Why is this medication prescribed?
Propranolol 40 mg is used to treat high blood pressure, irregular heart rhythms, pheochromocytoma (tumor on a small gland near the kidneys), certain types of tremor, and hypertrophic subaortic stenosis (a heart muscle disease). It is also used to prevent angina (chest pain), migraine headaches, and to improve survival after a heart attack. Propranolol is in a class of medications called beta blockers. It works by relaxing blood vessels and slowing heart rate to improve blood flow and decrease blood pressure.
High blood pressure is a common condition and when not treated, can cause damage to the brain, heart, blood vessels, kidneys and other parts of the body. Damage to these organs may cause heart disease, a heart attack, heart failure, stroke, kidney failure, loss of vision, and other problems. In addition to taking medication, making lifestyle changes will also help to control your blood pressure. These changes include eating a diet that is low in fat and salt, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising at least 30 minutes most days, not smoking, and using alcohol in moderation.
Side effects of Propranolol
Propranolol is usually well tolerated, but possible side effects are:
- low blood pressure or slow heart rate (bradycardia). This may make your child feel dizzy or faint. If this occurs please tell us, so that we can adjust the dose if necessary
- difficult breathing (bronchospasm) or shortness of breath. If this worsens while taking propranolol, please tell us. Some people have shortness of breath because of their condition
- cold hands and feet
- nausea (feeling sick), vomiting, diarrhoea or constipation
- difficulty sleeping and bad dreams
- feeling tired and lethargic
- high or low blood sugar.
Precautions should be taken when administering propranolol in the following situations:
- liver or renal (kidney) failure
- prior to screening tests for glaucoma
- a history of immediate allergic reaction (known as anaphylaxis) to a beta blocker of any kind
Store at room temperature between 68-77 degrees F (20-25 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Brief storage between 59-86 degrees F (15-30 degrees C) is permitted. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.