A Guide To… Beta Blockers

What are beta blockers?

Beta blockers are little tablets that slow the heart rate down and make it beat with a bit less force by blocking certain hormones from entering – such as adrenaline. You may know them as Propranolol (a type of beta blocker). They can only be obtained with a prescription from your doctor.

Who are they for?

Beta blockers work for so many different conditions – angina, high blood pressure, but more specific to this blog – anxiety. My doctor told me how many celebrities use them before big appearances and performances, so the use is much more widespread than you may think!

propranolol
Credit: link

Use with anxiety

Working by combating the physical symptoms of anxiety, they reduce the tremors, heart racing, even the excess sweating (anxiety is so sexy). After taking a tablet, you should see the symptoms reduce dramatically within 30 minutes – great if you can feel an attack coming on or know there’s something that may cause extra stress. Beta blockers are only a short term solution to the physical effects of anxiety so it won’t reduce anxiety over time.

Side effects

There shouldn’t be any long term side effects to taking beta blockers, if taken correctly. However, some do experience weight gain. Personally, I found that I experienced migraines, dizziness and drowsiness.

How do I get them?

Doctor only. If you feel like beta blockers are something you may be interested in trying then book an appointment with your GP (if you are worried, take a look at my A Guide To… Talking To Your GP) and have a chat about your anxiety and how it effects you. The doctor may think that beta blockers are a good choice in your treatment, or may offer something different!

**If you or your loved one’s condition is critical, suicidal, or just very worrying, please call 999. You can also contact the Samaritans on 08457 909090 24 hours a day or Mind‘s infoline on 0300 123 3393 (Mon-Fri 9am-6pm)**

If you need help and support, you can email me (megrrees@gmail.com) or tweet me @megrrees.

M x

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