Propranolol (Inderal)


What is Inderal Used to Treat?

Inderal® is the brand name for the drug Propranolol. It is used in the treatment of anxiety, panic attacks and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It is also used to treat stage fright and because of this it is on the list of banned substances for Olympic athletes. Inderal is also being studied for use in aggressive behavior in traumatic brain injuries.

How Does Inderal Work?

Inderal is a non selective beta blocker which means it blocks the action of both epinephrine and norepinephrine on adrenergic receptors. This reduces heart rate and blood pressure causing calmness and relaxation.

Inderal is taken orally in liquid form between 2 and 4 times daily and is also available in capsules or tablets. Full benefit is usually seen after 2 weeks of use.

What are the Side Effects of Inderal?

Side effects should be reported to patient’s health care provider. Side effects of Inderal include:

  • Dizziness/lightheadedness
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Changes in vision
  • Stomach pain
  • Cold hands/feet

The following serious side effects necessitate an immediate visit to a health care provider:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Blue fingers or toes
  • Mental status changes
  • Mood changes
  • Swollen ankles or feet
  • Numbness/tingling in extremities
  • Slow heart beat
  • Changes in sex drive
  • Sudden unexplained weight loss
  • Easy bruising or bleeding
  • Fever, swollen glands/throat or signs of infection
  • Rash
  • Swelling of lips, tongue, face or throat
  • Aching or swollen joints

This may not be a complete list of side effects and patients taking Inderal should contact their health care provider with any unusual reactions to this medication.


Anyone taking Inderal should consider possible needed precautions or interactions with other medications. Patients taking Inderal should not suddenly discontinue use as sudden stoppage can cause chest pain or even heart attack.

Further, anyone taking Inderal should be sure to follow the following precautions:

  • Inform your health care provider about any allergies and medications currently being taken including over the counter medicines
  • Before surgery or dental procedures inform the proper health care providers about Inderal use
  • If you become pregnant while taking Inderal, tell your doctor right away
  • Do not drink alcohol while taking Inderal as alcohol may increase drowsiness
  • Do not drive or operate machinery while taking Inderal
  • Smoking while taking Inderal may cause hands and feet to be cold or turn blue due to decreased blood flow. People who smoke should not smoke while taking Inderal

Inderal may not be the best medication if the patient:

  • Has a history of asthma, lung, liver, heart or kidney disease
  • Is pregnant, considering pregnancy, or breastfeeding
  • Has a history of thyroid problems, diabetes or allergies
  • Has a history of drug or alcohol dependence

For more information about Inderal or to determine if Inderal is the best medication for you, please consult your health care provider.




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