Sounds like ‘nad-oh-lol'.

Key points about nadolol

  • Nadolol has a number of different uses, eg, to prevent migraines, to prevent chest pain (angina) and lower blood pressure.
  • It can also be used to prevent irregular heart-beat (arrhythmia) and for some thyroid conditions.
  • Find out how to take it safely and possible side effects.


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Nadolol is used to treat a number of different conditions and related symptoms, including:

Nadolol belongs to a group of medicines called beta-blockers. Nadolol works by slowing down your heart rate and making it easier for your heart to pump blood around your body.

In Aotearoa New Zealand, nadolol comes as 40mg or 80mg tablets.

  • The dose of nadolol will be different for different people depending on your condition and response to treatment.
  • Always take nadolol exactly as your doctor has told you. 
  • The pharmacy label on your medicine will tell you how much nadolol to take, how often to take it, and any special instructions.

  • Timing: Take nadolol once a day at the same time each day.
  • Food: You can take nadolol with or without food.
  • Missed dose: If you forget your dose, take it as soon as you remember that day. But if it's nearly time for your next dose, just take the next dose at the right time. Don't take double the dose.

Here are some things to know when you're taking nadolol. Other things may be important as well, so ask your healthcare provider what you need to know about.

  • Limit alcohol while you are taking nadolol, especially when you first start treatment. Alcohol can increase your risk of side effects, eg, dizziness.
  • Be careful when driving or using tools until you know how this medicine affects you.
  • Other medicines – nadolol interacts with many other medicines including common anti-inflammatories, eg, diclofenac, ibuprofen or aspirin. Check with your doctor or pharmacist before starting nadolol or taking any other medicines.
  • It may also interact with herbal supplements and rongoā Māori, so check with your healthcare provider before starting any new products.
  • Tell your doctor immediately if you become pregnant or want to start breastfeeding.
  • Surgery – tell your healthcare providers you're taking nadolol if you have any surgical procedure planned including dental treatments.
  • Don’t stop taking nadolol suddenly as this can be dangerous and make you feel unwell. Talk to your doctor before stopping, they may want to reduce your dose gradually.

If you have diabetes

  • If you have diabetes, nadolol may cause changes in your blood glucose level. This effect usually settles with time.
  • Nadalol and other beta-blockers may reduce the warning signs of a low blood glucose level (hypoglycaemia – often called a hypo). For example, you may not have the feeling of fast, irregular or strong heartbeats (palpitations) or tremor, which can occur when your blood glucose is going too low.
  • If you are worried about this, talk to your doctor. Don't stop taking your beta-blocker without checking with your doctor first. Read more about hypoglycaemia(external link).

If you have asthma

  • If you have asthma, taking nadalol or another beta-blocker may trigger your asthma symptoms or make them worse. However, not everybody with asthma is sensitive to these medicines.
  • If you're worried about this, talk to your doctor. They may be able to prescribe a different medicine or increase the dose of your asthma preventer medication.
  • Read more about medicines that may trigger asthma symptoms.(external link)

Like all medicines, nadolol can cause side effects, although not everyone gets them. Often side effects improve as your body gets used to the new medicine.

Side effects

What should I do?

  • Tiredness
  • Headache
  • Disturbed, unsettled, restless sleep 
  • Nausea
  • These are quite common.
  • Tell your doctor if these bother you.
  • Dizziness
  • Feeling faint when you stand up
  • This is common when you first start taking nadolol.
  • Don't drink alcohol.
  • Be careful when getting up from either lying down or sitting to avoid falls.
  • If you're feeling dizzy, don’t drive or use machinery.
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Tell your doctor if these bother you.
  • Depression and low mood
  • Sexual problems
  • Tell your doctor.
  • Pain in your chest
  • Tell your doctor immediately or ring Healthline 0800 611 116.
  • Signs of an allergic reaction such as skin rash, itches, swelling of the face, lips, mouth and tongue or problems breathing
  • Tell your doctor immediately or ring Healthline 0800 611 116.

Did you know that you can report a medicine side effect to CARM (Centre for Adverse Reactions Monitoring)? Report a side effect to a product.(external link)


The following links provide further information about nadolol.

Nadolol(external link) New Zealand Formulary Patient Information
Apo-Nadolol(external link) Medsafe Consumer Information Sheet, NZ


  1. Nadolol(external link) New Zealand Formulary


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Credits: Healthify He Puna Waiora editorial team. Healthify is brought to you by Health Navigator Charitable Trust.

Reviewed by: Angela Lambie, Pharmacist, Auckland.

Last reviewed: