Prolonged use of propranolol safely decreases cardiac work in burned children

P. W. Baron, R. E. Barrow, E. J. Pierre, D. N. Herndon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

87 Scopus citations


Propranolol has been shown to be effective for as long as 5 days in massively burned children to reduce heart rate and cardiac work. This article describes the use of propranolol given for 10 days to burned children to test whether the drug remains effective and safe in reducing heart rate and cardiac work for longer periods. We prospectively studied 22 children, 1 to 10 years of age with burns covering ≤40% of their total body surface area. These children were treated with 0.5 to 1.0 mg/kg propranolol given orally or intravenously every 8 hours for 10 days. In both septic and nonseptic patients, propranolol significantly decreased their daily average heart rate (between 10% and 13%, p < 0.05) and rate-pressure product (between 10% and 16%, p < 0.05) compared with their 24-hour mean before propranolol treatment. No significant change in mean arterial blood pressure, or plasma urea nitrogen creatinine or glucose levels could be shown. No hypotension, hypothermia, azotemia, hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia, arrhythmia, bronchospasm, or peripheral ischemia was noted during or after treatment. Whereas propranolol lowered heart rate more per milligram per kilogram body weight when given intravenously, both routes were safe and effective. From these data, we conclude that propranolol can be given to decrease the work of the heart safely and effectively for ≤10 days.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)223-227
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Burn Care and Rehabilitation
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • General Nursing
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Rehabilitation
  • General Health Professions


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