Oct
13

Q&A: How can I resolve panic attacks with propanolol?

Ask A Doctor Question: 

How can I resolve panic attacks with propanolol?

- Ken

Answer: 

Toby Watson, Psy.D. - LocateADoc.com

Good question. I would be interested in how a medical doctor would respond to it.  I am a psychologist and would not give out advice regarding particular medications and such treatment, or psychiatric Intervention control.  as I do not believe You can treat a psychological condition with a biological intervention, such as psychiatric drugs. You certainly can control the other symptoms, but this again is not actual treatment, but rather control through chemical restraint.

--Toby Watson, Psy.D.
Sheboygan, WI

Answer: 

David O. O. Saenz, PhD, EdM, LLC (Licensed Psychologist) - LocateADoc.com

Hi Ken,
 
As you probably know, Propranolol  is a beta blocker. It has been prescribed for treating high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, migraines, tremors (shaking), after a cardiac arrest to improve survival chances and for anxiety. With respect to anxiety, while it is an effective treatment option, it is likely not the most effective since it treats the symptoms primarily. Although Propranolol is a much quicker method than individual therapy, for treating anxiety disorders, it can have numerous side effects and consequences. 
 
A more effective approach would be individual therapy, where you would learn life-long the skills for managing anxiety. Some effective treatments have been Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Hypnotherapy and EMDR. You can see a psychologist or other therapist, or as many individuals do, start with a workbook (and there are numerous excellent ones) such as:
 
The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook?
The Mindfulness and Acceptance Workbook for Anxiety
 
Thanks so much for the question and best of luck to you.
 

--David O. O. Saenz, PhD, EdM, LLC (Licensed Psychologist)
Wexford, PA

Answer: 

Carolina Partners in Mental Healthcare - LocateADoc.com

Beta blockers have been found helpful as they address the physiological symptoms of anxiety such as rapid heart rate, the internal anxiety described as, "my eye is quivering and the butterflies in the stomach." It works without overly sedating a patient and it is not habit forming or addictive. Patients need to have their vital signs checked as beta blockers can slow one's heart rate and lower ones blood pressure so starting low and increasing to an effective level is needed.

--Carolina Partners in Mental Healthcare
Raleigh, NC

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