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Kermodesmum Kermodesmum

Propranolol and weight gain


I have been taking this drug for over 6 months now. 40mg twice a day The cluster headaches that have plagued my life are now down to a bare minimum.....(not totally gone away) and manageable.

HOWEVER! I have gained about 1.5 stone in weight, particularly round my middle. This is highly unusual for me.

My GP states this is NOT a recognised side effect and I simply must be eating more due to feeling better! As my eating habits have not changed at all, I find this very hard to accept. If I am to take this drug for the rest of my days, At this rate I will be enormous!

PLEASE…can anyone help/confirm/reassure me that this is only a temporary side effect?


Thank you

114 Replies

  • sherry41245

    Hi, I'm so glad I came across your post..I have suffered with anxiety for years and have been asking propranolol 40mg for a year and half (in stressful situations) and I have gained 1 1/2 stone esp around my middle too!! I don't eat excessively and it's uncomfortable now and making me feel quite low.. : (

  • dgsh1504

    Hi. Iv recently noticed that Iv been putting on weight after taking up this medication despite eating less. I am however noticing I'm less active, a lower rate of attacks and generally just figiting less I'm hoping it's more to do with that but I am worried.

  • MavisCruet

    I was on 20mg a day for about 4 months and I noticed I was gaining weight around my middle. I've come off it now as it was causing extreme lethargy and I've lost the weight.

    I definitely think the Propanalol caused it.

  • jan6060 Kermodesmum


    I have been on propranolol for about 9 months -  1 x 150mg slow release a day, I get horrendous outbreaks of sweating and have to wash my hair more often ! Also noted weight gain round my middle !  I am at the stage now where it is VERY uncomfortable whilst sitting, and looks awful hanging over the top of trousers and skirts ! I never had a thick middle and find it really upsetting !!  I seem to tire very easily and get breathless !  Propranolol certainly sorted out the anxiety/panic, but otherwise not good for my figure or energy levels !!  sad  Don't know what to do, as trialled other medications before finding this one settled anxiety/panic once into bloodstream !  Also on 160mg of venlafaxine a day - is there a good alternative I could be on, instead of taking these ???

  • sarah73840 Kermodesmum

    Hi so glad I found this post! I take 120mg of propranolol a day, along with 70mg of amtriptylin due to cluster migraines. Since I've been on this medication my life has turned around, I'm not losing time from work or studies due to migraine. BUT, I have gained 2 stone in 18 months! ! I eat less, so I don't understand how this can happen,

    I suppose I am more lethargic, but still ......? I've even joined a gym but no weight loss. So I'm stuck, it's either side worth headaches that ruin my day to day existence, or pile on the pounds. . sad

    • serene39907 sarah73840

      Hi, well I know it's been 3,years now but I get cluster migraines and am taking propranonal 160 mg/ day for about a year now. I have also gained weight around my middle but get to live a functional life now.  Are you still taking propranonal? Did you finish me any alternative medicine? 

    • valerie08687 serene39907

      Hi I am so glad I found this post as I have been on propranolol for tension headaches due to arthritis in neck and I have been taking 2 x 80mg for about 3 years and it really works.  I am also post menopausal, and  have put on 2 plus stones but I eat a really healthy diet. I dont see the Dr very often but mentioned this to her and she said 'well what else did you expect as it lowers your metabolism'.  Would love to know if there was an alternative as the weight gain is all around my middle.  My normal weight before was 9 1/2 stone and I was this from 30 to 50 Now I am over 12 stones, probably more I just cant bear to weigh myself

    • macpep1 sarah73840

      I am so glad I found this, I have been on 80mg slow release propranol for over a year & have put on 2 stone & went up 3 -4 dress sizes.  I am the heaviest I have ever been.  I used to exercise a lot & have no motivation whatsoever, I come home & all I want to do is sit on the sofa.  My weight gain is all around my middle, I am going to get an appointment at doctors to see if I can come off them as I was on them for high BP & anxiety due to someone at work causing me major stress but that person is only in once a week now so I think I will be ok, hopefully weight will come off & I will be able to exercise again.

  • amy75782 Kermodesmum


    I was put on half-beta prograne 80mg in November to treat migraine and anxiety.

    Since starting to take them I have noticed my heartbeat a lot more and it seems to be fast.

    I told the doctor I wanted to stop taking them because my chiropractor told me it might be a problem in my neck causing headaches/migraine. I have been on propranolol 40mg for a week to try and stop taking them. I take 2 a day but when it gets to tea time I notice my heart rate going up, when I take a tablet it stops. I'm supposed to knock the dosage down to 1 tablet a day next week then one every other day the week after and then stop after 3 weeks.

    I've noticed weight gain over the last few months about half a stone even though I've been careful with my calories.

    Does anybody know if this could be the beta blockers?



  • lauren13116 Kermodesmum


    I was taking 80mg propranolol twice a day for about 6 years for A-Typical Migraines. When I started I weighed  10 stone, this time last year my weight had gone up to 11 st 13!! My diet didn't change at all but I did find that I was a lot hungrier whilst taking it. I came off Propranolol as it wasn't really helping anymore and I couldn't go on a higher dose and I had found other ways of treating/easing my migraines. It also made me lethargic and I was easily exhausted. Since I have been off of them I have gone down to 9st 3, and I only changed 2 things about my eating and that was cutting out cheese and chocolate as they are my trigger foods sad

    I know doctors say they haven't found any evidence to support the fact that propranolol causes weight gain, but they obviously havent read this thread!


  • steeko Kermodesmum

    Hi there,

    Expereincing the same thing myself gained nearly 2 stone in 4 months and I am not one to gain weight at all. I am going to the doctors on friday to speak to him about it, I will let you know what his advice is.


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