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Have asthma and anxiety. Is it safe to take propranolol 10 mg?

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Practicing since : 2003
Answered : 2190 Questions
I have just been given a prescription for Propranolol 10 mg for performance anxiety, but I am very afraid to take it because I have had a history of asthma. I have to say it is quite mild and only affects me if I am around cats or exert myself in cold weather. I have an inhaler, but never really need to use it. Should I be concerned?
Thu, 13 Dec 2012 in Asthma and Allergy
Answered by Dr. Jonas Sundarakumar 51 minutes later
Hello and welcome to Healthcare Magic. Thanks for your query.

Low doses of Propranolol are commonly used to treat performance anxiety. 10 mg of Propranolol is a very minimal dose and is unlikely to trigger or worsen your asthma problem. Moreover, since you've had only mild symptoms before (not even requiring an inhaler), there is no need to be concerned or worried about taking the prescribed dose of Propranolol.

Wish you all the best.

- Dr. Jonas Sundarakumar
Consultant Psychiatrist
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Have asthma and anxiety. Is it safe to take propranolol 10 mg? 34 hours later
Thank You for your response. I am very anxious about trying it. What side effects may I expect and are they common?
Answered by Dr. Jonas Sundarakumar 7 hours later
Hello again,

I understand that you are quite worried and anxious about the side effects. But let me first assure you firstly that Propranolol is a medication which has been around for a very long time and is still being used safely in a large number of patients. It belongs to a class of medication called beta-blockers and is commonly used as an anti-hypertensive and for cardiac problems. In the field psychiatry, it is frequently used to treat social and performance anxiety, especially to relieve the physical symptoms of anxiety like tremors, palpitations (racing heart beats), sweating, jitteriness, etc. Secondly, 10 mg is a very minimal dose, and side effects are usually seen only in higher doses. Some of the minor side effects which have been reported are tiredness, sleep disturbances, light-headedness, nausea, vomiting, bowel irregularities, sexual problems, etc. You should immediatelyseek medical attention if you have any allergic reaction to the medication or if you have symptoms like slow, irreguar heartbeats, shortness of breath, fainting, swelling of the ankles, depression, confusion, hallucinations, etc. This is just a list of possible side effects and it should be remembered that most people don't have any major problems.

Dr. Jonas Sundarakumar
Consultant Psychiatrist
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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