View Full Version : Are beta blockers helpful for anxiety caused by stimulants?


ADDspacecadet
04-22-11, 09:24 PM
I was wondering about anyone's personal experience with this. SSRIs haven't helped me as much as I would like. I don't suffer from depression just anxiety and ruminations. I took adderall xr in the past but it didn't go well because I had bad physical anxiety while on it and during the comedown I would get very irritable. I wasn't on an ssri or anything for anxiety at the time.

So have these helped anyone? Do you need to be monitered regularly by a cardiologist or anything? I read that they lower blood pressure.

hollywood
04-23-11, 10:00 AM
you should try a beta blocker or tenex. I hope this helps? I know ssri's are really tough for stubborn adhd. This issue always seems to parallel being stuck in a life situation where you are not happy, maybe thats causing more of the issue of self doubt and anxiety. Good luck, yes and beta blocker like attenol or propranol or a alpha agonist like guanfacine may help.

Blueranne
04-23-11, 10:51 AM
Yes, beta blockers help me with anxiety on and off of stimulants. No, I dont have to be monitored regularly. I actually have a friend who is an expert witness in forensic nursing and her doc gave her beta blockers to take before she testifies during court. She says they help her immensely. Good luck!

Sandy4957
04-23-11, 04:58 PM
I take beta blockers for high BP and they really help with anxiety and rumination.

P.S. You would want to check out side effects, which include (or can include) weight gain, and complications for asthma (which I also have) because beta blockers slow the heart rate, which can mean that your heart can't keep up with the lungs during exercise. (I may have described that mechanism incorrectly, but that was how I understood it.)

Aspie101
04-25-11, 03:50 PM
I'm thinking they would help with supressing the physical effects like shaking, high BP, hyper tension, etc. and the antagonizing effect against norepinephrine effects would help as well. Its actually quite a novel thought because you get just the dopamine (sorta) which is responsible for the good effects unless your have narcolepsy. Beta blockers long term though increase risk of diabeties to what I would consider a very significant and real level, I just don't like beta blockers for anything other then heart issues. Another option might be low dose benzodiazepines with stimulants. So something like 0.25 or even 0.125mg of klonopin (longer acting benzo) with the stimulant for anxiety relieving effects much of the day. I've taken stimulants with benzo's and they seam to work excellent though I can not attest to this long term but I will be starting something similar soon (Adderall on top of my klonopin starting tomorrow).

hollywood
04-25-11, 04:02 PM
I'm debating guanfacine ( intuniv ) or cymbalta. I just can't take it anymore. It's like I am distracting myself by trying to worry and think about things that I don't care about. I'm not sure if intuniv would help. I've struggled with any of the ssri's or anything with serotonin.

Aspie101
04-25-11, 08:38 PM
I'm debating guanfacine ( intuniv ) or cymbalta. I just can't take it anymore. It's like I am distracting myself by trying to worry and think about things that I don't care about. I'm not sure if intuniv would help. I've struggled with any of the ssri's or anything with serotonin.
Guanfacine is a beta blocker so I'm not sure if your talking about using both guanfacine and a stimulant or monotherapy with it. Cymbalta might help but I doubt so in anyone with moderate to severe ADHD symptoms. Stimulants are the best choice if anxiety is a problem then I'll refrase what I said in my other post, I strongly recommend asking your doctor about taking something like clonazepam (klonopin) or lorazepam (ativan). SSRI's are not really great based off my experience, in fact I discontinued the SSRI I was taking because it actually increases plasma levels of amphetamines thus creating more adverse effects especially anxiety and it also increased the metabolism rate. I burned through focalin XR 20mg in a matter of 2 hours.

hollywood
04-25-11, 10:32 PM
Yeah I keep forgetting how bad my ADHD got on all the s s r I s or snri meds. It was awful , by the way, I mean taking intuniv with stimulants. My doctor thinks of benzos as the black plague? Intuniv really seems to help steer my attentional system away from distraction, and I feel as though worry is a senseless distraction

Aspie101
04-26-11, 07:11 AM
Yeah I keep forgetting how bad my ADHD got on all the s s r I s or snri meds. It was awful , by the way, I mean taking intuniv with stimulants. My doctor thinks of benzos as the black plague? Intuniv really seems to help steer my attentional system away from distraction, and I feel as though worry is a senseless distraction
Oh ok I think intuniv with a stimulant might be a good option. There's a slight drug interaction with beta blockers and amphetamines but its nothing dangerous and probably just as bad as SSRI/SNRI's with amphetamines. Allot of doctor's are afraid to write for benzo's, especially the short acting ones but the longer acting ones are safe so long as you don't go crazy with the dosing like some doctor's do (see story about woman on 22mg of Xanax a day then going cold turkey). Be sure to bring up both options with your physician though, its good to go over multiple options and ask him to be honest...I've had allot of physicians (mostly ones I don't see often) blatently lie to my face to avoid having to prescribe a controlled substance or do something they don't want to.

hollywood
04-26-11, 09:12 AM
thanks for your response. Yeah , I went ahead and started intuniv. For me I've been resistant to change for a long time, but lately I now understand that without some sort of addition to my stimulants I will never have the good focus that I had back in college or the mental clarity it took to be focused on many things individually without becoming completely overwhelmed by stress. What I'm dealing with I understand a bit more when I take intuniv with my stimulants , " today is my starting day so even in low dose I can kind of understand what the problem was for me. I don't think that I have a true anxiety issue , I mean I would worry all the time prior to stimulants to occupy my mind , this for me got me ready and prevented me from being underaroused. So when I got diagnosed in 9th grade , my results were awesome all through college even if I had to raise the dose. While my brain is stimulated I was always able to overcome the overanalysis chronic worry that I had prior to taking stimulants. Yet , after college I was overwhelmed , I couldn't apply my focus and spread it out like I used to and I became scattered because there was too much too do , so while on one task , I would feel guilt from not doing another . There was just too much to be done, and all of these feelings were making me feel inadequate and dividing my attention into hundreds of areas. I tried the snri's first and then every ssri, I just felt like crap... even on low dose. I started to feel pretty hopeless regarding alleviating the symptoms I had been experiencing. I just didn't understand how to treat it! I feel that with intuniv it dampens my attentional system down a bit so I can relax and focus on whats in front of me a bit better. I hope this works, so far I don't feel even close to as bad as I did on ssri's or snri's . I feel this really was an attentional issue or a attentional gliche in my system. Where stimulants would work fine in a stress free environment , when stressed I just couldn't chip things off one step at a time.

Aspie101
04-29-11, 07:08 AM
thanks for your response. Yeah , I went ahead and started intuniv. For me I've been resistant to change for a long time, but lately I now understand that without some sort of addition to my stimulants I will never have the good focus that I had back in college or the mental clarity it took to be focused on many things individually without becoming completely overwhelmed by stress. What I'm dealing with I understand a bit more when I take intuniv with my stimulants , " today is my starting day so even in low dose I can kind of understand what the problem was for me. I don't think that I have a true anxiety issue , I mean I would worry all the time prior to stimulants to occupy my mind , this for me got me ready and prevented me from being underaroused. So when I got diagnosed in 9th grade , my results were awesome all through college even if I had to raise the dose. While my brain is stimulated I was always able to overcome the overanalysis chronic worry that I had prior to taking stimulants. Yet , after college I was overwhelmed , I couldn't apply my focus and spread it out like I used to and I became scattered because there was too much too do , so while on one task , I would feel guilt from not doing another . There was just too much to be done, and all of these feelings were making me feel inadequate and dividing my attention into hundreds of areas. I tried the snri's first and then every ssri, I just felt like crap... even on low dose. I started to feel pretty hopeless regarding alleviating the symptoms I had been experiencing. I just didn't understand how to treat it! I feel that with intuniv it dampens my attentional system down a bit so I can relax and focus on whats in front of me a bit better. I hope this works, so far I don't feel even close to as bad as I did on ssri's or snri's . I feel this really was an attentional issue or a attentional gliche in my system. Where stimulants would work fine in a stress free environment , when stressed I just couldn't chip things off one step at a time.
Yeah personally I think SSRI's and SNRI's are great for depression and certain cases of other psychiatric issues like ADD but it is in no way first line and would not be if stimulants were not a controlled substance. I've been on allot of SSRI's for most of my life and I think they just burn out your brain which limited research has shown that SSRI's can "wear out" your serotonin receptors resulting in amotivational (lack of motivation) like symptoms which would make sense in my case. Anyway's if you get a chance keep me updated...I usually like to work with people who have similar diagnoses to myself as well as learn about the issues from a medical perspective so I can better help others. One more thing, don't be resistant to change I made that mistake and instead of getting into a big college or even an IV league like all my friends (I go to a prep-ish school) I had to settle for a community college for year since my grades slipped down. Good luck though :o

hollywood
05-06-11, 03:07 PM
well I've been on intuniv for a few days ( 2) and I have been scared to take it today because I have a heart murmur and got scared their would be some sort of interaction. It always seems like if I don't take a med right during the morning or time when I'm supposed to I will eventually talk myself out of taking it. I just don't want my blood pressure to spike. That being said my main issue is jumping from one thought to another ... Especially since trying to change things up. It's very annoying. I will debate in my head that since I'm going back and forth and uncertain that an snri would help. Then I remind myself that I was mentally confused on an snri, while at the same time I will remember certain points in time that I focused well with the additon after I adjusted and had no remorse or over thinking things when I made a decision. This I have mentally concluded is due to the fact that my mood was boosted so I must be depressed due to my situation ..which is very likely...Argghhhhhhhhh!!! The torture , oh the torture. Truth is that I could tell intuniv was taking my mind off one thing or distracting thoughts as they came which is great. I guess I'm just stressed or overly stressed in my situation...

ceebee
05-22-12, 12:11 PM
Guanfacine is a beta blocker so I'm not sure if your talking about using both guanfacine and a stimulant or monotherapy with it. Cymbalta might help but I doubt so in anyone with moderate to severe ADHD symptoms. Stimulants are the best choice if anxiety is a problem then I'll refrase what I said in my other post, I strongly recommend asking your doctor about taking something like clonazepam (klonopin) or lorazepam (ativan). SSRI's are not really great based off my experience, in fact I discontinued the SSRI I was taking because it actually increases plasma levels of amphetamines thus creating more adverse effects especially anxiety and it also increased the metabolism rate. I burned through focalin XR 20mg in a matter of 2 hours.

This is bad advice all around. First of all guanfacine is NOT beta blocker, it is an alpha-2 agonist. Second, benzodiazpines (Ativan, Klonopin, Xanax, Valium, etc.) are not good long-term solutions for anxiety. You build up tolerance very quickly to them, and will need higher and higher doses to achieve similar effect and many experience interdose withdrawal effects from taking the same amount on an everyday basis. Best to use them in emergencies (i.e. not every day) only.

known_guy
07-17-12, 10:44 PM
Right, I'd like to reiterate the fact that Guanfacine (Tenex/Intuniv) is not a beta blocker but an alpha-2 agonist; in contrast to Clonidine, a more selective alpha-2a agonist. Both are prescribed for hypertension, though I think beta blockers are more commonly scribed. In any event, from personal experience I found Inderal (Propranolol) helpful for anxiety, whether exacerbated by stimulants or not. Can't speak for other beta blockers though.

Steviepdx
08-03-12, 06:47 AM
No NO NO! Beta Blockers will actually increase hypertention/tachycardia/anxiety caused by stimulants... Stims act on the ALPHA receptors of the SNS (adregenic or Fight/Flight system). and Only an Alpha agonist (Clonidine) or alpha/beta combo (Labetelol) will reduce the symptoms... jusy usiong s beta blocker itsself can leave the alpha system unchecked and can cause severe hypertension/tachycardia/panic... im not a MD, but ive worked in ICU for 10 yrs and treated my fair share of Stim overdose patients

ceebee
08-03-12, 05:19 PM
No NO NO! Beta Blockers will actually increase hypertention/tachycardia/anxiety caused by stimulants... Stims act on the ALPHA receptors of the SNS (adregenic or Fight/Flight system). and Only an Alpha agonist (Clonidine) or alpha/beta combo (Labetelol) will reduce the symptoms... jusy usiong s beta blocker itsself can leave the alpha system unchecked and can cause severe hypertension/tachycardia/panic... im not a MD, but ive worked in ICU for 10 yrs and treated my fair share of Stim overdose patients

At therapeutic dosages (for both prescription stimulants and beta blockers), unopposed alpha stimulation is not usually a problem. Of course, each person should check with their doctor prescribing both before taking the combination. Patients may need to be monitored.

In acute cocaine (or overdose of prescription stimulants), the catecholamine surge coupled with blockade of beta-1 receptors can kill a person.

ArctoLupinus
09-29-12, 02:06 AM
No NO NO! Beta Blockers will actually increase hypertention/tachycardia/anxiety caused by stimulants... Stims act on the ALPHA receptors of the SNS (adregenic or Fight/Flight system). and Only an Alpha agonist (Clonidine) or alpha/beta combo (Labetelol) will reduce the symptoms... jusy usiong s beta blocker itsself can leave the alpha system unchecked and can cause severe hypertension/tachycardia/panic... im not a MD, but ive worked in ICU for 10 yrs and treated my fair share of Stim overdose patients

Very roughly and approximately, THIS...

Regarding BZD dependency/addiction potential, LOL...

I've been on or sampled Klonopin, Diazepam, Alprazolam, etc., whatever for years (as a person only in his mid-twenties--yes, lots of trauma in my life--bloody trauma)--simply to test self-mastery and the barebones reality of all the hysteria I hear about "BZD withdrawal syndrome"; I stopped cold turkey all BZD intake, and intelligently weaned off using naturalistic alternatives and medicines American doctors are criminally uneducated about, as "nationalists" I suppose (e.g., Russian-developed Phenibut I employed safely--i.e., phenylated GABA crossing the BBB with various anxiolytic and neuro-tonic effects; Picamilon...simplified...is Phenibut plus Niacin; etc.)--self-determination and personal ethical code overrode any monstrosity of imaginary dependency or withdrawal apocalypse. The body, in dysphoria, readjusted in time; in the chaotic phase, anxiolytics of herbal and naturalist nature sufficed... Every human is different however...

Intra-specific differentiation between each human subject and genetic protein programming is non-linear, to say the least. Response to drug therapy is obviously entirely modulated by means of individual genetics.

I had definite "dysphoria" upon abrupt cessation of BZD therapy, but no seizures, no hyped-up epipleptoid madness...only general feeling of uneasiness treatable by OTC options, really...

In medicine, there is the growing realization "generalizations" are not quite helpful, except when mathematically indubitable. I take an elephant-size amount of Klonopin, and I'm doing fine, empirically proven to myself and a number of doctors...no "addictive" issues, etc. Character is destiny, Heraclitus was onto something... So that's that...

ANYWAY: For tension associated with stimulant therapy, amphetamine-type especially, beta-blockers are the LAST choice...even in normotensive patients...

Either clonidine-type or BZD-type medicines are the safest in this context.

Beta-blockers while also on amphetamine show, basically, you are monkeying around with your neuro-receptors stupidly. Even super-selective ones are not preferred, if other possibilities exist. If necessary, minimal dosing universally.

Rationale: A-1 receptors increase vasoconstrictor effect peripherally; and B-2 receptors increase vasodilatory effect peripherally. End story: B-2 receptors negated, thus A-1 "super-storm" of self-contradiction of pharmacological logic. Necropsy. :(

Any pharmacologists or neuropyschopharmacologists, correct me if I'm wrong here.

Addiction exists only for addictive personalities--character is all--if you possess self-governorship, BZD co-administration alongside amphetamine is perfectly fine...even wise...