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Experience with Propranolol

Old 08-23-2010, 09:36 AM
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Experience with Propranolol

I am a recovering Alcoholic and have had a history with Panic Attacks, Anxiety, etc. The panic attacks have been getting worse lately in public places. I guess the thing that scares me is I will be flying this week-I used to travel all the time and never had a problem, I also used to go to the mall without a problem. I am really unsure how I am going to handle the whole situation. To be proactive my counselor told me to go back to my Dr and tell her my concerns. My Dr, knowing my history wisely did not prescribe me one of the off the top of the head meds (Xanax etc). Instead she gave me a prescription to Propranolol saying it was non-addictive and did not mess with the head. Has anyone had any experience with this?? Just do not know what to expect and hate being blindsided by these things..Thanks Scott
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Old 08-26-2010, 12:48 PM
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Used it for about 2 months, then switched to Metoprolol. Both are beta-blockers. They decrease your heartrate to calm you down. Propranolol, from what I was told, is slightly different, because it can be used for social anxiety, delivering speeches to a crowd, and flights.

Neither helped for my anxiety. I took them for high blood pressure. I do not have "real anxiety" though. It may work well for you, a lot of people told me it has been a blessing. Test it out, and talk to your doctor about side affects. There's some research that beta-blockers can increase depression, but there isn't much evidence to prove it.

It is a safe med from what I was told, but I found this excerpt interesting ...

Propranolol is one of the banned substances in the Olympics, presumably for its use in controlling stage fright and tremors. It was taken by Kim Jong Su, a North Korean pistol shooter who won two medals at the 2008 Olympic Games. He was the first Olympic shooter to be disqualified for drug use
That's from Wiki
It's not a narcotic tho, and I wouldn't expect you to feel cravings because you're using it.
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Old 08-28-2010, 06:07 PM
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I have been taking propranolol for 8 months for anxiety. First, it is not mood altering at all so it is totally safe for your recovery. I take it in conjunction with sertraline (zoloft), an SSRI, and I find that the sertraline does most of the work for anxiety. That said, propranolol is very helpful for anxiety-provoking situations. It has helped me a lot with public speaking because it hinders the ability of your body to get flooded with adreniline, so no hightened heart rate, trembling hands, difficulty talking, or shortness of breath. It won't do much in terms of brooding-type anxiety or general butterflies, but it does a lot for physical manifestations of anxiety. Anyway, hope this helps.
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Old 08-29-2010, 01:47 PM
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Propranolol lowered my heart rate but did not help with the feelings of anxiety, so I stopped taking it. I learned to control my anxiety through meditation, and have not had panic attacks since I got out of rehab in April! I used to have debilitating panic attacks several times a week, I was on benzos for them for a while, but started abusing those along with my DOC so I knew I couldn't take them anymore. I now am able to curb my anxiety before it starts. Good luck to you!
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Old 08-30-2010, 07:36 AM
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Thanks for the input...I am also on Cymbalta for Depr and Trazadone/lunesta combo for sleep. I did try taking it this last week and honestly did not like the way I was feeling. Yes it lowered my heartrate, but still felt the anxiousness inside. Heck, I almost passed out in LaGuardia Airport yesterday..Weak legs, in a fog, cold sweats shakes..yada yada. I meet with the doc again on Friday. Funny thing is these panic attacks did not happen until she started messing with my meds about 4 months ago. Same time I was trying to quit smoking on Chantix (failed that test)..Thanks Again
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Old 06-05-2013, 10:41 AM
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This is an old thread, but I've just been prescribed Propanolol as after being off the booze for 5 weeks, physical and emotional withdrawal was really messing with me. Panic, anxiety, depression, fog, confusion - it's all been writing me on edge reay bad.
My doctor hasn't been great with explanation of the physical side of what I'm going through. Just that's it normal and I shouldn't worry, so he was giving me the beta-blockers to help me through.
Coming back and doing some research, there have been trials and papers suggesting that propranolol can in some cases reduce alcohol cravings.
Has anyone heard of this or had experience in this at all?
My doc didn't mention it, but now I'm wondering if this is something GPs do?
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Old 06-13-2013, 07:39 PM
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I've taken propranolol for many years to deal with public speaking. It works very well for that because your hands don't shake, your voice doesn't tremble, no matter how stressful the situation may be - it totally blocks the "fight or flight" response.

I can't say that it has had any effect on my alcohol cravings, or anxiety in general. I'm very doubtful that it would work for either. It's great for performers - actors, musicians, public speakers - but I've never noticed it made me need a drink less.
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Old 06-19-2013, 01:42 PM
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I've taken it for four years and has been extremely helpful...


A jack of all trades med I use it for high blood pressure, tremors, and anxiety/panic attacks.

extremely safe

highly recommend it

has some diuretic effects

Should add that this medication wasn't prescribed for anything to do with alcoholism or addiction...like withdrawals, withdrawal anxiety, etc.
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Old 07-27-2013, 03:19 PM
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What works for me is xanax ,I dont take them all the time ,But for a stressful event they are golden .

Doctors are relactunt to pescribe them these days ,I get 30 about every 2-3 months .

I take them only when needed ,and they work .
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Old 07-28-2013, 06:15 PM
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I've had a similar experience as Wiscsober. I was prescribed propranolol for public speaking (I was promoted to a position which required I chair meetings of 20-40 people). Propranolol just prevents the CNS response of high heart rate, shaking voice/hands, etc. Since, for a lot of folks, anxiety is made worse by the anticipatory aspect, propranolol (brand name: Inderal) helped me immensely with these symptoms. It also happened to help with the anxiety/panic attacks of opiate withdrawal.
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