Oxprenolol

A beta-adrenergic blocking agent prescribed to reduce angina attacks, stabilize an irregular heartbeat, lower blood pressure, and reduce the occurrence of vascular headaches.

Effects: It has been shown to reduce phobias and eliminate anxiety.

Precautions: It is not taken by anyone with an allergy to any beta-adrenergic blocker; by those with hypotension, as it lowers blood pressure, aggravates any condition of congestive heart failure, produces tingling in the extremities, and light-headedness; by those with asthma, pollen allergies, upper respiratory disease, or arterial spasms; or by those who have taken MAO inhibitors or other psychiatric or psychotropic drugs within the preceding two weeks. It is used by those who have chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (e.g., asthma, bronchitis, hay fever, or emphysema), diabetes or hypoglycemia, kidney or liver problems, heart disease or poor circulation in the limbs, an overactive thyroid function, or surgery within the previous two months (including dental surgery) that requires general or spinal anesthesia.

For those over age 60, the side effects maybe more severe and frequent. Prolonged use can weaken the heart muscles, and it may mask symptoms of hypoglycemia or alter the results of some medical tests.

Common side effects include a pulse rate slower than 50 beats per minute, diarrhea, dizziness, drowsiness, fatigue, nausea, numbness or tingling in the fingers and toes, weakness, cold hands or feet, and dryness of the eyes, mouth, and skin. Less common side effects include hallucinations, nightmares, insomnia, headaches, breathing difficulties, joint pain, anxiety, chest pain, confusion, lack of alertness, depression, impotence, abdominal pain, and constipation. Rare symptoms include rash, sore throat, fever, unexplained bleeding or bruising, and dry burning eyes.

There is an enhanced beta blocker effect when combined with betaxolol eyedrops or Levobunolol eyedrops, and a diminished beta blocker effect when combined with Dextrothyroxine or Indomethacin. It can intensify the effects of antidiabetics, antihypertensives, barbiturates, insulin, and narcotics, and can lessen the effects of antihistamines and beta-agonists. It can decrease the effectiveness of Digitalis if taken for congestive heart failure, but increase its effectiveness if taken for any other medical reason.

There is an increased drop in blood pressure when taken with alcohol, calcium channel blockers, Clonidine, Diazoxide, or Guanabenz. When combined with angiotensin-converting (ACE) inhibitors or nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), it could increase the antihypertensive effect of one or both drugs; with Encainide, it could damage the heart muscle; with Molindone, there could be an increased tranquilizer effect; with MAO inhibitors, there could be a rise in blood pressure if the latter is discontinued; with cocaine, there could be an irregular heartbeat and a decreased beta-adrenergic effect; with daily marijuana use, there could be circulation problems in the hands and feet; and with tobacco, there could be an irregular heartbeat. It may also interact with certain ingredients in over-the-counter cold, cough, and allergy remedies.

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