Nadolol, Oral Tablet

Medically reviewed by University of Illinois-Chicago, Drug Information Group on January 17, 2018Written by University of Illinois-Chicago, Drug Information Group on November 25, 2017

Highlights for nadolol

  1. Nadolol oral tablet is available as a brand-name drug and a generic drug. Brand name: Corgard.
  2. Nadolol comes only as a tablet you take by mouth.
  3. Nadolol is used to treat hypertension (high blood pressure) and angina (chest pain).

Important warnings

FDA warning: Suddenly stopping this drug

  • This drug has a black box warning. This is the most serious warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A black box warning alerts doctors and patients about drug effects that may be dangerous.
  • Suddenly stopping treatment with nadolol can cause a heart attack, stroke, irregular heartbeat, or severe high blood pressure. Your doctor will decide if you need to stop taking nadolol. Your dosage will be slowly lowered over a 1- to 2-week period, and you’ll be carefully monitored by your doctor or nurse.

Other warnings

  • Surgery warning: Tell your doctor if you’re having a major surgery. You may still take the drug, but taking it may increase your risks of low blood pressure and heart failure when receiving general anesthesia and having major surgery. Your doctor will decide if you should be slowly taken off nadolol before the surgery.
  • Drug interactions warning: Many medications interact with nadolol. Don’t start or stop taking any medications (prescription or over-the-counter) without talking to your doctor or pharmacist. For instance, don’t take cough, cold, or pain medications before asking your doctor or pharmacist. Some ingredients in these medications can increase your blood pressure.

What is nadolol?

Nadolol is a prescription drug. It comes as an oral tablet.

Nadolol is available as the brand-name drug Corgard. It’s also available in a generic version. Generic drugs usually cost less than the brand-name version. In some cases, they may not be available in every strength or form as the brand-name drug.

This drug may be used as part of a combination therapy. That means you may need to take it with other drugs.

Why it's used

Nadolol is used to treat hypertension (high blood pressure) and angina (chest pain) in people with high blood pressure, a previous heart attack, or heart failure.

How it works

Nadolol is in a class of medications called beta blockers. A class of drugs is a group of medications that work in a similar way. These drugs are often used to treat similar conditions.

Beta blockers work by lowering your heart rate and relaxing your blood vessels. This can lower your blood pressure, help your heart beat more regularly, and reduce chest pain.

Beta blockers don’t permanently change blood pressure and chest pain. Instead, they help to manage the symptoms.

Nadolol side effects

Nadolol oral tablet may cause drowsiness or dizziness. Don’t drive, use heavy machinery, or do anything that requires being mentally alert until you know how it affects you.

This drug can also cause other side effects.

More common side effects

The more common side effects that can occur with nadolol include:

  • dry, itchy skin
  • headache
  • change in sex drive or performance

Serious side effects

Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 911 if your symptoms feel life-threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency. Serious side effects and their symptoms can include the following:

  • allergic reactions, such as:
    • skin rash
    • itching
    • hives
  • tingling, numbness, or cold feeling in your hands or feet
  • wheezing or trouble breathing
  • irregular heart beat
  • slow heart rate
  • swelling of your ankles or legs

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we can not guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.

Nadolol may interact with other medications

Nadolol oral tablet can interact with other medications, vitamins, or herbs you may be taking. An interaction is when a substance changes the way a drug works. This can be harmful or prevent the drug from working well.

To help avoid interactions, your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. Be sure to tell your doctor about all medications, vitamins, or herbs you’re taking. To find out how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Examples of drugs that can cause interactions with nadolol are listed below.

Heart medications

Talk to your doctor about other medications you’re taking to control your blood pressure or heart rate. Starting, stopping, or taking other medications for blood pressure or heart rate with nadolol can cause serious side effects, such as rebound high blood pressure, heart failure, low blood pressure, slow heartbeat, or irregular heartbeat.

Examples of heart medications include:

  • amiodarone
  • clonidine
  • digoxin
  • diltiazem
  • flecainide
  • nifedipine
  • propranolol
  • sotalol
  • verapamil

Diabetes medications

Nadolol may prevent your body from controlling your blood sugar levels. Tell your doctor if you’re taking medications for diabetes. Your doctor will monitor you more closely to see how your body responds to nadolol.

Examples of diabetes medication includes:

  • glipizide
  • glyburide
  • metformin
  • insulin

Asthma/COPD medications

Don’t take nadolol if you have asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or any other chronic airway disease. Nadolol can prevent medications that treat these conditions from working as well as they should.

Examples of these drugs include:

  • albuterol
  • theophylline
  • formoterol
  • salmeterol

Mood disorder drug

Avoid taking haloperidol with nadolol. Taking these drugs together can cause your blood pressure to lower too much.

Migraine drugs

Avoid taking migraine drugs called ergot alkaloids with nadolol. Nadolol can increase the effect of ergot alkaloids in your body, causing less oxygen to go to your arms and legs.

Examples of ergot alkaloids include:

  • ergotamine
  • dihyrdoergotamine
  • methylergonovine
  • methysergide

Dementia drug

Avoid taking nadolol with rivastigmine, which is commonly used for Alzheimer’s disease. Taking these medications together can cause your heart rate to slow and possibly cause you to faint.

Allergy drug

Tell your doctor if you use epinephrine to treat allergic reactions. Treatment with nadolol may prevent your usual dose of epinephrine from working as well.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

Tell your doctor if you’re using NSAIDs to treat pain or any other condition. Taking NSAIDs with nadolol can reduce the effect of nadolol in your body. This means it won’t control your blood pressure as it should.

Examples of NSAIDs include:

  • ibuprofen
  • naproxen
  • indomethacin
  • meloxicam

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we can not guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.

Nadolol warnings

This drug comes with several warnings.

Allergy warning

Nadolol can cause a severe allergic reaction. Symptoms may include:

  • trouble breathing
  • swelling of your throat or tongue
  • fever

If you develop these symptoms, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.

Don’t take this drug again if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to it. Taking it again could be fatal (cause death).

Food interaction warning

Green tea may interfere with how well nadolol works in your body. You may need to decrease the amount of green tea you drink while taking nadolol.

Alcohol interaction warning

Consuming alcohol while taking nadolol can make you feel more dizzy or sleepy. Don’t drink alcoholic beverages while being treated with nadolol.

Warnings for people with certain health conditions

For people with heart failure: Don’t take nadolol if you have active congestive heart failure. Nadolol may make heart failure worse. If you don’t have a history of heart failure, your doctor may still treat you with nadolol, but you’ll be closely monitored for symptoms of heart failure.

For people with chronic airway disease: Don’t use nadolol if you have chronic bronchitis or emphysema. Nadolol may interfere with how well medications used to treat these conditions work.

For people with diabetes: You may not able to take nadolol if you have diabetes. Nadolol can cause your body to become less sensitive to low levels of blood sugar. This can hide the signs of low blood sugar, such as a fast heartbeat or changes in blood pressure. Nadolol can also decrease the amount of insulin your body releases if you have high blood sugar.

For people with thyroid disease: You may not be able to take nadolol if you have problems with your thyroid. Nadolol can hide the signs of too much thyroid hormone in your body, such as a fast heart rate.

For people with kidney disease: Your doctor may monitor you closely if you have kidney damage or kidney disease and are being treated with nadolol. They may also change your dosage of this drug.

For people with Raynaud’s phenomenon: Don’t use nadolol if you have Raynaud’s phenomenon or peripheral vascular disease (a disease affecting the blood vessels in your arms and legs). Taking nadolol if you have Raynaud’s or peripheral vascular disease can cause your heart not to work as well. This may cause the symptoms of Raynaud’s or peripheral vascular disease to get worse.

Warnings for other groups

For pregnant women: There are no studies of nadolol use in pregnant women. Tell your doctor if you’re pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Nadolol should only be used during pregnancy if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk.

If you become pregnant while taking this drug, call your doctor right away.

For women who are breastfeeding: Nadolol is passed through breast milk and may cause side effects in a breastfeeding child. You and your doctor may decide if you’ll take nadolol or breastfeed.

For seniors: People aged 65 years and older might have unpredictable responses to nadolol and other beta blockers. If you’re in this age range, your doctor may start you with the normal adult dosage and see how the medication affects you.

For children: It hasn’t been established that nadolol is safe and effective for use in children younger than 18 years old.

How to take nadolol

All possible dosages and forms may not be included here. Your dose, form, and how often you take it will depend on:

  • your age
  • the condition being treated
  • how severe your condition is
  • other medical conditions you have
  • how you react to the first dose

Drug forms and strengths

Generic: Nadolol

  • Form: oral tablet
  • Strengths: 20 mg, 40 mg, and 80 mg

Brand: Corgard

  • Form: oral tablet
  • Strengths: 20 mg, 40 mg, 80 mg

Dosage for angina

Adult dosage (ages 18 years and older)

  • Typical starting dosage: 40 mg taken once per day.
  • Dosage increases: Your doctor may increase your dosage by 40–80 mg per day every 3 to 7 days.
  • Maximum dosage: 240 mg per day.

Child dosage (ages 0–17 years)

A safe and effective dosage hasn’t been established for this age group.

Dosage for hypertension

Adult dosage (ages 18 years and older)

  • Typical starting dosage: 40 mg taken once per day.
  • Dosage increases: Your doctor may gradually increase your dosage by 40–80 mg per day until your blood pressure reaches the level they feel is best for you. Doses of 240–320 mg per day may be needed to control blood pressure in certain people.

Child dosage (ages 0–17 years)

A safe and effective dosage hasn’t been established for this age group.

Special dosage considerations

For people with kidney disease: You’ll be prescribed a lower dosage if you have kidney damage or kidney disease.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we can not guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.

Take as directed

Nadolol oral tablet is used for long-term treatment. It comes with risks if you don’t take it as prescribed.

If you don't take it at all: If you don’t take nadolol, your blood pressure won’t be lowered and you may be at risk for serious heart problems, such as heart attack or stroke.

If you stop taking it: Don’t stop taking nadolol without talking to your doctor. Stopping suddenly can cause serious heart problems, such as a heart attack, stroke, or irregular heartbeat.

If you take too much: You could have high levels of the drug in your body. Symptoms of an overdose of this drug can include:

  • severe low blood pressure
  • severe slowing of the heart
  • trouble breathing
  • heart failure

If you think you’ve taken too much of this drug, call your doctor or local poison control center. If your symptoms are severe, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room right away.

What to do if you miss a dose: If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. However, if it’s almost time for your next dose, take only the next dose. Don’t take extra doses or double doses to make up for any doses that you missed.

How to tell if the drug is working: This medication may not make you feel any different. But you may be able to tell it’s working if your blood pressure goes down. Your doctor will check your blood pressure and heart rate regularly.

Important considerations for taking nadolol

Keep these considerations in mind if your doctor prescribes nadolol for you.

Storage

  • Store this drug at room temperature from 68°F to 77°F (20°C to 25°C).
  • Keep this drug away from light.
  • Don’t store this medication in moist or damp areas, such as bathrooms.

Refills

A prescription for this medication is refillable. You should not need a new prescription for this medication to be refilled. Your doctor will write the number of refills authorized on your prescription.

Travel

When traveling with your medication:

  • Always carry your medication with you. When flying, never put it into a checked bag. Keep it in your carry-on bag.
  • Don’t worry about airport x-ray machines. They can’t harm your medication.
  • You may need to show airport staff the pharmacy label for your medication. Always carry the original prescription-labeled container with you.
  • Don’t put this medication in your car’s glove compartment or leave it in the car. Be sure to avoid doing this when the weather is very hot or very cold.

Clinical monitoring

Your doctor will monitor your blood pressure and heart rate regularly. Make sure to ask your doctor or nurse what your blood pressure and pulse should be if you’re checking those yourself. You may also have to get blood tests done so your doctor can see how well your kidneys and liver are working.

Are there any alternatives?

There are other drugs available to treat your condition. Some may be better suited for you than others. Talk to your doctor about other drug options that may work for you.

Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained here in is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.

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