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Propranolol

The meaning of «propranolol»

Propranolol, sold under the brand name Inderal among others, is a medication of the beta blocker class.[1] It is used to treat high blood pressure, a number of types of irregular heart rate, thyrotoxicosis, capillary hemangiomas, performance anxiety, and essential tremors.[1][2][3] It is used to prevent migraine headaches, and to prevent further heart problems in those with angina or previous heart attacks.[1] It can be taken by mouth or by injection into a vein.[1] The formulation that is taken by mouth comes in short-acting and long-acting versions.[1] Propranolol appears in the blood after 30 minutes and has a maximum effect between 60 and 90 minutes when taken by mouth.[1][4]

Common side effects include nausea, abdominal pain, and constipation.[1] It should not be used in those with an already slow heart rate and most of those with heart failure.[1] Quickly stopping the medication in those with coronary artery disease may worsen symptoms.[1] It may worsen the symptoms of asthma.[1] Caution is recommended in those with liver or kidney problems.[1] Propranolol may cause harmful effects in the baby if taken during pregnancy.[5] Its use during breastfeeding is probably safe, but the baby should be monitored for side effects.[6] It is a non-selective beta blocker which works by blocking β-adrenergic receptors.[1]

Propranolol was patented in 1962 and approved for medical use in 1964.[7] It is on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines.[8] Propranolol is available as a generic medication.[1] In 2017, it was the 41st most commonly prescribed medication in the United States, with more than 17 million prescriptions.[9][10]

Propranolol is used for treating various conditions, including:

While once a first-line treatment for hypertension, the role for beta blockers was downgraded in June 2006 in the United Kingdom to fourth-line, as they do not perform as well as other drugs, particularly in the elderly, and evidence is increasing that the most frequently used beta blockers at usual doses carry an unacceptable risk of provoking type 2 diabetes.[11]

Propranolol is not recommended for the treatment of high blood pressure by the Eighth Joint National Committee (JNC 8) because a higher rate of the primary composite outcome of cardiovascular death, myocardial infarction, or stroke compared to an angiotensin receptor blocker was noted in one study.[12]

Propranolol is occasionally used to treat performance anxiety,[2] although evidence to support its use in any anxiety disorders is poor.[13] Its benefits appear similar to benzodiazepines in panic disorder with potentially fewer side effects such as addiction.[13] Some experimentation has been conducted in other psychiatric areas:[14]

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