What Doctors Want You to Know About Beta Blockers for Anxiety

Are you worried about a big interview? Are you afraid of giving a speech? Nervous on the first date?

The solution, some digital startups are suggesting, is a beta-blocker, a type of drug that can slow heart rate and lower blood pressure — masking some of the physical symptoms of anxiety.

Normally, a trip to the doctor’s office would be necessary to get a prescription, but a number of companies are now connecting patients with doctors for quick virtual visits and shipping the medications to people’s homes.

“No more ‘shaking and sweating,'” promised an online ad. “Easy, quick to take in 15 minutes.”

This worries Dr. Yvette I. Sheline, professor of psychiatry at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

“The first question is: What’s wrong with this person?” said Dr. Sheline. Are you depressed and anxious? Do you suffer from chronic anxiety or is it just a temporary case of stage fright? “You don’t want to end up prescribing the wrong thing,” she added.

Additionally, while beta blockers are generally considered safe, experts say they can have unpleasant side effects and should be used with caution.

Beta blockers such as Propranolol hydrochloride have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for chest pain, migraine prevention, involuntary tremors, cardiac arrhythmias, and other uses.

Some are still prescribed for high blood pressure even though they are no longer considered preferential treatmentespecially because other medications can prevent stroke and death more effectively.

Beta blockers can relieve the physical symptoms of the “fight-or-flight” response to stress, such as: However, symptoms such as tremors, sweaty palms, or racing heart are not FDA-approved to treat anxiety disorders.

For decades, doctors have been prescribing them for uses other than those approved, including problems such as stage fright. In recent years, celebrities like Robert Downey Jr. and Khloé Kardashian said the medication helped…

Read Complete News ➤

Benefits of eating guava for Americans