Propranolol side effects
Like all medications, Propranolol may cause side effects in some patients, in particular during the initial treatment stage, when your body is still getting used to Propranolol. Many of those side effects disappear after several weeks of treatment.
Common mild side effects occurring in more than 1 out of 100 patients include:
- Fingers or toes feel cold (they don’t get enough blood supply)
- Sleeping difficulties (insomnia) and nightmares
- Reduced libido
These side effects are most often observed during the first two weeks of treatment and normally only last a few days. If they last longer or make you feel uncomfortable, talk to your doctor.
Serious side effects are rare but can happen. If you experience any of the following side effects, you’ll need to seek immediate medical help.
- Breathing difficulties accompanied by coughing during physical exertion
- Swollen ankles or legs
- Slow, irregular heartbeat
- Vision problems
- Chest pain
- Yellowing of your skin and whites of the eyes (jaundice)
- Confusion or anxiety
- Severe allergic skin reactions
For a comprehensive list of Propranolol side effects, see the manufacturer’s leaflet inside the packet.
Do NOT take Propranolol if you:
- Are allergic to any ingredient of this medication
- Have asthma
- Have an abnormally slow heartbeat
- Have serious heart conditions (sick sinus syndrome, AV block)
- Suffer from Impaired liver function
Before taking Propranolol, tell your doctor if you are/have:
- Pregnant or breastfeeding
- Bronchitis, emphysema, or other breathing conditions
- Kidney or liver issues
- Thyroid disorders;
- Coronary heart disease
- Circulatory problems (Raynaud syndrome).
- Primary hyperaldosteronism
Before starting a Propranolol treatment, tell your GP about all medication you currently use or plan on using at the same time as the Propranolol treatment. Known interactions with other drugs include:
- Other hypertension medications
- NSAIDs such as Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Naproxen, and Diclofenac
- Blood thinners such as Warfarin
- Medications for heart rhythm disorders
- Drugs treating prostate disorder such as Doxazosin or Tamsulosin
- Certain muscle relaxants
- Parkinson's disease medicines such as Levodopa
- Diabetes medications
- Allergy drugs such as Ephedrine
Propranolol and alcohol
Consuming alcohol can increase Propranolol’s blood pressure-reducing effect, resulting in dizziness. Therefore, alcohol consumption is best avoided or minimized during Propranolol treatment, especially in the first few weeks of treatment.