Propranolol SR is a slow release version of propranolol. It is sometimes known by its brand name Bedranol. Propranolol SR lowers the heart rate and can be helpful in managing the symptoms of anxiety.
Propranolol SR for Anxiety
- Propranolol SR belongs to a family of medications called beta blockers
- Propranolol SR is a sustained release preparation, this means its effects last for longer in the body
- Propranolol SR reduces the effect of adrenaline on the body, reducing the heart rate and therefore helping to minimise symptoms of anxiety
- Like other beta blockers, propranolol SR can occasionally cause side effects including feeling tired, having a slow heartbeat, having an upset stomach, or noticing that your hands and feet are cold
- It is important to read the patient leaflet for a full list of side effects and cautions.
How Does Propranolol SR Work?
When you feel anxious, there is an increase in adrenaline and noradrenaline in the body. This can make your heart beat faster, or make you feel shaky or sweaty. These physical symptoms can then make you feel even more anxious.
Propranolol is a beta blocker medication. It blocks the effect of adrenaline and noradrenaline, working on beta-adrenoceptors to reduce blood pressure and reduce the heart rate. This in turn can help you to feel less anxious.
How is Propranolol SR Taken?
Propranolol SR Tablets
Propranolol SR is a tablet that should be swallowed whole. As it is a sustained release medication, it only needs to be taken once a day. It is best to take propranolol SR at the same time every day so that you don’t forget to take it. The tablet can be taken with or without food, although taking it with a meal may be helpful if you experience digestive side effects.
Dosage of Propranolol SR
A common starting dose of propranolol SR for anxiety is 80mg once daily. If this does not relieve the anxiety, the dose may be increased to 160mg daily.
Your doctor should review whether you still need to take propranolol SR after 6 to 12 months of treatment.
Are there any side effects to Propranolol SR?
Like all medications, propranolol SR can have some side effects. The most common side effects include:
- Feeling tired or fatigued
- A slow heart beat which may make you feel tired or lacking in energy
- Cold extremities
- Sleep disturbances
- Nausea or vomiting (feeling sick or being sick)
These side effects may settle down, but if they persist or become troublesome you should speak to your doctor for further advice.
Serious allergic reactions happen very rarely. If you have a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) including breathlessness, lip swelling or tongue swelling, call 999 immediately.
What warnings does Propranolol SR come with?
Propranolol SR may not be suitable for everyone. You should tell your prescriber if you:
- Have ever had an allergic reaction to this or any other medication
- Have heart disease or high blood pressure
- Have asthma or COPD
- Have an abnormal heart rhythm
- Have diabetes
- Are at risk of low blood sugar levels
- Have low blood pressure
- Have a slow average heart rate
- Have angina
- Have psoriasis
- Have myasthenia gravis
- Have disease of the arteries
- Have phaeochromocytoma
- Have liver or kidney disease
- Are pregnant, trying to conceive, or breastfeeding.
Your prescriber can then advise whether propranolol SR is a suitable medication for you.
Some medications can interact with propranolol SR. You may be advised that propranolol SR will not suit you if you already take:
- Other medications that affect blood pressure or your heart rate, including verapamil, amiodarone, nifedipine, digoxin and diltiazem
- Medications for diabetes including insulin
- A monoaminoxidase inhibitor for depression or Parkinson’s disease.