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Anxiety

What is Propranolol? Propranolol for Anxiety & Other Conditions

by Scott McDougall (MPharm)

Scott is one of the two founders of The Independent Pharmacy. He is a registered pharmacist and the registered manager of our service with the CQC.

Situational anxiety — sometimes known as performance anxiety, social anxiety or social phobia — is a common mental health condition that causes the sufferer to feel intense fear and dread of certain social situations, as well as distressing physical symptoms like a rapid heart rate or sweating. Using medicines such as Propranolol for anxiety can help to alleviate these physical symptoms.

Many of us tend to feel nervous or anxious before a high-pressure situation where we have to perform, such as a presentation, speech or interview. However, if these feelings and physical symptoms become overwhelming and stop us from performing as well as we could (or stop us completely), then anxiety treatments like Propranolol can help.

In this guide, we’ll be looking at Propranolol in more detail, such as Propranolol uses, how it works, and the correct Propranolol dosage. 

We’ll also be answering questions such as ‘how does Propranolol work?’ and ‘how quickly does Propranolol work for anxiety?’ so that you can gain a better understanding of this medicine. 

 

What is Propranolol used for?

Propranolol is a beta-blocker — a type of medicine which has an effect on the heart and circulation. This means that it can be used to treat a number of different health conditions, particularly cardiovascular diseases.

It can also be used to relieve the physical effects and signs of anxiety (particularly social or performance anxiety), such as sweating, trembling and a fast heartbeat. This is one of the main uses of Propranolol. 

There are a few different forms of Propranolol (such as tablets, capsules, or a liquid to swallow) and different strength dosages; depending on the condition you are treating, you will be prescribed a certain dosage by your doctor or pharmacist. 

The Independent Pharmacy offers Propranolol 10 mg tablets to relieve anxiety symptoms.

 

Propranolol uses

There are lots of Propranolol uses for a range of different health conditions and problems. 

Here are some of the conditions that Propranolol is used to treat and alleviate symptoms of:

  • Anxiety and panic disorders
  • Migraines
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Heart rhythm disorders (such as fast or irregular heartbeat)
  • Angina
  • Prevention of future heart attacks and strokes
  • Overactive thyroid gland
  • Infantile hemangioma

This list isn’t exhaustive; Propranolol may be used to treat other conditions and disorders that we have not mentioned above. 

The Propranolol dosage you take will depend on the reason why you need it in the first place; your doctor or pharmacist will be able to help you with the correct dosage. 

 

Anxiety

As we’ve mentioned above, one of the primary uses of Propranolol (in its 10mg tablet form) is to relieve the physical symptoms of social and situational anxiety. 

Propranolol 10mg tablets will help to reduce physical anxiety symptoms including:

  • Sweating
  • Flushing
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Fast breathing (hyperventilating)
  • Shaking or trembling

Propranolol will not treat the psychological symptoms of anxiety, such as feeling tense, nervous, worried or feeling a sense of dread. However, these psychological symptoms are often reduced by the reduced physical symptoms from propranolol.

 

Migraines

Propranolol can also be taken regularly to reduce the number of migraine attacks experienced by migraine sufferers. It is the most commonly used drug of choice for migraine prevention. It is worth noting that Propranolol doesn’t reduce the severity or duration of migraines. 

Propranolol 40mg tablets are the typical Propranolol dosage for migraines.

 

How does Propranolol work?

Propranolol is a type of beta-blocker — a group of medicines that were initially developed to treat heart problems, but are now also used to help with anxiety and migraines. 

Propranolol slows down your heart rate and affects your blood vessels, making it easier for your heart to pump blood around your body.

If you are feeling particularly anxious, worried or stressed about an upcoming event (such as an interview, exam or presentation at work), then you may experience anxiety symptoms such as a racing heart, sweating and flushing. By slowing down your heart rate, Propranolol can tackle the physical symptoms of anxiety and help you to feel calmer. 

Propranolol also inhibits the effects of the stress hormone noradrenaline, which further combats these physical anxiety symptoms.

Propranolol doesn’t treat the mental symptoms of anxiety such as worry, a sense of dread or a foggy mind, but lots of people find that easing their physical symptoms with medication can also help to alleviate mental symptoms, making them less aware of how nervous they are. 

 

Propranolol dosage

Propranolol comes in a range of different strength tablets, from 10mg to 160mg. 

Here at The Independent Pharmacy, we offer Propranolol 10mg tablets for situational anxiety. This low Propranolol dosage is often enough to reduce the physical symptoms of situational or performance anxiety. 

The right Propranolol dosage for anxiety will vary from person to person; if you find that 10mg is not alleviating your anxiety symptoms, then you can increase your dosage to up to four 10mg tablets before an event. You can also take this Propranolol dose for anxiety up to three times a day.

Stronger doses of Propranolol are available to decrease the frequency of regular migraines. 

The typical Propranolol dosage for migraines is 40mg once or twice a day, but this can be increased to as much as 240mg daily if migraines worsen or continue. We offer Propranolol 40mg tablets at The Independent Pharmacy to reduce migraines.

It is important that you do not exceed the recommended Propranolol dosage prescribed by your doctor or pharmacist for your condition. Doing so could result in unwanted side effects or an overdose, which would cause light-headedness, blurred vision and even fainting (as it lowers your heart rate and blood pressure). It could even result in severe heart problems.

If you do miss a dose, take the missed tablet as soon as possible. However, if it is nearly time for the following dose, skip the first dose and resume your regular routine. Never double your dose to make up for a missed tablet.

 

How quickly does Propranolol work for anxiety?

Propranolol can work very quickly to help relieve situational anxiety symptoms. It can help to reduce peripheral symptoms such as sweating, tension and tachycardia in as little as half an hour and on some occasions, 20 minutes. 

If you have a stressful situation, event or performance that you’re worried and anxious about — such as a presentation at work, an interview or an exam — then you usually need to take Propranolol about 30 to 60 minutes before. 

For some people, it may take a little longer to feel the effects of Propranolol — perhaps a few hours — so it’s a good idea to test it out first, rather than using it for the first time before a situation you’re worried about.

If you want to know more about Propranolol from a real user’s perspective, you can visit our Propranolol reviews page for more information and feedback from our customers. 

 

How long does Propranolol last?

The effects of this medicine generally last between three to four hours. For most people, Propranolol can provide up to four hours of symptom relief.

During this time, Propranolol helps with the physical symptoms of anxiety, such as flushing, increased heart rate, shaking and sweating. It doesn’t alleviate the mental symptoms of anxiety such as worry, and a foggy or blank mind. However, most people tend to be less aware of these (and therefore they are relieved) because the more obvious physical symptoms are no longer present.

Propranolol has a half-life (the half-life of a medicine is the time it takes for the amount of it in your body to be reduced by half) of around three to six hours. It will take around one to two days for it to be completely out of your body, with some potential Propranolol side effects lasting around this time and a bit longer.

 

Best time to take Propranolol for anxiety

The best time to take Propranolol propranolol for anxiety is dependent on a few factors. 

If you are using Propranolol to combat performance anxiety, take your normal dosage (which will be between 10mg-40mg), about half an hour before the situation or event that you are worried about begins. 

If you are using Propranolol for more general social anxiety during the day, then you can take it at regular intervals throughout the day. Start by taking one 10mg tablet three times per day. If you feel it is necessary, you can increase the dose to four tablets, but it’s a good idea to speak to your doctor about this.

Propranolol can be taken either with or without food, so you don’t need to worry about planning to take it around your mealtimes. 

 

Is Propranolol good for anxiety?

Propranolol is safe to take for anxiety and is generally considered safe to take for a long time. There don't seem to be any lasting harmful effects if you take it for several months or even years.

There are some situations where you are advised not to use Propranolol, such as if you are pregnant, have certain medical conditions, or are already taking certain types of medication. You should also avoid mixing Propranolol and alcohol

As is the case with all medicines, there are some possible side effects to be aware of. However, side effects are rare and normally mild; many users experience no side effects at all or only minor ones. You can find out more about Propranolol side effects here. 

 

Summary

Propranolol is a type of prescription-only medicine called a beta-blocker that is used to treat a range of different health conditions, including anxiety, heart problems and migraines. 

Propranolol comes in different strengths; the dosage you take will depend on the health condition you are treating. 

Low doses of Propranolol can be used to help treat performance or situational anxiety by reducing the physical symptoms such as flushing, shaking, sweating and a high heart rate. Propranolol can work very quickly to relieve these symptoms (around 30 minutes to one hour) and can last for around three to four hours.

If you want to use Propranolol for anxiety, then you can buy Propranolol here. You simply need to fill in a short online consultation form. Once you do, one of our qualified medical team members will assess your symptoms to ensure that this is the best treatment for you, with delivery possible the very next day.

 

Sources

Authored By:

A photo of  Scott McDougall

Scott McDougall

MPharm

Published on: 29-08-2020

Last modified on: 29-08-2020


Scott is one of the two founders of The Independent Pharmacy. He is a registered pharmacist and the registered manager of our service with the CQC.


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