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Can You Get Beta-Blockers Without a Prescription for Anxiety?

Can You Get Beta-Blockers Without a Prescription for Anxiety?

Beta-blockers are commonly used to manage high blood pressure and heart problems but also other issues like situational anxiety—a type of unease that typically arises in response to specific events, affecting our confidence and performance.

Because of their wide use and long history, many patients believe that you can get beta-blockers without a prescription. This article explains how to get and use these medicines in the safest and most effective way possible.

Can You Get Non-Prescription Beta-Blockers?

FDA-approved beta-blockers can only be obtained with a doctor’s prescription. These drugs block the action of adrenaline, a natural chemical our bodies produce in response to stress or fear. By doing so, they slow down the heart rate and reduce blood pressure, protecting your cardiovascular system and alleviating the symptoms of anxiety.

Still, individuals react differently to these medications, so your doctor needs to assess your health status to determine whether they’re safe for you. Two FDA-approved beta-blockers commonly used off-label to treat occasional anxiety are:

  1. Propranolol—The original beta-blocker
  2. Atenolol—A safer alternative for people with respiratory issues

Propranolol—The Most Famous Beta-Blocker for Anxiety

Propranolol is a non-selective beta-blocker that binds to beta-1 and beta-2 receptors in the body. While this broad spectrum of action allows it to be used to treat various conditions, it also means the drug can affect several body functions, including the respiratory system.

Individuals with certain respiratory conditions, like asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), may require alternative treatments. This decision is best made in consultation with a healthcare professional because they can determine whether propranolol is safe for you.

Atenolol—A Safer Alternative for People With Respiratory Issues

Atenolol is a selective beta-blocker. It targets beta-1 receptors predominantly found in the heart. The drug’s selectivity allows it to reduce the physical symptoms of anxiety without significantly affecting beta-2 receptors, which are more prevalent in the lungs. As a result, atenolol is often a safer choice for individuals with certain respiratory conditions because it’s less likely to constrict the airways than non-selective beta-blockers. The selectivity is more prominent if the drug is taken in lower doses.

Besides affecting different body functions, beta-blockers interact with other substances. To make the most of these drugs while reducing the risk of unwanted reactions, take them under your doctor’s supervision.

Source: Luis Quintero

How Do You Get Beta-Blockers for Anxiety Prescribed?

To get beta-blockers for anxiety prescribed, follow two simple steps:

  1. Schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider
  2. Discuss your symptoms, medical history, and any current medications or supplements you use with your doctor

If beta-blockers are deemed appropriate for your situation, your doctor will write a prescription. They may also schedule regular follow-up appointments to monitor your response to the medication and adjust the dosage if necessary.

While the process may seem straightforward, many people find it challenging to discuss their anxiety issues with their healthcare providers due to the stigma associated with taking these drugs for performance anxiety before exams, interviews, or public speaking events. However, thanks to telemedicine clinics like Kick, you can now have these discussions in a more comfortable and private setting.

Source: ANTONI SHKRABA production

Kick—Quick Solution for Situational Anxiety

Kick offers a quick and discreet solution for managing situational anxiety. This online clinic provides access to fast-acting and effective propranolol and atenolol, helping you excel in debates, presentations, or social events

The benefits of joining Kick include:

  • No waiting times—Consultation happens online and takes 10 minutes, eliminating the long waiting times of visiting healthcare providers in person
  • Privacy—Your consultations with Kick doctors are private and confidential, providing a comfortable environment to discuss your anxiety issues
  • Personalized treatment—After assessing your health status and anxiety issues, your doctor prescribes the best medication for you
  • Round-the-clock support—You can ask your doctor questions anytime via the platform, ensuring constant support
  • Convenient delivery—Your prescribed medication is delivered to your doorstep or local pharmacy in unlabeled packaging, ensuring convenience and privacy

Kick’s beta-blockers program has numerous glowing reviews on Trustpilot, demonstrating its effectiveness in helping many individuals overcome situational anxiety:

“I work in the dental field. Anxiety had taken over and physically created a nervous shake in my hands and sometimes down my whole body. I decided to try propranolol and the first day of taking it I was so calm. My heart didn’t race and I have been able to stop shaking completely. I’m able to perform my job much more smoothly and feel better with my heart rate not racing all day. Thank you Kick!”

Hannah, U.S.

How Kick Works

Getting started with Kick involves three simple steps:

  1. Visit the signup page to start a 10-minute consultation
  2. Complete the questionnaire to fill us in on your medical history and specific anxiety issues
  3. Enter your delivery address and payment details

Our team will assess your situation and get back to you within 24 hours. If Kick isn’t the best solution for you, you won’t pay for the initial consultation as per our Doctor Guarantee.

Source: fauxels

Common Side Effects of Beta-Blockers

Like any medication, beta-blockers carry the risk of side effects. While most symptoms are mild and temporary, being able to recognize them will help ensure the safe use of these drugs. Here are the typical unwanted reactions:

  • Fatigue
  • Cold hands or feet
  • Weight gain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Trouble sleeping

In rare cases, these drugs can cause severe side effects, including:

  • A very slow heart rate
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Swelling of the hands or feet
  • A cough that worsens when performing physical exercises

These lists aren’t exhaustive. If you experience any adverse reactions while on these medications, inform your doctor immediately.

Who Should and Shouldn’t Use Beta-Blockers?

Even though beta-blockers are generally safe and effective, they’re not meant for everyone. Check out a detailed breakdown of who should and shouldn’t take these medications:


Who Should Use It?

Who Should Avoid It?


  • People with high blood pressure

  • Individuals with irregular heart rhythm

  • Patients with angina

  • People suffering from migraines

  • Individuals grappling with occasional anxiety

  • Individuals with asthma 

  • People with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) conditions

  • Women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant

  • People with bradycardia

  • Individuals allergic to propranolol or its ingredients


  • People with angina

  • Patients with irregular heart rhythm

  • Individuals with high blood pressure

  • Individuals experiencing situational anxiety

  • Patients with certain heart conditions like bradycardia

  • Pregnant women or those planning to get pregnant

  • People allergic to atenolol or its components

These lists aren’t exhaustive. Inform your doctor about any chronic or current health issues you have so they can design the best treatment for you.

Natural Beta-Blocker Alternatives

If you don’t have a beta-blocker prescription, you can try natural alternatives. Natural beta-blockers—or non-prescription beta-blockers—are substances or nutrients found in specific foods, herbs, and supplements that can help manage anxiety. They function similarly to prescription beta-blockers by reducing the effects of stress hormones in the body.

Check out the table below for a detailed breakdown of the most popular nutrients:


Present In

How It Alleviates Anxiety Symptoms


  • Bananas

  • Oranges 

  • Spinach

  • Watermelon, 

  • Pomegranate

  • Avocados

Potassium helps balance out the negative effects of salt and relax blood vessel walls, which can reduce symptoms such as rapid heartbeat and palpitations


  • Berries

  • Dark chocolate

  • Artichokes, pecans

  • Beans

  • Orange vegetables

Antioxidants protect your cells from damage and can help prevent oxidative stress, a type of physiological distress that has been linked to high anxiety levels


  • Hawthorn berries

  • Hawthorn extract

This herb has mild calming effects and can reduce anxiety levels, especially when combined with California poppy and magnesium

Valerian root

  • Valerian root extract

Known for its tranquilizing effect, valerian root can help lower heart rate and reduce symptoms such as restlessness and nervousness


  • Turkey

  • Pork loin

  • Chicken

  • Pumpkin seeds

  • Soybeans

This amino acid can help produce nitric oxide, which can cause blood vessels to enlarge and may help reduce symptoms such as rapid heartbeat and palpitations

Garlic is also a famous natural beta-blocker, although experts are unsure how it actually works. It appears that human blood cells react to the sulfur in garlic, creating nitric oxide and hydrogen sulfide, which expand the blood vessels.

Are Natural Beta-Blockers Effective?

The effectiveness of natural beta-blockers can vary among individuals. While they can provide some relief, their impact is typically not as immediate or potent as prescription beta-blockers.

For instance, they may not provide instant relief during acute anxiety episodes, where medications like propranolol and atenolol can be more effective. Still, natural beta-blockers can be a valuable part of a holistic approach to managing anxiety, especially when combined with other strategies such as cognitive-behavioral therapy and lifestyle changes.

Long-Term Strategies for Coping With Anxiety

Source: Alex Green

For people with chronic anxiety issues, propranolol or atenolol alone may not provide a lasting solution because beta-blockers are only meant for short-term use. If you’ve been grappling with generalized or social anxiety disorder, you may need comprehensive strategies to manage the condition. Five helpful methods are:

  1. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  2. Mindfulness and relaxation techniques
  3. Physical activity
  4. Balanced diet
  5. Adequate sleep

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) helps individuals recognize and change thought patterns that cause unease. It involves identifying negative thinking, changing related behavior patterns, and improving emotional regulation. Working through these issues can help you identify and manage thoughts contributing to anxiety, alleviating unease.

Mindfulness and Relaxation Techniques

Mindfulness and relaxation methods can help you focus on the present moment, promoting relaxation and calmness. These techniques include:

  • Meditation
  • Breathing exercises
  • Progressive muscle relaxation
  • Yoga

Physical Activity

Several studies show that regular exercise is a natural anxiety reliever. Physical activity increases the production of endorphins, chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers and mood elevators. Exercise also improves sleep, reduces stress, and boosts self-esteem. Depending on your preferences, activities can range from walking and cycling to vigorous exercise like running or aerobics. 

Balanced Diet

A healthy diet can significantly impact mental health. Certain foods may contribute to anxiety—for instance, caffeine and alcohol can provoke anxiousness and trigger panic attacks, so you should limit their consumption if you have chronic anxiety. Instead, consider a diet rich in the following:

  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Vegetables
  • Lean proteins
  • Whole grains
  • Fruits

Adequate Sleep

Sleep is crucial for maintaining emotional balance and mental health. Lack of sleep can exacerbate anxiety symptoms and increase the risk of developing anxiety disorders. Some strategies to enhance sleep quality include:

  • Maintain a regular sleep schedule
  • Create a restful environment
  • Limit screen exposure before bedtime
  • Incorporate relaxation techniques like meditation or deep breathing exercises into your nightly routine

To make the most of these long-term strategies, you should practice them regularly and consistently.

Featured image source: SHVETS production