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Corgard (generic name nadolol) is known as a beta blocker. That means the drug works in part by blunting the action of adrenaline, the body’s natural fight-or-flight chemical. People normally respond to stressful situations with a rapid pulse, a pounding heart and an increase in blood pressure. Corgard helps block such reactions.

This medicine is normally prescribed for hypertension or chest pain caused by angina.

Although the FDA has not specifically approved its use for other purposes, doctors have prescribed Corgard to treat glaucoma, irregular heart rhythms, tremor, bleeding from the esophagus and performance anxiety such as stage fright.

It has also been used to help prevent migraine headaches. The dose will vary depending upon the condition being treated.

Side Effects and Interactions of Corgard (nadolol)

Corgard can cause a number of side effects including slow heart rate, cold hands and feet, insomnia, nightmares, blurred vision and sexual difficulties. Symptoms of nerve tingling, dizziness, nausea, stomach ache, gas, diarrhea, indigestion, rash, arthritis and muscle pain trouble some people.

This medicine may also have a negative effect on cholesterol and other blood fats, so a lipid test before treatment and periodically thereafter would be prudent.

Although Corgard is a little less likely to affect the nervous system than certain other drugs in this class, be alert for the beta blocker blahs. Symptoms of psychological depression, fatigue, decreased concentration, memory loss and mood swings may come on slowly and insidiously.

Notify your physician promptly of any adverse reactions, especially breathing difficulties, fluid retention in the legs or a night cough.

Corgard can interact with a number of other compounds, including several that are used to treat asthma, colds, allergies, diabetes, migraines and heart problems. Corgard and the blood pressure medicine Catapres may not mix well, but neither one should be stopped suddenly.

An allergic reaction to penicillin or ampicilin may be more severe in an individual taking Corgard.

Arthritis medicine and aspirin may reduce its effectiveness.

A barbiturate such as Fiorinal or a tuberculosis medicine like Rifadin could also interfere with Corgard’s effectiveness.

Check with your doctor and pharmacist to make sure Corgard is safe in combination with any other drugs you may take.

Special Precautions of Corgard (nadolol)

Some people should rarely, if ever, take beta blockers like Corgard. Asthmatics and patients with other respiratory problems are especially vulnerable, as these drugs can make breathing worse. People with heart failure must also be extremely cautious if prescribed beta lockers as the medicine could lead to cardiac complications.

Never stop taking any beta blocker medication abruptly unless you are under very close medical supervision. Angina or a heart attack could occur.

These drugs may also make treatment of diabetes and thyroid disorders more complicated. Your doctor can tell you what additional tests and precautions you will need in managing these conditions.

Taking Corgard (nadolol)

Corgard can be taken at mealtime or on an empty stomach. If you find this medicine causes digestive tract upset it may be better tolerated when taken with food.

Because of its long duration of action in the body, Corgard offers the convenience of once daily dosing.

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About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.” .
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