The People's Perspective on Medicine



Inderal LA is a special long-acting formulation of a propranolol, the pre-eminent member of a class medicines called beta blockers. That means these drugs work 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. Inderal LA helps block such reactions.

Inderal LA is prescribed for a wide range of health conditions including irregular heart rhythms, angina, high blood pressure, prevention of migraine headaches or a second heart attack and tremor.

Although the FDA has not specifically approved its use for other purposes, doctors have employed Inderal LA to relieve involuntary movements caused by major tranquilizers, stage fright and panic disorders.

The dose will vary depending upon the condition being treated.

Side Effects and Interactions

Inderal LA can cause a number of side effects.

They include slow heart rate, cold hands and feet, insomnia, nightmares, blurred vision, sexual difficulties, nerve tingling, dizziness, nausea, stomach ache, gas, diarrhea, indigestion, rash, arthritis and muscle pain.

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.

Inderal LA is a little more likely to affect the nervous system than certain other drugs in this class.

Be alert for the beta blocker blues. 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.

Inderal LA can interact with a number of other compounds, including several that are used to treat asthma, colds, allergies, diabetes, and heart problems.

Arthritis medicine and aspirin may also reduce the effectiveness of some beta blockers.

Propranolol may be incompatible with the herb astragalus.

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

Special Precautions

Some people should rarely, if ever, take beta-blockers such as Inderal.

Asthmatics and patients with other respiratory problems are especially vulnerable, because these drugs can make breathing worse.

People with heart failure must also be extremely cautious if prescribed beta-blockers because 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 the Medicine

Inderal LA is more convenient than regular Inderal because its sustained release formulation provides blood levels that last substantially longer in the body. This means that most people only need to take one capsule a day.

To maintain a constant level of the medicine in your system, try to maintain a regular regimen, taking Inderal LA at roughly the same time each day.

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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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I have noticed a lot of hair loss since taking this medication. A nurse told me it could be the propranolol. Is this true? I never see anything mentioned in the list of side affects.

I am probably a good long term case study for Propranolol L.A. since I have been on it for 26 years. I have had hypertension as young as age 13 maybe younger had I gone to the doctors prior to that, but I didn’t. Both my grandmothers died from complications due to hypertension, one at 42, the other at 48, so I guess it is inherited.

I am not, nor have I ever been highly overweight. At 5’8″ I weighed anywhere from 127-163 max. I suffered from severe migraines from age 24 until I got on the meds at age 34. The Cleveland Clinic put me on it. It worked like a miracle for the migraines and the hypertension. Over the years I had to reduce the dosage because I had started jogging and my pressure went down.

I became disoriented when I was driving, trying to remember where the radio knob was or to stop at red lights. I felt like my brain was in a fog but didn’t make the connection. When my doctor reduced the dosage from 120 to 80 mg per day, the fogginess lifted. I had weird nightmares 3 times over a few years but the strangest thing was that the nightmares were like the same dream continued in the 2 subsequent nightmares.

I don’t have problems sleeping, but now that I am 63, I am noticing arthritis kicking in. It could be genetic but neither of my parents had it nor do any of my 6 siblings. Any thoughts on that?

I have begun to take the medication, Propranol for about four or five months now. I have noticed that I’ve gained weight particularly around the middle of my stomach area. I am also noticing that my hip joints hurt and my feet are feeling stiff. I also really had swollen feet when visiting the desert area for four days. I am not sleeping as well. I have loose stool as well.

I started to take propranolol hydrochloride 40mg per day since five months ago. My migraine significantly reduced. But since then I have prolonged cough. I suspect it relates to the propranolol.

I am taking Inderal for SVT (Tachycardia). It is working great with diltiazem. Only 2 occasions my blood pressure went down to 70/40 and 80/55. I also have Hypothyroidism. That is a problem but my SVT is so bad and blood pressure so high Inderal is a must to take.
I sleep perfect, I fell usually fine, just once in a while my blood pressure drops really low and I must drink coffee. Next time I will go to the doctor.

Have been on Propanalol since 1996 for panic attacks after an injury at a fire as a Fireman.
I have put on weight, lost most of my body hair and my knee joints are stiff when I try to walk. I have very bad dreams, night sweats and wake often at night, never getting back to sleep.
Does anybody else that has been on this treatment as long as me have the same problems

Have been on Propanalol since 1996 for panic attacks after an injury at a fire as a Fireman.
I have put on weight, lost most of my body hair and my knee joints are stiff when I try to walk.
I have very bad dreams, night sweats and wake often at night, never getting back to sleep.
Does anybody else that has been on this treatment as long as me have the same problems

Propanalol 25mg controls my “benign essential tremors” quite well, but does impact my asthma.

I was put on propranolol for my hypertension and it was amazing how it stop my symptoms of my overactive thyroid. I would tremor all day long, my heart would be a mile a minute and I could not think straight. Almost immediately the propranolol worked and stopped it all. I wish I could stay on it for the rest of my life rather then take anti thyroid meds

I just submitted a comment about Inderal; however, I neglected to say that my relative has tried the new Inderal LA and generic also, and it does nothing for the tremors.

I have a relative that suffers terribly from essential tremors. The original Inderal worked wonderfully but now she can’t get it, only the Inderal LA. Would very much like to know if anyone knows how to get original formula, including the fillers.
Thank you for any suggestions or information.

I take propanolol for essential tremors, but I worry about its side effects on my asthma. Also, I have noted insomnia & gassyness.

Propranolol works wonderfully for my migraines but I have gained weight and look terrible.

I was on inderal and it helped with my blood pressure BUT CAUSED A TERRIBLE COUGH!!!!! had to stop. Now taking verapamil, and we shall see. Any good news about verapamil out there that anyone can share, I would appreciate that.

I’ve been taking Inderal LA for years – I was on 80 but was increased to 120 a year or so ago. I have a mitral prolapse valve and a slight heart murmur – not life threatening, to be sure, but can be scary. The irregular heartbeat (although it doesn’t really “stop”, it feels like my heart stops beating and/or “skipping”) is so annoying and frightening, particularly when driving – feels like I’m going to faint.
About the only thing I can do is cough real hard – kind of a “jump start” to get the beat back on track. I’m 62 and have lived with this all my life. The Inderal does the trick. I will most likely have to take it the rest of my life. The “pros” outweigh the “cons” for me! And, in conclusion, I have never had any of the aforementioned side effects at all.

I take this medication to slow my heart rate down, due to hyperthyroidism.
The side affects I get are upset stomach and gas like crazy. They taste really bad and I am tired all the time but cannot sleep. Other than that my pulse has gone down quite a bit.

I am on Amitriptyline, Propranolol Hydrochloride and Paracetomol to take care of my migraines. I thought I had enough for two nights, but I found I did not and I forgot to pick up my medication before the NHS Health Service closed for the weekend. As a result, I went three nights without taking my medication. I picked it up on the Monday but as I was going to be driving, I decided to hold off taking the medication until that night. That afternoon, I fainted. I believe this happened because I had missed taking my medication. Has anyone else experienced this kind of reaction.?

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