What are Beta Blockers?
Beta blockers, full name beta-adrenergic blocking agents, are medications that are often used to treat high blood pressure, heart conditions, and anxiety. They work by blocking the effects of adrenaline on the body, specifically the beta receptors that are responsible for the “fight or flight” response.
For a professional performer who often performs in front of large crowds, beta blockers can be helpful in managing the physical symptoms of performance anxiety, such as shaking, sweating, and increased heart rate. By blocking the effects of adrenaline, beta blockers can help to reduce the physical symptoms of anxiety, allowing performers to feel more calm and focused.
It’s important to note that beta blockers are prescription medications and should only be used under the guidance of a healthcare provider. Additionally, while they can be helpful in managing the physical symptoms of anxiety, they do not address the underlying psychological factors that contribute to performance anxiety. Therefore, it’s important to also engage in other forms of anxiety management, such as therapy, relaxation techniques, and stress reduction strategies. You can also consider natural beta blocker alternatives.
What are the most popular beta blockers for anxiety?
There are various beta blockers available with a prescription, but here are some of the most common ones (and their common brand names):
- Inderal (Propranolol)
- Lopressor (Metoprolol)
- Sectral (Acebutolol)
- Coreg (Carvedilol)
- Tenormin (Atenolol)
- Zebeta (Bisoprolol)
Propranolol/Inderal is the most common beta blocker when it comes to people using them for anxiety symptoms. Propranolol is also the most commonly prescribed beta blocker in the US, overall.
There are other medications that people commonly use off-script for anxiety, like Clonodine, Gabapentin and Depakote, but these are not technically beta-blockers so will not be covered here.
Recommended Beta Blocker Dosages For Anxiety
Typically, your doctor will recommend your beta-blocker dosage based on your specific needs, but here are the common dosage recommendations for several popular beta-blockers for the purpose of treating anxiety symptoms:
- Propranolol Dose For Anxiety: Between 10mg per day to 40mg per day.
- Metoprolol Dosage For Anxiety: Between 50mg per day to 100mg per day.
- Coreg Dosage For Anxiety: Start with 3.125mg twice daily for 2 weeks, if tolerated well then increase to 6.25mg twice daily.
- Acebutolol Dose For Anxiety: Between 200mg per day to 400mg per day.
- Atenolol Dosage For Anxiety: between 10mg per day to 40mg per day.
- Bisoprolol Dosage For Anxiety: between 5mg-10mg orally one to two hours before an anxiety-inducing event.
Where can I learn more about Beta Blockers?
We recommend the following resources to learn more about Beta Blockers: