Anti-Anxiety Pills

Propranolol for anxiety. Social anxiety treatment

Propranolol for anxiety. Social anxiety treatment


Dr. Brigitte Mueller-Morel, MDDr. Brigitte Mueller-Morel, MD

Social anxiety disorder definition

A social anxiety disorder (social phobia) is an uncontrolled attack of the anxiety that appears in certain situations of the social interaction. These are severe concerns when anxiety and fear appear during speaking in front of people, communication with other people.

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A social phobia may be specific for certain situation such as meeting new people, or have a general anxious perception of the social situation. It is very important for a human to know in what situation phobia appears, because knowing the origin of the disorder will help to restore a normal reaction.

Several important facts:

  • About 7,1% citizens of America at the age of over 16 have a social anxiety disorder.
  • About 13% of the adult population of the USA experience the attack of the social anxiety that is not related to the pathological changes of the psychoemotional state.
  • The disease often develops at the age of 13 to 18 but it may be asymptomatic for many years accumulating the psychological pressure.
  • About 1,8% of teenagers experience a severe type of the social anxiety verging on depression.

Unfortunately, many people do not pay attention to the first signs of the social phobia, so that about 80% of patients seek for a medical aid in 5-10 years after the development of the first disease symptoms.

Social anxiety disorder symptoms

The social anxiety disorder is characterized by some obvious symptoms when it is necessary to see a doctor:

  • A groundless concern that other people may experience a contempt for a human;
  • A fear not to show oneself in the best light before the audience or certain people;
  • Maniacal avoiding of situations that bring concern;
  • Fear of situations when a human can face a blame.

People with social phobia experience anxiety out of proportion to the situation they come to. For example, they feel black looks of other people and get upset because of it. They think that everybody are ready to judge them for any action, and therefore they avoid a social communication or performance.

overcoming social anxiety

The outbreak of the social anxiety is accompanied by the physiological symptoms:

  • Flush and redness of the face;
  • Excessive sweat;
  • Voice jitter and tremor of the hands and legs;
  • Poor concentration;
  • Slurred speech.

First off, it may seem that this person is not confident or feels shy but these symptoms may appear even if this patient talks to friends or relatives.

Social anxiety disorder treatment. Anti-anxiety tablets

One should understand the fact that frequent outbreaks of the social anxiety may increase the intensity of the cognitive, psychological, and somatic symptoms. Due to the social phobia, a person may have depression or generalized anxious disorder.

social anxiety cure

So, to prevent severer disorders, patients are prescribed a cognitive-behavioral therapy. It includes consultations with psychotherapist who will find a cause of the social phobia according to the depth psychology and correct the situation. The behavioral trainings, a cognitive development and pretend plays help a person to become more confident and defeat the fear of the society.

Dr. Brigitte Mueller-Morel, MDDr. Brigitte Mueller-Morel, MD: If a patient refuse from non-medicamental therapy, the anti-anxiety drugs are prescribed. They have a restricted action and are often used to reduce the symptoms of the social anxiety. Moreover, they do not always help to cure of a patient without cognitive and behavioral therapy.

As of today, doctors prefer using light medications for the treatment of the social phobia in order to avoid a load on the nervous system:

  • Benzodiazepines;
  • Serotonin and noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors.

These medicines help to reduce fear and anxiety, arrest the physiological symptoms and even prevent the appearance of the severe anxiety or depression. However, they have side effects, and so many modern psychotherapists use beta-blockers as a safer alternative to the anti-anxiety drugs.

Beta blockers for social anxiety

If we do not dig too much into the pharmacological peculiarities of the beta-blockers, we can make a conclusion that this group of medications arrest only physiological symptoms and do not help to control the cognitive and behavioral mechanisms. But it is a great mistake. Beta-blockers are unique because they are able to affect the cause of the social anxiety disorder. Moreover, they provide some help in the treatment of other types of the anxious disorders.

social anxiety disorder cure

The attack of the social phobia is accompanied by a great release of adrenaline in the blood. This increases psychological symptoms and causes a development of the physiological symptoms. The beta-blockers may control the synthesis of adrenaline, and so it influences on a source of the social phobia symptoms.

Moreover, the studies of the scientists from the American psychological association have detected that the use of the beta-blockers is as good as the classical anti-anxiety drugs but a prolonged and short-term use has a higher safety index, the side effects are caused seldom by 68%.

The modern psychotherapists who prefer the beta-blockers as the background therapy of the social anxiety disorder rely to this data. If the medications in this group do not help, a patient is prescribed more intensive medications.

How does Propranolol (Inderal) work for anxiety?

Propranolol is a non-selective beta-blocker and acts on the beta-adrenoceptors in the entire body. It is quickly absorbed in the stomach, and achieves the maximum in the blood within 1,5 hours.

tablets for anxiety Propranolol

Propranolol has a double action during the anxiety:

  • Blocking the adrenoceptors in the heart, it lowers the blood pressure, regulates the heartbeat, and so the physiological symptoms of the anxiety are reduced.
  • Blocking the production of adrenaline reduces a stimulation of the nervous system. Emotions, behavior, and thoughts can be easily controlled.

Dr. Brigitte Mueller-Morel, MDDr. Brigitte Mueller-Morel, MD: In case of the anxiety, Propranolol does not provide a direct action, just shows an indirect activity. It influences on the physiological processes that make a person experience fear and anxiety. Due to this, Propranolol is able to reduce the anxiety.

Propranolol (Inderal) dosage for anxiety

The use of Propranolol for the anxiety should be controlled by a doctor. The dosing is prescribed by a doctor who will estimate a severity of the anxiety symptoms and a general state of a patient.

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  • In case of the rare cases of the social phobia, Inderal is taken in the dose of 20 mg one hour before the occurrence.

If the anxiety symptoms bother a patient on a regular basis and frequently, Inderal is prescribed on a regular basis, and the medical course is as follows:

  • One tablet Inderal 20 mg 2 times a day within 3-4 months.

Bear in mind that if a doctor prescribed another drugs besides Inderal, or you are taking the additional anti-anxiety pills, the dosing of Propranolol should be lowered.

When to take Propranolol (Inderal) for anxiety?

Propranolol should be taken according to the instruction and the doctor’s recommendations should be followed. If the anxiety outbreaks appear seldom, it is useless to take the drug on a regular basis. The tablets are taken before the speaking or going to the public places.

Food does not influence on the bioavailability of Propranolol, and so you can take the tablets both before and after meals. The drug starts acting within an hour after the use of the dose of 20 mg, and so it is very important to calculate the time of the use to have the action of the drug at the needed moment.

How quickly does Propranolol work for anxiety?

The first therapeutic effect may be felt in 1-1,5 hours after the use of the tablet. But this effect is related to the inhibition of the somatic symptoms. In order to reduce the anxiety, more time is needed, up to 4 hours.

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A long-term effect appears within 2-3 weeks. A patient who is regularly taking Propranolol tablets has the improved psychological balance, and the outbreaks will be lighter.

It will be very difficult to completely get rid of the cognitive-behavioral therapy. Propranolol is not a panacea but it helps to overcome the disease attacks.

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