What are Beta Blockers?
Due to their hormone blocking properties, doctors prescribe beta blockers to treat heart disease such as angina, heart failure, aarrhythmia (irregular heart beat), and can also be used to prevent future heart attacks and strokes. Certain beta blockers such as propranolol can be used to treat high blood pressure and heart failure. Beta blockers are also used to treat situational anxiety and other stress related illnesses such as migraines.
Beta blockers, particularly propranolol is taken to help those suffering from anxiety as they reduce the body’s physical reactions to stress. The medicine lowers the heart rate, which helps the body to relax. Depending on your anxiety, a doctor may advise them to be taken daily or just before a high-stress event.
For instance, you may want to take a beta blocker before giving a speech to reduce your anxiety. However, as they cannot help to treat the psychological causes of anxiety, blocking agents are used as a short-term solution.
For more information about Beta Blockers.
The symptoms you exhibit will depend on the condition you have.
The main symptoms to watch out for with an irregular heartbeat are:
- Chest pain or feeling of pressure in the chest
- Feeling dizzy or light-headed
- Feeling fatigued or weak
- Feeling short of breath or anxious
- Fainting or almost fainting
- A rapid heartbeat or pounding in your chest
- In extreme cases, you may collapse or have sudden cardiac arrest
The most common symptoms of anxiety are:
- Feeling nervous or tense
- A constant sense of dread that something bad will happen
- An increased heart rate
- Feeling tired or weak
- Trouble sleeping
- Uncontrolled worrying
- Trembling and/or sweating
In the case of high blood pressure, you are unlikely to exhibit any physical symptoms. The only way to know for sure if you have high blood pressure is to have a blood pressure test.
The diagnosis procedure will depend on the condition you suspect you have.
High blood pressure can only be diagnosed by having a blood pressure test, which will determine whether you have regular, high or low blood pressure. You can order a test kit and test your own blood pressure at home, or you can go to your GP and they will be able to do it for you. After reviewing the results of your test, they will be able to suggest the most suitable medication for you, as well as any lifestyle changes you could make that may help your condition.
For situational anxiety and other anxiety issues that may benefit from beta-blocker medication, your doctor may refer you to a mental health specialist to find out more about your triggers and symptoms. There are also questionnaires you can fill out with your doctor to see how severe your anxiety is.
To diagnose an irregular heartbeat, your doctor will review your medical history and your symptoms. They may also perform one or more of the following heart monitoring tests:
- Electrocardiogram test (ECG)
- Holter monitor
- Implantable loop recorder
- Event recorder
Alternatively, you could complete an online consultation at Medicine Direct, which will be reviewed by one of our certified doctors, who will prescribe you the correct medicine for your condition.
What treatments are available?
Our UK registered pharmacy offers two different types of beta-blockers. The dosage of beta blockers is condition and severity dependent. It is important to answer our online consultation thoroughly so that the correct dose is prescribed for you.
After an online consultation with one of our certified doctors, they will prescribe you the medication they deem the most suitable for your specific needs. You can then buy this from our online pharmacy; if you order online by 2pm, we can also offer you free next day delivery.
Between one to four tablets may be taken each day. Your doctor will assess the strength of your dose based on your individual needs. Bisoprolol and is available to order in boxes of 28 x 2.5mg doses.
Propranolol 40mg tablets are typically prescribed for the treatment of anxiety. However, for conditions such as angina it can be one tablet up to two to four times a day. It is available to buy in boxes of either 10mg or 40mg doses, in packs of 28 or 56 capsules.
What is Propranolol used for?
Propranolol is a beta blocker medication that is used to treat a number of different issues for people who have a heart condition, including:
- High blood pressure
- Preventing heart attacks, heart disease and strokes
- Treating illnesses that can cause atrial fibrillation and an irregular heartbeat
You can also take Propranolol if you have too much thyroid hormone in your body, as this medicine helps to reduce your symptoms. This will normally be taken in conjunction with medication to treat an overactive thyroid.
How does Propranolol work?
Propranolol slows down your heart rate, which makes it easier for the heart to pump blood around the body.
Read our detailed guide to propranolol to learn more about how it works and who is suitable to take propranolol.
When is Propranolol a suitable option?
This medication is not suitable for everyone to take. Speak to your doctor if you have:
- Low blood pressure or a slow heart rate
- Heart failure
- Lung disease
- Have had an allergic reaction to Propranolol or any other medication in the past
- Severe blood circulation problems
- Metabolic acidosis
Propranolol vs Atenolol
Both of these beta blocker medications are prescription-only and are commonly prescribed for people with blood pressure problems and angina. They are also both prescribed for anxiety problems.
The dosage of Atenolol is generally higher and it is usually more expensive.
Our guide to beta blockers compares the most common beta blockers and what they are used to treat.
Do beta blockers cause muscle pain?
One of the side effects of beta blockers is muscle cramps, although this will not affect everyone who takes them.
When you first begin to take beta blockers, you may experience some side effects. If any symptoms begin to interfere with your day to day life, you should contact your GP. Your doctor will be able to rule out whether the symptoms are due to the medication.
Do not stop taking beta-blockers without first speaking to your doctor. A sudden cut off from the medication can cause withdrawal symptoms. Your doctor could instead prescribe a weaker dosage of beta-blockers, which your body may tolerate better.
Some of the common side effects reported include:
- Dizziness or weakness
- Bodily aches and pains
- Nausea or vomiting
- Slow heart rate
If you are prescribed beta blockers, our team of doctors and pharmacists follow the NICE guidelines when prescribing beta blockers.
Is Propranolol good for anxiety?
What are the side effects of Propranolol?
Like all medications, Propranolol comes with the risk of certain side effects, although not everyone will suffer from them. In most cases, the side effects are only mild and do not last for long.The most common side effects of Propranolol are:
- Cold hands and/or feet
- Sleeping problems and nightmares
For a comprehensive list of beta blockers' side effects, always read the patient information leaflet before starting your course of treatment. If you are concerned about the adverse effects of Propranolol, we advise you to speak to your doctor before starting the medication.
Is it possible to overdose on Propranolol?
Yes, it is possible to overdose on this medication. Taking an overdose of Propranolol can slow down the rate your heart beats too much, making it difficult for you to breathe. You may also experience dizziness and trembling as a result of taking too much. It varies between each person as to how much can lead to an overdose, but you should still either go to A&E, or call 111 or your doctor straight away if you take more Propranolol than you are supposed to.If you do need to go to a hospital, you should not drive yourself in case you experience dizziness, trembling or shortness of breath; either call for an ambulance or ask a friend or family member to drive you instead. If you need to go to hospital, take your medicine with you, including the information leaflet and the packet.
Does Propranolol cause weight gain?
Can you drink alcohol while taking beta blockers?
Medicine Direct have an experienced clinical team of doctors, pharmacists and dispensers, all of whom are based in the UK. All are fully trained and qualified to provide appropriate and considered care across all areas of treatment we have available at our online pharmacy.
This means that no matter which member of our team is assigned to your case, you can rest assured that you are in the hands of a highly skilled medical professional, who possesses the compassion and clinical expertise to properly advise you on the best course of treatment.
We are fully regulated
All of our doctors and pharmacists are fully registered with both the General Medical Council (GMC), MHRA and the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC). Each member of our team has also worked in various clinic settings in the past, such as community pharmacies and NHS hospitals.