Inderal medication for anxiety, blood pressure, heart disease, side effects, safety, danger
March 7 2017 by
Ray Sahelian, M.D.


Inderal, a type of medication known as a beta blocker, is used in the treatment of high blood pressure, angina pectoris (chest pain, usually caused by lack of oxygen to the heart due to clogged arteries), changes in heart rhythm, prevention of migraine headache, hereditary tremors, and tumors of the adrenal gland. Inderal is also used to reduce the risk of death from recurring heart attack. It works best when taken before meals.


Recommended dosage, how much to take
ADULTS: All dosages of Inderal, for any problem, must be tailored to the individual. Your doctor will determine when and how often you should take Inderal. If you are over 65, the doctor will probably start with a relatively low dosage. Inderal is also available in a sustained-release formulation, called Inderal LA, for once-a-day dosing.

Inderal dosage for hypertension, high blood pressure
The usual starting dose is 40 milligrams 2 times a day. This dose may be in combination with a diuretic. Dosages above 80 mg a day increase the risk for side effects. When used for the treatment of high blood pressure, Inderal is effective alone or combined with other high blood pressure medications, particularly thiazide-type diuretics. Beta blockers decrease the force and rate of heart contractions, reducing the heart's demand for oxygen and lowering blood pressure.

Angina pectoris, chest pain
The usual daily dosage is 80 milligrams to 120 milligrams, divided into 2, 3, or 4 smaller doses. When your treatment is being discontinued, your doctor will reduce the dosage gradually over a period of several weeks.

Irregular heartbeat, PVCs
The usual dose is 10 milligrams to 30 milligrams 3 or 4 times a day, before meals and at bedtime. Inderal may be used for irregular heart beats or very fast heart beats due to anxiety or or from overdose of certain herbs and supplements.

Heart attack
The usual daily dosage is 100 milligrams to 200 milligrams divided into smaller doses, although your doctor may increase the dose when treating heart attack with angina or high blood pressure.

The usual starting dosage is 60 milligrams per day divided into smaller doses. Dosages can be increased gradually to between 120 milligrams and 200 milligrams per day. If this dose does not relieve your symptoms in 4 to 6 weeks, your doctor will slowly take you off the drug.

Stage fright and social anxiety

Inderal, in a dose of 20 mg or 40 mg, taken an hour or two before a speech, can be helpful in reducing stage anxiety. Some people may require a 60 mg dosage.


The usual starting Inderal dose is 40 milligrams, 2 times per day. Symptoms will usually be relieved with a dose of 120 milligrams per day; however, on occasion, dosages of up to 200 milligrams per day may be necessary.

Lancet Neurol. 2011. Treatment of patients with essential tremor. This is a common movement disorder. Tremor severity and handicap vary widely, but most patients with essential tremor do not receive a diagnosis and hence are never treated. Furthermore, many patients abandon treatment because of side-effects or poor efficacy. A newly developed algorithm, based on the logarithmic relation between tremor amplitude and clinical tremor ratings, can be used to compare the magnitude of effect of available treatments. Drugs with established efficacy (propranolol and primidone) produce a mean tremor reduction of about 50%.

Before adrenal gland surgery
The usual dose is 60 milligrams a day divided into smaller doses for 3 days before surgery in combination with an alpha-blocker drug.

Inderal side effects, safety, risk, danger, caution
Inderal side effects may include abdominal cramps, congestive heart failure, constipation, decreased sexual ability and Impotence in a Male, depression, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, disorientation, dry eyes, fever with sore throat, hair loss, hallucinations, headache, light-headedness, low blood pressure, lupus erythematosus (a disease of the connective tissue), nausea, rash, reddish or purplish spots on the skin, short-term memory loss, slow heartbeat, tingling, prickling in hands, tiredness, trouble sleeping, upset stomach, visual changes, vivid dreams, vomiting, weakness. Some people don't realize that memory loss is a possible Inderal side effect. Many doctors don't mention to their male patients that a common Inderal side effect is impotence or erectile dysfunction. I've had many patients over the years who have come to me with erection problems and did not realize that this was an adverse reaction to the medication. Inderal was often prescribed by their previous doctor for blood pressure control.


Overdosage and toxicity
Overdose symptoms with beta blockers include: Extremely slow heartbeat, irregular heartbeat, low blood pressure, severe congestive heart failure, seizures and wheezing.


I have been taking Inderal for migraines. These headaches run in the family among the women. They became more intense in my 40's, so I went to a neurologist. She put me on Inderal. I have gone from 40mg a day to 160mg long release. You are correct about the loss and/or incorrect recollection of memories. My husband & family occasionally correct me on this. I am 66. I began to concern myself about possible Alzheimers. But considering that I have been on Inderal for almost 20yrs., I am going to contact my neurologist and see about lowering my dose. I am not sure about taking other supplements for migraine and when you're in the midst of one all you want is relief.

Who should not take Inderal
If you have inadequate blood supply to the circulatory system (cardiogenic shock), certain types of irregular heartbeat, a slow heartbeat, bronchial asthma, or severe congestive heart failure, you should not take Inderal. If you have a history of congestive heart failure, your doctor will prescribe Inderal cautiously. If you suffer from asthma or other bronchial conditions, coronary artery disease, or kidney or liver disease, Inderal should be used with caution. Notify your doctor or dentist that you are taking it if you have a medical emergency, and before you have surgery or dental treatment.

Possible food and drug interactions, dietary restricitions
If Inderal is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Inderal with the following:

Aluminum hydroxide gel (Amphojel)
Calcium-blocking blood pressure drugs such as Cardizem, Procardia, and Calan
Certain high blood pressure medications such as Diupres and Ser-Ap-Es
Cimetidine (Tagamet)
Epinephrine (EpiPen)
Haloperidol (Haldol)
Lidocaine (Xylocaine)
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen and Naprosyn
Oral diabetes drugs such as Micronase
Phenytoin (Dilantin)
Rifampin (Rifadin)
Theophylline (Theo-Dur and others)
Thyroid medications such as Synthroid

If you are pregnant or breastfeeding
The effects during pregnancy have not been adequately studied. If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. Inderal appears in breast milk and could affect a nursing infant. If Inderal is essential to your health, your doctor may advise you to discontinue breastfeeding until your treatment with Inderal is finished.

Inderal for children, use by a child
Inderal should be carefully individualized for use in children. It is often used for high blood pressure. Doses in children are calculated by body weight, and range from 2 milligrams to 4 milligrams per 2.2 pounds daily, divided into 2 equal doses. The maximum dose is 16 milligrams per 2.2 pounds per day. If treatment is stopped, Inderal must be gradually reduced over a 7 day period.


Email - My 11 year old daughter is autistic and takes it for generalized anxiety. It breaks the cycle of anxiety making her heart rate go higher, which makes her feel anxious, which makes her heart rate go higher....Her therapist regularly prescribes this for this reason.


Q. I took a tablet of Sudafed once about five years ago and the side effects of a headache and a pounding heartbeat would not go away for weeks. A nurse prescribed to me Inderal to get rid of them so I took 2 to 4 tablets in two days, but the side effects of Inderal has stayed with me since. I believe that my body is not strong enough to fight off medications after their initial effects wears off. I still feel the almost paralyzed effects of Inderal where it blocks beta receptors so that my body moves sluggishly and my heart beats very slowly...too slowly. It is hard to move because I feel almost paralyze from the effects of the medication. Are there anything to unblock the receptors that Inderal has blocked?
  A. I can't imagine this Inderal side effects would have lasted several years later.

Q. Is a side effect of Inderal reduce sex drive?
  A. Inderal can reduce genital sensation and lead to impotence, and thus it could lead to a decrease in libido.

Q. I was prescribed to take inderal against social anxiety. I have been taking the drugs for two years with no noticeable side effect. Recently, one month back, I noticed my hair starts to fall in significant number. For information, I am taking 10 mg of the Inderal drug every morning. Is this serious, can I reserve my hair back if I stop the Inderal medication? Are there any other drugs that can help me controlling anxiety with minimum side effects? Is hair loss an Inderal side effect?
   A. Hair loss has been mentioned as an Inderal side effect. Some doctors may prescribe finasteride for hair loss.


I am 31 years old male and I have noticed since a while that my short term memory is totally lost. I have been thinking too much for the cause of this but I don't why I thought of Inderal! I am using Inderal 40mg since 8 years on a dose of 1 tab everyday morning. This kept me a normal person hence if I stop taking it for 2-3 days, I find difficulties in breathing and instability in my heart beats and also my hands starts shaking like 80 years old man. Today and after 8 years thought of surfing the net looking for the side effects of Inderal 40mg and I got really shocked to know that it cause lost of short-term memory and decreased sexual ability!
Knowing that those tow problems was really ruining my life recently. I started feeling weak in my short term memory 2 years ago and had problems with sexual relationship for four years. I don't know if I can quit Inderal to save my memory and sexual abilities. But all what I can say is that I really miss my sharp memory and wish to have it back.


Are you aware of any alternative replacements or treatments for Inderal and the class of disease that requires it's application (beta blockers)? I realize every case is different, but any direction you can send me.
    You may consider reading the pages on hypertension and heart disease. I am not aware of any herb or supplement that acts as a direct beta blocker.