What is Propranolol?
Propranolol belongs to a group of medicines called beta-blockers. Beta blockers work mainly by slowing down the heart. They do this by blocking the action of hormones like adrenaline.
It is used to help and calm people who are anxious or worried and is available through my pharmacy for situational anxiety.
It can also be used to treat
• treat high blood pressure, an enlarged heart muscle or tremors
• treat angina pectoris or high blood pressure caused by a tumour near a kidney (phaeochromocytoma)
• help prevent additional heart attacks
• control irregular or fast heart beats
• control fast heart rate and other symptoms caused by an overactive thyroid gland
• to reduce migraine attacks
• prevent stomach bleeding in patients with hig
How do I take propranolol?
If using Propranolol to combat performance anxiety, take 10-40mg, 20-30 minutes ahead of anxious situations.
To combat situational anxiety, start by taking one 10mg tablet two to three times per day. The dose may be increased to 40mg two to three times per day.
Driving and using machines
Propranolol tablets may cause visual disturbances, hallucinations, fatigue,
mental confusion, dizziness or tiredness. Make sure you are not affected
before you drive or operate machinery.
tablets contain Lactose
If you have been told by your doctor that you have an intolerance to some
sugars, contact your doctor before taking this medicinal product, as it
tablets contain Carmoisine (E122)
Propranolol tablets contain carmoisine (E122) which may cause allergicreactions.
You are advised to avoid alcohol whilst taking this medicine
If you are going to have an anaesthetic or any blood or urine tests, please tell your
doctor or dentist that you are taking Propranolol tablets
Pregnancy and breast-feeding
Propranolol tablets are not recommended during pregnancy or breastfeeding. If you are pregnant or breast-feeding, think you may be pregnant
or are planning to have a baby, ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice
before taking this medicine.
Anxiety is a feeling of unease, such as worry or fear, that can be mild or severe.
Everyone has feelings of anxiety at some point in their life, But some people find it hard to control their worries.
Their feelings of anxiety are more constant and can often affect their daily lives.
Anxiety is the main symptom of several conditions, including:
phobias, such as agoraphobia or claustrophobia
post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
social anxiety disorder (social phobia)
The information in this section is about a specific condition called generalised anxiety disorder (GAD).
GAD is a long-term condition that causes you to feel anxious about a wide range of situations and issues, rather than one specific event.
People with GAD feel anxious most days and often struggle to remember the last time they felt relaxed.
As soon as one anxious thought is resolved, another may appear about a different issue.
GAD can cause both psychological (mental) and physical symptoms.
These vary from person to person, but can include:
feeling restless or worried
having trouble concentrating or sleeping
dizziness or heart palpitations
Find out about the symptoms of GAD
When to get help for anxiety
Although feelings of anxiety at certain times are completely normal, see your GP if anxiety is affecting your daily life or causing you distress.
What causes GAD?
The exact cause of GAD isn’t fully understood, although it’s likely that a combination of several factors plays a role.
GAD is a common condition, estimated to affect up to 5% of the UK population.
Slightly more women are affected than men, and the condition is more common in people from the ages of 35 to 59.
With treatment, many people are able to control their anxiety levels. But some treatments may need to be continued for a long time and there may be periods when your symptoms worsen.
Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) can affect you both physically and mentally.
You should see a GP if anxiety is affecting your daily life or is causing you distress.
Psychological symptoms of GAD
GAD can cause a change in your behaviour and the way you think and feel about things, resulting in symptoms such as:
a sense of dread
feeling constantly “on edge”
Your symptoms may cause you to withdraw from social contact (seeing your family and friends) to avoid feelings of worry and dread.
You may also find going to work difficult and stressful, and may take time off sick. These actions can make you worry even more about yourself and increase your lack of self-esteem.
Physical symptoms of GAD
GAD can also have a number of physical symptoms, including:
a noticeably strong, fast or irregular heartbeat (palpitations)
muscle aches and tension
trembling or shaking
shortness of breath
pins and needles
difficulty falling or staying asleep (insomnia)
If you’re anxious because of a specific phobia or because of panic disorder, you’ll usually know what the cause is.
Common Side Effects of Propranolol
It’s possible for Propranolol to cause side effects in some patients. These are usually mild to moderate in nature, and should not cause concern. However, if they persist, contact your doctor to discuss them. They include:
Cold hands and feet
Slow or irregular heartbeat
Propranolol may also cause more serious side effects. These are more rare, but if you experience them you should go to your doctor. Possible side effects include:
Nausea and sickness
Dizziness or drowsiness
Propranolol may also cause an allergic reaction. This is very rare, but an allergic reaction is an emergency, and if you believe you are experiencing an allergic reaction you must immediately seek medical advice. Symptoms include:
Tightness in the chest or throat
Swelling of the lips, mouth, chest or throat
Wheezing or difficulty breathing
Hives or nettle rash
Skin rash – itching, blistering, peeling or redness
This is not a complete list of side effects. For a full list, consult the patient information leaflet