Are you planning to use beta blockers for anxiety disorder? First of all, kudos for treating the anxiety disorder instead of just eating your worries or doing nothing about it. However, you cannot blindly choose beta blockers even though they are among the best solutions for anxiety disorder. This article allows you to understand the basics of using this medication for your anxiety episode. If you are trying beta blockers for the first time, please read before continuing.
Are beta blockers for anxiety disorder?
Beta blocker or beta-blocker is a medicine (a group of drugs) that helps control the fight-or-flight response. They are not one of the prime medications for anxiety disorder. It is the medicine used for treating conditions related to the heart like irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, and heart failure. However, doctors recommend beta blockers for anxiety disorder because it reduces the symptoms of an anxiety attack.
How beta blockers work for anxiety disorder?
Bata-adrenergic blocking medication or beta blockers reduces the secretion of adrenaline, a hormone related to stress. Adrenaline increases the stress to the heart and also causes other symptoms of anxiety disorder. Thus, the beta blockers calm the heart, reduces blood pressure, and relax. Moreover, it reduces the symptoms related to stress during anxiety episodes like dizziness, sweating, shaky voice, and others.
Which is the best beta blocker for anxiety
Please remember that it is not best to choose any beta blocker for anxiety. There are several types like acebutolol, atenolol, bisoprolol, propranolol, and others, and the best type depends on your requirement, medical condition, age, and others. Doctors do not recommend using beta blockers for general anxiety problems. It is best for any event-specific anxiety. For instance, if an individual is afraid of flying or public speeches, he can use beta blockers before that event.
The effects of beta blockers on anxiety disorder are similar to benzodiazepine, but it has lower side effects than the latter. Thus, people prefer beta blockers over others for anxiety treatment. However, if you are dealing with social phobia, beta blockers are not sufficient.
How to consume beta blockers for anxiety?
Beta blockers are not generally a stand-alone treatment for anxiety. Some doctors recommend a combination of medicines or a mixture of medicine and other therapies. If you are consuming beta blockers, do not choose your dose. The dose depends on your medical history. It is essential to know that consuming a higher amount of beta blockers will not instantly reduce anxiety or avoid anxiety attacks.
The beta blocker takes 60-120 minutes to take full effect. However, the other anxiety attack symptoms like a decrease in heart rate, and others would already be in full swing. If you are helping a friend with anxiety disorder, do not give him the medicine that is helpful to you. Each individual is different, and sharing pills can end in lethal situations. The drug will get immediately absorbed if you crush or dissolve it. This faster rate of absorption will not reduce the time taken for effect but can lead to overdose.
Side effects of using beta blockers
Although beta blockers’ side effects are less extreme and uncommon than other similar drugs, an individual could experience problems like fatigue, depression, shortness of breath, constipation, vomiting, or headache. Some severe side effects are a drop in blood sugar level, irregular heartbeat, asthma attack, weight gain, etc.
If you are experiencing any side effect that is not too severe, do not stop the medicine, but talk to a doctor as early as possible. If you are experiencing severe side effects, get medical help immediately.
Why should you not stop immediately?
What would happen if you stop taking beta blockers for anxiety after consuming it for an extended period? You would start to experience withdrawal symptoms, which would increase the frequency and intensity of the anxiety attacks.
Why talk to doctor before using beta blockers?
Although beta blockers are relatively safer medicines, it is essential to get a doctor’s opinion before starting the course. While getting the options, talk about your medical history, the list of medicines you consume, allergic reactions, and others. Beta blockers are dangerous if you have a very low BP, asthma, low blood sugar level, heart failure, slower heart rate, or others. If you are consuming any life-saving medicines, it is essential to mention the same.
Other drugs that can treat anxiety
Is beta blocker not right for you? You should not consume this medicine, assuming that there is no better option. Remember that there are many drug and non-drug based treatments for anxiety. And, none of the medications can cure anxiety. It can only deal with the symptoms of anxiety.
If the beta blocker is not right for you, there are several other drugs on the market. The most common one is the Benzodiazepine family, which includes Xanax, Valium, Ativan, and others. If you are looking for a long-term solution, beta-blockers are not the right solution for you. Instead, choose Buspirone to regulate your brain chemicals. Some doctors prefer SSRI like Zoloft, Prozac, Lexapro, and others. Some people still use Tricyclics, but remember that the newer drugs have lesser side effects.
If you are suffering from both anxiety disorder and panic disorder, MAOIs are the best. They are FDA-approved for depression, but doctors recommend it for anxiety and panic attacks.
Non-pharmaceutical solutions for anxiety disorder
Beyond lifestyle changes like exercise and meditation, you can try consuming chamomile tea, aromatherapy, and others. If you are choosing aromatherapy, the best oils to try are chamomile, lavender, and neroli. Most experts recommend avoiding caffeine to reduce the intensity of the anxiety symptoms. Do not attempt any herbal supplements or natural concoctions for anxiety disorder. It is hard to find the exact ingredients used and the safety of those in short-term and long-term use. Thus, either use natural methods or talk to your doctor about getting a pharmaceutical solution.