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Can you drink alcohol with inderal (propranolol)?

Inderal (propranolol) is a beta-blocker used for the treatment of tachycardia, hypertension, palpitations, and as a preventative medicine following a heart attack. Like other beta-blockers, inderal suppresses the effects of the natural “fight-or-flight” hormone known as ephedrine (a.k.a. adrenaline). Partially blocking this hormone causes a reduction in heart rate and blood pressure. Inderal allows the heart to beat softer and more evenly, thus reducing the likelihood of arryhthmia and palpitations, and reduces the liklihood of heart attack in people prone to having them.

Alcohol Consumption Affects Blood Pressure

Interestingly, alcohol has some cardiac effects of its own. Although it is a CNS (central nervous system depressant) which slows breathing and reaction times and relieves anxiety, alcohol usually triggers an increase in heart rate. This is because alcohol is a vasodialator; that is, it increases the diameter of the blood vessels, thereby causing a drop in blood pressure. In order to maintain a normal blood pressure the heart begins pumping blood at a higher rate. This is a natural reaction by the body to maintain homeostasis.

Can alcohol be safely combined with Inderal?

The question is, is it safe to consume inderal (propranolol) together with alcohol (ethanol)? You should probably talk to your doctor, but the short answer is almost certainly “it depends”.

On what? It depends how you feel when combining the two. Listen to your body. Technically, the two substances should be relatively safe to combine (although remember they BOTH lower your blood pressure). As such, getting drunk while taking a substantial dose of inderal could prove to be dangerous. Then again, if you are taking Inderal regularly, it probably means you are suffering from one of the symptoms mentioned in the first sentance of this article. Which probably means you should avoid nasty habits such as getting loaded.

Don’t Drink in Excess when taking Inderal

Personally, because of the blood pressure question, I try to avoid combining them. Inderal actually tends to be something I take after drinking alcohol (the day after) because of the symtoms I often experience after drinking. These include a racing heart, anxiety, and occasionally, skipped beats (PVC’s). As you might imagine, I am not a big drinker, my average being less than once per week (a few drinks). I actually take Inderal for these same symptoms even when I haven’t been drinking. However, alcohol often triggers these symptoms for me, which guarantees that I will be taking Inderal.

As previously stated, I would recommend you speak with the doctor who prescribed you Inderal in order to determine if it is safe to combine with alcohol.

Lastly, please leave a comment if you have any opinions or anything at all to contribute! Thanks.

January 12th, 2012

2 Responses to “Can you drink alcohol with inderal (propranolol)?”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Listen to your body!! It can be highly dangerous as a student I drank a lot and was taking propranolol for anxiety when combining the two I would be ok one moment and like a flick of a switch be paralytic the next… I was extremely fortunate to have friends that looked after me during these instances as I could have got myself into terrible situations… It completely knocked off my memory too as after these occurrences I would wake up the next day and remember absolutely nothing, so please think and like the guy said above – don’t ignore what your body is trying to tell you. I probably did this ten times before I saw sense and I nearly lost my partner over it as I really scared him.

  2. joseph says:

    thanks!…now i know what to do!

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