartbeat. It may also interact with certain ingredients in over-the-counter cold, cough, and allergy remedies.

Dosage: Some recommend 10 to 30 mg a half hour before the trauma-inducing event, though the usual prescribed dosage is 5 to 10 mg. Propranolol will have a greater effect if taken with meals.

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Questions and Answers



Propranolol?, Suppose a person has propranolol before severe exercise, how will it change his endurance to exercise ?

It depends on the cardiac status of the individual. With exercise, cardiac output needs to increase, and that can be done by increasing the amount of blood the heart pumps with each beat, and by increasing the number of beats per minute.

Propranolol will impair the body’s ability to increase the heart rate. If an individual is unable to increase stroke volume, the heart may not be able to meet the demands that exercise is putting on it, impairing endurance.

(SAMI, there certainly ARE false positive stress tests, as evidenced by nuclear imaging. Symptoms do not always mean ischemia, which is why the nuclear portion of the test is done.)_

How long after taking propranolol (Inderal) is it OK to drink alcohol? Do I have to wait at all?, I plan on drinking tonight, but first I will be going to a dinner which will be a social situation (difficult for me) and am wondering if it will be OK to take the propranolol before the dinner considering that I will be drinking later that night. I would probably only take 10 mg. Thanks for any advice!

alright, you are an idiot.

do you REALLY think drinking ALCOHOL while on a beta blocker will NOT be DANGEROUS at all????

it doesn’t matter if you skip one pill it is still in your system.
prescription medication should NOT be going into the same body alcohol is going into.

What have been your experiences taking propranolol?, I know this may not get many answers. But I have started taking propranolol hoping it will help my rosacea and I will be taking 10 mg a day which isnt much for someone 170 lbs. Still, I am a little nervous it seems like a powerful drug. I will probably discontinue it soon because I have taken it previously and once it made me feel a little weird while engaging in moderate exercise. Maybe it also robs me some of my personality, I cant quite tell.

only made my headaches worse. therefore, i probably don’t even have migranes. my doctors odn’t really know anything.

just don’t worry about it.
i take stimulants and mood stabilizers, i thought it’d make me a zombie but it didnt. both adderal and lamictal are strong drugs too….ttrust me, they wouldn’t put it on the market if it could kill you.

every drug is different. just because it’s 10mg doesn’t mean anything. i take 20mg adderal vs. what i used to on ritalin which was i dont know higher in mg rating.

it’s fine
just take it.

Is it useful to exercise while taking propranolol?, I take propranolol for anxiety at least twice a week. Since propranolol keeps your heart rate down, is it useful for me to exercise on the days I take the medicine? Am I burning calories if my heart rate isn’t increasing?

Absolutely. You may have some decreased exercise tolerance due to the medication, but you absolutely will experience benefit from exercising. The 2 things to be aware of primarily are:

1) The medication decreases cardiac output, thereby having the possibility of causing weakness and dizziness, as well as increased fatigue.

2) One of the side effects of the med can be bronchospasm, a muscle spasm of the airway, that can be exacerbated by exercising.

So if there are no other reasons for you to not exercise, you should be safe doing so while on propranalol. Just start and progress slowly, and pay attention to what your body tells you.

Can Propranolol make birth control not work?, I’ve been on Propranolol for migraines for over a month now and I’m having some signs that I might be pregnant. I’m on Yasmin for birth control, plus my partner and I use other forms of protection. I was just wondering if this new medication could have made the Yasmin not work (like anti-biotics do).

check your drugs on this site it should tell you what you want to know..

it is the Internet drug index for prescription drugs and medications…

Is it possible to kill yourself with propranolol?, Is it possible to kill yourself by overdosing on propranolol?

How many would it take?

Symptoms of overdose may include unusually slow heartbeat, severe dizziness, slow or shallow breathing, weakness, or fainting.

Too many would kill you.

If you suspect overdose, contact the emergency department ASAP

How can i take propranolol pills?, My doctor gave me some propranolol pills for stage fright and he said i should just let it dissolve on my tongue but it tastes so nasty that i cant couldnt handle it. Any suggestions?

You could just swallow it. It will take longer to work, so take it an hour or so before your performance.

Is it ok to take propranolol with aloe vera tablets?, I’m taking propranolol for anxiety for a few years but have been experiencing palpitations lately. I dont want to increase my doseage but I have heard that taking aloe vera tablets reduces palpitations. Does anyone know if they are ok to take together? Thanks.

i used to work in a health food store and no one has ever asked me that question. but you should be fine. aloe vera is an all natural thing and there should be no side effects. but always be safe and double check with your doctor.

What are the effects of Propranolol when mixed?, Hi, about to start taking 10mg of propranolol three times daily, but im already using 100mg sertraline and occassionally diazepam, could there be any adverse side effects?? If anyone has any first hand experience this would be much appreciated, im apprehensive of how this will effect me during working hours!

Generic name: Propranolol hydrochloride
If Inderal is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Inderal with the following:
Aluminum hydroxide gel
Calcium-blocking blood pressure drugs such as diltiazem, nifedipine, and verapamil
Certain high blood pressure medications such as reserpine
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen and naproxen
Oral diabetes drugs such as glyburide
Thyroid medications such as levothyroxine

Has anyone used propranolol for treating hemangioma?, My kid’s dermatologist just offered us to use propranolol to shrink the hemangioma and make the bump flatter. My kid is 16 months old and her hemangioma is compound strawberry and it is on her forehead. Has anyone have any experience of taking that? How long does it take to see the result? Have you experienced any side-effects? As Dr. said the hemangioma has stopped growing and it may start shrinking on its own. But we want to consider the option of medication as well. Thanks in advance for your help.

That’s a beta blocker and a blood pressure medication…. it has some other off lable uses, but I’ve never heard of that one.