Once-Daily Propranolol for Hypertension: A Comparison of Regular-Release, Long-Acting, and Generic Formulations


College of Pharmacy, University of Houston, Texas Medical Center, 1441 Moursund, Houston, TX 77030.


This randomized, single-blind, crossover study compared three formulations of propranolol, each given once daily for hypertension. After an initial titration phase, subjects randomly received regular-release, long-acting, or a generic propranolol formulation. Each drug was given for 4 weeks and each active treatment was separated by a washout phase to allow blood pressure to return to baseline. Twelve subjects received all three active treatments. Systolic and diastolic blood pressures and pulses were significantly reduced from baseline by all formulations. There was no significant difference among drugs. Examination of diastolic blood pressures suggested some loss of antihypertensive control at the end of the dosing interval. These results indicate that it may be possible to administer propranolol once daily for hypertension and that there is no advantage for using the long-acting form.