Can Propranolol be used for weight loss? (3 reasons why it can’t) 

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Page last updated: 1/08/2022

In this blog post, we are going to answer the question, “Can Propranolol be used for weight loss?”. Propranolol is one of the most commonly prescribed beta-blockers which can be used to treat a variety of health conditions. This blog will cover whether or not Propranolol is used for weight loss. 

Can Propranolol be used for weight loss?

No, Propranolol is not used for weight loss and it does not possess any fat burning property. Propranolol is a beta-blocker or a beta-adrenergic blocker which is primarily used in the treatment of cardiac problems. 

Why Propranolol can not be used as a weight loss pill?

Propranolol can not be used as a weight loss pill because of one of the following reasons:

  • It causes water retention 
  • It slows down your fat burning process
  • It does not cause any weight-loss related side effect

It causes water retention 

Propranolol is known for causing water retention as a side effect. The exact mechanism through which it occurs is still being investigated, but it somehow slows down the removal of water from your body. This makes you heavier on the scale, instead of making you lighter. 

Some people complain of Propranolol induced weight gain solely because of this side effect. However, this side effect can cause weight gain initially, but it can lead to much more disturbing complications if it keeps progressing. 

It is believed that Propranolol induced side effects begin to subside within a few days of your treatment or when your body becomes adjusted to the medication. 

However, this process never happens for some people and side effects just keep on increasing day by day. If you’re one of such unfortunate people and you feel your body swelling up, immediately contact your healthcare provider. 

In severe cases where the use of Propranolol is important, the drug can be paired with a diuretic like thiazide diuretics or loop diuretics, which can help remove the excess fluid from your body. However, that too comes with a price. 

Diuretics may not be tolerated well along with Propranolol because of the side effects they produce. These meds can also lower your blood pressure by reducing your blood volume as they remove excess water from the body. 

This can double the hypotensive effects and may make your heart rate a lot slower. Make sure you report to your healthcare provider immediately if something like this happens. Do not stop Propranolol abruptly or you will be subjected to disturbing withdrawal symptoms.

Can Propranolol be used for weight loss? (3 reasons why it can’t) 

 

It slows down your fat burning process

Propranolol can not be used for weight loss because it actually causes weight gain, and not just by increasing your water weight. Propranolol can slow down your fat burning metabolism. 

This can make your body unable to burn as much fat as it used to without the presence of Propranolol. This also leads to more fat deposition in your body in different areas and it makes you look a little bulky. 

This effect of Propranolol is not considered that pronounced, but again, meds don’t work in the same way for every other person taking them. Some people may not even complain of weight gain at all, while others may see a drastic change in their body weight. 

Make sure you notice such changes in your body and report everything to your healthcare provider. If you see noticeable weight gain, do not panic or stop using Propranolol abruptly. 

Sudden withdrawal can make things much worse for you. Propranolol is one of those beta-blockers which cause disturbing symptoms upon abrupt withdrawal. 

It does not cause any weight-loss related side effect

Propranolol can not be used for weight loss because this medication has literally no effect on anything even remotely related to weight loss. Propranolol does not even cause any side effects that may interfere with your appetite. 

People tend to eat just as normally as they used to before starting Propranolol. This clearly indicates that this beta-blocker is not connected to any weight loss effect, whatsoever. 

What are the approved uses of Propranolol? 

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, and anxiety. This is what Propranolol works to counteract. It can be used for the treatment of the following health conditions:

  • High blood pressure 
  • Angina pectoris
  • Management of congestive heart failure 
  • Arrhythmia or irregular heart beat
  • Myocardial infarction 
  • Tachycardia 
  • Coronary artery diseases 
  • Glaucoma 
  • Migraine 
  • Anxiety and agitation 
  • Essential tremors 

Propranolol can be used primarily for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases. 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. 

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. 

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.

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.

What are the side effects of Propranolol other than weight gain? 

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.

Conclusion 

In this blog post, we have discussed the use of Propranolol as a weight loss pill. We have learned that Propranolol does not cause any kind of weight loss. In fact, this beta-blocker is associated with weight gain. Propranolol is known for causing water retention as a side effect. 

The exact mechanism through which it occurs is still being investigated, but it somehow slows down the removal of water from your body. This makes you heavier on the scale. It can also slow down your fat burning metabolism. 

This can make your body unable to burn as much fat as it used to without the presence of Propranolol. This also leads to more fat deposition in your body in different areas and it makes you look a little bulky. 

Make sure you do not use Propranolol for the purpose of weight gain as it can not produce this effect in any way possible. This is a prescription medication. Do not use it without your doctor’s approval. 

FAQs: propranolol for weight loss 

Is propranolol an appetite suppressant?

No, Propranolol is not an appetite suppressant. People tend to eat just as normally as they used to before starting Propranolol. This clearly indicates that this beta-blocker is not connected to any weight loss effect, whatsoever. 

Can beta blockers help you lose weight?

No, beta-blockers can not help you lose weight. Some of these meds, including Propranolol, can actually make you gain weight. They are known for causing water retention as a side effect. The exact mechanism through which it occurs is still being investigated, but they somehow slow down the removal of water from your body. 

This makes you heavier on the scale. Beta-blockers can also slow down your fat burning metabolism. This can make your body unable to burn as much fat as it used to without the presence of these meds. This also leads to more fat deposition in your body in different areas and it makes you look a little bulky.

How much weight does propranolol make you gain?

The maximum weight gained because of Propranolol is around 3 kgs, which is not that much. However, it may cause more weight gain in some people as meds affect everyone differently. It is impossible to predict how your body will react once it is exposed to this medication. Make sure you report any unexplained weight gain or loss to your healthcare provider as soon as you can. 

How can I avoid weight gain on propranolol?

  • Talk to your doctor 
  • Change your eating habits 
  • Make exercise an important part of your routine 
  • Drink plenty of water 
  • Try to cut back on alcohol 
  • Make sure you’re buying healthy snacks 
  • Try drink warm lemon-honey water on an empty stomach in the morning 
  • Do not overeat 

How does propranolol make you feel?

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. 

Can you exercise on propranolol?

Yes, you can definitely exercise while being treated with Propranolol. However, the intensity of workouts should be determined according to your heart condition. If you are a normal hypertensive patient, then exercise can be a good addition to your routine and amazing for your health. 

However, if you suffer from some severe cardiac condition like unstable angina, this can make vigorous exercise dangerous for you. However, you can walk, do yoga or meditation, or some stretching workouts. 

References 

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