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Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2012
Total Posts : 42
   Posted 3/29/2012 5:01 AM (GMT -7)   
Good morning!
Recently Ive noticed a trend in my panic attacks.. they always start with palpitations! I was wondering if beta blockers would help with this as a short term thing? Maybe if I could stop the physical response before it develops into anxiety. I'm a nurse and i know that beta blockers do block that "flight or fight" response, so I'm interested to hear your answers... anyone on beta blockers like atenolol or propranlol for anxiety?

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 33
   Posted 3/29/2012 5:17 AM (GMT -7)   
I have palpitations, they're very common as i'm sure you know. You just need to know that there's nothing wrong and i think breathing exercises even simple deep breathing can help. Although sometimes they don't, i sometimes get a heart rate of ~130bpm while resting which breathing does not help, eventually i've just learned to ignore it as there is nothing i can do.

Beta blockers are an option, i was given propranolol for anxiety but for me it actually exacerbated my sleep paralysis so i couldn't keep taking it. There's probably no harm in trying them though.

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2012
Total Posts : 42
   Posted 3/29/2012 5:25 AM (GMT -7)   
I honestly just think they would help bc it seems the palps exacerbate my anxiety. I think trying them short term might b a good option to consider. Thanks for your advice!
"Today you are you and that's truer than true, there's no one alive that can be you'er than you." - Dr. Seuss

Scaredy Cat
Forum Moderator

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 26962
   Posted 3/29/2012 7:21 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Rach and welcome to HW!

I am really glad to see you posting and responding:) I am sorry that you are dealing with the palps at the moment. They can be very frightening...even if you know that they are harmless, it is hard to ingnore the fact that your heart is flopping around like a fish in your chest!!!

Many members have used Beta Blockers for this symptom. I personally don't have experience with them. I don't feel that my palps are regular or severe enough for that, but I do use self-calming techniques such as progressive muscle relaxation and breathing. I also have to watch that I don't eat too much at once, as a full stomach and certain foods can trigger them.

There are so many post/threads on this subject! If you would like to read more on it, do a search here at HW. Click on the search button at the top of the page, and it will give you the links!

Take care, look forward to getting to know you better, and keep posting.:)


"Courage is not the abscence of fear, it is feeling afraid and doing it anyway!"

"It is when we are most lost that we sometimes find our truest friends"

Panic Syndrome recovery due to CBT

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2012
Total Posts : 42
   Posted 3/29/2012 7:27 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks SC! I look forward to getting to know you better also :) I def wanna be interactive here, I think support is going to be a must with the anxiety we're under. I know I don't have alot of experience but I'm trying to help out lol have a good day!
"Today you are you and that's truer than true, there's no one alive that can be you'er than you." - Dr. Seuss

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 3/29/2012 7:38 AM (GMT -7)   
Sometimes it is hard to know which came first, the palpitations or the panic. Heart  palpitations can be caused by anxiety, stress, fear and many other things.

Reducing stress and anxiety can help lessen your heart palpitations. Try breathing exercises or deep relaxation (a step-by-step process of tensing and then relaxing every muscle group in your body) at the time of your heartbeat sensations. Also, consider practicing yoga or tai chi on a regular basis to reduce the frequency of your palpitations.
Beta-blockers control some of the physical symptoms of anxiety, such as trembling and sweating. Propranolol (Inderal) is a beta-blocker usually used to treat heart conditions and high blood pressure. The medicine also helps people who have physical problems related to anxiety. I have been on Inderal for years for BP control as well as a familial hand tremor.  However, I am not prone to panic but to GAD.
Please know that you are not alone and that we all know where your coming from and what you going through.  I hope you keep on talking with us. 
Be well,
Moderator: Anxiety, Osteoarthritis,
GERD/Heartburn and Heart/Cardiovascular Disease.

"Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass...
It's about learning how to dance in the rain."~ Vivian Greene

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 1080
   Posted 3/29/2012 7:55 AM (GMT -7)   
Hey Rach. For the first time in my life, I faced a pretty severe anxiety attack about a month ago. (My doc says it has probably been building up for many years, but in any event came to a crescendo about a month ago). I am still dealing with it. Sometimes well;often not very well. People on this board have been quite helpful. My doctor did prescrible atenolol 25mg. od (He also gave me .5 mg Xanax prn -- though I cut them in half when I take them) and Lexapro 10mg (but I could not tolerate the initial side effects so reduced, with doc's permission, to 5mg, for now). I did not have palpatations other than on occassion, but I think the doc believed the atenolol would help me sleep. Not sure it is - but I am taking it. My doc said the use of beta blockers for anxiety is more common in the UK than in the US (where I am located). My best wishes to you, Medved.

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2012
Total Posts : 42
   Posted 3/29/2012 2:07 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for the replies! I think I'm going to attempt therapy before I start any medications, but for now I may have to take my Xanax if I have an attack, the last time I took one was over a month ago. I hope this is a good sign!
"Today you are you and that's truer than true, there's no one alive that can be you'er than you." - Dr. Seuss
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