What Happens To Your Blood Pressure When You Take Beta Blockers

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Our body’s “fight-or-flight” response is fueled by adrenaline. This physiological stress response may have been helpful for early humans in avoiding death or danger, but can nowadays produce anxiety symptoms that interfere with job performance or quality of life. By blocking the release of adrenaline, however, beta blockers allow us to say goodbye to sweating, shaking, a racing heart, and other physical signs of performance anxiety, Cleveland Clinic experts explain. Here are some other ways in which adrenaline affects the body.

Beta blockers can be especially helpful for people whose careers put them in the public eye, such as athletes, actors, or public speakers. A 2022 scientific review published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences notes that musicians have been found to be most impacted by anxiety. While stage fright can ramp up months in advance, experts suggest beta blockers for short-term rather than long-term use. For example, propranolol — a beta blocker commonly prescribed off-label for performance anxiety — is suggested to be taken approximately 60 minutes prior to taking the stage.

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