Hypertension Channel
Topics
Medications
Quicklinks
Related Channels

Understanding How Propranolol/HCTZ Works and Pediatric Uses

How Does This Medication Work?

Because propranolol/HCTZ combines two blood pressure drugs, it works in two different ways to lower blood pressure.
 
Propranolol, one of the components, is a beta-adrenergic blocking agent, or beta blocker for short. Beta blockers work by blocking beta receptors. These receptors are located in a number of places within the body, including the heart and blood vessels. Normally, when stress hormones (such as adrenaline) bind to beta blockers, certain reactions occur in the body, such as an increase in:
 
  • Heart rate
  • Blood pressure
  • The force with which the heart pumps blood.
 
By blocking beta receptors, propranolol causes the reverse effect of stress hormones. It decreases heart rate, blood pressure, and the workload on the heart, so the heart requires less oxygen and blood to work properly.
 
Propranolol also blocks beta receptors in the lungs. This can cause the air passages in the lungs (the bronchi) to narrow, leading to breathing problems, especially in people with emphysema, asthma, or other breathing difficulties. This is why propranolol may not be a good choice for people with breathing problems.
 
Hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ), the other component, is a diuretic or "water pill." It works by increasing the amount of salt and water the kidneys remove from the blood. This extra salt and water is then passed out through the urine. This action decreases blood volume, resulting in lower blood pressure.
 

Is Propranolol/HCTZ Safe for Children?

Propranolol/HCTZ is not approved for use in children (usually defined as people younger than 18 years of age). It has not been adequately studied in this age group; therefore, it is unknown if the medication is safe and effective for children.
 
Ouch! 6 Types of Pain You Might Experience When Getting a Stent

Propranolol/HCTZ Drug Information

Terms of Use
Advertise with Us
Contact Us
About eMedTV
Privacy Policy
Copyright © 2006-2017 Clinaero, Inc.
eMedTV serves only as an informational resource. This site does not dispense medical advice or advice of any kind. Site users seeking medical advice about their specific situation should consult with their own physician. Click Terms of Use for more information.