What are Social Phobia Beta Blockers?
Two beta blockers that are used to treat social phobia are propanolol (also known as Inderal), and atenolol (also known as Tenormin).
Propanolol is used for temporary relief of symptoms of social anxiety. It should not be taken if pregnant or nursing. Side effects include sleepiness, light-headedness, short-term memory loss, very slow pulse, insomnia, diarrhea, cold hands and feet, and tingling or numbness in fingers and toes.
Atenolol is used on more of a long-term basis, but those taking it daily should not stop taking it abruptly, or there is danger of a sudden extreme rise in blood pressure that could cause a heart attack or stroke. Side effects include tiredness, dizziness, and cold hands and feet. Other possible side effects are a very slow heart rate, nightmares and depression.
These beta blockers can relieve some of the physical symptoms of social phobia, although if the symptoms are very severe, these drugs may be ineffective. Since beta blockers act to lower blood pressure and decrease heart rate, they are contraindicated for those who already have been diagnosed with heart conditions or low blood pressure. In addition, they should not be taken by those who have a number of other conditions including asthma, chronic lung problems or wheezing, diabetes or depression. Beta blockers may cause physical dependence if used on a continuous basis. It is recommended to use these drugs only occasionally, on an as-needed basis to alleviate the symptoms of social phobia.
Beta blockers are prescription medication, and must be prescribed by a qualified doctor who will tell you when they should be taken.