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Propranolol is a beta adrenoceptor blocking drug, also known as a beta blocker. It is used to treat symptoms of situational anxiety. It works by blocking the effect of neurotransmitters in the body that cause symptoms of anxiety, such as shaking, palpitations and excessive sweating.
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What is Propranolol?

Propranolol is a beta adrenoceptor blocking drug, also known as a beta blocker. Propranolol can help to reduce symptoms of situational anxiety by affecting heart rate and circulation.

Propranolol is a prescription only drug and can only be purchased if you hold a valid prescription. However, it’s possible to buy Propranolol online after a brief consultation. Contact us to find out more.

Propranolol is also used to treat numerous other conditions, such as high blood pressure, and also for the prevention of heart attacks and migraines. However, we do not prescribe Propranolol for these conditions - you can only buy it if you have been diagnosed with anxiety.

The active ingredient in this medication is propranolol hydrochloride. Propranolol is only available as a generic - there is no branded version. For more information, consult the patient information leaflet.

How it works

Propranolol works to prevent anxiety in a number of ways. When you suffer from anxiety, your body over-produces neurotransmitters such as noradrenaline and adrenaline. These neurotransmitters can cause symptoms of anxiety, such as shaking, palpitations and excessive sweating. Propranolol can block the effects of these neurotransmitters, reducing the physical symptoms of anxiety.

It’s important to note that Propranolol will not cure anxiety - it will only mitigate the physical effects and symptoms.

Before you take it

Do not take Propranolol if you are allergic to any of the active or inactive ingredients in the medication. Consult the patient information leaflet for a full list of ingredients. You should speak with your doctor to find a more suitable treatment for your anxiety if you are allergic to any of the ingredients contained within Propranolol.

If you have ever experienced a severe allergic reaction to any allergen, you may be more susceptible to allergic reactions while taking Propranolol. If you have an adrenaline auto-injector, such as an EpiPen, it may not work as well while you are taking Propranolol, as Propranolol can block some of the effects of adrenaline.

Drinking alcohol can increase the level of propranolol in your body, which increases your risk of experiencing side effects. You should not drink alcohol while taking Propranolol.

Do not take Propranolol while you are pregnant. If you become pregnant while taking Propranolol, see your doctor as soon as possible.

Do not take Propranolol while breastfeeding. This is because Propranolol passes into breast milk in small amounts and it is not known whether this may harm an unborn child. Speak to your doctor, who will be able to recommend an alternative treatment for your anxiety.

Do not stop taking Propranolol suddenly. If your doctor feels you no longer need to take it, they will gradually reduce the dose you are taking over a period of time.

Propranolol may cause low blood pressure and low blood sugar. If you suffer with low blood pressure, consult your doctor before taking Propranolol.

Propranolol may make you feel dizzy or drowsy. For this reason you must make sure to avoid driving, operating machinery or doing anything else whereby you may put yourself or someone else at risk, until you know exactly how this medication affects you.

If you have ever experienced a heart attack or other heart problems, you must consult your doctor to check whether Propranolol is suitable for you to take.

Some other medicines may interact with Propranolol. Speak with your doctor before taking Propranolol if you are taking any of the following:

  • Isradipine, Lacidipine or other medications for hypertension or angina
  • Lidocaine or other local anaesthetic
  • Adrenaline or Epinephrine
  • NSAIDs such as Ibuprofen
  • Cimetidine
  • Rifampicin for tuberculosis
  • Warfarin and other anticoagulants
  • MAO Inhibitors for depression

This is not an exhaustive list of warnings and interactions. For a full list, please read the patient information leaflet.

Dosage Instructions

You should always take Propranolol as your doctor or pharmacist has prescribed. Never exceed the stated dose. If you are in any doubt about how to take Propranolol, consult your doctor or pharmacist for advice.

The typical recommended dose is 40mg, taken as and when necessary, for example one hour before an anxious or stressful situation. However, for long term anxiety, you may be prescribed a dose of 40mg two to three times daily.

Your doctor will review your treatment after six to twelve months.

Store Propranolol in a cool, dry place, away from heat and moisture. Keep it out of the reach of children and pets.

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:

  • Weakness
  • Tiredness
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Sleeping difficulties
  • Slow or irregular heartbeat
  • Nightmares

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
  • Diarrhoea
  • Bruising
  • Nosebleeds
  • Skin rash
  • Hair loss
  • Weight loss
  • Dizziness or drowsiness
  • Hallucinations
  • Dry eyes
  • Visual disturbances

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 or go to your doctor.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

I’m pregnant. Can I take Propranolol?

Do not take Propranolol when pregnant unless specifically advised to by your doctor.

Is Propranolol suitable for children?

Propranolol should not be given to children unless specifically prescribed by a doctor. We do not prescribe any medication to anyone under 18.

What happens if I stop taking Propranolol suddenly?

If you stop taking Propranolol suddenly you may experience withdrawal symptoms or side effects. Any withdrawal of Propranolol should be done gradually over 10 - 14 days and must be supervised by a doctor.

What happens if I miss a dose?

If you miss your dose of Propranolol, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is nearly time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue as normal. Never double up to make up for a missed dose.

What happens if I take too much?

An overdose of Propranolol can cause symptoms such as dizziness, difficulty breathing, hallucinations, body spasms, and chest pains. In some cases it can lead to myocardial infarction (heart attack). If you believe you have taken too much Propranolol, go to your nearest A&E or hospital casualty department immediately.

More Information
Dosage 10mg
Dosage Instructions ONE to be taken DAILY