Is propranolol a controlled substance?

Let’s get straight to the point, folks. We’re not here for small talk – we want answers. And what is it that we seek? The truth about propranolol and its status as a controlled substance.

But before we dive in headfirst like an eager Labrador retriever, let’s take a step back and look at some basics.

What is Propranolol?

Propranolol is a medication primarily used for hypertension (high blood pressure), anxiety, angina (chest pain), and heart attacks. It works by blocking certain neurotransmitters in the body that affect blood vessels and heart rate.

But wait, there’s more! It can also be prescribed to treat migraines – which explains why your office mate always carries around her trusty bottle of propranolol during busy work weeks.

That being said, something seems off with this drug – why has it caught so much attention recently?

The Overdose Prevention Act

Well pardner/gal-pal/yo-yo/sport/spoonerism…it all comes down to one piece of legislation called the Overdose Prevention Act (OPA). This little number was passed in New Jersey back in 2013 as a response to rising opioid addiction rates across America – catchy name too!

As part of the OPA, specific drugs were classified as ‘Schedule II’ substances; these are medications determined by law enforcement agencies deemed have high potential for abuse or physical dependence. These include opioids such as oxycodone or fentanyl– known baddies on most authorities hit list – but also included are sedatives such as ketamine or Xanax…

Oh! But didn’t our good friend propranolol crop up there too just now right between two potent killers?!

Yeah about that…

Hold up-Is Propanlol really addictive?

While misguided teens may attempt to use propranolol as a recreational substance (in an attempt to reduce panic attacks), it is NOT considered addictive or prone to abuse when used correctly.

But before one grabs the nearest Amazon package and starts stockpiling the drug- there’s still more-

Although it does not belong on Schedule II, Strict regulations around drug prescription were implemented under OPA in 2018 making sure that drugs deemed potentially harmful— including Propranolol—are given only with sufficient medical documentation/support.

And oh have people been unhappy about it since – especially those amateur neurologists who originally recommended their family, friends…neighbors… doomsday preppers -you name them ,a dose of this miracle medicine…

So is Propranolol Controlled?

Yes indeed! Surprising as it might seem for most civilians out there/bystanders/people who never actually had the need for some specific medication or whatnot…propranolol is controlled.
Although listed as a ‘Schedule IV’ substance instead of II / III like other killers( 😉 opioids)-which means they are less tightly regulated-, any suspicious activity regarding prescribing transaction of propanlol recorded by medical authorities will result in investigation coupled with disciplinary actions taken against physicians/pharmacists etc.

So rest easy folks, our guess would be you won’t see it being sold at your local pharmacy anytime soon without proper clearance/ backing from registered/licensed health practitioners/pharmacies.

Why The Confusion Then?

At this point in time ,we’re pretty justified being like : This sounds complicated!

So where did all these rumors start? Are doctors handing these things out left and right like Halloween candy? Is Uncle Tom using his street connections to get his hands on weekly doses of Beta-blockers now too?


On one hand, there are individuals commenting on online forums virtually un-monitored by official regulation that gave birth to these rumors.

On the other hand, Propranolol is a drug that’s been around for quite some time now; it’s received shoutouts on Board-certified specialist blogs or other DIY-lifestyle-corner-blogs maybe even in small print somewhere in magazines.

Simply put – many people have come to know about propranolol from third-party sources and misunderstand its classification as an addictive substance under The Overdose Prevention Act.

Well- at least today we’ve learnt something!


And that, my friends, clears up any confusion regarding propranolol! It is indeed controlled, but not classified as a Schedule II substance like opioids – however anyone dispensing/purchasing this medication will need sufficient medical documentation/support beforehand making regulation tight. Although seasoned patients may find information about medications themselves from non-governmental/non-medical websites and community forums ,one must still refer to state guidelines which might differ from jurisdiction by jurisdiction-and thus… also take note of our witty article on this seemingly innocuous subject matter 😉

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