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Nadolol is a medication referred to as a beta blocker. In addition, nadolol is used in the treatment of high blood pressure, migraine headaches and tachycardia, otherwise known as rapid heartbeat. Also, known as Corgard®, nadolol is sometimes given for anxiety and stage fright. Nadolol and other beta blocker medications are often given to patients who have recently suffered a heart attack, because it is thought that these medications can prevent a secondary heart attack from occurring.
Frequently, nadolol is prescribed for people who experience angina pectoris, or chest pain, because this medication reduces the workload of the heart and allows it to work more effectively. Although generally mild and temporary, nadolol can have significant side effects that can even cause people to abandon treatment. Sometimes, side effects are so bothersome, people seek treatment for them at the emergency room.
Side effects of nadolol include fatigue, drowsiness, and significant drop in blood pressure. Although lowering high blood pressure is the desired effect of this medication, the blood pressure can drop so low as to cause hypotension. This condition can cause the individual to feel as if he is going to faint and can cause extreme lightheadedness and dizziness. This can be a dangerous situation when driving or operating machinery, and should be reported to the physician immediately.
In rare occasions, nadalol can cause difficulty breathing and wheezing, and can cause swelling of the ankles, feet, and hands. Although unlikely, these side effects need to be reported so that another treatment plan can begin. Most of the time, however, patients experience welcome relief from symptoms of rapid heartbeat, migraines, and anxiety. This medication is relatively safe and has been in use for many years.
Sometimes, taking nadolol can mask symptoms of low blood sugar such as fast heart rate. This is especially true in the diabetic patient, and should be discussed with the physician before beginning treatment. In addition, the physician might recommend that the diabetic patient increase the times that he checks his blood glucose levels. Also, abruptly stopping this medication can cause an increased risk in heart attack and the medicine should only be discontinued upon the advice of a physician who can gradually taper the dosage.
Beta blockers significantly lower blood pressure, so people are advised to change position slowly and not over exert themselves when exercising. In addition, people who take beta blockers need to have routine medical examinations that include blood pressure testing, and sometimes cardiac tests such as an electrocardiograms and echocardiograms. An echocardiogram is heart test that uses ultrasound technology to generate pictures of the heart and neighboring structures. If the results are abnormal, beta blockers may be warranted.