Propranolol is a non-selective beta-blocker that prevents adrenaline from binding to various beta receptor sites found in the heart, lungs and certain parts of the autonomic nervous system. By blocking the effects of adrenaline on these receptors, the autonomic (physical) symptoms of anxiety/panic are typically reduced. The degree of reduction depends upon the dosage, and if the drug is well-tolerated. Propranolol has no effect on perception or the thought process - its only potential advantage is to block the physical manifestations of panic. If you have many physical features accompanying your A/P, Propranolol would likely serve as a useful adjunct to either an antidepressant or anxiolytic.
Having wrote that, Propranolol carries a significantly higher rate of side effects compared to other beta-blockers, and for that reason it is rarely the first one selected. Additionally, it carries many drug-drug interactions, particularly when combined with psychiatric drugs. Propranolol is the prototype for the beta-blocker class. It tends to easily cross the blood-brain barrier, and may induce depression or worsen pre-existing depression. Others in this class carry a much lower incidence of psychic disturbance and few or no drug-drug interactions (Atenolol, Metoprolol, Nadolol and Timolol) are four examples. There are other benefits. For example, Nadolol may be dosed only once daily, where as Propranolol is short-acting and requires b.i.d. or t.i.d. dosing.
I take Propanolol for a tremor and have for many years while going from Prozac to Zoloft, and Lexapro with no problems. It is prescribed for various reasons with anxiety being one. But it is short acting meaning it doesn't stay in your system for more than a few hours. Many who take it for anxiety are public speakers who need to calm down right before making a speech. If your anxiety is severe there may be better ones for you, but only your doctor will know. Since you've had problems in the past he may have a reason for giving you the propanolol. Trust in his decision, it does work for anxiety and may be best for you. Your doctor is your best resource. Hope it makes you feel better and take care!
i tried it before, it def helps with the adrenline rush, if that is your problem. It will slow down that feeling up cortizol building up. Try it, worth a try
Thanks for posting your comments, I just got prescribed these meds & I'm very skeptical about it because he also prescribed me lorazepam & I googled it & it's for anxiety as well. So now I understand both of them. Thanks again everyone.
I've used propranolol for over 10 years and it works amazingly well for me. I only take 10mg an hour before an important meeting etc (20mg for presentations or other situations where my anxiety feels worse) and it takes away the nasty physical symptoms (shaking and a racing heart for me). I recently started a new job and it helps so much to feel calmer while I settle in. Sometimes I only need 5mg so I cut the tablet in half. It certainly makes situations less daunting over time and helps to stop you worrying about displaying nervous symptoms (so you end up more confident and may generally find you need them less and less). Of course everyone is different so some people may require higher doses to combat the symptoms, but if anxiety is affecting your daily life I highly recommend speaking to your doctor about giving propranolol a try. They give you the confidence to get on with life and stop avoiding certain situations.
I have been taking Propranolol for about 3 years. I was prescribed by a psychiatrist who knew I was alcoholic (although so far never misused meds), in any case we didn't want to go with benzos since highly addictive and my experience, stop working or need more. He said there was new evidence that a beta-blocker in small doses 3 times a day (in my case 10mg) will help. I also happen to have a fast heartbeat, resting pulse always 100 bpm, seems to help slow it down a bit. Does anyone else have experience with that and also, I needed to get my heart rate down and took more than normal and ended up with it at 102 and my BP 175/110...scared me to death. My average BP is 117/74. Anyone with an extreme jump in BP?