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  • Inderal LA (Propranolol) - Can it cause "Weight Gain, Insomnia, Hair Loss, Memory..."

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    Old 11-25-2007, 02:16 AM   #1
    Join Date: Jun 2002
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    Just-A-Boy HB User
    Question Inderal LA (Propranolol) - Can it cause "Weight Gain, Insomnia, Hair Loss, Memory..."

    In early January 2006, my grandmother died from ovarian cancer. It was very difficult for me and began to experience moderate depression. On February 2006, I decided to see my doctor, at that time I was 20 years old, so I was still seeing my pediatrician of 5 years. She ran several tests and results indicated that my thyroid hormone T3 was elevated. However, my T3 levels were always elevated since I was 14. My doctor was also concerned with my blood pressure readings. My blood pressure was 135/85, 145/110/, 150/111. These were various results recorded by the nurse during my appointment visits.

    I was sent to see an endocrinologist. With his 40 years of expertise, he was unable to conclude why only my T3 levels were elevated while T4 and THS levels were normal.

    My pediatrician recommended that I take radioactive iodine to destroy my thyroid and take thyroid hormones for rest of my life. I refused such treatment since only one thyroid hormone (T3) was elevated. She prescribed Inderal 10-mg 2-3 times a day and that I also see a psychiatrist to help me cope. For 6 months, I saw my pediatrician and psychiatrist. I began to notice that I am unable to fall asleep at night. So my psychiatrist prescribed Seroquel 25-mg for sleep since my insurance refused to cover Ambien CR and Lunesta. And then my prescription for Inderal was switched to Inderal LA 80-mg because my psychiatrist felt it would help me better by reducing anxiety. I discontinued Seroquel after one-week since it caused me to oversleep (I would sometimes sleep for 16 to 20 hours a day).

    After I turned 21 on May, 2007, I was transferred to a new medical doctor by my pediatrician since I was considered an adult. My psychiatrist moved to another state and advised that I continue my treatment with Inderal LA. On August 2007, I was scheduled an appointment with my new doctor, unfortunately, I missed it.

    Now you probably wonder... what am I complaining about?

    Well, I been on Inderal LA 80-mg for 17 months. I have gained 45 pounds. I am 5’6 and I weight 195 pounds. My hair to great extent has thinned. My sleep has not improved. I’ve lost 2 jobs due to my insomnia. And plus being a college student, my unstable sleep cycle interferes with my ability to study and at times I experience short memory problems. And it all seems to happen after I started Inderal to treat my high blood pressure presumably due to elevated thyroid function. My pediatrician and psychiatrist felt my weight gain and irregular sleep pattern was due to depression. However, I was never severely depressed and I’ve always eaten healthy.

    I’ve done some research on the internet on beta-blockers. I’ve found that beta-blockers may cause weight gain and alter sleep patterns. I was also surprised to find that certain beta-blockers may cause diabetes. Most of my family members from my father’s and mother’s side have had high blood pressure and diabetes but never elevated thyroid function. Plus gaining weight on Inderal LA is not improving my blood pressure and no diet is effective since I have insomnia. My pharmacist recommended that I talk to my new doctor about upping my dose for Inderal LA to 120-mg if my blood pressure continues to be high. But so far my BP is good... its always around 124/85.

    I am going to see my new doctor next month. First thing I am going to say is that I want to discontinue my treatment with Inderal LA. I don’t know what her reaction is going to be like. But so far, I feel like Inderal LA has been responsible for the weight gain, my inability to sleep at night and hair thinning.

    If anyone has any advice for me... please post them. I need as much information as possible.

    May 2006 - my weight is 155.
    Jean/Pants waist size - 30 or 32.
    December 2007 - my weight is 195.
    Jean/Pants waist size - 36 or 38.

    Last edited by Just-A-Boy; 11-25-2007 at 02:42 AM.

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    Old 11-25-2007, 10:03 AM   #2
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    Re: Inderal LA (Propranolol) - Can it cause "Weight Gain, Insomnia, Hair Loss, Memory


    I am so sorry to hear about your problems. It's hardly fair that at your age you've been through so much!
    Beta blockers, especially a high dose, will cause all of the problems you described and then some! Why haven't you tried other blood pressure medication? You can get the same results with other drugs, and with fewer side effects. I know there are other medical issues for your doctors to consider when choosing your therapy. Surely, there are other drugs besides the beta blockers that can help regulate your thyroid. As for your pharmacists' suggestion to increase your current dose of the beta blocker - let's hope your new doctor disagrees!!! Make sure to mention all of your side effects to him!

    If your blood pressure readings are in the range you indicated, your blood pressure is well controlled. The same degree of control can be achieved with an ACE inhibitor or an ARB and a low dose of Hctz. Weaning off of the beta blockers can be tough, especially for people on high doses. It can only be done gradually and under the supervision of your doctor. I had heart rhythm irregularities and chest pain (scary), as well as a 24/7 headache. The headache was pretty bad and lasted six weeks. I am on a different type of a beta blocker now. Some are OK in smaller doses.

    What is really important is to research any drug before we start using it. When we know what to watch for, we can recognize any adverse reactions or side effects early on. Medications are never benign. Most have significant and immediate effects on more than just the one body system they are meant to affect. Having a new doctor could be the best thing for you. Make sure to keep your next appointment!

    Good luck!


    Last edited by flowergirl2day; 11-25-2007 at 10:07 AM. Reason: spelling

    Old 12-01-2007, 04:23 AM   #3
    Join Date: Jun 2002
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    Question Re: Inderal LA (Propranolol) - Can it cause "Weight Gain, Insomnia, Hair Loss, Memory

    Thank you for your response flowergirl2day.

    To be honest, I love Inderal LA but I hate its side effects. With Inderal LA, I no longer have social anxiety. I can get in front of the class and talk and participate in groups without having severe anxiety.

    But I was wondering do you think it be much better for me to switch to Metaprolol or Atenolol? And after sometime switch to CCB, ACE, etc... drugs.

    Last edited by Just-A-Boy; 12-01-2007 at 04:25 AM.

    Old 12-01-2007, 05:04 AM   #4
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    Re: Inderal LA (Propranolol) - Can it cause "Weight Gain, Insomnia, Hair Loss, Memory

    If you just want to get the "social" benefits of Inderal you can use it for certain situations only. This would relieve most of the side effects. But in this case you wouldn't want to use Inderal L.A. because that is a slow release version. You would want standard propanolol. I've used it on rare occasions for similar reasons with no problems.

    This is another very good example of the drug being worse than the condition it was prescribed for. Your blood pressure did not call for medication, especially since it could very well have been stress-induced!

    I'm not trying to give medical advice. You may have circumstances that only a doctor is qualified to evaluate. But you can easily make the case that blood pressure medication is way over-prescribed and much more problematic than either doctors or drug companies let on.

    My advice is to make every effort to get away from Inderal and any other bp medication unless a doctor can make an indisputable case for it based on your health assessment. You can always get a second opinion too.

    Do some research on how to use your lifestyle to be fit and healthy and to resist high blood pressure naturally. You're young enough to affect positive changes that will affect the rest of your life without unnecessary drugs.

    Last edited by moderator2; 12-01-2007 at 06:13 AM. Reason: posted commercial website

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