Can Propranolol be used for heart palpitations? (3+ Critical symptoms) 

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In this blog post, we are going to answer the question, “Can Propranolol be used for heart palpitations?”. Propranolol is one of the most commonly prescribed beta-blockers which can be used to treat a variety of health conditions, including heart palpitations. 

This blog will cover all there is to know about the safety and efficacy of Propranolol in the treatment of heart palpitations. 

Can Propranolol be used for heart palpitations?

Yes, Propranolol can be used for heart palpitations. In fact, this is one of the primary uses of Propranolol and it is often considered the drug of choice when it comes to treat and manage palpitations. However, you should not start taking Propranolol without your doctor’s approval. 

What are heart palpitations? 

Heart palpitations are basically defined as the abnormal rhythms of the heart. In this condition, your heart beats harder and faster. You literally feel as if your heart will jump out of your chest. Heart palpitations can get loud enough for you to hear without using a stethoscope. 

These palpitations can be felt in your shoulders, neck, upper arms, and chest. This condition can affect people differently. Some people seem to tolerate such palpitations well, while others may start getting seriously nauseous. 

Palpitations can also put weak-hearted people in a panic mode, that may make them feel like they’re dying. However, heart palpitations are considered dangerous if it is coupled with the following symptoms:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness
  • Chest pain
  • Fainting

If any one of the above mentioned symptoms occur along with your heart palpitations, immediately seek medical help. All of these symptoms indicate a serious problem and you should get yourself checked as soon as possible. 

How does Propranolol treat heart palpitations? 

Propranolol is a beta-blocker or a beta-adrenergic blocker. It works by inhibiting the action of adrenaline or epinephrine, which is an important chemical related to the excitatory system in your body. 

Adrenaline can increase your heart rate, blood pressure, heart palpitations and anxiety. This is how Propranolol helps you with your heart palpitations, by inhibiting the effects of adrenaline on beta receptors. 

What are the recommended doses of Propranolol for heart palpitations? 

The initial dose of Propranolol for the treatment and management of heart palpitations is 40 mg per day. However, this dose can be escalated later according to the cause and severity of your palpitations. 

If your anxiety is the cause of this effect or some other non-cardiac reason is there, your dose can go as high as 80 mg per day. However, it is not recommended to start using Propranolol for the treatment or management of heart palpitations without your doctor’s approval. 

What are the other uses of Propranolol? 

Propranolol can also be used for a number of other health conditions. These include:

Cardiovascular diseases 

Propranolol can be used primarily for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases. As stated earlier, it works to inhibit the effects of adrenaline on your heart. 

This way, Propranolol helps to reduce your heart rate and blood pressure. It can also be used for the management of patients after a heart attack. It can be used to treat the following cardiac conditions:

  • High blood pressure 
  • Angina pectoris
  • Management of congestive heart failure 
  • Myocardial infarction 
  • Tachycardia 
  • Coronary artery diseases 

Migraine 

Propranolol can also be used for the management and treatment of migraine or vestibular migraine. Propranolol is believed to inhibit the pain mediators which cause nerve-racking headaches associated with migraine. 

It can also be combined with other meds to work in the prophylaxis of this condition. However, it may not work in the same way for every other individual. If you’re taking Propranolol for migraine and you’re seeing little to no effects, talk to your doctor right away.

Glaucoma 

Propranolol is also used to treat glaucoma. Glaucoma is a condition that is associated with increased intraocular pressure which can severely affect your eyes.

Propranolol may help dilate the vessels to decrease intraocular pressure and provide relief in your condition. However, it is not recommended to start using Propranolol for the treatment of glaucoma without your doctor’s approval. 

Anxiety

Propranolol can also be used to treat anxiety and agitation. The medication is believed to calm you down. This is because Propranolol can reduce the amount of some of the excitatory chemicals in your body. 

This way, it can control the excessive neuronal firing in your brain and help calm your nerves down. However, make sure you’re not using Propranolol without your doctor’s approval. 

The proper dose and its frequency must be determined by the healthcare provider carefully and according to the severity of your condition. 

Essential tremors 

Propranolol can be used for the treatment of tremors. Propranolol (Inderal) has proven in various clinical trials that it can help control the severity and involuntary jerks in your body. 

However, still more research is required to completely understand the safety and efficacy of Propranolol in the treatment and management of tremors. This is why do not start using Propranolol for the treatment of tremors without your doctor’s approval. 

What are the side effects associated with the use of Propranolol? 

Propranolol, like every other medication on this planet, is associated with some side effects. These side effects can affect people differently. Some people don’t even feel any difference after taking Propranolol, while others may feel significantly weird or unwell. Some of the common side effects of Propranolol include:

  • Xerostomia or dry mouth 
  • Nausea 
  • Vomiting 
  • Constipation 
  • Flatulence 
  • Acid reflux 
  • Depression 
  • Fatigue 
  • Lightheadedness 
  • Abnormal pain
  • Acid reflux 
  • Flu like symptoms 
  • Skin rash

Some serious side effects include:

  • Difficulty in breathing and chest tightness 
  • Swollen hands and feet as a result of an allergic reaction. 
  • Wheezing
  • Blackouts 
  • Unexplained weight gain or loss
  • Arrhythmia 

Always bear in mind that these side effects may not affect everyone in the same way. It is also very important to make sure that you are not using any other prescription medication along with your Propranolol. It is a strong beta-blocker. 

Sometimes it can be combined with other blood pressure lowering medications, but the combination may cause hypotension and may make your heart rate excessively slow. Propranolol can also react negatively with some other medications. 

This is why it is extremely important to give proper details and your medical history wherever you go to the doctor. 

Inform what kind of health conditions you already have, what kind of health you usually have, and if there is any medication that you have been taking for any of your health conditions. 

Proper information can significantly help your doctor determine the safety and efficacy of Propranolol in your body. It can also help your doctor to determine the appropriate dose. Never miss out on such important details.

How to ensure the proper use of Propranolol? 

It is extremely important to ensure the proper use of Propranolol. Make sure you read the leaflet that is provided with the med. It can help you understand a lot of things. Some of the important points include:

  • Take Propranolol exactly as directed by your healthcare provider. 
  • Do not deviate from the prescribed dose. In case of overdose, immediately reach out to your doctor. Inform accurately how much drug has been taken and when. 
  • In case you have accidentally missed your Propranolol dose, you can take it as soon as you remember. If a lot of time has passed and your next dose is near then do not take the dose. Wait for the next one and take that one on time. Propranolol overdose can cause disturbing complications. 
  • Keep the bottle out of reach of children and pets. 
  • Report any sign of an allergic reaction right away. 
  • Do not stop using Propranolol abruptly. If you need to stop using this med, for some reason, talk to your healthcare provider. Your doctor will taper the dose to ensure safe withdrawal of Propranolol. 

Conclusion 

In this blog post, we have discussed the safety and efficacy of Propranolol in the treatment and management of heart palpitations. In fact, this is one of the primary uses of Propranolol and it is often considered the drug of choice when it comes to treat and manage palpitations. 

However, you should not start taking Propranolol without your doctor’s approval. Make sure the exact cause of your heart palpitations is well diagnosed. If these palpitations are coupled with other disturbing symptoms, make sure you immediately inform your healthcare provider. 

FAQs: propranolol for palpitations 

How much propranolol should I take for heart palpitations?

The initial dose of Propranolol for the treatment and management of heart palpitations is 40 mg per day. However, this dose can be escalated later according to the cause and severity of your palpitations. If your anxiety is the cause of this effect or some other non-cardiac reason is there, your dose can go as high as 80 mg per day.

How long does propranolol take to work for palpitations?

Propranolol works pretty quickly to relieve your heart palpitations. It starts to tone down your symptoms in around 30 to 60 minutes. However, this time duration can vary from person to person. Some people may start to feel effects earlier than the others. Make sure you strictly follow your doctor’s recommendations. 

Can propranolol make heart palpitations worse?

Propranolol does not make your heart palpitations worse when used at therapeutic doses. However, overuse of Propranolol can significantly worsen your cardiac condition or any other condition for which you have been taking Propranolol. Make sure you take only as much as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Do not increase the dose or frequency on your own. 

Can beta blockers stop palpitations?

Yes, beta blockers can stop heart palpitations. They work by inhibiting the action of adrenaline or epinephrine, which is an important chemical related to the excitatory system in your body. 

Adrenaline can increase your heart rate, blood pressure, heart palpitations and anxiety. This is how beta-blockers help you with your heart palpitations, by inhibiting the effects of adrenaline on beta receptors. 

Does it take time to adjust to propranolol?

Yes, it may take some time for your body to completely adjust to Propranolol. You may suffer from some side effects at first, but they usually begin to subside within a few days of your treatment. 

However, Always make sure you don’t use Propranolol or any other medication without your doctor’s approval. If you are using Propranolol, do not stop using it suddenly. It is one of those beta-blockers which is associated with disturbing symptoms after abrupt withdrawal. 

References 

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