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21 min read

Inderal vs. Tenormin: Which Should I Take?

Written by Klarity Editorial Team

Published: Dec 2, 2022

Medically Reviewed by Dr. Zoe Russell

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Not everyone is able to take first-line anxiety medications like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) or benzodiazepines to manage anxiety symptoms. However, there are other treatment options for managing physical anxiety symptoms like a racing heart, sweating, and hyperventilating.

In this article, we’ll discuss two beta-blockers—Inderal and Tenormin—which can help treat the physical symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder and other anxiety disorders. Though beta-blockers do not address the psychological causes of anxiety, they help mute the body’s fight-or-flight response, making anxiety physically feel less severe.

We’ll discuss—

  • How beta-blockers help treat anxiety symptoms
  • What each beta-blocker treats
  • How much these beta blockers cost
  • Common side effects, drug interactions, and warnings for use
  • Plus, some frequently asked questions the providers on Klarity often receive

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Drug ClassBeta blockerBeta blocker
Brand / Generic StatusBrand name for atenololBrand name for propranolol
Form(s) of the Drug• Immediate-release tablet• Extended-release capsule
• Immediate-release tablet
• Clear, tangerine-flavored liquid suspension
Standard DosageImmediate-release tablet:
• 25 mg
• 50 mg
• 100 mg
Extended-release capsule:
• 60mg
• 80mg

Immediate-release tablet:
• 10 mg
• 20 mg
• 40 mg
• 60 mg
• 80 mg

Liquid suspension:
• 40mg
Conditions TreatedFDA-approved uses:
• High blood pressure
• Chest pain (angina)
• Post-heart attack

Off-label uses:
• Anxiety disorder
• Atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter
• Ventricular arrhythmias
• Supraventricular tachycardia
• Thyrotoxicosis
• Marfan syndrome with aortic aneurysm
• Migraine headache prevention

FDA-approved uses:
• Hypertension
• Heart attacks

Off-label uses:
• Anxiety disorder
CostBrand name:
• $392 to $432 for a 30-day supply

Generic (atenolol):
• $1 to $10 for a 30-day supply

Brand name:
• Not available for Rx

Generic (propranolol):
• $3.68 to $26.55 for a 30-day supply
Side-EffectsCommon side effects:
• Fatigue or increased drowsiness
• Vertigo
• Dizziness or lightheadedness upon standing
• GI upset
• Dry mouth
• Difficulty sleeping
• Dry mouth
• Weakness
• Runny nose
• Tinnitus
• Increased anxiety
• Muscle or joint pain
• Sexual dysfunction

Serious side effects:
• Chest pain
• Severe shortness of breath
• Irregular heartbeat
• Drops in blood pressure or heart rate
Common side effects:
• Dizziness or lightheadedness
• Nausea or vomiting
• Diarrhea or constipation
• Stomach cramping
• Insomnia
• Sore throat
• Runny nose or congestion

Serious side effects:
• Slow or uneven heartbeats
• Difficulty breathing
• Weakness or loss of coordination
• Vision problems
• Coldness in your hands or feet
• Depression
• Confusion or hallucinations
• Swelling
• Rapid weight gain
• Low blood sugar
Warnings For UseContraindicated conditions:
• AV block
• Any heart condition
• Liver or kidney disease
• Diabetes
• Overactive thyroid
• Raynaud’s syndrome

Drug interactions:
• Other hypertensive medications
• Acetylcholinesterase inhibitors
• Stimulants
• Certain diabetic medications
• Antipsychotics
• Some antibiotics
• Duloxetine or Cymbalta

Drug interactions:
• Clonazepam
• Cymbalta
• Flexeril
• Klonopin
• Prozac
• Seroquel
• Trazodone
• Xanax
• Zoloft

Tenormin and Inderal are the Same Class of Drugs (Beta-Blockers)

Tenormin and Inderal are both a part of the class of drugs called beta-blockers, also known as beta-adrenergic blocking agents.

What are β-Blockers (Beta-Blockers)?

Beta-blockers are a class of medications that work by blocking the effects of adrenaline and noradrenaline on the body’s beta receptors. These hormones, which are also known as epinephrine and norepinephrine, are released by the adrenal glands in response to stress or other stimuli, and they can increase heart rate, blood pressure, and other physiological responses.

By blocking the effects of adrenaline and noradrenaline on beta receptors, beta blockers can slow down the heart rate, reduce blood pressure, and decrease the force of the heart’s contractions. This can help to reduce the workload on the heart, which can be beneficial for people with conditions such as hypertension (high blood pressure), angina pectoris (chest pain), and certain heart conditions.

Beta-blockers can also help to reduce anxiety and tremors by blocking the effects of adrenaline on the body’s beta receptors. This is why they are sometimes used to treat conditions such as social anxiety disorder, performance anxiety, and other anxiety-related conditions.

Tenormin and Inderal Can Treat Physical Anxiety Symptoms

While Tenormin (Atenolol) and Inderal (Propranolol) don’t treat the psychological symptoms of anxiety, they can be effective off-label treatments for physical anxiety symptoms.

Physical Anxiety Symptoms

  • Rapid heartbeat or palpitations
  • Sweating
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Shortness of breath or feeling like you can’t catch your breath
  • Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
  • Feeling hot or cold
  • Stomach upset, nausea, or diarrhea
  • Muscle tension or aches
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Insomnia or other sleep disturbances

What Else Does Tenormin Treat?

Tenormin treats several different conditions, including:

  1. Hypertension (high blood pressure): Tenormin can be used to lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke, and other cardiovascular complications.
  2. Angina Pectoris: Tenormin can help to relieve the chest pain associated with angina by reducing the workload on the heart.
  3. Arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats): Tenormin can help to regulate the heart rate and rhythm in people with certain types of arrhythmias, such as atrial fibrillation.
  4. Migraine headaches: Tenormin can help to prevent migraine headaches in some people by reducing the frequency and severity of the attacks.

What Else Does Inderal Treat?

Inderal is commonly used to treat several different conditions, including:

  1. Hypertension (high blood pressure): Like Tenormin, Inderal can lower blood pressure and reduce the chances of a person having a heart attack, stroke or other cardiovascular issues.
  2. Angina: Like Tenormin, Inderal helps to relieve chest pain associated with angina by making the heart pump less forcefully.
  3. Arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats): Like Tenormin, Inderal helps regulate the heart rates of people with certain types of arrhythmias.
  4. Essential tremor: Inderal can help to reduce tremors in people with essential tremor, a neurological disorder that causes involuntary shaking.
  5. Migraine headaches: Like Tenormin, Inderal can prevent migraine headaches, reducing their frequency and severity.

Doses, Dosage Form, and Side Effects of Inderal 

Everyone may experience beta-blockers differently, so it’s important to consult your healthcare provider before taking any new medication. 

Common Inderal Doses and Forms

Inderal comes in a tablet or liquid form. Your dosage may vary depending on whether you take the extended-release tablet or the liquid. That said, your care provider may initially prescribe 40 mg to 120 mg of Inderal per day to treat your physical anxiety symptoms. 

Common Inderal Side Effects

Common side effects of Inderal include the following.

  • Dizziness
  • Tiredness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach cramps
  • Constipation
  • Insomnia
  • Runny nose
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Hoarse voice

If you experience any of the following serious side effects, contact your healthcare provider immediately.

  • Slow heartbeats
  • Lightheadedness
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Sudden weakness
  • Vision problems
  • Loss of coordination
  • Depression
  • Confusion or hallucinations
  • Swelling
  • Rapid weight gain
  • Low blood sugar

If you stop taking Inderal abruptly, it can increase your blood pressure. Consult your healthcare provider before you stop taking Inderal in order to avoid adverse side effects and safely taper off the medication. 

How Much Does Inderal Cost?

The cost of Inderal depends on your prescribed dose, your insurance coverage, and the pharmacy you use. You can expect to pay anywhere from $5.93 to $13.09 for 30 tablets of 40 mg. 

Licensed providers on Klarity provide personalized treatment. Find a provider that matches your needs and preferences.

Doses, Dosage Form, and Side Effects of Tenormin  

As Tenormin comes in various doses and forms, you must consult your healthcare provider before taking it to avoid any adverse side effects. 

Common Tenormin Doses and Forms

Tenormin is typically prescribed as a tablet, although it can be administered intravenously as a solution. Your dose will vary depending on your symptoms and the recommendation of your care provider. That said, you can expect to take between 50 mg to 100 mg per day. 

Common Tenormin Side Effects

You may experience the following common side effects when taking Tenormin.

  • Dizziness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Tiredness
  • Nausea
  • Depression
  • Slower heart rate
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Impotence
  • Difficulty orgasming
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Mild shortness of breath

If you experience the following serious side effects, contact emergency services immediately.

  • Heart arrhythmias
  • Hypotension
  • Angina pectoris
  • Pulmonary emboli
  • Bronchospasm

Do not stop taking Tenormin without consulting your care provider. If you suddenly stop taking Tenormin, it can result in high blood pressure, heart attack, or other complications. 

How Much Does Tenormin Cost?

How much you’ll pay for Tenormin depends on your prescribed dose, insurance coverage, and the specific pharmacy you use. You can typically expect to pay anywhere from $3.71 to $10.86 for 30 tablets at 50 mg.

Common Beta-Blocker Drug Interactions

Tenormin (atenolol), Inderal (propranolol), and other beta-blockers can interact with other medications, including prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, and herbal supplements, and cause adverse effects.

Here are some examples of drugs that may interact with beta-blockers:

  1. Calcium channel blockers: Taking beta blockers with calcium channel blockers, which are used to treat hypertension and angina, can increase the risk of heart failure and other cardiovascular complications.
  2. Digoxin: Beta blockers can increase the concentration of digoxin in the blood, which can increase the risk of digoxin toxicity.
  3. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): Taking NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen or naproxen, with beta-blockers can increase the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding and other complications.
  4. Insulin and other diabetes medications: Beta blockers can mask some of the symptoms of low blood sugar, which can make it more difficult to manage diabetes. People taking beta-blockers may need to monitor their blood sugar levels more closely and adjust their medication doses as needed.
  5. Antidepressants: Some types of antidepressants, such as tricyclic antidepressants and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), can interact with beta-blockers and increase the risk of side effects such as low blood pressure and dizziness.
  6. Other medications: Other medications that can interact with beta-blockers include anti-seizure medications, blood thinners, and some types of antibiotics.

Do I Need A Prescription for Tenormin or Inderal?

Yes, you need a prescription for Tenormin and Inderal. It’s illegal in the US to sell either beta blocker without a prescription, so source your medications from trusted pharmacies to ensure your safety. Pharmacies must adhere to certain health standards, which helps you avoid ingesting anything that will have adverse effects.

Beta-Blocker Drug Warnings

Here are some of the most important drug warnings for taking beta blockers:

  1. Do not stop taking beta blockers suddenly: Stopping beta blockers suddenly can lead to a rebound effect, causing a sudden increase in heart rate and blood pressure. This can be dangerous, especially for people with pre-existing heart conditions.
  2. Use with caution in people with asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD): Beta blockers can cause narrowing of the airways, which can worsen breathing problems in people with asthma or COPD.
  3. Use with caution in people with diabetes: Beta blockers can mask some of the symptoms of low blood sugar, such as tremors and rapid heartbeat. This can make it more difficult for people with diabetes to recognize and manage low blood sugar levels.
  4. May cause dizziness or fatigue: Beta blockers can cause dizziness, fatigue, and other side effects that can affect your ability to perform certain activities, such as driving or operating heavy machinery.
  5. Use with caution in people with certain heart conditions: Beta blockers can slow down the heart rate, which can be dangerous in people with certain heart conditions, such as heart block or bradycardia.
  6. Can interact with other medications: Beta blockers can interact with other medications, including over-the-counter medications, herbal supplements, and prescription drugs. It’s important to tell your healthcare provider about all the medications you are taking before starting beta blockers.
  7. May mask symptoms of thyroid problems: Beta blockers can mask some of the symptoms of hyperthyroidism, a condition in which the thyroid gland produces too much thyroid hormone.

It’s important to talk to your healthcare provider about any potential risks and side effects associated with beta-blockers, as well as any other medications you are taking.

Inderal and Tenormin Frequently Asked Questions

What is Inderal?

Inderal is a beta blocker most commonly used to treat shaking, angina, high blood pressure, heart rhythm abnormalities, and other circulatory problems. This medication is also prescribed for physical anxiety symptoms. 

What is Tenormin?

Tenormin is a beta blocker that’s typically prescribed for high blood pressure. This medication is also used off-label for certain symptoms of anxiety disorders like racing heartbeat, sweating, and shaking.

Are Inderal, Tenormin, and other Beta-Blockers the same drug?

While Inderal and Tenormin are part of the same drug class, they are not the same medication. Each has different doses and side effects associated with its use and should only be taken exactly as your healthcare provider prescribes. 

What’s better for anxiety? Inderal or Tenormin?

While both can be effective in treating physical symptoms of anxiety, Inderal is generally the preferred beta blocker for anxiety symptoms over Tenormin.

Can I drink alcohol on Inderal or Tenormin?

Alcohol interacts with Inderal and Tenormin and can increase the risk of negative side effects. Talk with your care provider before mixing alcohol and beta-blockers. 

Does it matter what time of day I take Inderal or Tenormin?

Both medications can make you drowsy, so your healthcare provider may recommend taking your initial dose before bed until you understand how your body reacts. You may also be prescribed a beta blocker to take on an “as needed” basis, like before a social situation or presentation, where you are expected to have physical symptoms of anxiety. It’s not always prescribed to be taken every day. 

How Klarity Helps You Access Online Anxiety Treatment Fast

Finding the right treatment for your anxiety disorder can be overwhelming, especially when you have to schedule appointments, take off work, and commute to a clinic just to receive treatment. 

Klarity has a solution that bypasses all the waiting and hassle.Book an appointment on Klarity. We’ll connect you with an anxiety-trained medical provider who can diagnose and prescribe treatment in 48 hours or less


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