Anxiety symptoms can be overwhelming, especially if you’ve tried medication after medication, and nothing seems to be working. Plus, many first-line anxiety medications like Xanax or other benzodiazepines have sedative effects and can be habit-forming, making them not ideal for everyone.
While beta-blockers like Lopressor and Inderal are primarily used to treat circulatory or cardiovascular problems, beta blockers can also effectively manage anxiety by helping reduce the physical symptoms of anxiety—such as a racing heart, sweating, and panic.
In this article, we’ll discuss each beta blocker’s benefits and side effects so that you’re prepared to have an informed discussion with a healthcare provider about your treatment options. We’ll discuss—
- What Beta Blockers are and how they can treat anxiety
- Doses and forms of Lopressor and Inderal
- Common side effects, drug warnings, and interactions of beta blockers
- Plus, many frequently asked questions surrounding these beta blocker medications
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|Drug Class||Beta blocker||Beta blocker|
|Brand / Generic Status||Brand name for propranolol||Brand name for metoprolol
|Form(s) of the Drug||• Extended-release capsule|
• Immediate-release tablet
• Clear, tangerine-flavored liquid suspension
|• Extended-release capsules
• Injectable solution
|Standard Dosage||Extended-release capsule:|
• 10 mg
• 20 mg
• 40 mg
• 60 mg
• 80 mg
• 1mg per mL
|Conditions Treated||FDA-approved uses: |
• Heart attacks
• Anxiety disorder
• Supraventricular tachycardia (fast heartbeat)
• Arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat)
• Thyrotoxic crisis (thyroid storm)
• Managing the physical symptoms of anxiety
|Cost||Brand name: |
• Not available for Rx
• $3.68 to $26.55 for a 30-day supply
• $153 to $171 for a 30-day supply
• $3.50 to $15 for a 30-day supply
|Side-Effects||Common side effects:|
• Dizziness or lightheadedness
• Nausea or vomiting
• Diarrhea or constipation
• Stomach cramping
• Sore throat
• Runny nose or congestion
Serious side effects:
• Slow or uneven heartbeats
• Difficulty breathing
• Weakness or loss of coordination
• Vision problems
• Coldness in your hands or feet
• Confusion or hallucinations
• Rapid weight gain
• Low blood sugar
|Common side effects:
• Shortness of breath
• Skin Rash
• Shortness of Breath/Wheezing
• Slowed Heart Rate
|Warnings For Use||Drug interactions: |
• Other blood pressure medications
• Other heart medications
• Other beta blockers
• Calcium channel blockers
• Certain antidepressants
Inderal and Lopressor are the Same Class of Drugs (Beta-Blockers)
Inderal and Lopressor are in the same class of drugs known as beta-blockers, which are primarily used to treat cardiovascular conditions such as high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, and other cardiovascular conditions.
What are Beta-Blockers?
Beta-Blockers, also called beta-adrenergic blocking agents, stop the activity of hormones like epinephrine (adrenaline). While beta-blockers can have other uses, they are often second-line prescriptions for lowering blood pressure and increasing circulation to avoid irregular heart rhythms, heart failure, chest pain, cardiac arrest, migraines, and certain tremors.
How Do Beta-Blockers Work?
When your body goes into fight or flight mode, you experience a spike in adrenaline that elevates your heart rate and breathing and activates your muscles. Beta-blockers work by slowing down this process and blocking the release of epinephrine into your system—hence “beta-adrenergic blocking agents.”
Inderal and Lopressor Can Treat The Physical Symptoms of Anxiety
Beta-blockers work by blocking the effects of adrenaline on the body, which can help control rapid heart rate, trembling, sweating, and shaky voice. By reducing the physical symptoms of anxiety, beta-blockers may also help reduce the psychological symptoms of anxiety, such as feelings of apprehension, worry, or fear.
Beta-blockers are typically used when anxiety symptoms are situational or related to specific events, such as public speaking, performance anxiety, or test-taking anxiety. They are not typically used to treat generalized anxiety disorder or other types of anxiety disorders.
It’s important to note that beta-blockers are not a first-line treatment for anxiety and are not appropriate for everyone. You should always discuss your treatment options with your healthcare provider to determine the best approach for your needs.
What Else Does Inderal Treat?
Inderal, also known as Propranolol in its generic form, is FDA-approved to treat heart conditions, circulatory problems, and migraine headaches. It has been used in an off-label capacity to treat certain anxiety symptoms.
Off-label Uses for Inderal
If you experience performance anxiety, you may be prescribed Inderal off-label to treat your physical symptoms. Inderal can help reduce performance anxiety symptoms, including dry mouth, rapid pulse, nausea, dizziness, and shaking or sweating hands.
What Else Does Lopressor Treat?
Known as the brand name form of the generic Metoprolol Tartrate, Lopressor is prescribed to treat high blood pressure, chest pain, acute myocardial infarction, and heart failure. It can also be used off-label to treat symptoms of short-term anxiety.
Off-label Uses for Lopressor
Beta-blockers can’t directly treat psychological anxiety symptoms, but they can work in the short term to alleviate symptoms like social anxiety. Lopressor is one such beta blocker that can be prescribed to reduce heart palpitations, sweating, dizziness, and shakiness related to stress before a social event or performance.
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Doses, Dosage Form, and Side Effects of Lopressor
You should always take Lopressor exactly as your healthcare provider instructs to minimize adverse side effects and get the most benefits from the medication.
Common Lopressor Doses and Forms
Lopressor comes in two forms: an injectable intravenous (IV) solution and a tablet. The IV is typically only used when the patient has already had a heart attack, whereas the tablet form is more commonly prescribed to manage symptoms outside of an emergency. Your healthcare provider can prescribe 50 to 100 mg tablets per day with food, depending on your symptoms and history.
Common Lopressor Side Effects
When taking Lopressor, you may experience the following common side effects:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Dry mouth
- Gas and heartburn
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Tiredness or drowsiness
- Reduced sex drive or impotence
- Sleep problems
- Skin rash
If you experience the following serious side effects, contact emergency medical services immediately:
- Shortness of breath
- Irregular heartbeat
- Cold hands or feet
- Rapid weight gain
- Changes in vision
- Slurred speech
- Muscle weakness
Common Lopressor Drug Interactions
Lopressor can interact with other drugs, including prescription medications, over-the-counter medicines, and herbal supplements, which can affect how Inderal works in the body.
- Other blood pressure-lowering drugs: Taking Lopressor with other medications that lower blood pressure can increase the risk of hypotension (low blood pressure).
- Calcium channel blockers: Taking Lopressor with calcium channel blockers, such as verapamil or diltiazem, can cause an excessive reduction in heart rate and blood pressure.
- Digoxin: Taking Lopressor with digoxin can increase the concentration of digoxin in the blood, which can lead to toxic effects.
- Antidepressants: Taking Lopressor with antidepressants, such as fluoxetine or paroxetine, can increase the concentration of Lopressor in the blood and increase the risk of side effects.
- Warfarin: Taking Lopressor with warfarin can increase the risk of bleeding, as Lopressor can interfere with the metabolism of warfarin.
- NSAIDs: Taking Lopressor with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen or aspirin, can decrease the effectiveness of Lopressor.
How Much Does Lopressor Cost?
The cost of Lopressor will vary based on whether you have insurance and your healthcare provider’s recommended dose. That said, beta-blockers are often more affordable, and you can pay anywhere from $3 to $10 a month, depending on your pharmacy.
Doses, Dosage Form, and Side Effects of Inderal
Inderal, or Propranolol, is prescribed in varying doses depending on your symptoms and the intended treatment. Like Lopressor, Inderal isn’t FDA-approved for anxiety and can have many side effects.
Common Inderal Doses and Forms
Inderal comes as an oral solution, injectable solution, tablet, and extended-release capsule. Because this medication can treat various conditions, your healthcare provider may recommend a dosage of anywhere between 40 mg and 320 mg per day as an off-label treatment for anxiety.
Common Inderal Side Effects
Inderal has several common side effects, including dizziness, tiredness, and lightheadedness as your body acclimates to the medication.
You may also experience:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Stomach pain
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Vision changes
- Unusual dreams
- Reduced sex drive or impotence
- Difficulty orgasming
If you have any of these serious side effects, contact emergency medical care immediately:
- Shortness of breath
- Blue fingers and toes
- Changes in your mood
- Numbness or tingling
- Slow heart rate
- Sudden weight gain
- Increased thirst or urination
Common Inderal Drug Interactions
Like Lopressor, there are potential drug interactions you need to be aware of when taking Inderal.
- Other medications that lower blood pressure: Taking Inderal with other blood pressure-lowering drugs can lead to hypotension, like taking Lopressor with other medications.
- Calcium channel blockers: Taking Inderal with calcium channel blockers can cause a sudden drop in heart rate and blood pressure.
- Digoxin: Like Lopressor, taking Inderal with digoxin can increase the concentration of digoxin in the blood, which can be toxic.
- Antidepressants: Taking Inderal with antidepressants can increase the concentration of Inderal in the blood, which increases the chances of experiencing negative side effects.
- Warfarin: Taking Inderal with warfarin can increase the risk of bleeding.
- NSAIDs: Taking Inderal with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) makes Inderal less effective in the body.
If you mix alcohol with Inderal, you could dangerously lower your blood pressure. Additionally, some multivitamins and minerals can decrease Inderal’s intended effects. Inderal should be taken with food exactly as prescribed to avoid adverse results.
How Much Does Inderal Cost?
Like Lopressor, the amount you’ll pay for your Inderal prescription will depend on your dosage and pharmacy. You can expect to pay anywhere from $5 to $13 a month for a 40 mg daily dose and $10 to $33 a month for 320 mg per day.
Do I Need A Prescription for Inderal or Lopressor?
Yes, Inderal, Lopressor, and other beta blockers require prescriptions and cannot be purchased without one. You should always source your beta blockers from a trusted pharmacy to ensure that your medicine is safe and works effectively.
Selling beta-blockers without requiring a prescription is illegal and can jeopardize your health.
Beta Blockers: Warnings For Use
Some drug warnings for taking Inderal, Lopressor, and other beta-blockers include:
- Asthma or COPD: Beta-blockers can worsen breathing problems in people with asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
- Bradycardia: Beta-blockers can slow down the heart rate, which can be problematic for people with a low heart rate (bradycardia).
- Heart failure: Beta-blockers can worsen heart failure in some people.
- Diabetes: Beta-blockers can mask the symptoms of low blood sugar in people with diabetes and make it harder to treat low blood sugar.
- Peripheral vascular disease: Beta-blockers can worsen symptoms of peripheral vascular disease (PVD), which affects blood flow to the limbs.
- Depression: Beta-blockers can worsen symptoms of depression in some people.
- Pregnancy: Inderal and Lopressor can cross the placenta and may cause harm to a developing fetus. They should only be used during pregnancy if the benefits outweigh the risks.
You must discuss these drug warnings with your healthcare provider before taking Inderal, Lopressor, or other beta blockers to ensure that these medications are safe and appropriate for your specific medical needs.
Lopressor and Inderal Frequently Asked Questions
What is Lopressor?
Lopressor is one of several beta-blockers (beta-selective 1) typically prescribed to treat cardiovascular issues like angina, hypertension, acute myocardial infarction, and congestive heart failure. This medication is also off-label to treat physical anxiety symptoms (racing heart rate, sweating, shaking, and dizziness).
What is Inderal?
Inderal is another of several beta blockers primarily used to treat migraine headaches, hypertension, chest pain, heart rhythm disorders, and other circulatory conditions. Additionally, this medication is prescribed off-label to treat physical symptoms of anxiety.
Are Lopressor, Inderal, and other Beta-Blockers the same drug?
While they may belong to the same class of drugs (beta-blockers), they are not the same medications. Each one has its own side effects, forms, and doses, and you should only take them exactly as your healthcare provider prescribes.
Why is Lopressor an off-label treatment for anxiety?
Lopressor is FDA-approved to treat cardiovascular issues, helping to slow your heart rate and widen your blood vessels to improve circulation. While it may not be approved to treat anxiety specifically, healthcare providers can use it off-label to treat the physical symptoms that anxiety creates.
What’s better for anxiety? Lopressor or Inderal?
Both medications have a similar impact on anxiety. Inderal may be the more popular choice as it works well for short-term relief and can have fewer serious side effects than Lopressor. If, however, Inderal makes you drowsy, Lopressor might be the better option for you, depending on the advice of your healthcare provider.
Can I drink alcohol on Lopressor or Inderal?
Alcohol (ethanol) interacts with Lopressor, Inderal, and other beta blockers and can reduce the intended impact of both medications. Because alcohol affects your blood pressure, you should not drink while taking beta-blockers. You should always consult your care provider before mixing alcohol with your medication.
Does it matter what time of day I take Lopressor or Inderal?
Inderal can make you tired, so it’s best to take your first dose with food before bedtime. After you’ve acclimated to the medication, you can take it morning or night, depending on what works best for you. Similarly, Lopressor should be taken with food in the morning or at night.
How Klarity Can Help You Access Anxiety Treatment
At Klarity, we know that waiting weeks for anxiety treatment doesn’t help your anxiety symptoms in the here and now. That’s why we make it easy to connect with a board-certified, anxiety, trained mental health provider who can diagnose and prescribe anxiety medication online if necessary.
How do you get started?
Schedule an appointment on Klarity today, and we’ll connect you with an anxiety-trained specialist within 48 hours.
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