Oxprenolol is used to treat a number of different conditions. If you are unsure why you are taking it, speak with your doctor.

Treatment with oxprenolol is usually long-term. Do not stop taking it without speaking to your doctor first as this can cause problems.

The most common side-effects are dry mouth, constipation and feeling tired.

About oxprenolol

Type of medicine A beta-adrenoceptor blocking drug (often referred to as a beta-blocker)
Used for Hypertension (high blood pressure)
Angina (chest pain)
Arrhythmias (irregular heartbeat)
Also called Slow-Trasicor® (modified-release tablets)
Available as Tablets and modified-release tablets

Oxprenolol belongs to the group of medicines known as beta-blockers. It is used to treat a number of different problems.

Oxprenolol slows down the activity of your heart by stopping messages sent by some nerves to your heart. It does this by blocking tiny areas (called beta-adrenergic receptors) where the messages are received by your heart. As a result, your heart beats more slowly and with less force. This allows the pressure of blood within your blood vessels to be reduced and helps to prevent abnormally fast heart rhythms. Because your heart is using less energy, this also helps to reduce angina pain.

Anxiety can cause physical symptoms such as a fast heartbeat and palpitations. Because oxprenolol slows your heart rate, it eases these symptoms. Oxprenolol wil not help to relieve the emotional symptoms of anxiety such as stress and fear - these will be treated separately.

Before taking oxprenolol

Some medicines are not suitable for people with certain conditions, and sometimes a medicine may only be used if extra care is taken. For these reasons, before you start taking oxprenolol it is important that your doctor or pharmacist knows:

  • If you are pregnant, trying for a baby or breast-feeding.
  • If you have asthma or breathing difficulties.
  • If you have liver problems.
  • If you have low blood pressure or poor circulation.
  • If you have diabetes.
  • If you have psoriasis (a skin problem).
  • If you have myasthenia gravis (a condition causing muscle weakness).
  • If you have been told you have a slow heartbeat, heart failure, or heart block (a slow and irregular heartbeat).
  • If you have been told you have Prinzmetal's angina (chest pain caused by spasms of the heart's blood vessels).
  • If you have phaeochromocytoma (a tumour on your adrenal gland).
  • If you are taking other medicines, including those available to buy without a prescription, herbal and complementary medicines.
  • If you have ever had an allergic reaction to a medicine, or if you have ever had any other severe allergic reaction.

How to take oxprenolol

  • Before you start this treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside the pack. The leaflet will give you more information about oxprenolol and a full list of side-effects which you may experience from taking it.
  • Take oxprenolol exactly as your doctor has told you. Your dose will depend upon the type of tablets you are taking and the reason for you taking them, but as a guide, it is usual to take oxprenolol 1-3 times daily. Your doctor or pharmacist will tell you what the right dose is for you and this dose will also be on the label of your pack to remind you.
  • Try to take your doses of oxprenolol at the same times each day. This will help you to remember to take them.
  • If you are taking the modified-release form of oxprenolol (Slow-Trasicor®), it is important that you swallow the tablets whole. Do not chew or crush them.
  • You can take oxprenolol before or after meals.
  • If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember (unless it is nearly time for your next dose, in which case leave out the missed dose). Do not take two doses together to make up for a forgotten dose.

Getting the most from your treatment

  • Try to keep your regular appointments with your doctor. This is so your doctor can check on your progress.
  • It is very important that you follow any dietary and lifestyle advice you have been given by your doctor, such as eating a healthy diet, not smoking, and taking regular exercise.
  • If you drink alcohol, ask your doctor for advice about taking oxprenolol and alcohol. Alcohol will add to the blood pressure lowering effect of oxprenolol, which will make you feel dizzy and may not be recommended for you.
  • If you have diabetes you may need to check your blood glucose more frequently, as oxprenolol may affect the levels of sugar in your blood. It also may block the symptoms of low blood sugar. Your doctor will be able to advise you about this.
  • If you are having an operation or dental treatment, tell the person carrying out the treatment that you are taking oxprenolol. This is particularly important if you are likely to be given an anaesthetic.
  • Treatment with oxprenolol is usually long-term (except if you are taking it for anxiety) so continue to take these tablets unless your doctor tells you to stop. Stopping treatment suddenly can cause problems in some people, so your doctor will probably want you to reduce your dose gradually if this is necessary.
  • If you buy any medicines, check with a pharmacist that they are suitable to take with oxprenolol. This is because some medicines (including some anti-inflammatory painkillers) may affect the way oxprenolol works.

Can oxprenolol cause problems?

Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. These usually improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following side-effects continue or become troublesome.

Common oxprenolol side-effects - these affect less than 1 in 10 people who take this medicine What can I do if I experience this?
Feeling tired or dizzy If this happens, do not drive or use tools or machines until you feel better
Feeling or being sick Stick to simple meals - avoid rich and spicy foods. If you are not already doing so, try taking your doses after meals
Dry mouth Try sucking sugar-free gum or sweets. Drink plenty of water
Constipation Drink plenty of water and eat a well-balanced diet
Headache Ask your pharmacist to recommend a suitable painkiller
Feeling short of breath If this happens, speak with your doctor as soon as possible

Cold extremities (fingers, toes and nose), feeling depressed, nightmares or disturbed sleep, reduced desire for sex

If any of these become troublesome, speak with your doctor

If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to this medicine, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.

How to store oxprenolol

  • Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
  • Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.