Stress Medications

Beta Blockers Help to Treat Social Anxiety

Beta Blockers are a class of drugs that have been primarily used as a hypertensive medication. It reduces hypertension by reducing the rate at which the heart pumps blood. It is used by cardiologists to manage cardiac arrhythmias in case a heart patient has experienced a heart attack.

On account of the action of beta-blockers in reducing heartbeat, this class of drugs is often used in a lower dosage to reduce the symptoms of performance or social anxiety. The point to note here is that beta blockers are not meant for treating anxiety, especially severe anxiety attacks that have a purely psychological origin.

Let us take a look at how beta-blockers actually work. In a state of anxiety, our brain tends to produce hormones such as noradrenalin and adrenaline. These neurotransmitters increase the activity of the heart resulting in symptoms such as increased heartbeat, sweating and a feeling of alertness.

Beta Blockers help to reduce the effect of these transmitters and reduce the symptoms of social anxiety. Beta Blockers are a type of anxiety medication that a doctor will prescribe to a musician before the musician goes onto the stage, but certainly not to a person who has been the victim of abuse and is suffering from acute anxiety on account of the experience.

On account of the fact that beta-blockers lower the heartbeat and blood pressure, people with low blood pressure should not take such medication to treat social anxiety. The drug should also not be given to people suffering from asthma or diabetes because of the side effects.

Beta-blockers are not approved for treating symptoms of anxiety by the Food and Drug Administration. They should not be used as a means of self-medication. If a beta-blocker drug is to be used to lessen the symptoms of anxiety, it should be done only under medical supervision.