Propranolol (brand name Inderal, InderalXL) is a type of medication known as a beta blocker and is often used to decrease the workload on the heart. Developed in the 1960s, propranolol was the first beta blocker used to treat chest pain from heart disease—this was so revolutionary that the inventor, Sir James Black, won the Nobel prize for his discovery. Other examples of beta blockers include atenolol (brand name Tenormin), metoprolol (brand name Lopressor, Toprol XL), Nadolol (brand name Corgard), and Nebivolol (brand name Bystolic). Here’s more on what you need to know about propranolol, its primary uses, and what side effects to be aware of before taking the drug.

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