Propranolol (By mouth)


Propranolol (proe-PRAN-oh-lol)

Treats high blood pressure, angina (chest pain), irregular heartbeat, migraine headaches, tremors, and lowers the risk of repeated heart attacks. This medicine is a beta blocker.

Brand Name(s)

Inderal LA, InnoPran XL, Innopran XL

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to propranolol or any type of beta blocker medicine (such as atenolol, metoprolol, Corgard®, Lopressor®, Toprol®, or Tenormin®), or if you have asthma, very low blood pressure, or certain heart problems. Talk with your doctor about what these heart problems are.

How to Use This Medicine

Long Acting Capsule, Liquid, Tablet

  • Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Your dose may need to be changed several times in order to find out what works best for you. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • You may take this medicine with or without food.
  • Swallow the extended-release capsule whole. Do not crush, break, or chew it.
  • Propranolol extended-release capsules should be taken at bedtime (10 p.m.). This medicine may be taken with or without food. However, you should take it the same way each time.
  • Measure the oral liquid medicine with the dropper that comes with the medicine. You may mix the liquid with water or juice to make it easier to swallow.

If a dose is missed:

  • If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Do not freeze.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
  • Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are using other blood pressure medicine (such as clonidine, diltiazem, doxazosin, enalapril, lisinopril, nicardipine, nifedipine, nisoldipine, prazosin, terazosin, verapamil, Accupril®, Adalat®, Cardene®, Cardizem®, Cardura®, Catapres®, Hytrin®, Lotrel®, Minipress®, Norvasc®, Procardia®, Sular®, or Zestril®), medicine for heart rhythm problems (such as amiodarone, disopyramide, propafenone, quinidine, Cordarone®, Norpace®, or Rythmol®), medicine to make you numb (such as bupivacaine, lidocaine, mepivacaine, methoxyflurane, trichloroethylene, Carbocaine®, Penthrane®, Sensorcaine®, or Xylocaine®), an MAO inhibitor (such as Eldepryl®, Marplan®, Nardil®, or Parnate®), medicine to treat depression (such as amitriptyline, doxepin, fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, imipramine, nortriptyline, paroxetine, Elavil®, Luvox®, Pamelor®, Paxil®, Prozac®, Sinequan®, or Tofranil®), pain or arthritis medicine called an "NSAID" (such as aspirin, ibuprofen, indomethacin, Aleve®, Celebrex®, or Vioxx®), or a blood thinner (such as warfarin, Coumadin®).
  • Tell your doctor if you are using digoxin (Digitek®, Lanoxin®), dobutamine (Dobutrex®), epinephrine (Epi-Pen®), insulin, isoproterenol (Isuprel®), reserpine (Ser-ap-es®), or thyroxine (Levothroid®, Synthroid®).
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using cimetidine (Tagamet®), ciprofloxacin (Cipro®), diazepam (Valium®), fluconazole (Diflucan®), isoniazid (Nydrazid®), rifampin (Rifadin®, Rimactane®), ritonavir (Norvir®), teniposide (Vumon®), theophylline (Theo-Dur®), tolbutamide (Orinase®), or zileuton (Zyflo®). Tell your doctor if you are also using medicine to lower cholesterol (such as colestipol, cholestyramine, lovastatin, pravastatin, Altoprev®, Colestid®, Mevacor®, Pravachol®, or Questran®), medicine to treat migraine headaches (such as rizatriptan, zolmitriptan, Maxalt®, or Zomig®), or medicine to treat mental illness (such as chlorpromazine, haloperidol, thioridazine, Haldol®, Mellaril®, or Thorazine®).
  • Do not drink alcohol while you are using this medicine.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease, liver disease, congestive heart failure, diabetes, glaucoma, lung disease (such as emphysema, bronchitis), muscle problems, or an overactive thyroid. Tell your doctor if you have a rare heart condition called Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome. Also tell your doctor if you have a history of severe allergic reactions.
  • This medicine may cause heart failure in some patients. Check with your doctor right away if you are having chest pain or discomfort; dilated neck veins; extreme fatigue; irregular breathing; an irregular heartbeat; shortness of breath; swelling of the face, fingers, feet, or lower legs; weight gain; or wheezing.
  • Do not stop using this medicine suddenly without asking your doctor. You may need to slowly decrease your dose before stopping it completely.
  • If you stop using this medicine, your blood pressure may go up or your angina may get worse. High blood pressure usually has no symptoms. Even if you feel well, do not stop using this medicine suddenly without asking your doctor.
  • This medicine may cause a serious type of allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention. Call your doctor right away if you have a rash; itching; hoarseness; trouble breathing; trouble swallowing; or any swelling of your hands, face, or mouth while you are using this medicine.
  • Serious skin reactions can occur with this medicine. Check with your doctor right away if you have blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin; red skin lesions; severe acne or skin rash; sores or ulcers on the skin; or fever or chills while you are using this medicine.
  • This medicine may raise or lower your blood sugar, or it may cover up symptoms of very low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).
  • This medicine may make you dizzy, drowsy, or lightheaded. Avoid driving, using machines, or doing anything else that could be dangerous if you are not alert.
  • Make sure any doctor or dentist who treats you knows that you are using this medicine. Do not stop taking this medicine before surgery without your doctor's approval.
  • Make sure any doctor or dentist who treats you knows that you are using this medicine. This medicine may affect the results of certain medical tests.
  • Your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Blistering, peeling, or red skin rash.
  • Chest pain (may be related to your heart disease and not a side effect).
  • Lightheadedness or fainting.
  • Numbness, tingling, or cold feeling in your hands and feet.
  • Shortness of breath, cold sweat, and bluish-colored skin.
  • Slow, fast, or uneven heartbeat.
  • Swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet.
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising.
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness.

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Blurred vision or other changes in vision.
  • Constipation, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting, or upset stomach.
  • Depression or confusion.
  • Fever or sore throat.
  • Hair loss.
  • Mild skin rash.
  • Trouble having sex.
  • Trouble sleeping.

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Version Info

  • Last Reviewed on 06/12/2013

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This page was last updated: September 18, 2013

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