View Full Version : My experience with propranolol (a beta blocker)

10-13-13, 04:15 PM
About propranolol:

Propranolol, also known by the brand name Inderal, is a beta blocker. Propranolol is an antagonist at the beta adrenergic receptor. The beta adrenergic receptor is present in the brain and the rest of the body, it normally is stimulated by epinephrine (adrenaline) and norepinephrine (noradrenaline). Propranolol blocks the effects of these fight-or-flight neurotransmitters.

Propranolol is primarily used to treat high blood pressure. The FDA label says the normal dose of propranolol for high blood pressure is 120 to 240 mg per day, but a dose of up to 640 mg per day may be needed. Some doctors will prescribe even higher doses, but that is off-label.

Several small studies have shown that 10, 20, or 40 mg of propranolol can reduce anxiety in various situations: before an audition, before public speaking, before receiving surgery, before performing surgery, and so on.

Propranolol is widely used by musicians to treat stage fright. It is especially effective at quieting the tremor in your hands.

Propranolol was the first successful beta blocker, and it is still one of the most popular. It is available in especially small tablets, compared to other beta blockers. Propranolol comes in 10 mg tablets, which is 1/64 of the FDA maximum dose. For most other beta blockers, the smallest tablet is 25 mg and the FDA maximum dose is like 200 or 300 mg. Propranolol tablets range in size up to 80 mg (in the US).

Propranolol crosses the blood-brain barrier well, which probably helps relieve anxiety. Some beta blockers do not. Propranolol blocks beta-1 and beta-2 receptors, which may help anxiety but also causes more side effects for people with asthma. People with asthma should take a beta-1 selective agent, not propranolol.

Background about me:

For the past several years, I was taking 10 to 15 mg Dexedrine IR per day for ADHD. It was very effective with few side effects.

In the past two months, my anxiety really spiraled out of control. I know exactly why, there are two situations in my life that are straining my nerves. Hoping to curtail my anxiety, I cut my Dexedrine dose to 5 mg per day (my doctor basically suggested it).

I also got a prescription for propranolol 10 mg tablets.

My experience thus far:

Yesterday, I took 2.5 mg. "Start low and go slow", words to live by when trying new medications. About 2 hours later, I took 5 mg. Then another 5 mg. Then I took 7.5 mg, just to use up all of the two tablets I had cut up. I felt nothing at all. My heart rate and blood pressure actually went up a little, possibly because of anxiety about the new drug.

Today, I took 10 mg. One hour later, I took another 10 mg. Now another hour has passed and I feel nothing. No orthostatic hypotension. No change in heart rate or blood pressure. No anxiety, but I wasn't anxious to begin with.

I will update this thread when I have more to report.

10-14-13, 03:10 PM

Day 1: 20 mg total, as 4 divided doses. No effects of any kind.

Day 2: 40 mg total, as 4 doses of 10 mg each. All 4 doses were taken within 3.5 hours. No effects of any kind.

Day 3: I decided to take a slightly higher dose of Dexedrine plus propranolol, to see if the propranolol eliminates the Dexedrine side effects. I took 6.25 mg Dexedrine (normal dose is 2.5 mg) plus 20 mg propranolol all at once. I think the propranolol does take the edge off the Dexedrine. My leg is bouncing a little, not as much as normal. My hands are not shaking. No excessive sweating. Normal heart rate. My heart rate would probably be at least 10 bpm higher without propranolol.

Propranolol may be an effective way to block Dexedrine side effects. However, 6.25 mg Dexedrine is not a high dose, even for me.

When my anxiety gets better and I am back on 10 to 15 mg per day of Dexedrine, I will get to really test propranolol.

The propranolol does not blunt the cognitive effects of the Dexedrine. I am feeling very sharp and a little stimulated, highly motivated.

10-15-13, 10:22 PM
I am highly curious about using propranolol to counter the anxiety from Dexedrine/Adderall. I will follow this thread with interest. Please continue to update.

11-03-13, 05:36 AM
How did you go with the Inderal? I am having to take 10mg x 2 daily as a preventative for migraines however i'm concerned that it may counteract with my dex...
Did the Inderal block the effectiveness of your ADHD meds?