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Propranolol

Last updated on 18/03/2021.

Overview   |   Dosage   |    Side Effects   |   Precautions  |   Tips  |   Where To Buy  

GENERIC NAME: Propranolol 

NAME IN CHINESE: 普潘奈

BRAND NAME(S) IN HONG KONG: Becardin, Inderal, Prolol 

DRUG CLASS: Antianginal agent; Antihypertensive; Beta blocker

USED FOR: High blood pressure, angina, irregular heartbeat, heart failure, heart attack,  migraine prevention

OTHER DRUGS IN THE SAME CLASS: Atenolol, Bisoprolol, Carvedilol, Labetalol, Metoprolol, Nebivolol, Pindolol

AVAILABLE DOSAGE FORMS:
– 10mg, 40mg, 160mg (tablets)
– 5mg/5ml (oral solution)

What is Propranolol for?

Propranolol is a beta blocker that slows down the activity of your heart by stopping the transmission of messages from the nerves to your heart. It acts on the heart and blood vessels and therefore is widely used for cardiac problems. The conditions that require the management by Propranolol is as follows: 

– High blood pressure
– Performance anxiety (tachycardia)
– Thyrotoxicosis (as an adjunct)
– Prevention of variceal bleeding in portal hypertension
– Angina
– Anxiety with symptoms such as palpitations, sweating and tremors
– Prevention after a heart attack
– Tremor
– Prevention of migraine
– Arrhythmias (irregular heart rhythms)

How to use it?

The adult oral doses for different uses are listed below: 

For high blood pressure
Start with 80 mg twice daily, increase the dose at weekly intervals if necessary. The maintenance dose is 160-320 mg daily. 

For prevention of variceal bleeding in portal hypertension
Start with 40 mg twice daily, then increase to 80 mg twice daily. The maximum dose is 160 mg twice daily and the dose should be adjusted according to the heart rate. 

For angina
Start with 40 mg 2-3 times daily and the maintenance dose is 120-240 mg daily. 

For anxiety with symptoms such as palpitations, sweating and tremors
40 mg once daily, then increase if necessary to 40 mg 3 times daily. 

For prevention after a heart attack
Start with 40 mg 4 times a day for 2-3 days, followed by 80 mg twice daily. Treatment should be started 5-21 days after a heart attack.

For tremor
Start with 40 mg 2-3 times daily. The maintenance dose is 80-160 mg daily. 

For prevention of migraine
80-240 mg daily in divided doses. 

For arrhythmias
10-40 mg 3-4 times a day.

What are the side effects of Propranolol? 

Common side effects of Propranolol include slow heartbeat, depression, dizziness, shortness of breath, erectile dysfunction, fatigue, headache, and heart failure.

Who should not take Propranolol?

– People allergic to Propranolol, other beta blockers or any formulation component
– Patients with asthma, cardiogenic shock, low blood pressure, heart rate slower than normal, metabolic acidosis, second- or third-degree heart block

Pharmacist Tips:

– Continue taking Propranolol even when you feel well.
– If you have diabetes, carefully monitor your blood sugar level as Propranolol may mask the symptoms of hypoglycaemia. 

Common dosing schedule:
You should take Propranolol on an empty stomach. 

This schedule is for reference only, adjustments may be made according to individual needs.

Some common medications Propranolol may interact with:
– Antidepressants, e.g. Duloxetine
– Epinephrine
– Insulin
– Other medicines for treating hypertension, such as calcium channel blockers, e.g. Amlodipine, Nifedipine 
– Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, e.g. Fluoxetine, Sertraline

Propranolol can interact with a number of drugs. Please notify your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking the above medication, dosage adjustments might be needed.

Where to buy Propranolol in Hong Kong?

In Hong Kong, Propranolol is a prescription only medicine, and requires a prescription from a doctor to be purchased in a pharmacy. It can also be obtained from doctors. To find a pharmacy near you, refer to the list of pharmacies (“Authorized Sellers of Poisons”) from the Hong Kong Department of Health.

For more information about drug names and ingredients, you can visit Hong Kong’s Drug Office at https://www.drugoffice.gov.hk/

Need more information?

For detailed information about the use of Propranolol in children, pregnancy and breastfeeding, and for questions about drug interactions, please check with your pharmacist or doctor.

Disclaimer: our goal is to provide you with the most relevant drug information and common dosage for Hong Kong. This information does not constitute medical advice. For specific treatment recommendations and advice, always discuss with your doctor or pharmacist, and follow the instructions included with your specific medicine.