About this Medication
- How does this medication work? What will it do for me?
- How should I use this medication?
- What form(s) does this medication come in?
- Who should NOT take this medication?
- What side effects are possible with this medication?
- Are there any other precautions or warnings for this medication?
- What other drugs could interact with this medication?
How does this medication work? What will it do for me?
Pindolol belongs to the class of medications called beta-blockers. It is used to treat high blood pressure and to prevent angina (chest pain). For treatment of high blood pressure, pindolol may be used alone or in combination with other medications that reduce high blood pressure, particularly thiazide diuretics (water pills). Pindolol works by decreasing the demands on the heart.
This medication may be available under multiple brand names and/or in several different forms. Any specific brand name of this medication may not be available in all of the forms or approved for all of the conditions discussed here. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here.
Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.
Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.
How should I use this medication?
The recommended dose of pindolol ranges from 10 mg to 45 mg daily, depending on the needs of the person taking the medication. It should be taken with food.
For treatment of high blood pressure, the dose of pindolol is usually started at 5 mg twice daily and increased gradually until the best dose is found. When the dose is less than 30 mg per day, it is taken in 2 divided doses. Doses greater than 30 mg per day are taken in 3 divided doses.
For treatment of angina, the starting dose is 5 mg 3 times a day with food. If the desired response is not reached in 1 to 2 weeks, the dosage may be increased, up to a maximum of 40 mg per day.
Many things can affect the dose of a medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor.
It is important to take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible and continue with your regular schedule. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
Do not stop taking this medication without first talking with your doctor. Stopping the medication suddenly after you have been taking it for a while may cause unpleasant and potentially harmful effects.
Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.
What form(s) does this medication come in?
Each whitish, compressed tablet, 7 mm diameter, slope-faced and bisected with "LB" embossed on one side, and flat-faced, bevelled edge, with "VISKEN* 5" embossed on the other side, contains 5 mg of pindolol. Nonmedicinal ingredients: starch, cellulose microcrystalline, pregelatinized starch, magnesium stearate, and silica colloidal anhydrous.
Each whitish, compressed tablet, 8 mm diameter, slope-faced and bisected on one side, and flat-faced, bevelled edge, with "VISKEN* 10" embossed on the other side, contains 10 mg of pindolol. Nonmedicinal ingredients: starch, cellulose microcrystalline, pregelatinized starch, magnesium stearate, and silica colloidal anhydrous.
Each whitish, compressed tablet, 9 mm diameter, slope-faced and bisected with "JU" embossed on one side, and flat-faced, bevelled edge, with "VISKEN* 15" embossed on the other side, contains 15 mg of pindolol. Nonmedicinal ingredients: starch, cellulose microcrystalline, pregelatinized starch, magnesium stearate, and silica colloidal anhydrous.
Who should NOT take this medication?
Do not take pindolol if you:
- are allergic to pindolol or to any of the ingredients of the medication
- are receiving or will receive anesthesia (e.g., ether)
- have right ventricular failure caused by pulmonary hypertension (excessive blood pressure in the lungs)
- have a serious heart block
- have an irregular or severely slow heart rate
- have a severe circulatory disturbance
- have asthma or other obstructive respiratory diseases
- have congestive heart failure
- have had cardiogenic shock
- have untreated pheochromocytoma
- have Prinzmetal’s angina
- have sick sinus syndrome
What side effects are possible with this medication?
Many medications can cause side effects. A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. Side effects can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent. The side effects listed below are not experienced by everyone who takes this medication. If you are concerned about side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor.
The following side effects have been reported by at least 1% of people taking this medication. Many of these side effects can be managed, and some may go away on their own over time.
Contact your doctor if you experience these side effects and they are severe or bothersome. Your pharmacist may be able to advise you on managing side effects.
- decreased sexual ability
- dizziness or lightheadedness
- drowsiness (slight)
- dry, sore eyes
- nightmares and vivid dreams
- numbness or tingling of fingers or toes
- stomach discomfort
- unusual tiredness or weakness
Although most of these side effects listed below don't happen very often, they could lead to serious problems if you do not check with your doctor or seek medical attention.
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
- breathing difficulty or wheezing
- cold hands and feet
- dizziness upon getting up from a sitting or lying down position
- red, scaling, or crusted skin
- shortness of breath
- signs of depression (e.g., poor concentration, changes in weight, changes in sleep, decreased interest in activities, thoughts of suicide)
- slow heartbeat (especially less than 50 beats per minute)
- swelling of ankles, feet, or lower legs
- symptoms of irregular heartbeat (e.g., chest pain, dizziness, rapid, pounding heartbeat, shortness of breath)
Stop taking the medication and seek immediate medical attention if any of the following occur:
- signs of heart problems (e.g., abnormally slow heartbeat, irregular heartbeat, sudden chest pain, difficulty breathing, tiredness with activity, swelling of feet, ankles, or lower legs)
- symptoms of a serious allergic reaction (e.g., swelling of the face or throat, hives, or difficulty breathing)
Some people may experience side effects other than those listed. Check with your doctor if you notice any symptom that worries you while you are taking this medication.
Are there any other precautions or warnings for this medication?
Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.
Breathing problems: People with asthma and certain other breathing problems should, in general, not take a beta-blocker such as pindolol. If you have these types of conditions and your doctor prescribed pindolol for you, it may be at a lower dose, and your doctor will monitor you regularly while you are taking this medication.
Congestive heart failure (CHF): Pindolol may make heart failure worse. If you have CHF, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Diabetes: The signs of low blood sugar may not be as noticeable when taking pindolol. If you have diabetes and take insulin or another medication that works by reducing the sugar in the blood, be cautious and monitor your blood sugar carefully while taking this medication.
Drowsiness/reduced alertness: Dizziness or fatigue may occur when starting treatment with this medication. This may impair your ability to drive or operate machinery. Exercise caution with these activities until you find out whether the medication affects you in this way.
Hyperthyroidism (high level of thyroid hormones): Pindolol may mask symptoms of high levels of thyroid in the body. People with hyperthyroidism should be cautious while taking pindolol, as it may reduce the symptoms of this condition giving a false impression of improvement. Stopping pindolol suddenly could worsen this condition.
Liver disease: Liver disease or reduced liver function may cause this medication to build up in the body, causing side effects. If you have liver problems, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Low blood pressure: Occasionally, blood pressure may drop too low after taking pindolol, causing dizziness or lightheadedness. Move slowly when moving from a lying down or sitting position to a standing position to prevent dizziness, especially when you first start taking this medication.
Psoriasis: Pindolol and other beta-blockers may aggravate or worsen psoriasis. If you have psoriasis, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Severe allergies: People with allergies severe enough to cause anaphylaxis (a severe allergic reaction where swelling of the face, lips, and throat makes it difficult to breathe) should talk to their doctor about what to do if they have an allergic reaction. Pindolol may make it more difficult to treat their allergic reaction with epinephrine.
Skin conditions: Various skin rashes and dry eyes have been reported with use of this medication.
Stopping usage: Pindolol should not be stopped suddenly by those who are taking it to treat angina. There have been reports of severe worsening of angina, and of heart attack or abnormal heart rhythms occurring in people with angina who have stopped this medication abruptly.
Surgery: If you are scheduled for surgery, inform all doctors involved in your care that you are taking this medication.
Pregnancy: The safety of this medication for use by pregnant women has not been established. It should not be taken by pregnant women unless the benefits outweigh the risks. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately.
Breast-feeding: Pindolol passes into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are taking this medication, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.
Children: The safety and effectiveness of using this medication have not been established for children.
What other drugs could interact with this medication?
There may be an interaction between pindolol and any of the following:
- alpha-agonists (e.g., clonidine, methyldopa)
- alpha-blockers (e.g., alfuzosin, doxazosin, silodosin, tamsulosin)
- amphetamines (e.g., dextroamphetamine, lisdexamfetamine)
- angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEIs; captopril, enalapril, ramipril)
- angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs; e.g., candesartan, irbesartan, losartan)
- antipsychotics (e.g., chlorpromazine, clozapine, haloperidol, olanzapine, quetiapine, risperidone)
- barbiturates (e.g., butalbital, phenobarbital)
- beta-2 agonists (e.g., formoterol, salmeterol, salbutamol)
- calcium channel blocking agents (e.g., diltiazem, nifedipine, verapamil)
- diabetes medications (e.g., insulin, metformin, glyburide)
- diuretics (water pills; e.g., furosemide, hydrochlorothiazide, triamterene)
- ergot products (e.g., ergotamine, ergonovine)
- grass pollen extract
- monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors (e.g., moclobemide, tranylcypromine, phenelzine) taken within the past 2 weeks
- nitrates (e.g., nitroglycerin, isosorbide dinitrate, isosorbide mononitrate)
- nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs; e.g., naproxen, ibuprofen)
- other beta-blockers (e.g., propranolol, metoprolol)
- phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors (e.g., sildenafil, tadalafil, vardenafil)
- selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI; e.g., fluoxetine, paroxetine, sertraline)
- theophyllines (e.g., theophylline, aminophylline)
If you are taking any of these medications, speak with your doctor or pharmacist. Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may want you to:
- stop taking one of the medications,
- change one of the medications to another,
- change how you are taking one or both of the medications, or
- leave everything as is.
An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. Speak to your doctor about how any drug interactions are being managed or should be managed.
Medications other than those listed above may interact with this medication. Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications you are taking. Also tell them about any supplements you take. Since caffeine, alcohol, the nicotine from cigarettes, or street drugs can affect the action of many medications, you should let your prescriber know if you use them.
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