I was prescribed Propranolol short term for anxiety but wasnt told it was a beta-blocker and are now concerned that i might be on 80mg daily for the rest of my life
9 Dec 2011
Beta blockers are a type of prescription medication used to treat a variety of conditions affecting the heart and blood vessels.
Some of the most common uses of beta blockers include, but are not limited to: Treating high blood pressure (known medically as hypertension); Reducing the risk of future heart attacks and heart-related death in people who have had a heart attack; Treating angina (chest pain); Treating glaucoma.
Beta receptors are located in a number of places within the body, including the heart and blood vessels. Stress hormones (such as adrenaline) bind to these receptors and cause certain reactions in the body, such as an increased heart rate and an increased force with which the heart pumps blood. By blocking beta receptors, beta blockers cause the reverse effect of stress hormones. They lower the heart rate, as well as both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
Propranolol hydrochloride is a prescription medicine that has been licensed to treat several conditions related to the heart and blood vessels.
Some of the most common beta blocker side effects in general have included: A slow heart rate (bradycardia); Low blood pressure; Fatigue; Cold hands and feet; Dizziness.
There are a number of possible beta blocker side effects that you should report to a doc. These include, but are not limited to: Lightheadedness or fainting, which can be a sign of dangerously low blood pressure (hypotension); A very slow heart rate (bradycardia); Chest pain; Worsening of asthma; Depression; Signs of heart failure, such as rapid weight gain, swelling of the hands and feet, and shortness of breath; Signs of an allergic reaction, including an unexplained rash, hives, itching, unexplained swelling, wheezing, or difficulty breathing or swallowing.
It should be noted that stopping a beta blocker too quickly can cause problems, including serious problems such as heart attacks.
Few other side effects that seem to be associated with many beta blockers include, but are not limited to: Sexual problems; High cholesterol or high triglycerides; Insomnia; Masking of the signs and symptoms of low blood sugar (as might happen with diabetes); Exercise intolerance.
The above is a generalized scenario of a beta-blocker, please for more info do talk to your doc., take care.
9 Dec 2011
Beta-blockers affect the chemicals epinephrine and norepinephrine which mediate our "fight or flight" type responses to danger or fear. The beta-blocker actually blocks the receptor sites on the cells so the epinephrine or norpeinephrine can not attach, thereby blocking the chemical pathway and the anxiety causing response. Propranolol will address some of the symptoms you experience when anxious such as increased blood pressure. You are on a relatively low dose. People who need the medication for heart related conditions can expect to remain on the medication for long term.
Are you doing anything else to learn to control the anxiety so to not have to continue taking this med?
9 Dec 2011
I have not read the other answers so excuse me if already answered. Every drug has a receptor site where they attach. You have beta receptors in your heart and your lungs. The heart has beta 1 and beta 2 receptors. The lungs have beta 2 receptors. Beta receptors are receptors of the parasympathetic portion of your autonomic nervous system. So a beta blocker would block the effects of this system. For example if an effect of the beta 1 was to increase or control your heart rate then a beta blocker would act reverse of this... to decrease the heart rate. Beta 1 receptors are specific to the heart. Beta 2 are specific to the lungs. The heart as I said earlier has beta 1 and 2 receptors. Some of the drugs such as inderal or propranolol work on both beta receptors so it would work in the heart and the lungs. The only time this would be a problem is if u had asthma or another lung disease.
In that case you would need a beta blocker that was beta 1 specific such as lopressor or metoprolol. A beta 2 receptor blocker could make a lung condition worse.
I hope this helps a bit. Beta blockers treat some arrythmias, high blood pressure, and sometimes things like stage fright.
- Propranolol Information for Consumers
- Propranolol Information for Healthcare Professionals (includes dosage details)
- Side Effects of Propranolol (detailed)
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