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Propranolol tablets for situational anxiety treatment

What is propranolol?

Propranolol is classed as a “beta blocker”. Medicines in this category have been used for many years by doctors to treat and prevent many different conditions, including high blood pressure, angina, irregular heartbeat, anxiety, and migraines.

In the management of migraines, propranolol is used as a preventative. This means it’s intended to be taken each day, even if you don’t have a migraine at the time, in order to make it less likely that you will experience a migraine in the future.

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Propranolol 10mg Tablets Propranolol 10mg Tablets £0.32 per unit Prescription only Start questionnaire
Propranolol 40mg Tablets Propranolol 40mg Tablets £0.04 per unit Prescription only Start questionnaire

How to take propranolol

It’s important to read the enclosed leaflet carefully before using propranolol tablets or capsules.

Many different strengths and forms of propranolol are available on prescription. 

For migraine prevention, two common courses of treatment are to take a 10mg tablet three times a day; or an 80mg modified-release capsule just once a day. The modified-release capsule is simply a slow-release capsule that delivers the medicine to the body gradually throughout the day. This 80mg once-daily approach is the most common for the prevention of migraines.

For situational anxiety, the usual starting dose is to take one 10mg tablet up to three times a day. A single dose of 10mg can be effectively used as a one-off approach to dealing with difficult situations such as an important presentation or meeting. Alternatively, one 40mg tablet, twice a day or one 80mg modified-release capsule taken once a day can also be used.

Both the tablets and the modified-release capsules can be taken with or without food. The capsules are best taken at around the same time each day.

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Is propranolol suitable for me?

There are some situations where propranolol, like all medicines, should be used with caution or would not be recommended. This might be the case, for example, in people under 18; people with asthma, COPD, or other breathing problems; diabetes; some heart conditions including heart failure, angina, peripheral vascular disease, or heart rhythm problems; and low blood pressure. It will also apply to people prone to low blood sugar and those who are allergic to any of the active or inactive ingredients.

Please make sure to tell the online doctor if you are taking any other medicines, whether you’ve got them from your doctor via a prescription or purchased from a pharmacy without a prescription. Propranolol can cause problems if taken with certain other medicines, including medicines for heart and circulation conditions (blood pressure medicines, digoxin, and medicines for heart rhythm, other beta-blockers, warfarin, and other anticoagulants) and several others.

If you are pregnant or think you may be pregnant, you should not use propranolol. The same applies if you’re breastfeeding or planning to breastfeed.

If it doesn’t work for you, tell the doctor because they may want to recommend a different treatment that’s better suited to you.

You must be sure to give as many details as possible about your general health in the consultation. This is so that the doctor has all the information required to assess the suitability of propranolol for you.

What are the side effects of propranolol?

Not everybody will experience them, but propranolol can cause side effects.

Side effects that are considered to be common include fatigue, cold extremities, sleep disturbances, and nightmares. Other less common side effects can include dizziness, or stomach upsets such as nausea, vomiting, or diarrhoea. It’s advised that you stop using propranolol and talk to your doctor if you experience any side effects that are persistent or troublesome.

For a full list of potential side effects and all the other important information you need to be aware of, please read the patient information leaflet provided in the pack before starting a course of treatment. The leaflets can also be viewed online here:

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