How quickly does Propranolol work for anxiety?

This article will center on understanding how quickly Propranolol works when you take it for anxiety. Aside from that, the article will explain what Propranolol is, how it works, its main side effects, and what you should under consideration before taking Propranolol for anxiety.

How quickly does Propranolol work for anxiety?

If you are thinking of taking Propranolol for anxiety, know that you can begin to feel its effect around 30 minutes to an hour after you take it. So if you are taking it to help you deal with a stressful event, you should take it around 30 minutes to one hour before the event.

But keep in mind that each person’s body works differently, and it may be that the time it takes for the medication to work for anxiety can vary a little from one person to the next. So if you are considering taking Propranolol for anxiety, you should learn more about it. So let’s discuss what are the most important things for you to know.

What is Propranolol? 

Propranolol is a medication that is part of the family of beta-blockers. This type of medication is used to treat heart problems. They will prevent adrenaline, a stress hormone, from causing more harm to the person’s heart. 

It decreases the person’s heartbeat, helps people with high blood pressure, and helps people with angina, or those that have an overactive thyroid. Because of the effect, it has also been prescribed, even if the off-label, to treat anxiety.

You should know that Propranolol comes in two types. It can be the standard release, which releases the substance quickly, and can cause you to take it several times a day. 

Aside from that type, there is the slow-release Propranolol, which will release the medicine slowly throughout the day, making it not necessary for you to take the medication more times.

Propranolol can come in tablets of 10mg, 40mg, 80mg, and 160mg. The slow-release Propranolol will come in capsules of 80mg and 160mg. As for the liquid form of the medication, it will come in strengths of 5mg, 10mg, 40mg, or 50mg in 5ml. 

When someone is taking Propranolol for anxiety they will usually take 40mg once a day at first and can go up to 40mg three times a day.

How does Propranolol work for anxiety? 

When a person is taking Propranolol for anxiety, it is because they are looking for medication to decrease the intensity of their physical symptoms of anxiety. It is important to highlight that Propranolol will not be able to impact the emotional symptoms of anxiety, such as the dread the person will have.

It will help with sweating, decreasing the heartbeat, the shaking, and dizziness. Because of that, Propranolol is often used in anxiety treatments as part of a joint treatment which can also include therapy, change in lifestyle, and other medications. 

Propranolol can also be used in cases in which the person is feeling anxious about one particular matter such as a job interview. The medicine will often work for around 3 hours in the person’s system. But you should never take more than what is prescribed by your doctor, or stop taking it all of the sudden. 

What are the side effects of Propranolol? 

As with any type of beta-blockers, and many other types of medication, Propranolol can also cause you to experience some side effects. Knowing what are the common side effects of the medication will allow you to know what to expect, and when you need to look for a doctor. 

You should know that once you start taking Propranolol for anxiety, it can be that you experience some side effects until your body adjusts to the medication. The most common side effects of propranolol are headaches, and feeling tired or dizzy.

Aside from that, you can feel cold hands or feet. Some people can feel nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach pain. 

But if you notice that those side effects are not going away after a while, you should get in touch with your doctor so they can consider adjusting your dose or changing your medication. And if you experience some of the more serious side effects, you should get in touch with your doctor right away.

The most serious side-effects related to propranolol are: the white of your eyes or your skin turns yellow, stool turns pale, or your urine gets darker. You should also tell your doctor if you experience a nosebleed for more than 10 minutes, or bruising without any cause.

How quickly does Propranolol work for anxiety?

What you should take under consideration when taking Propranolol for anxiety?

If you and your doctor are discussing you taking propranolol for anxiety, you should tell them what other medications you are taking. In knowing that, your doctor may think about the possibility of Propranolol interacting with other medications, which can impact the efficacy of the treatment, or even make your condition worse.

You shouldn’t take propranolol if you have any allergic reaction to it. Aside from that, don’t take propranolol if you have a low heartbeat, low blood pressure, risk of heart failure, diabetes, or liver and kidney problems.

People that have blood circulation problems, metabolic acidosis, lung disease, or asthma shouldn’t take propranolol. Women that are pregnant or breastfeeding should also prevent from taking the medication. 

When you are taking Propranolol, and miss a dose, you should take it as soon as you remember it. But if it is too close to your next dose, you can just wait for that one. You should never take more doses than what was prescribed to you.

If you take too much propranolol, it can lead you to overdose. If you experience it, you can feel your heartbeat slow down, and difficulty breathing. Aside from that, you should prevent yourself from stopping taking Propranolol all of the sudden.

If you do that, it can make your condition worse, and experience irregular heart rate, sweating, and shaking. If you wish to stop, talk to your doctor so they can help you do it slowly, and in a safer way.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): How quickly does Propranolol work for anxiety? 

Can I decide what medication to take for anxiety?

You may search for medications, and discuss them with your doctor. But ultimately you will need your doctor to prescribe you the medication, and you should follow their guidance. Remember to take the medication at the time your doctor prescribed, and in the same dose as proposed by them.

If you ever want to stop taking the medication, whichever it is, get in touch with your doctor since they will give you the proper orientation on how to stop it slowly.

What are the 5  major types of anxiety?

Anxiety has many types that relate to the main causes a person is anxious. The five major types are Generalized Anxiety Disorder, in which the person can feel extreme anxiety in even the most ordinary events. 

Panic disorder is also one of the most intense forms of anxiety disorder. In this one, the person will repeatedly have peaks of anxiety that will manifest intensely.

Social anxiety disorder is another intense form of anxiety. It is characterized by the fear and sense of avoidance one may have when in social situations. In social anxiety, the person may fear they will be judged by people around them.

Post-traumatic stress disorder is another major form of anxiety. This one is developed when the person is exposed to a traumatic event, and each time the memory of that event is triggered, they will experience intense anxiety symptoms.

Finally, Obsessive-compulsive disorder is also a form of major anxiety. In it, the person will have a compulsion to repeat some actions as a way to get some relief from their anxiety symptoms.

Is it normal to feel anxious?

Yes, anxiety is a common feeling a person may have whenever they are dealing with something new. It can happen during a job interview or going on a first date. But when the person adjusts to these moments, or they end, they will probably go back to not experiencing anxiety.

But unfortunately, for some people, those feelings of anxiety can be constant, more intense, and even happen without any concrete reason. When that is the case, it is possible to say that the person is going through an anxiety disorder.

Can I be cured of anxiety? 

No, a person can’t be cured of anxiety in the sense that they will never experience the condition again in their life. That is because there is a genetic factor that causes the person to develop anxiety. So even though the person goes through treatment, they won’t be able to change that genetic predisposition. 

But this shouldn’t lower your motivation to treat anxiety. Keep in mind that untreated anxiety tends to become worse and worse, and by going through treatment you will understand what triggers your anxiety, the root of it, and maybe even react to the triggers with less suffering.

What are the most common symptoms of anxiety? 

Anxiety will manifest itself through physical and emotional symptoms. The 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. 

It will also cause the person to have trouble thinking about anything else aside from the matter that is worrying them at the moment, and this may be difficult to control. Aside from that, people with anxiety may have trouble sleeping, and try to avoid what is triggering their anxiety.

How can I cope with anxiety? 

Anxiety is mostly treated with a combination of things. You may need to take medication, which will most likely make your symptoms less intense, and work on the chemical imbalance in your brain.

Aside from that, you can change your lifestyle to a more calm one, focusing on your self-care, exercising, eating, and sleeping well. When going through an anxiety disorder you should also work on finding some work-life balance, as a way to improve your stress levels.

Having activities such as meditation, yoga, or even breathing exercises at hand is also a great way to cope with anxiety. Through those, you will be able to center yourself and focus on your breathing rather than all that is going on around you.


This article showed how quickly Propranolol works when you take it because of anxiety. Aside from that, the article explained what Propranolol is, how it works when taken for anxiety, its main side effects, and what you should take under consideration when taking Propranolol for anxiety. 

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