Propranolol is a beta-blocker medicine that is prescribed for treating conditions like high blood pressure (hypertension), heart rhythm disorder, angina (chest pain), and circulatory disorders. These medications are used in combination with other medications for effectively treating high blood pressure. It can also prevent the risk of heart attack and improve survival after a heart attack.
Propranolol is a generic drug that does not have any brand name. These medicines are available in the form of oral tablets, oral capsules, liquid suspension to be taken by mouth, and injectables. Your healthcare provider will prescribe the type of medicine and dose depending on your age, health condition, severity, and so on.
The medicine works by relaxing the blood vessels and causing vasodilation. As the blood vessels expand, the blood flow through them slows down. As a result, the blood pressure gets reduced and the risk of heart damage also gets reduced.
You need to follow your healthcare provider’s guidance and instructions regarding the dosing regimen carefully. You should never skip any dose. Doing so will affect the concentration of the medicine in the body and its efficacy in treating the health condition well.
Propranolol side effects
The effects of the medicine can give rise to some common side effects, which are given below:
- Sleeping difficulties or insomnia
- Nausea and vomiting
- Stomach cramps
- Cough and sore throat
- Stuffy or runny nose
- Hoarse voice
These symptoms of common side effects tend to go away within a few days or a week. Instead, if they worsen and bother you, then you should see your healthcare provider. Besides, there is also a possibility of developing serious side effects of beta-blocker medicines. Rare and serious side effects of Propranolol include:
- Hallucinations and confusion
- Irregular heartbeats
- Breathing difficulties
- Vision-related problems
- Weakness and loss of coordination
- Low blood sugar – indicated by symptoms like headache, rapid heart rate, anxiety, hunger, sweating, dizziness, irritability, and seizure.
Serious side effects must never be left untreated. If you develop any of these, then you must see your healthcare provider immediately. This will prevent the side effects symptoms from worsening.
Apart from that, it is necessary to become aware of the drug interactions. This medicine might not be compatible with certain types of medications and their interaction can give rise to dangerous side effects. Therefore, you should discuss the drug interactions with your doctor.
Propranolol and erectile dysfunction
According to the Mayo Clinic, beta-blocker medications such as Propranolol are often linked to sexual side effects such as a decrease in the sex drive or libido, erectile dysfunction (ED), and premature ejaculation (PE). It is not evident that the side effects of Propranolol on every individual will be the same.
Some might develop the symptoms of erectile dysfunction while some may not. However, the possibility of Propranolol-induced erectile dysfunction cannot be denied. These claims are backed by the research done by the National Institutes of Health, which suggests, that those who use beta-blocker medicines are susceptible to sexual dysfunction.