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Date of last update: 10/20/2017.

Forum Name: Hypertension

Question: Taking Propranolol for panic attacks and tremors

 Amjad_Ranga - Wed Dec 24, 2008 7:52 am

Respected Doctor,
One year back i had complaints of tremors in my hands, excessive palpitation and panic attacks. My doctor put me on Propranolol treatment and i was asked take one capsule daily for 7-8 months and then gradually decreasing it. I was afraid of its side effects if taken for long period so i stopped after 2 months.

Now what i do is that whenever i have any meeting or any panic situation to be faced, i take propranolol capsules 5-6 hrs before the event and i don't feel tremors and fear. it has good effect on me. But i have 2 queries

1- If i take propranolol like this in gaps i.e: today taken, then after 20 days again 2 capsules i take? will it be harmful?
2- If i take it continously for long period, will i become insensitive to it. because now whenever i take propranolol, it really improves my condition. might be if i continue it for long i may feel tremors and fear even if i take propranolol?
What should i do? Kindly help me
 John Kenyon, CNA - Fri Dec 26, 2008 10:21 pm

User avatar Hello -

Propranolol is often prescribed for tremor, especially when associated with anxiety (especially anxiety related to making public presentations, ie: "stage fright"). It seems to be working for you.

To answer your specific questions, there is no harm in taking propranolol on an as needed (PRN) basis, as you are currently doing, so long as your doctor is made aware that you are doing this instead of taking as directed.

As to the second question, yes, if taking propranolol continuously for an extended period of time (weeks, months or years), it must not be stopped abruptly, as this can cause a discontinuation "rebound" effect, which includes nervousness, increased heart rate, spikes in blood pressure, palpitations, chest pains and, in people with known heart disease, possibly even a heart attack. While it seems you don't have any known heart disease, the discontinuation would still likely be highly unpleasant at best, so it needs to be tapered off slowly over the course of a week or 10 days.

I hope this is helpful to you. Good luck to you and please follow up with us as needed.
 Amjad_Ranga - Tue Dec 30, 2008 2:50 am

Thank you very much Doctor, for your detailed reply . This site is really helpful for people like us. I'll suggest all my friends to take help of this site.

Coming back to the topic, you were very correct in identifying that propranolol works for me, i was only doubtful about the side effects. Now Please You suggest me which option is good for me.

1- Should i take it for 7-8 months daily and then reduce it to alternative days and then gradually stopping it. What could be the side effects of this? or

2- Should i take it only on days when i need it, before panic situations, and not on regular basis. What could be side effects of sudden taking and sudden stopping?

I'm 26 years old, which option is efficient and less risky?
TIA for your reply.

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