Should I take metoprolol for anxiety treatment?

metoprolol for anxiety
Medically reviewed by Dr. Mavra Farrukh

Key Takeaways

  • Metoprolol effectively manages anxiety symptoms by blocking the effects of adrenaline on the heart and other tissues, offering a cost-effective solution for individuals seeking relief.
  • Dosage and timing play crucial roles in Metoprolol’s impact, with noticeable calming effects within hours and comprehensive anxiety symptom improvement over a week of consistent use.
  • Before considering Metoprolol for anxiety, a thorough discussion with a healthcare provider is essential; recognizing its role in addressing physical symptoms while emphasizing the importance of a holistic treatment approach.


Anxiety, ranging from mild discomfort to severe panic attacks, affects millions worldwide. While various treatments exist, the focus here is on Metoprolol, a beta-blocker recognized for its cost-effectiveness in anxiety management. With inhibitory components targeting the physical manifestations of anxiety, Metoprolol is an effective option. In this blog, we will explore the drug’s nature, mechanisms for anxiety relief, and associated aspects. Beta-blockers, which are designed for heart-related conditions, including high blood pressure, have been found off-label use in managing anxiety symptoms. As societal challenges contribute to escalating anxiety rates, understanding effective treatments becomes crucial. Keep reading to explore more on how metoprolol works for anxiety. 

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Why do I feel better after taking metoprolol?

If you are someone who has been suffering from anxiety for quite some time and Metoprolol has been effective in helping you deal with it, the underlying mechanism of action is what makes you feel better after taking it. Metoprolol, classified as a beta-blocker, plays a pivotal role in alleviating anxiety by counteracting the effects of adrenaline, the hormone released during fight-or-flight responses. This medicine works by impeding the impacts of epinephrine, the fight or flight hormone, which prepares the body for stressful situations by increasing heart rate, rapid breathing, nausea, and elevated blood pressure. Often recognized as beta-adrenergic antagonists, beta-blockers like Metoprolol obstruct the hormone adrenaline from binding to adrenergic receptors in the body, particularly in the heart. Here is the breakdown of its mechanism of action for better understanding: 

  • What happens in the body normally: Adrenaline stimulates beta receptors in the heart. This stimulation increases heart activity.
  • How Metoprolol works: Metoprolol is a beta-blocker. It stops adrenaline from binding to these receptors in the heart. This calms the heart and reduces its workload.
  • Metoprolol’s broader impact: Beta receptors are in the heart and other tissues. Metoprolol affects all tissues with beta receptors, not just the heart. It influences the sympathetic nervous system, which responds to stress hormones.
  • Types of beta receptors: There are two types: beta-1 (mostly in the heart) and beta-2 (in various tissues). Metoprolol binds to both types without activating them.
  • How Metoprolol prevents reactions: By binding to beta receptors, Metoprolol prevents hormones like adrenaline from causing reactions. This stops the body’s normal responses triggered by these hormones.
  • Dose-dependent effects: Small doses of Metoprolol mainly affect the heart’s beta-1 receptors, maintaining its natural rhythm. Higher doses also affect beta-2 receptors, influencing breathing and potentially causing inhalation difficulties.

Understanding these details helps explain why people might feel better after taking Metoprolol for anxiety.

It’s because Metoprolol influences the body’s response to stress hormones, helping to manage anxiety-related physiological reactions.

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Is a 25mg dose of Metoprolol used for anxiety?

The standard metoprolol dosage ranges from 25 to 100 mg, taken once or twice daily. It’s crucial to note that the focus of Metoprolol in these contexts is not solely anxiety management. Regarding Metoprolol and its potential role in anxiety relief, it is essential to scrutinize the dosage and its alignment with the specific needs of individuals seeking relief from anxiety symptoms. While Metoprolol’s primary therapeutic domain lies in cardiovascular health, the exploration of its impact on anxiety introduces another dimension to its application in medical practice.

How long does it take for metoprolol to work for anxiety?

During the initial intake for anxiety issues, a noticeable impact can be seen, with a prominent difference in your state of calmness. However, the full effects of the medication typically require an hour or two. This lag time is characterized by a gradual drop in heart rate, contributing to an overall sense of peace.

For optimal results in situations demanding increased composure, such as a job interview, auditions, or exams inducing fear and nervousness, it’s advised to take Metoprolol approximately 2 hours before the anticipated stressor. This proactive approach aligns with the medication’s gradual onset and allows for a more stabilized emotional state during critical events.

Despite these general guidelines, individual responses can vary, emphasizing the importance of personal testing in a controlled environment to gauge Metoprolol’s impact. Factors such as metabolic rate, overall health, and specific anxiety triggers can influence how rapidly the medication takes effect.

While the initial calming sensation may be immediate, comprehensive improvements in anxiety symptoms may take up to a week of consistent use. This timeframe highlights the need for patience and adherence to prescribed dosage regimens as Metoprolol establishes its role in managing anxiety over time.

Which is better for anxiety, propranolol or metoprolol?

When suffering from anxiety, the choice between Propranolol and Metoprolol depends upon the person seeking the solution. Both medications function by reducing the effects of adrenaline, exerting control over the heartbeat rate, and stabilizing vital parameters such as blood pressure and breathing. However, Metoprolol is recommended for people with high blood pressure as it helps reduce both anxiety as well as blood pressure. While propranolol is prescribed to patients with acute anxiety problems like stage fright and post-traumatic disorder. 

The common properties of these beta-blockers lie in their capacity to reduce the unease associated with anxiety, achieved by decreasing the effects of adrenaline. Propranolol and Metoprolol may hinge on to individual factors, and consulting with a healthcare professional is crucial for personalized advice. The differences between these medications, including their specific impact on different beta receptors and potential side effects, require careful consideration in determining the most suitable option for anxiety management.

Consult a doctor

Before initiating metoprolol for anxiety, it is imperative to engage in a comprehensive discussion with your healthcare provider to explore all available treatment options. Metoprolol, along with other beta-blockers, proves beneficial in managing the physical symptoms of anxiety and stress, encompassing symptoms like sweating, dizziness, and a rapid heart rate. It is crucial, however, to acknowledge that while these medications address the physical aspects, they do not directly treat the underlying psychological causes of the condition.

In essence, metoprolol emerges as a safe and effective tool, particularly in the context of social phobia and performance anxiety. Its efficacy is often heightened when integrated into a holistic approach that includes therapeutic interventions, lifestyle adjustments, and, where necessary, additional medications. Recognizing the multifaceted nature of anxiety, consulting with a healthcare professional ensures a personalized and informed decision-making process, maximizing the potential benefits of metoprolol within a comprehensive treatment strategy.

Get an online consultation with one of our qualified professionals for anxiety

Other FAQs about Metoprolol

When should you not use metoprolol?

Certain heart conditions render the use of metoprolol oral tablets inadvisable. These conditions include sinus bradycardia, heart block, shock, specific types of heart failure, sinus syndrome, and severe issues related to blood circulation. These conditions serve as contraindications for metoprolol usage.

Does metoprolol improve mood?

Metoprolol treatment exacerbates depressive and high burnout symptoms while providing anxiolytic benefits independent of heart rate reduction in patients with clinical mental disorders related to chronic heart failure. Physicians should exercise vigilance when prescribing metoprolol to patients with mental disorders within the context of chronic heart failure.

What is the safest beta-blocker to take?

In beta-blockers, some may induce fewer side effects than non-selective counterparts for certain individuals. Specifically addressing heart failure, research studies identify three beta-blockers as primary choices: carvedilol, metoprolol succinate (the extended-release form of metoprolol), and bisoprolol.

Your Doctors Online uses high-quality and trustworthy sources to ensure content accuracy and reliability. We rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations to provide up-to-date and evidence-based information to the users.

Liu X, Lou X, Cheng X, Meng Y. Impact of metoprolol treatment on mental status of chronic heart failure patients with neuropsychiatric disorders. Drug Des Devel Ther. 2017 Jan 25;11:305-312. doi: 10.2147/DDDT.S124497. PMID: 28182127; PMCID: PMC5279819.

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