Propranolol Dosing Practices in Adult Burn Patients: Implications for Safety and Efficacy.


Journal Article

Studies in children with burn injuries have demonstrated that propranolol improves metabolism and reduces muscle protein wasting. However, safety and efficacy in adults are less well established than in children. The purpose of this study was to determine safety of propranolol use in adult patients with burn injuries. Medical records were reviewed for burn-injured adults receiving propranolol. Patients between 18 and 65 years old and with ≥20% TBSA burn were included. Fifty-four patients met the criteria with mean age of 37 years and mean burn size of 38% TBSA. Propranolol dosages ranged from 0.1 to 3.8 mg/kg/day, with an average maximum dosage of 0.61 mg/kg/day. Mean heart rate decreased by 25% during 4 weeks. Seventy-two percent of patients experienced at least one episode of hypotension and 15% experienced bradycardia. Propranolol doses were most frequently held for low blood pressure; 32% of patients had at least one dose held for hypotension. This retrospective analysis suggests that modest dosing of propranolol results in frequent episodes of hypotension or bradycardia. Our data suggest that adults do not tolerate the higher doses reported in a pediatric population. Despite potential beneficial anti-catabolic effects of propranolol, burn care providers must recognize potential iatrogenic hemodynamic effects of this intervention. Our data support the need for prospective multicenter studies to delineate the safety and efficacy of propranolol in adult burn-injured patients.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Brown, DA; Gibbons, J; Honari, S; Klein, MB; Pham, TN; Gibran, NS

Published Date

  • May 2016

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 37 / 3

Start / End Page

  • e218 - e226

PubMed ID

  • 25882517

Pubmed Central ID

  • 25882517

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1559-0488

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1097/BCR.0000000000000240


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England