What is anxiety?
There are many different kinds of anxiety disorders and it’s helpful to get a proper diagnosis of the kind that you have so that you can properly manage your symptoms.
Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) is the most common kind and it leads sufferers to worry about a number of different activities and events that are involved in daily life. This can make you feel on edge, alert and out of control, and is pretty all-encompassing. Because of the way in which this disorder affects people, it’s not uncommon to suffer with another mental illness alongside it.
What is Propranolol?
Propranolol works by blocking the effects of adrenaline. This causes your heart to beat more slowly and with less force, which lowers blood pressure.
Propranolol, also known by the branded version Bedranol SR, is a beta-blocker used to treat a range of different medical conditions. It works by stopping messages received to your heart from nerves by blocking beta-adrenergic receptors where the heart receives these messages. This results in your heart beating slower also with less force. This helps to prevent fast heart rhythms (arrhythmias) and reduces the pressure of blood within your blood vessels. If you have angina, propranolol can help reduce chest pains due to your heart using less energy.
How does Propranolol work for anxiety?
While it may be the new situation causing the anxiety, the thing causing the related symptoms is adrenaline being released in your body. Adrenaline is a hormone and neurotransmitter that is linked to our bodies ‘fight or flight’ response in times of stress. It is released into the bloodstream and causes things such as pupil dilation, increased heart rate and increased sweating.
If you are suffering from situational anxiety and are feeling anxious or worried about something then your body will treat this as a ‘fight or flight’ situation, and will release adrenaline accordingly.
Propranolol helps with the physical symptoms of anxiety, such as tremor, flushing, increased heart rate, and sweating. However, most people find that treating the physical symptoms of anxiety before a stressful situation, such as an exam or presentation, it also helps to relieve the mental symptoms of anxiety as you are less aware of your nerves.
If using Propranolol to combat performance anxiety, take 10-40mg, 20-30 minutes ahead of time.
If using Propranolol routinely to combat situational anxiety, start by taking one 10mg tablet three times per day. If necessary, you may increase the dose to four tablets.
Propranolol can be taken either with or without food.
If you do miss a dose, take the tablet as soon as possible, unless it is nearly time for the following dose. If this is the case, skip the first dose and resume your regular routine. Never double your dose to compensate for a skipped tablet.
Not everyone will experience side effects when they take Propranolol 10mg, however, if you do they can include:
Fatigue, insomnia, cold extremities (these symptoms tend to go away as you continue taking the medicine), Raynaud’s syndrome, nightmares, slow or irregular heartbeat.
At this low dose, any side effects will be very mild.
Propranolol hydrochloride 10mg
Lactose, magnesium stearate, maize starch, stearic acid, hypromellose (E464). The coating contains: polysorbate, carmoisine (E122), titanium dioxide (E171), iron oxide red (E172), hypromellose (E464)