Nadolol - Oral

Warning:

Do not abruptly stop taking nadolol. Abruptly discontinuing this medication can cause rebound tachycardia (fast heart rate), high blood pressure, and ischemia. Your healthcare provider should gradually lower your dose to safely discontinue your treatment.

What Is Nadolol?

Nadolol is a prescription medication that has been approved for maintenance treatment of high blood pressure and angina (chest pain). The brand of Corgard, which was available in tablet form to be taken orally, is no longer manufactured. The generic form, nadolol, is available as a prescription tablet. 

This medication is a beta-blocker that binds to the beta 1 receptors on the heart muscle and the beta 2 receptors of the blood vessels and the bronchi (airways). These actions cause nadolol to slow the heart rate and lower blood pressure.

Drug Facts

Generic Name: Nadolol

Brand Name(s): Corgard (no longer available)

Drug Availability: Prescription

Administration Route: Oral

Therapeutic Classification: Cardiovascular agent

Available Generically: Yes

Controlled Substance: N/A

Active Ingredient: Nadolol

Dosage Form(s): Tablet

What Is Nadolol Used For?

Nadolol is approved for:

  • Long-term treatment for people who have experienced angina pectoris: This is a type of chest pain that is an indication of coronary artery disease. Angina is considered a sign that a person is at risk of having a heart attack. 
  • Long-term management of hypertension (high blood pressure): Healthcare providers may prescribe nadolol with or without another antihypertensive (blood pressure lowering) medication. Nadololol is also commonly prescribed with a thiazide-type diuretic (water pill).

This medication is not used for emergency treatment or to stop symptoms while they are happening.

Naldolol Drug Information: A person with their heart

Verywell / Zoe Hansen

How to Take Nadolol

Take nadolol as prescribed, usually once a day, with or without food.

Storage

Keep this medication in its original container and out of the reach of children or pets. 

Store it at room temperature (between 68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit). Avoid exposing your medication to excessive heat and keep it protected from light.

Off-Label Uses

Healthcare providers may prescribe nadolol for off-label uses, meaning for conditions not specifically indicated by the FDA, due to its beta-blocking activity.

Off label uses of nadolol include:

  • Long QT syndrome: A heart condition that causes an irregular heartbeat 
  • Pediatric subglottic hemangioma: A congenital (from birth) blood vessel growth in the throat that can block the airways 
  • Redness of the face associated with blood vessel changes in rosacea (a skin condition)

If you or your child is prescribed this medication for an off-label indication, your dose might differ from the standard dose used to manage angina or high blood pressure.

How Long Does Nadolol Take to Work?

Nadolol can have effects right away. It takes six to nine days to reach a steady state in which its action will stabilize.

What Are the Side Effects of Nadolol?

Nadolol can cause a variety of side effects that are related to its beta-receptor blocking action. Some side effects can be bothersome, and some may pose a danger to your health. Therefore, you must become aware of the potential side effects, so you will be able to get treatment or medical attention if needed.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. A healthcare provider can advise you on side effects. If you experience other effects, contact your healthcare provider. You may report side effects to the FDA at fda.gov/medwatch or 1-800-FDA-1088.

Common Side Effects

The most common side effects of nadolol are: 

  • Slow heart rate
  • Dizziness 
  • Tiredness 
  • Nausea 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Abdominal discomfort 
  • Constipation 
  • Indigestion
  • Decreased appetite 
  • Boating 
  • Passing gas
  • Fever
  • Sore throat 
  • Difficulty sleeping

Talk to your healthcare provider if you experience any side effects while taking nadolol. Many of these side effects can be managed with lifestyle modifications or medication.

Severe Side Effects

Nadolol can cause severe side effects for some people.

Serious side effects include: 

  • Anaphylactic reaction: This can cause difficulty breathing, rash, and blood pressure changes. Sometimes the standard treatment for the anaphylactic reaction may not be effective, and repeat treatment might be necessary. 
  • Trouble breathing
  • Decreased level of consciousness 
  • Vision changes 
  • Hallucinations 
  • Disorientation 
  • Memory loss 
  • Emotional changes 
  • Blood flow changes in the intestines can cause abdominal discomfort or pain 
  • Liver damage 
  • Blood clotting problems 
  • Pemphigoid rash, which causes skin blisters and redness
  • Peyronie’s disease, or scarring of the penis that causes it to bend

These conditions can be dangerous for your health. Get medical attention if you develop symptoms.

Long-Term Side Effects

The effects of nadolol should wear off within a few days after you stop taking it. The consequences of side effects may last longer if you have experienced organ damage or other serious harm to your body.

Report Side Effects

Nadolol may cause other side effects. Call your healthcare provider if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.

If you experience a serious side effect, you or your healthcare provider may send a report to the FDA's MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting Program or by phone (800-332-1088).

Dosage: How Much Nadolol Should I Take?

Drug Content Provided and Reviewed by IBM Micromedex®

The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

  • For oral dosage form (tablets):
    • For high blood pressure:
      • Adults—At first, 40 milligrams (mg) once a day. Your doctor may increase your dose if needed.
      • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor .
    • For severe chest pain:
      • Adults—At first, 40 milligrams (mg) once a day. Your doctor may increase your dose if needed.
      • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor .

Modifications

Your nadolol dose may need to be adjusted if you have kidney failure. Typically, the dose adjustment is made by spacing out each dose at longer intervals than every 24 hours based on a decrease in creatinine clearance, a measure of kidney function.

Missed Dose

If you miss your scheduled dose of nadolol, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, you should take your next dose without doubling up on doses and then resume your regular schedule.

Overdose: What Happens If I Take Too Much Nadolol?

Taking an excess amount of nadolol can cause harm to your health. An overdose may require treatment, depending on the effects.

Symptoms of overdose and the treatments you might receive for them include:

  • Low heart rate: Treated with atropine
  • Heart failure: Treated with digitalis glycoside and a diuretic
  • Low blood pressure: Treated with vasopressors, such as epinephrine or levarterenol
  • Spasm of the airways: Treated with a beta2-stimulating agent and/or a theophylline derivative

A hemodialysis procedure or gastric lavage can sometimes remove nadolol from the body in the event of an overdose.

What Happens If I Overdose on Nadolol?

If you think you or someone else may have overdosed on nadolol, call a healthcare provider or the Poison Control Center (800-222-1222).

If someone collapses or isn't breathing after taking nadolol, call 911 immediately.

Precautions

Drug Content Provided and Reviewed by IBM Micromedex®

It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure this medicine is working properly and to check for unwanted effects .

Nadolol may cause heart failure in some patients. Check with your doctor right away if you are having chest pain or discomfort; dilated neck veins; extreme fatigue; irregular breathing; an irregular heartbeat; shortness of breath; swelling of the face, fingers, feet, or lower legs; weight gain; or wheezing .

This medicine may cause changes in your blood sugar levels. Also, this medicine may cover up signs of low blood sugar, such as a rapid pulse rate. Check with your doctor if you have these problems or if you notice a change in the results of your blood or urine sugar tests .

Make sure any doctor or dentist who treats you knows that you are using this medicine. You may need to stop using this medicine several days before having surgery .

What Are Reasons I Shouldn’t Take Nadolol?

You would not be prescribed nadolol if you have any of the following conditions:

  • Bronchial asthma
  • Sinus bradycardia 
  • Greater than first-degree conduction block
  • Cardiogenic shock
  • Heart failure 
  • Pheochromocytoma
  • A history of an allergic reaction to this medication

What Other Medications Interact With Nadolol?

Nadolol can have a number of potential drug interactions. If you need to use nadolol with a drug that can cause an interaction, your healthcare provider will monitor you for any side effects.

Drug interactions can occur if you take nadolol with:

  • Anesthetics: If you take nadolol, anesthetic medication given for surgery can lower your blood pressure. Your healthcare provider will let you know if you need any medication adjustments prior to your surgery.
  • Medications used to treat diabetes (e.g., oral agents and insulin): Nadolol can alter your glucose level when taken with these drugs.
  • Reserpine: When used together, the combination can cause low blood pressure or slow heart rate.
  • Digitalis glycosides: The combination of the two medications can slow heart rate.

What Medications Are Similar?

There are many different types of medications that are prescribed for managing high blood pressure.

Other beta-blockers used for maintaining optimal blood pressure include: 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is nadolol used for?

    Nadolol is prescribed for the treatment of hypertension and angina, a type of chest pain that occurs due to coronary artery disease.

  • How does nadolol work?

    Nadolol is a beta-blocker. It inhibits the beta 1 receptors in the heart muscle and the beta 2 receptors of the blood vessels to prevent their activation.

  • What drugs should not be taken with nadolol?

    This medication can interact with anesthetics, medications used to treat diabetes, reserpine, and digitalis glycosides. Your healthcare provider may monitor you for the effects of interactions if you have to use nalodol with any of these other drugs.

  • What are the side effects of nadolol?

    Common side effects include fatigue, dizziness, nausea, constipation, diarrhea, indigestion, and bloating. Serious symptoms can also occur and may include difficulty breathing, bleeding problems, hallucinations, liver problems, and more.

  • How do I safely stop taking nadolol?

    You should not stop taking this medication suddenly. Stopping can lead to high blood pressure and a risk of heart attack. If you need to stop taking this medication, your healthcare provider will give you a schedule to decrease your dose gradually and/or replace it with another medication to manage your condition.

How Can I Stay Healthy While Taking Nadolol?

While you are taking nadolol, it’s important to maintain healthy life habits to prevent high blood pressure and heart disease. This includes not smoking, getting regular exercise, avoiding processed or high-fat foods, staying at a healthy weight, and keeping your blood sugar in check if you have diabetes.

Be sure to tell your healthcare provider if you experience any chest pain, shortness of breath, or dizziness, as these can be signs of a heart attack.

Tell your healthcare provider if you develop mild side effects of nadolol. Have a plan in place so you and whoever you live with will know what to do if you have an emergency.

Medical Disclaimer

Verywell Health's drug information is meant for educational purposes only and is not intended as a replacement for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a healthcare provider. Consult your healthcare provider before taking any new medication(s). IBM Watson Micromedex provides some drug content, as indicated on the page.

4 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Anys S, Arnaud M, Minois D, Rajalu A, et al. Dose response to nadolol in congenital long QT syndrome. Heart Rhythm. 2021;18(8):1377-1383. doi:10.1016/j.hrthm.2021.04.021

  2. Food and Drug Administration. Corgard label.

  3. Yang W, Wolter NE, Cushing SL, et al. Propranolol versus nadolol for treatment of pediatric subglottic hemangioma. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2021;144:110688. doi:10.1016/j.ijporl.2021.110688

  4. Logger JGM, Olydam JI, Driessen RJB. Use of beta-blockers for rosacea-associated facial erythema and flushing: a systematic review and update on proposed mode of action. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2020;83(4):1088-1097. doi:10.1016/j.jaad.2020.04.129

By Heidi Moawad, MD
Heidi Moawad is a neurologist and expert in the field of brain health and neurological disorders. Dr. Moawad regularly writes and edits health and career content for medical books and publications.