Every person becomes anxious once in a while. Anxiety may be the work-related and accompany personal and emotional problems. The level of anxiety varies among people and in severe cases it can significantly affect normal functioning of the person. Extreme anxiety is typical for general anxiety disorder. The doctors have found solution for patients suffering from anxiety - beta blockers. Still, the treatment with beta blockers may be both, highly efficient and potentially risky.
Beta Blockers - General Info
Beta blockers represent a group of beta-adrenergic blocking agents which are primarily used in illnesses such as cardiac arrhythmia, heart attack and hypertension. They act as beta adrenergic receptor antagonists and diminish the effects of adrenaline and other stress hormones.
Beta Blockers and Anxiety
Beta blockers are prescribed to patients suffering from anxiety in order to reduce physical symptoms which accompany this condition. These medications can be highly effective in alleviation of trembling and shaking, migraine, hypertension, rapid heartbeat and several more symptoms which typically occur during the anxiety attack.
The goal of the therapy is to calm the nerves and this way the person can successfully overcome obstacles and deal with certain problematic situations. During anxiety attack human body releases increased amount of adrenaline and noradrenalin, hormones responsible for the symptoms of anxiety. By blocking of the receptors this hormone cannot be released and the symptoms are eliminated.
Types of Beta Blockers for Anxiety
The most commonly prescribed beta blockers for anxiety include propranolol, pindolol and atenolol. Propranolol is a beta blocker which can be highly effective in case of social phobias. Furthermore, propranolol is excellent in reduction of sweating and tension. Fortunately, this medication does not have many side effects. Propranolol is given to patients who make a speech in public. It is not prescribed to people who are suffering from asthma, certain lung and heart disorders and diabetes.
Another beta blocker prescribed to patients suffering from anxiety is atenolol. It is also given to patients with social phobias. Its effects last longer comparing to propranolol. This drug is very convenient since it is taken only once a day.
Side Effects of beta Blockers in Treatment for Anxiety
One of the problems related to beta blockers is that patients become too dependent on the medication. Secondly, prolonged usage of beta blockers may induce hallucinations and nightmares as well as some other problems in central nervous system. In some cases beta blockers may even intensify the symptoms of anxiety. Several more side effects include cramps, fatigue, nausea, delirium and diarrhea. All of the previously mentioned must be taken into consideration once the doctor is making decision whether to prescribe beta blockers or not.