Propranolol

In this article, we will discuss about Propranolol (Antihypertensive Drug). So, let’s get started.


Propranolol hydrochloride is a synthetic beta-adrenergic receptor blocking agent chemically described as 2-Propanol 1-[(1-methylethyl)amino)-3-(1-naphthalenyloxy)-hydrochloride (±)-. Its molecular and structural formulae are:

Propranolol hydrochloride is a stable, white, crystalline solid which is readily soluble in water and ethanol. Its molecular weight is 295.80.

Propranolol hydrochloride (Inderal®) is available as 10 mg, 20 mg. 40 mg, 60 mg, and 80 mg tablets for oral administration.

Mechanism of Action (Antihypertensive Effect)

The mechanism of the antihypertensive effect of propranolol has not been established. Factors that may contribute to the antihypertensive action include: (1) decreased cardiac output, (2) inhibition of renin release by the kidneys, and (3) diminution of tonic sympathetic nerve outflow from vasomotor centers in the brain. Although total peripheral resistance may increase initially, it readjusts to or below the pretreatment level with chronic use of propranolol. Effects of propranolol on plasma volume appear to be minor and somewhat variable.

Dosage

Hypertension

The usual initial dosage is 40 mg Inderal twice daily, whether used alone or added to a diuretic. Dosage may be increased gradually until adequate blood pressure control is achieved. The usual maintenance dosage is 120 mg to 240 mg per day. In some instances a dosage of 640 mg a day may be required. The time needed for full antihypertensive response to a given dosage is variable and may range from a few days to several weeks. While twice-daily dosing is effective and can maintain a reduction in blood pressure throughout the day, some patients, especially when lower doses are used, may experience a modest rise in blood pressure toward the end of the 12-hour dosing interval. This can be evaluated by measuring blood pressure near the end of the dosing interval to determine whether satisfactory control is being maintained throughout the day. If control is not adequate, a larger dose, or 3-times-daily therapy may achieve better control.

Overdosage

Propranolol is not significantly dialyzable. In the event of overdosage or exaggerated response, the following measures should be employed:

General: If ingestion is or may have been recent, evacuate gastric contents, taking care to prevent pulmonary aspiration.

Supportive Therapy: Hypotension and bradycardia have been reported following propranolol overdose and should be treated appropriately. Glucagon can exert potent inotropic and chronotropic effects and may be particularly useful for the treatment of hypotension or depressed
myocardial function after a propranolol overdose. Glucagon should be administered as 50-150 mcg/kg intravenously followed by continuous drip of 1-5 mg/hour for positive chronotropic effect. Isoproterenol, dopamine or phosphodiesterase inhibitors may also be useful. Epinephrine, however, may provoke uncontrolled hypertension. Bradycardia can be treated with atropine or isoproterenol. Serious bradycardia may require temporary cardiac pacing. The electrocardiogram, pulse, blood pressure, neurobehavioral status and intake and output balance must be monitored. Isoproterenol and aminophylline may be used for bronchospasm.

Adverse Reactions

The following adverse events were observed and have been reported in patients using propranolol.

Cardiovascular: Bradycardia; congestive heart failure; intensification of AV block,
hypotension; paresthesia of hands; thrombocytopenic purpura; arterial insufficiency, usually of the Raynaud type.

Central Nervous System: Light-headedness, mental depression manifested by insomnia, lassitude, weakness, fatigue; catatonia; visual disturbances; hallucinations; vivid dreams; an acute reversible syndrome characterized by disorientation for time and place, short-term memory loss, emotional lability, slightly clouded sensorium, and decreased performance on neuropsychometrics. For immediate-release formulations, fatigue, lethargy, and vivid dreams appear dose-related.

Gastrointestinal: Nausea, vomiting, epigastric distress, abdominal cramping, diarrhea, constipation, mesenteric arterial thrombosis, ischemic colitis.

Allergic: Hypersensitivity reactions, including anaphylactic/anaphylactoid reactions, pharyngitis and agranulocytosis; erythematous rash, fever combined with aching and sore throat; laryngospasm, and respiratory distress.

Respiratory: Bronchospasm.

Hematologic: Agranulocytosis, nonthrombocytopenic purpura, thrombocytopenic purpura.

Autoimmune: Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).

Skin and mucous membranes: Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis, dry eyes, exfoliative dermatitis, erythema multiforme, urticaria, alopecia, SLE-like reactions, and psoriasiform rashes. Oculomucocutaneous syndrome involving the skin, serous membranes and conjunctivae reported for a beta blocker (practolol) have not been associated with propranolol.

Genitourinary: Male impotence; Peyronie’s disease.

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