Undesirable symptoms on Propranalol

Posted , 5 users are following.

I'm a 27 year old female, and about 3 months ago I started having severe panic attack-like symptoms that hit me out of the blue. I had one or two severe episodes weeks apart and then it snowballed and began happening daily to the point it was taking a heavy toll on my everyday life. I went to my GP for a blood test and an ECG which all came out clear, so I was prescribed 10mg propranolol daily. I have a history of mental health problems relating to anxiety and heart palpitations which I've had on and off since my early teens so I was told this would likely help to calm everything down and relax me.

I've been taking them for just under 2 weeks and although I assume it's partially to do with feeling used to the constant symptoms at this point, I did feel like things started to calm down to a manageable level with only the odd wobble when I knew I was under strain at work or physically.

Today I woke up feeling fine, quite energised and peppy, and previously when I've felt like this I noticed it was a pretty accurate pre-cursor to a very bad attack later in the day. I was having a rather stressful time at work with a big deadline to finish and right before lunch I was hit with the familiar symptoms, only they were more acute than they have been in a while. They roller-coastered for the rest of the day until I had to go and pick up some things from the shops on the way home, and walking to the bus stop I was very dizzy and disoriented the whole way. When I entered the shopping centre I felt really unwell and had the urge to stop and crouch over every several yards for fear of fainting, I couldn't feel my legs on the ground and taking a deep breath sent a sharp sensation of pins and needles down my left arm. I've never felt the urge to collapse in the middle of the floor so strongly as then, and I found a bench so sit on for a while until I had to force myself to make every step back to the bus stop to go home.

I've been sitting on my bed since then shaking uncontrollably and with an ever increasing headache but not sure what on earth to make of this. Is it just a one-off because of the stress from work or should I be more worried? I have a follow-up appointment with my GP in just over a week's time and I'll mention this all to him then but I could really do with some reassurance until then.


0 likes, 7 replies

7 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Holly,

      I'm sorry to hear that you've had a lot of work stress, that's always exhausting. When I took Propanolol, I had lots of near-fainting, dizzy symptoms and found out from the pharmacist that this is normal because the med lowers blood pressure and they recommend people to sit up or stand up slowly.

      The med did calm me down a lot (in a good way), I just could not handle the heart palpitations because it scared the **** out of me every time and created anxiety/fear reactions. I think with time supposedly the side effects are supposed to subside to some degree.

     I would totally check with a pharmacist and ask them about your side effects (if they usually go away in time)...

    Best wishes and take care.

    • Posted

      Thanks for replying to me Melody,

      I completely know what you mean about the palpitations scaring you out of your wits, it's a horrible feeling and one that you never quite get used to I find. Mine have already calmed down since I've been taking the propranolol, in fact my heart is no longer the most noticeable symptom (where before it was a 24/7 reminder) but it just seems like everything else is still prone to going up and down in unexpected ways. 

      The joys of anxiety I suppose!! But I will definitely see a pharmacist about my symptoms, thank you for the advice.

      Take care,

  • Posted

    Poor you! What an awful day you've had! I suffer from very bad migraine, and I'm on 40g morning and evening. It mostly works very well, but after extreme stress I can have a killer migraine despite the pills. Generally it makes me a bit dizzy and I have low blood pressure, but it's worth it. You may need to up your dose when you are unusually stressed. One of my friends does that (for migraine) and finds it works. I hope the GP is helpful, and that you soon feel better.
    • Posted

      Thanks Helen,

      Is it something your friend just takes as and when they need it or are they following a schedule? I've no idea if propanalol can be used dynamically in that way without the need for gradual tapering of the dose.

      my GP did discuss the possibility of upping my dose after this initial trial with it if it didn't work as expected, as 10mg is quite low in most respects. Maybe that will help with the overspill during stressful times, but the leaflet says all kinds of worrying things about taking more!

      Take care,

  • Posted

    Hi Holly,  sorry to hear about your experiences.  i have been taking propranolol 10mg twice daily for about 6 weeks now with no side effects, just taking the edge off my anxiety.  i don't think that dosage is enough to cause any horrid side effects BUT each of react differently and noone knows your body better than you.  my anxiety still flares up and i have a big range of bodily reactions to stress.  my advice to see the GP regularly so that they can keep a tab on your progress.  i believe that when we are overwhelmed like this, our body becomes so flooded with stress hormones and all the wrong balance of chemicals that it makes our reactions to everything, problematic.  this can lead to out of control worrying, hyperventilation and more.  do whatever you can to stay calm, take the meds the docs give you and good luck.   in regards to dosage, my GP said i can alter them however i like.  if i want to take 40mg twice or thrice daily, GP said that's fine.  but if i want to come off them, then taper the dosage down slowly, changing dose weekly until taking one tablet every other day before stopping.    i've found that taking 40mg tablets are very effective at cutting out my anxiety symptoms but i can get a low mood when it wears off later.  good luck x
  • Posted

    Hi Holly,

    most migraine sufferers are put on 40g twice a day initially, but my friend lowered his to 20g. He then tops it up if he feels an attack coming on. I haven't quite dared lower my dose yet, although I'd like to. Maybe you could try something similar, if your GP agrees. It might help, but perhaps you need to check out that your symptoms today aren't side effects first. I hope they aren't, because it's really a very helpful drug. Take care.

  • Posted

    Hi it does sound like stress. My situation is pretty similar and I'm on exactly the same dose as you. I find the medication helps a lot. I still get certain attacks like feeling a bit whizzy when I go in shops but then I also suffer with my sinus so that would contribute. I still don't go into large supermarkets or where's there big crowds but I will get over this eventually. I getting bouts of tingling down my face and head but don't know what that is yet.

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