Health Guide

Propranolol (By injection)

Propranolol (proe-PRAN-oh-lol)

Treats certain heart rhythm problems. This medicine is a beta blocker.

Brand Name(s):

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

You should not receive this medicine if you have certain heart problems, such as a heartbeat that is too slow. You should not receive this medicine if you have asthma.

How to Use This Medicine:


  • A nurse or other health provider will give you this medicine. Your doctor will prescribe your exact dose and how often it should be given. This medicine is given through a needle or a catheter (plastic tube) placed in one of your veins.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you use medicine for your heart or blood pressure, such as reserpine or verapamil. Tell your doctor if you are using haloperidol (Haldol®). There are many other drugs that can interact with propranolol, such as Thorazine®, cimetidine (Tagamet®), or theophylline (Slo-Bid®, Theo-Dur®). Make sure your doctor knows about all other medicines you are using.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breast feeding, or if you have liver problems or high blood pressure. Tell your doctor if you have a history of chest pain (angina), enlarged heart, congestive heart failure, heart attack, or heart rhythm problems such as heart block or Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome. Tell your doctor if you have a history of lung problems, such as emphysema, asthma, or chronic bronchitis. Make sure your doctor knows if you have a history of diabetes, kidney problems, thyroid problems, or Down syndrome.
  • If you are given this medicine in tablet form to use at home, do not stop using this medicine suddenly without asking your doctor. You may need to slowly decrease your dose before stopping it completely.
  • This medicine may raise or lower your blood sugar level.
  • Make sure any doctor, dentist, or eye professional who treats you knows that you are using this medicine. You may need to stop using this medicine several days before having surgery. This medicine may cause problems with certain medical tests, such as thyroid tests and glaucoma tests.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Abdominal (belly) pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or bloody stool (BM).
  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Chest pain or pressure, or a heartbeat that is irregular, too slow, or too fast.
  • Confusion (trouble thinking clearly) or hallucinations (sensing things that are not there).
  • Dizziness, lightheadedness, weakness, or fainting.
  • New or worsening swelling, especially in the hands, feet, or legs.
  • Numbness, tingling, leg cramping or pain, or new coldness in your hands or feet.
  • Redness, pain, or swelling at the injection site.
  • Skin rash, or tiny red dots on the skin.
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising.
  • Fever, chills, or coughing.

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Trouble sleeping.
  • Vision changes.
  • Upset stomach, constipation.
  • Hair loss.
  • Trouble having an erection (penis problems).

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Last Updated: 7/4/2018
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