How long do beta-blockers take to work for anxiety?

This article will discuss how long beta-blockers take to work for anxiety. Aside from that, the article will show why beta-blockers are often used to treat anxiety, what are its side effects, and what should be taken into consideration when taking beta-blockers for anxiety.

How long do beta-blockers take to work for anxiety?

When you take beta-blockers for anxiety, you can begin to feel the effects from the first time you take them. Depending on what brand of beta-blockers you take, you may begin to feel its effects between half an hour, or two hours of taking the pill.

After that time, the medication will reach its full effect. But you should always keep in mind that every person’s body works differently, so you can feel its effects a little sooner, or a little later than said. If you are thinking about taking beta-blockers as a way to help you cope with anxiety, here is all you need to know about it.

What are beta-blockers? 

Beta-blockers, which are also called beta-adrenergic blocking agents, are a type of medication that will help your heart not be so affected by the fight-or-flight response. 

This medication will prevent the hormone that is related to stress, called adrenaline, from being in touch with the person’s heart beta responses. Doing this decreases the effect that adrenaline would have on you, relaxing your heart.

Because of that, it is often prescribed to treat high blood pressure, heart failure, and irregular heartbeat. But even though it is not listed in its label, beta-blockers are also used to help people with anxiety. The effect of beta-blockers on your anxiety will be felt for around three to four hours.

How do beta-blockers work for anxiety? 

When you decide to take beta-blockers for anxiety, the first thing you need to know is that they will only be effective in dealing with short-term anxiety. Beta-blockers will, in no way, treat the psychological aspects of your anxiety, and will hardly improve your anxiety disorder.

Rather than that, they will relieve you from some of the anxiety symptoms, in a short period, which makes the medication most effective when you are dealing with a specific stressful moment like doing a presentation. 

If you take beta-blockers for anxiety, you can expect that it will affect your heart rate, your shaky voice, trembling hands, sweating, and dizziness that comes with anxiety. But once the medication wears off, if you are faced with another stressful time, you may experience the reactions once again. 

The most common beta-blockers used for anxiety are atenolol and propranolol. Both of them come in pills, and the amount you will take will often be determined by your doctor. Keep in mind to never take more than prescribed since it can be harmful.

When you take beta-blockers regularly for anxiety, it is most likely that your doctor will prescribe them another medication, which will treat the anxiety disorder. But your doctor may also prescribe you some other treatments, such as therapy, or exercise.

What are the side effects of beta-blockers? 

When taking a medication you should always be aware of the side effects it can cause. Knowing if the ones are common side effects, and the ones that will lead you to get in touch with your doctor right away will help you take the medication safely.

If you take beta-blockers for anxiety, you can experience side effects from it mostly when you start to take them. The most common side effects are fatigue, cold hands and feet, headache, dizziness, depression, shortness of breath, vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation.

You should expect those side effects to improve within a few days of you taking the medication. But if you experience those side effects for a prolonged period, you should get in touch with your doctor, since they may need to change your dosage, or even change the medication.

But if you are taking beta-blockers, and you experience the following side effects, you should get in touch with your doctor right away: slow or irregular heartbeat, low blood sugar, asthma attack, or swelling with weight gain.

How long do beta-blockers take to work for anxiety?

What should be taken into consideration when taking beta-blockers?

If you and your doctor are talking about you taking beta-blockers as a way to manage your anxiety, there are some things you should take into consideration. The first one is that you should always tell your doctor about all medications you are taking, especially heart condition medications, or antidepressants.

Beta-blockers can interact with your medication, making your condition worse. Aside from that, some people should avoid taking beta-blockers for anxiety. Those are: people that have asthma, low blood sugar, low blood pressure, low heart rate, or even are in the final stage of heart failure.

Aside from that, you should never go off beta-blocker without talking to your doctor first. They will plan how to take the medication off slowly since the sudden stop from it can lead you to experience symptoms of withdrawal. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): How long do beta-blockers take to work for anxiety? 

What are the most common symptoms of anxiety? 

Anxiety often manifests itself through physical and emotional symptoms. The most common physical symptoms are increased heart rate, breathing rapidly, sweating, trembling, feeling weak, feeling tired, trouble focusing, and gastrointestinal problems. 

As for the emotional symptoms related to anxiety, the most common ones are: feeling nervous, inability to relax, or feeling tense. Along with a sense of impending doom, or danger. 

The person with anxiety will also have trouble thinking about anything else aside from the matter that is worrying them at the moment, and it may be difficult to control this. They may have trouble sleeping and have the urge to avoid what is triggering their anxiety.

Does anxiety have a cure? 

No, anxiety doesn’t have a cure. That is because there may be a genetic factor that led the person to feel anxious. And even though the person goes through treatment, they won’t be able to change that genetic predisposition. 

But it is important to keep in mind that anxiety can be treated. In that, you can begin to learn to identify what triggers your anxiety, and how to deal with it. And even though feeling anxious can be common at some periods of your life, when you feel like it is making your life harder you should look for treatment. 

Otherwise, it is most likely that the anxiety will get worse and harm your life and your well-being.

How can I stop my anxiety? 

If you are struggling with anxiety, aside from medication and therapy there are some other ways you can try to cope with it. The first thing you can try to do is practice some breathing exercises. That will help you center yourself, and move away from all those worries.

In the same way, meditation will also help you focus more on the present moment, rather than all the worries in your mind. Doing some self-care practices, such as massage, or other things that cause you to feel good, will be a great way to cope with anxiety.

You should also be careful about what you drink. Anything that contains caffeine can make you more agitated, and make your anxiety worse. You should also avoid having sugar, and processed food, which can often make you even more anxious because they can have a stimulant effect.

Aside from that, it is a known fact that money problems can often be an important cause of anxiety, so having some financial planning can be a great way for you to try to manage your anxiety.

Organizing the space you live and work in can also do wonders for your anxiety since it will make it easier for you to find the things you need. Having some fun time, it can be a day trip, an outing with friends, or other things you find fun can be a great help in battling anxiety.

Having a healthy lifestyle, in which you eat healthy food, and lots of greens can have a calming effect. You can try green juices, for example. Exercising also works wonders when you are dealing with anxiety. It will reduce your stress levels, and make your mood better.

Aside from that try to have a good sleep schedule since the lack of sleep can also cause you to be more anxious. And if you find yourself having trouble sleeping, you can use lavender to try and calm yourself. You can use a diffuser, or put some lavender oil on your wrists before you go to bed. 

Another way to deal with your anxiety is by trying to look at what is worrying you from a new perspective. Putting some real data in your thoughts can sometimes help you get a different perspective. 

Is anxiety all in my head? 

No, anxiety is not all in your head. Although most of the anxiety manifestations will be in your mind, such as the constant worry, you will most likely feel some symptoms in your body that are completely real. Don’t disregard how you feel, and try to deal with your anxiety the best way you can.

What are the types of anxiety?

Anxiety has many types. It can be that it manifests itself as Agoraphobia, which is a type of anxiety in which the person fears a determined place or situation. Anxiety can also happen as a reaction to a medical condition.

There is also Generalized Anxiety Disorder, in which the person can feel extreme anxiety in even the most ordinary events. Panic disorder is one in which the person will repeatedly have peaks of anxiety that will manifest intensely.

Separation anxiety disorder is one in which the person may fear losing their loved ones. And because of this fear, they will feel extremely anxious. Social anxiety disorder is the fear and sense of avoidance one may have when in social situations.

Phobias are anxieties a person can have when faced with a specific matter. People can have phobias of heights, or snakes, for example. And finally, there are unspecified anxiety disorders which are anxiety disorders that are intense but don’t meet the criteria for the other disorders.


This article showed how long it takes for beta-blockers to work when taken to treat anxiety. Aside from that, the article explained what beta-blockers are, how they work in people with anxiety, their main side effects, and what should be taken into consideration when taking beta-blockers.

If you have any questions or comments about this article, feel free to write them in the section below.


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