This medication is a beta blocker used to treat high blood pressure, irregular heartbeats, shaking (tremors), and other conditions. It is used after a heart attack to improve the chance of survival. It is also used to prevent migraine headaches and chest pain (angina). Lowering high blood pressure helps prevent strokes, heart attacks, and kidney problems. Preventing chest pain can help improve your ability to exercise.
This drug works by blocking the action of certain natural chemicals in your body (such as epinephrine) that affect the heart and blood vessels. This effect reduces heart rate, blood pressure, and strain on the heart.
Do not stop using this drug without first consulting your doctor. Your condition may become worse when the drug is suddenly stopped, especially if you have chest pain (angina) or heart disease (e.g., coronary artery disease, ischemic heart disease, high blood pressure). If your doctor decides you should no longer use this drug, you must gradually decrease your dose according to your doctor's instructions.
When gradually stopping this medication, it is recommended that you temporarily limit physical activity to decrease strain on the heart. Seek immediate medical attention if you develop: worsening chest pain, tightness/pressure in the chest, chest pain spreading to the jaw/neck/arm, unusual sweating, trouble breathing, or fast/irregular heartbeat.
This section contains uses of this drug that are not listed in the approved professional labeling for the drug but that may be prescribed by your health care professional. Use this drug for a condition that is listed in this section only if it has been so prescribed by your health care professional.
This medication has also been used to control symptoms of anxiety or overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism).
How to Use This Medication
See also Warning section.
Take this medication by mouth, usually 2 to 4 times daily or as directed by your doctor. Take this medication before meals (and at bedtime if taking 4 times daily). Measure the liquid medication with a medication-measuring spoon or device. Do not use a household spoon because you may not get the correct dose.
The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment.
Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same times each day. It is important to continue taking this medication even if you feel well.
This medication is used to help prevent chest pain or migraines. It should not be used to treat chest pain or migraines when they occur. Use other medications (e.g., nitroglycerin tablets placed under the tongue for chest pain, sumatriptan for migraines) to relieve sudden attacks as directed by your doctor. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for details.
If you also take certain drugs to lower your cholesterol (bile acid-binding resins such as cholestyramine or colestipol), take propranolol at least 1 hour before or at least 4 hours after these medications.
For the treatment of high blood pressure, it may take 1 to 2 weeks before you get the full benefit of this drug.
Tell your doctor if your condition worsens (e.g., your routine blood pressure readings increase, your chest pain or migraines occur more often).