Propranolol Withdrawal: All You Need to Know

Published on: 28 Jun 2023
Clinically Reviewed by Reshawna Chapple, PhD, LCSW
Propranolol Withdrawal

Propranolol is a beta blocker medication used to treat high blood pressure, heart failure, and some mental health conditions like anxiety. When stopping any kind of drug, it’s critical to understand the possible withdrawal side effects you might experience. You may have searched for Propranolol online to answer some questions and found that this medication is no exception. 

If you’re considering coming off this drug, read on for all the information you need about Propranolol withdrawal symptoms and Propranolol withdrawal syndrome. We’re looking at everything you need to know, from what symptoms you might experience to what a Propranolol withdrawal timeline looks like. It is possible to stop taking Propranolol safely — learn how here. 

Can Propranolol Be Stopped Cold Turkey?

It’s not recommended to stop taking Propranolol suddenly or cold turkey, as this can cause side effects, including irregular heartbeat and chest pain. Instead, your doctor will likely advise you to gradually reduce your dose over time before altogether discontinuing use.

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“Propranolol should not be stopped cold turkey. Please always discuss with your doctor if you plan not to take this medicine.”

Talkspace psychiatrist Dr. Muhammad Munir

Withdrawal Symptoms of Propranolol

The good news is that for many people, withdrawal symptoms of Propranolol are generally relatively mild, according to research. They can include queasiness, lightheadedness, migraine, sleeplessness, and a heightened feeling of unease due to abrupt changes in neural biochemistry brought on by decreasing the amount of the drug in your system.

Other possible side effects may include muscle cramps or tremors in some cases. Some people also experience:

  • Sweating
  • Anxiety
  • Shaking
  • High blood pressure
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Chest pain

It’s more common to experience Propranolol withdrawal symptoms if you were on a higher dose or took this medication for an extended period. Low doses of Propranolol are less likely to cause severe withdrawal symptoms. 

How Long Does Propranolol Withdrawal Last?

The duration of Propranolol withdrawal is contingent on multiple factors, including the time someone was taking it and their dosage before stopping. Generally speaking though, most people report feeling better within a few days after their last dose, although some may experience lingering symptoms for up to 2 weeks, depending on individual circumstances.

For some, it can take 3 – 4 weeks to come off Propranolol fully. Ultimately, the time frame depends on things like the severity of the condition being treated, dosage taken before quitting, and other factors like body chemistry and what was being treated. 

Propranolol withdrawal timeline

The timeline for withdrawal from Propranolol varies from person to person and is based on their situation. Like many medications, your doctor will help you devise a taper schedule to wean off of Propranolol slowly. 

As you taper down your dosage — often over the course of 2 – 4 weeks — your body will have time to adjust to the changing medication in your system. When you’re finally finished with your tapering and no longer taking any Propranolol, it can still take a day or 2 for the drug to be entirely out of your system. 

Make sure you’re taking any necessary precautions recommended and that you remain consistent throughout the taper schedule. Follow the post-withdrawal instructions given to you by your doctor exactly and let them know if you experience any severe symptoms.  

“Depending on the combination of medication, the duration of the medication’s treatment dose must be considered before tapering off Propranolol. Make sure you discuss this with your doctor before discontinuing the medication.”

Talkspace psychiatrist Dr. Muhammad Munir

How to Cope with a Propranolol Withdrawal

Coping with Propranolol withdrawals can be challenging, so avoiding triggers and seeking support can be key. You might find you do better if you limit or eliminate your caffeine or alcohol intake, which can exacerbate existing physical symptoms and anxiety symptoms in some people. Remaining consistent throughout treatment and seeking support from friends and family can also help. It is also important to know when to see a psychiatrist.

Take care of yourself during this process. 

  • Eat nutritionally balanced meals
  • Engage in physical activity regularly
  • Ensure adequate restorative sleep cycles
  • Deal with stress effectively by doing yoga or meditating
  • Use deep breathing techniques to calm down
  • Address any mental health conditions with a skilled provider if needed 

Self care should always be part of your strategy when you’re changing any medication. If you find you need more help than you’re getting, consider therapy. Talk therapy sessions online or via phone may provide extra comfort while navigating these challenging times — don’t hesitate to reach out if you need help. 

How to Safely Come off Propranolol

If you decide that coming off Propranolol is the right choice—either due to the side effects of Propranolol like Propranolol weight gain, or because it’s not working—please consult your healthcare provider first. They will guide you through each step safely and effectively regarding dosage tapering, lifestyle modifications, and other strategies to help you safely stop Propranolol. 

Furthermore, once you have decided to come off, always remain vigilant, monitor progress, speak openly about any concerns, seek out additional assistance if required, and celebrate successes — even small ones count.

How long does it take to come off Propranolol?

Coming off Propranolol can take between 3 – 4 weeks, depending on the severity of being treated before quitting. Everyone is different; asking your healthcare provider to estimate your situation accurately is best.

Talk with a Licensed Psychiatrist

Consulting a mental health professional can be necessary for addressing psychological health issues. Whether you seek assistance with depression, anxiety, or other mental health issues, consulting an online psychiatrist at Talkspace can offer the direction and encouragement needed to bring about positive change. 

Psychiatrists are medical doctors who specialize in diagnosing and treating mental health conditions. In addition, they have extensive training in psychotherapy and medications that can help people manage their symptoms and provide medical advice.

When coming off Propranolol, talking with a licensed psychiatrist about any concerns or questions is smart. Remember, it’s best to wean off Propranolol slowly to minimize discomfort and decrease the chance of Propranolol withdrawal symptoms. If done correctly, you should be able to safely transition from taking Propranolol without too many issues.


  1. Rangno RE. Propranolol withdrawal. Archives of Internal Medicine. 1981;141(2):161. doi:10.1001/archinte.1981.00340020023008. Accessed March 26, 2023. 

Talkspace articles are written by experienced mental health-wellness contributors; they are grounded in scientific research and evidence-based practices. Articles are extensively reviewed by our team of clinical experts (therapists and psychiatrists of various specialties) to ensure content is accurate and on par with current industry standards.

Our goal at Talkspace is to provide the most up-to-date, valuable, and objective information on mental health-related topics in order to help readers make informed decisions.

Articles contain trusted third-party sources that are either directly linked to in the text or listed at the bottom to take readers directly to the source.

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