HeadMeds gives young people in the United Kingdom general information about medication. HeadMeds does not give you medical advice. Please talk to your Doctor or anyone else who is supporting you about your own situation because everyone is different. Please read more important details about our site.

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Return to Propranolol overview
  1. Use and Action
  2. Warnings and side effects
  3. Sex, drink, weight and everything else
Taking antidepressants  anti psychotic and mood stabilisers original listing
Taking anti-depressants, anti-psychotic and mood stabilisers
It feels like being really tired all the time...but it makes me feel less emotional

Propranolol can be used to treat the following conditions

Headmeds fills the medicines information gaps for young people - things you might want to know about meds like will it affect my sex life? Can I still study?  Can I drink?
Headmeds does not give medical advice so this is just general information.
Each medicine has a balance of good and bad effects, and each person gets their own individual effects.
You might want to know just one thing about your medicine, but on each page we have given you the ‘safety headlines’. Please read them as they are important.

We have included lots of information about each medicine - but if you want all the details, please look at the patient information leaflet - which is inside every pack. These leaflets are also at www.medicines.org.uk - where there will be the most up-to-date information. Please be aware that the leaflets will only refer to the licensed use for your medicine. The leaflet will not mention any off label use - this includes off-label conditions and also off label age groups”

Safety headlines

  • If you have taken more propranolol than it said on the label, you must see a doctor quickly – even if you do not feel any different.
  • Propranolol can cause rare but serious side-effects such as allergic reactions (difficulty breathing, swelling of your face or throat, itching skin lumps), a slow heartbeat or a heartbeat that is not regular. Go to a hospital if you get any of these symptoms and take your medicine with you.
  • Tell your doctor that you are taking propranolol if you are due to have an operation with a general anaesthetic. You may need to stop the medicine before the operation day.

  • Stopping propranolol suddenly can cause serious side-effects that might include sweating, shaking, an irregular heart beat or chest pain - go to your doctor if you want to stop, or if you are having these effects.

  • You might feel sleepy or dizzy in the first few days after taking propranolol - do not drive a car, ride a bike or operate machines until you see how this affects you.
  • If you are pregnant, or thinking of becoming pregnant, please read the pregnancy section (see “Sex, drink, weight and everything else”) because propranolol may affect the developing baby.

Propranolol can be used to help the symptoms of anxiety

Basic Details

Propranolol is a beta-blocker medicine

A beta-blocker medicine helps to reduce the symptoms of anxiety, like sweating and shaking. It does not treat the feeling of anxiety – only the symptoms that come with it.

The tablets contain lactose, the long-acting capsules contain gelatine, the liquid contains sugars, and they may also have colours that can cause allergies – check if any of these are a problem for you.

Is propranolol suitable for everyone?

  • Propranolol tablets may not be suitable for you if you have problems eating some sugars or dairy (milk-based) foods, as they contain lactose.
  • Some propranolol tablets may contain some colours that can cause an allergic reaction.
  • If you are allergic to aspirin, you are more likely to be allergic to these colours.
  • Talk to your pharmacist or doctor if you are allergic to aspirin or any food additives.
  • Propranolol long-acting capsules contain gelatine and this may be a problem if you don't eat meat.
  • The liquid may contain ingredients that can cause an allergic reaction, which may happen some time after starting the medicine. These are:
    • methyl and propyl parahydroxybenzoates
    • the food additive colour sunset yellow (E110)
  • The liquid may also contain liquid maltitol (a type of sugar). If your doctor has told you that you cannot eat some sugars, talk to your doctor before taking it.

Reference sources