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Propranolol Side Effects, Uses & Alternatives

If you suffer from high blood pressure or chest pain, your doctor will probably review a wide variety of options with you. There are several treatment options, but one of the most common ones is propranolol. Propranolol is a beta-blocker, and it can be used to treat high blood pressure, chest pain, and numerous other circulatory disorders effectively. It has been a reliable medication for many years.

At the same time, it is important for you to be familiar with propranolol side effects. You might even be wondering, do propranolol side effects go away? Learn more about the short-term and long-term side effects of propranolol below, and do not forget to reach out to your doctor with any questions or concerns.


What Is Propranolol?

Propranolol is a medication used to treat a wide variety of circulatory rhythm disorders. Specifically, propranolol is a beta-blocker.

A beta-blocker is a medication that is designed to block specific receptors in the circulatory rhythm, impacting the way blood flows throughout the body. It binds to receptors in the heart and the blood vessels, such as the arteries and veins. Your blood flows through your arteries and veins, which is how propranolol will impact your blood flow.

Propranolol can be used to treat a wide variety of medical conditions. Some of the biggest examples include:

  • Angina: Propranolol can be used to treat angina, which is the medical term for chest pain. Regardless of whether you have short-term or long-term chest pain, propranolol may be used as part of an effective treatment plan.
  • Hypertension: Propranolol can also be used to treat hypertension. This is the medical term for blood pressure. Your doctor may recommend propranolol as a treatment option along with diet and exercise. Lowering your blood pressure is important for protecting your circulatory system.
  • Rhythm Disorders: Your doctor may also recommend propranolol if you have a rhythm disorder with your heart. A rhythm disorder means that your atria and ventricles do not necessarily beat in rhythm appropriately. This can impact the flow of blood throughout your heart.
  • Tremors: If you suffer from tremors, propranolol may be recommended. It is one of the most common Essential Tremor treatments Remember that propranolol can also have an impact on your circulatory system, so it is important for you to talk with your doctor to make sure you understand how it will impact not only your tremors but also your blood pressure.
  • Hemangiomas: Hemangiomas are blood vessels that grow in an abnormal way. Propranolol can be used to treat hemangiomas in newborn babies and infants.

These are just a few of the many ways that propranolol may be used. It is one of the most commonly prescribed beta-blockers, and it can be used to treat numerous medical conditions. Before you take propranolol, you need to get all of your questions and concerns addressed by your doctor.

Side Effects Of Propranolol

There are several possible side effects of propranolol. Some of the most common side effects include:

  • Chest Tightness: Your chest may feel a bit tight. For example, you may feel like someone is squeezing your chest. Or, you may have a difficult time taking a deep breath. Your chest may also feel a bit sore. You will not necessarily experience chest tightness all the time, but it is a relatively common side effect.
  • Cough Producing Mucus: You may also find that you are coughing more often. In particular, your cough may bring up mucus. It is important to check and see if you are running a fever. If you are running a fever, then you may have a respiratory infection.
  • Difficulty Breathing: You may experience shortness of breath or difficulty breathing. This happens regularly with propranolol, and it usually goes along with chest tightness. If your chest feels a bit tight, you may have difficulty breathing.

These are just a few of the many common side effects of propranolol. It is important to remember that everyone reacts differently to propranolol. Just because one person has side effects doesn’t necessarily mean that someone else will have side effects.

Furthermore, keep in mind that these side effects can come and go. This means that you may experience side effects sometimes, but other times, you tolerate the medication normally. Make sure you reach out to your doctor if you experience any of the side effects above. That way, you know how to address them, and you understand if there are alternatives available.

Short-Term Side Effects

In addition to the side effects above, there are several short-term side effects of propranolol. They include:

  • You may develop a bloody nose from time to time
  • You may have some body aches and pains from time to time
  • You may experience nausea or vomiting
  • You may feel a bit congested
  • You may experience constipation or diarrhea from time to time
  • Your neck veins may look a bit dilated
  • You may experience some double vision
  • You may experience some headaches
  • Your breathing might get a bit irregular

These are all short-term side effects. They may come and go, and they should go away if you stop taking the medication.

Long-Term Side Effects

There are a few potential long-term side effects as well. They include:

  • You may experience weight gain
  • You may have low blood sugar levels and dizziness
  • You may have mental health issues, such as confusion or depression
  • You may develop a cold feeling in your hands and feet
  • You may see some halos around your visual field

In addition, there are some situations where you need to call your doctor. If you feel dizzy, have a fast heart rate, or experience a loss of coordination, you need to reach out to your doctor as quickly as possible.

Alternatives To Propranolol

If you are looking for some alternatives to Propranolol, there are a few options available. It depends on the reason why you are taking propranolol.

Before you take any of these other medications, it is important for you to talk with your doctor. You need to know what options you have available to you, and you must make sure they will not interact with any other medications you take. That way, you have a safe and effective treatment option for whatever your medical concern might be.

Propranolol FAQs

There are several common questions people have about propranolol. They include:

What should you avoid when taking Propranolol?

It is possible that Propranolol could interact with other medications. For example, if you are taking thioridazine, you need to tell your doctor, as he or she may need to change it. It is also recommended that you avoid certain medications such as diltiazem, epinephrine, albuterol, fluoxetine, and mefloquine. Your doctor may want to change these medications to avoid impacts on your liver, blood pressure, and breathing pattern. Always tell your doctor about all medications you take before you start taking propranolol.

What problems can propranolol cause?

Propranolol can lead to a variety of side effects. The most common side effects include chest tightness, shortness of breath, and a cough. You may also experience changes in your coordination, breathing pattern, and cardiac rhythm. Make sure you call your doctor with any questions or concerns about possible side effects.

Does propranolol affect you mentally?

Yes, propranolol can lead to some mental side effects. The most common examples include depression, confusion, and hallucinations. Make sure you call your doctor if you experience any of these issues.

Will propranolol help you sleep?

Yes, it is possible that propranolol could help you sleep. When it lowers your blood pressure, you may have an easier time falling asleep at night. It can also be used to treat anxiety, which can make it easier for you to fall asleep as well.

Know Your Options For Essential Tremors From Cala TAPS Therapy

If you suffer from Essential Tremor, you need to know your options. While propranolol may be a fit for some, it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. Fortunately, there are many therapies available to treat tremor symptoms, including  assistive devices and Botox.

Cala TAPS therapy is a non-invasive treatment for Essential Tremor. By calibrating to your unique tremor pattern, Cala’s wrist-worn device provides electrical stimulation, also known as neuromodulation, to effectively reduce symptoms.