Let’s say you’re preparing for a speech.
As you’re running over your notes backstage, you notice your voice quivering. You try to take a few deep breaths to calm it, but your breath has become so shallow and uneven you can’t seem to slow it down. Your hands feel clammy and shaky, the notecards you’re holding quivering as you get ready to stand up at the front of the room.
If it were up to you, you wouldn’t be caught dead on stage.
But you have a big presentation at work you just can’t get out of. Small room, only a few people, but the CEO will be there which is why your stress levels are hitting the roof.
The anxiety of performing, whether it’s in front of a room full of people, in an exam, or in any number of other high-pressure situations, can trigger an overactive adrenaline rush and set off our internal alarm system like we’re the Titanic and just hit the iceberg.
And beta-blockers can be an effective way to control those frustrating symptoms holding you back.
Taking 10-20 mg of Propranolol an hour before your big event will help the physical symptoms of anxiety subside.
How does Propranolol treat anxiety?
Propranolol, a type of beta-blocker drug, is commonly prescribed by doctors to relieve the symptoms of anxiety.
Because it works by blocking adrenaline from being released throughout the body, it helps slow your heart rate, ease your breathing, and prevent your hands or voice from trembling.
In short: your body won’t physically react to the fact that you’re under an intense amount of pressure.
Propranolol can help alleviate some of the emotional anxiety too as it can prevent a further spiral into panic that the physical symptoms of anxiety cause many of us.
How quickly does Propranolol work for anxiety?
Doctors generally recommend taking 10-20 mg of Propranolol one hour before a pivotal moment like a big performance, a critical exam, or an important job interview.
That hour gives your system enough time to process the Propranolol and to ease your symptoms. Additionally, Propranolol metabolizes pretty quickly; therefore, it’s important to not take your dose too early on as its effects can wear off.
Propranolol is a prescription medication and may not be right for everyone. You can find out whether it’s right for you by registering for a consultation with one of our board-certified doctors.
Reviewed by Dr. Alex Dimitriu
Dr. Alex Dimitriu is a Stanford-trained physician with dual board certification in psychiatry and sleep medicine. The included content is not intended to replace medical advice. Always be sure to discuss any prescription medications with your doctor.