Propranolol for anxiety: Everything you need to know

Propranolol for Anxiety
Medically reviewed by Dr. Mavra Farrukh

Key Takeaways

  • Propanolol treats the physical symptoms of anxiety and helps regulate the heartbeat.
  • The symptoms of anxiety are caused due to the chemical imbalance in the brain.
  • Propanolol is available for use in tablet, liquid, and capsule forms.


Anxiety can make daily life a challenge, and its physical symptoms, like a fast heartbeat, muscle tension, and insomnia, can be very challenging, even during seemingly ordinary events. Anxiety affects your body with physical symptoms like headache, nausea, digestive trouble, stomach pain, weakness or fatigue, sweating, pounding heart, trembling, increased heart rate, shaking, and muscle tension. Your doctor may recommend anxiolytics or medications like Propanolol to relieve the physical symptoms of anxiety so you can easily carry out your daily activities.

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How to use Propranolol for anxiety?

If you suffer from anxiety and experience physical symptoms like sweating, trembling, or a racing heart, Propranolol may help. Worry and nervousness, which are psychological manifestations of anxiety, are not alleviated by Propranolol.

While 10mg to 160 mg of Propanolol is generally considered an effective dose for anxiety, the precise amount that helps each patient differs. If the initial dosage of 10 mg isn’t enough, your doctor may prescribe up to four 10 mg of Propanolol before a big event. Propanolol should also be considered three times a day.

How does Propranolol work for anxiety?

Propranolol blocks beta receptors, which are part of the sympathetic nervous system. This way, Propranolol helps to reduce the effects of adrenaline and inhibits the physical symptoms of anxiety, such as trembling, increased heart rate, and sweating.

What is the best time to take Propranolol for anxiety?

The best time to take Propanaolol is usually an hour before an event that can cause anxiety. It can involve any situation that can trigger your anxiety, including any social interaction, traveling to a new place, or anything usual or unusual that can make you anxious and uncomfortable.

How long does Propranolol take to work for anxiety?

Propranolol can help to quickly relieve the symptoms of anxiety within 30-60 minutes. It can help reduce the symptoms of situational anxiety in 20 minutes. The effects of medication can last up to three to four hours. Propanolol can take up to a few weeks for heart conditions to fully achieve its efficacy.

Can I take Propranolol during pregnancy for Anxiety?

Although Propranolol is not considered dangerous while pregnant, it may affect the baby’s development in the later stages of the pregnancy. Common medical uses include lowering blood pressure and alleviating anxiety. 

There is no conclusive evidence that beta-blockers like Propranolol increase the risk of other pregnancy-related complications like birth abnormalities or premature delivery, although some research has shown that women taking these medications may be more likely to have a small-sized baby.

You should consult your doctor before using Propranolol if you are pregnant or trying to conceive so that they can assess the risks and benefits of the drug and recommend an alternative course of treatment if necessary.

Before an event, anxiety can be uncomfortable. Request Propranolol from a doctor to prevent anxiety

What to avoid with Propranolol when using it for anxiety?

When using propranolol for anxiety, it is important to be aware of certain precautions and things to avoid. Here are some important points to consider:

Be careful with other medications

Some drugs, including alpha-blockers, heart medications, and those that reduce cholesterol, may have an adverse effect when taken with propranolol. Communicating with your doctor about all of your medications is essential for minimizing the risk of drug interactions.

Avoid abruptly stopping the medication

Irregular heartbeat, sweating, tremors, and chest pain are some of the serious adverse effects that may occur if you abruptly discontinue taking Propranolol. To minimize the risk of adverse effects, your doctor will probably advise you to gradually reduce the dosage if you need to stop taking Propranolol.

Limit alcohol

Reducing alcohol consumption while taking propranolol will maximize the drug’s blood pressure-lowering effects.

When to consult a doctor?

If you experience worsening chest pain, unusual sweating, trouble breathing, or fast/irregular heartbeat, seek medical help immediately. If you are worried about side effects or interactions, talk to your doctor before taking propranolol for anxiety.

Some people struggle with anxiety. Online doctors can consult and refill anxiety medications

Other Questions about Propanolol for Anxiety

What is the right Propranolol dosage for anxiety?

It is recommended to take one 10 mg tablet thrice daily. If your doctor finds it necessary, he will recommend increasing the dosage to four times daily.

What are the side effects of Propranolol?

Propranolol can cause cold and swollen mouth, hands, feet, irregular heartbeat, extreme fatigue, dizziness, tiredness, chest pain, discomfort, dilated neck veins, difficulty sleeping, and nightmares.

How do you overcome the side effects of Propanolol while using it for anxiety?

It is recommended to take the medication at the same time every day, avoid alcohol, and gradually reduce the dosage under the doctor’s guidance.

How long does 40mg Propranolol stay in your system?

Propranolol has a half-life of about four to six hours. Around 20 hours may pass before the medicine is mostly eliminated from your body.

Who can and cannot take Propranolol?

Those who suffer from hypertension, migraines, anxiety, or arrhythmias are recommended Propranolol to counter these symptoms. Those who are at risk include those with asthma, emphysema, bronchitis, diabetes, erectile dysfunction, insulin resistance, gastrointestinal problems, dry eyes, or who have allergies to any of the medication’s components.

Can I take 10mg of Propranolol every day for anxiety?

Propranolol dosage is tailored to each patient’s specific requirements. Your doctor will determine the correct dosage. You should always check with your doctor before self-prescribing or making any changes to your dosage.

How effective is Propranolol for anxiety?

If you suffer from anxiety and experience physical manifestations like a racing heart or shakiness, propranolol may help. However, it doesn’t address the underlying psychological aspects of anxiety.

Does Propranolol have a calming effect?

Propranolol’s calming effect is more on the physical symptoms of anxiety. It can help reduce heart rate and trembling but may not directly impact the emotional or cognitive aspects of anxiety.

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.

Szeleszczuk, Ł.; Frączkowski, D. Propranolol versus Other Selected Drugs in the Treatment of Various Types of Anxiety or Stress, with Particular Reference to Stage Fright and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 202223, 10099.

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