Beta blockers are capable of blocking neurotransmitters such as norepinephrine and epinephrine (adrenaline) from attaching to beta receptors on nerves. These chemicals are involved in the “flight or fight” response in the body and activate the sympathetic nervous system. Beta blockers are non-addictive, non-narcotic sedatives that help reduce symptoms of anxiety.
Beta blockers are used to fight heart attacks, angina, and migraines. Off-label use includes hyperthyroidism, restlessness, and anxiety. These types of drugs are often used in a dual diagnosis treatment setting in drug and alcohol rehab centers.
Beta blockers can be found on receptors inside and outside of the brain. The receptors outside of the brain, which are responsible for the peripheral nervous system, are primarily responsible for heart rate, diaphoresis (sweating), tremors, and other physiological responses. In this capacity, beta blockers can slow metabolism, improve circulation and cause the sensation of calm. The peripheral nervous system is responsible for sending messages to the central nervous system which, in turn, enables communication with the organs, muscles, and glands.
People suffering from asthma, diabetes, high blood pressure or overactive thyroid are not the best candidates for the use of beta blockers.
- (High or low??)Blood sugar levels in diabetics
- Decreased heart rate
- Closure of airways
- Decreased blood pressure
There are no specific withdrawal symptoms from the use of beta blockers as the half-life (the length of time the drug stays in the body) is only a few hours.
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