"What are beta blockers and how do they work?
Beta blockers, also known as beta-adrenergic blocking agents, are a class of drugs that works by blocking the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and epinephrine from binding to receptors. "...
The following adverse reactions have been observed, but there is not enough systematic collection of data to support an estimate of their frequency. Within each category, adverse reactions are listed in decreasing order of severity. Although many side effects are mild and transient, some require discontinuation of therapy.
Propranolol hydrochloride (Inderal® (propranolol) )
Cardiovascular: Congestive heart failure; hypotension; intensification of AV block; bradycardia; thrombocytopenic purpura; arterial insufficiency, usually of the Raynaud type; paresthesia of hands.
Central Nervous System: Reversible mental depression progressing to catatonia; mental depression manifested by insomnia, lassitude, weakness, fatigue; an acute reversible syndrome characterized by disorientation for time and place, short-term memory loss, emotional lability, slightly clouded sensorium, decreased performance on neuropsychometrics; hallucinations; visual disturbances; vivid dreams; light-headedness. Total daily doses above 160 mg (when administered as divided doses of greater than 80 mg each) may be associated with an increased incidence of fatigue, lethargy, and vivid dreams.
Gastrointestinal: Mesenteric arterial thrombosis; ischemic colitis; nausea, vomiting, epigastric distress, abdominal cramping, diarrhea, constipation.
Allergic: Hypersensitivity reactions, including anaphylactic/anaphylactoid reactions; laryngospasm and respiratory distress; pharyngitis and agranulocytosis; fever combined with aching and sore throat; erythematous rash.
Hematologic: Agranulocytosis; nonthrombocytopenic purpura; thrombocytopenic purpura.
Autoimmune: In extremely rare instances, systemic lupus erythematosus has been reported.
Miscellaneous: Male impotence. Alopecia, LE-like reactions, psoriasiform rashes, dry eyes, and Peyronie's disease have been reported rarely. Oculomucocutaneous reactions involving the skin, serous membranes, and conjunctivae reported for a beta blocker (practolol) have not been associated with propranolol.
Skin: Stevens-Johnson Syndrome; toxic epidermal necrolysis; exfoliative dermatitis; erythema multiforme; urticaria.
Cardiovascular: Orthostatic hypotension (may be aggravated by alcohol, barbiturates or narcotics).
Central Nervous System: Dizziness, vertigo, headache, xanthopsia, paresthesias.
Gastrointestinal: Pancreatitis; jaundice (intrahepatic cholestatic jaundice); sialadenitis; anorexia, nausea, vomiting, gastric irritation, cramping, diarrhea, constipation.
Hypersensitivity: Anaphylactic reactions; necrotizing angiitis (vasculitis, cutaneous vasculitis); respiratory distress including pneumonitis; fever; urticaria, rash, purpura, photosensitivity.
Hematologic: Aplastic anemia, agranulocytosis, leukopenia, thrombocytopenia.
Skin: Erythema multiforme including Stevens-Johnson syndrome, exfoliative dermatitis including toxic epidermal necrolysis.
Miscellaneous: Hyperglycemia, glycosuria; hyperuricemia; muscle spasm; weakness; restlessness; transient blurred vision.
Whenever adverse reactions are moderate or severe, thiazide dosage should be reduced or therapy withdrawn.
Read the Inderal (propranolol) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects
Propranolol hvdrochloride (Inderal® (propranolol) )
Patients receiving catecholamine-depleting drugs such as reserpine should be closely observed if Inderide is administered. The added catecholamine-blocking action may produce an excessive reduction of resting sympathetic nervous activity, which may result in hypotension, marked bradycardia, vertigo, syncopal attacks, or orthostatic hypotension.
Caution should be exercised when patients receiving a beta blocker are administered a calcium-channel blocking drug, especially intravenous verapamil, for both agents may depress myocardial contractility or atrioventricular conduction. On rare occasions, the concomitant intravenous use of a beta blocker and verapamil has resulted in serious adverse reactions, especially in patients with severe cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, or recent myocardial infarction.
Both digitalis glycosides and beta-blockers slow atrioventricular conduction and decrease heart rate. Concomitant use can increase the risk of bradycardia.
Blunting of the antihypertensive effect of beta-adrenoceptor blocking agents by nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs has been reported.
Hypotension and cardiac arrest have been reported with the concomitant use of propranolol and haloperidol.
Aluminum hydroxide gel greatly reduces intestinal absorption of propranolol.
Alcohol, when used concomitantly with propranolol, may increase plasma levels of propranolol.
Phenytoin, phenobarbitone, and rifampin accelerate propranolol clearance.
Chlorpromazine, when used concomitantly with propranolol, results in increased plasma levels of both drugs.
Antipyrine and lidocaine have reduced clearance when used concomitantly with propranolol.
Thyroxine may result in a lower than expected TS concentration when used concomitantly with propranolol.
Cimetidine decreases the hepatic metabolism of propranolol, delaying elimination and increasing blood levels.
Theophylline clearance is reduced when used concomitantly with propranolol.
Thiazide drugs may increase the responsiveness to tubocurarine.
Thiazides may decrease arterial responsiveness to norepinephrine. This diminution is not sufficient to preclude effectiveness of the pressor agent for therapeutic use.
Insulin requirements in diabetic patients may be increased, decreased, or unchanged. Hypokalemia may develop during concomitant use of corticosteroids or ACTH.
Drug/Laboratory Test Interactions
Thiazides may decrease serum FBI levels without signs of thyroid disturbance.
Thiazides should be discontinued before carrying out tests for parathyroid function (see "PRECAUTIONS—General").
Read the Inderal Drug Interactions Center for a complete guide to possible interactions
Last reviewed on RxList: 5/5/2011
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
Additional Inderal Information
Inderal - User Reviews
Inderal User Reviews
Now you can gain knowledge and insight about a drug treatment with Patient Discussions.
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Get tips on handling your hypertension.