Here I explore what Propranolol is and if it is really effective for Anxiety as it is a beta blocker by license.
Propranolol is a beta blocker and some of it’s trade names are: Inderol, Inderal LA, Deralin and Dociton. Currently Propranolol is approved for the treatment of: hypertension, angina, types of cardiac arrhythmia’s, some cardiac diseases, a nervous system disorder known as pheochromocytoma, hyperthyroid conditions, migraine, heart attack, and to counter the effects of some anti-psychotic medications and anxiety.
Beta Blockers block specific sites in the nervous system which are known as beta- adrengeric receptor sites. When this happens heart rate and blood pressure are reduced and patients become less anxious. In my opinion and i am sure others would agree, the patient becomes less anxious because their body becomes less tense and they feel more relaxed, which in turn causes the brain to reduce anxiety. Because of this Propranolol is exceptionally useful for chest pain, high blood pressure and excessive nervousness.
Image via Wikipedia
It is actually one of the banned substances in the Olympics because of the effects on stage fright and tremors, which in theory would allow the athlete to perform better.
Like most medication there are some contradictions. These are:
- Vascular Disease
- If you are taking drugs that produce a bradycardic effect.
- Severe Hypertension
- Cocaine Intoxication.
There are others as well, but these appear to be the main ones to be careful about.
The dosage varies depending on what you are taking it for. For general anxiety the dose is between 10-40 mg 3 or 4 times daily. If the patient is suffering from performance anxiety where the person gets anxious before a certain event then it is recommended that the patient take a 5-10 mg dose 30 min or 1.5 hours before the event to counter act the anxiety.
The side effects are usually mild but occasional they can be more extreme. These include:
- abdominal cramps
- Memory Loss
- Low Blood Pressure
Again there are more as well but they cover the main ones. The most common one is cold extremities. This is where your hands and feet in particular feel as if they are going to fall off where they are so cold. I don’t think it wears off, but you get used to it so you do not notice it.
I have been taking Propranolol now for three months and i feel that it has helped me enormously. Before i felt anxious all the time, without even doing anything, where now i do not even really think about it. It is still there, if something pops up out of the blue i will panic but then it calms down again and i feel okay. In my opinion the cold hands and feet are worth it all day long compared to anxiety.
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