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Thread: Blood pressure, panic attacks and propranolol

  1. #1

    Blood pressure, panic attacks and propranolol


    I have a question about propranolol. I have panic attacks when I'm at the doctor's surgery (weird, I know) even just walking in and god forbid, getting my blood pressure checked. I take propranolol for anxiety as palpitations and physical symptoms are a massive feature of my anxiety condition (I've had my heart checked and it's fine, by the way).

    With the propranolol in my system, my heart doesn't beat as fast when the adrenalin and anxiety hits but tends to beat a bit harder (as expected). I also get a tight chest, bloating in my stomach (I think due to hyperventilation) and very tense all throughout my body.

    When I went to the doctor's last week, and had my BP checked, it was through the roof as I was having a panic attack with the cuff on my arm.

    Even though my heart wasn't beating 150bpm (it was probably 90-100) could the fact that I was having a panic attack still contribute to the higher BP reading? Can BP still rise in acute anxiety with a beta blocker in your system?

    Wasn't sure so thought I'd ask.

  2. #2
    KK77's Avatar
    KK77 is offline NMP Complaints Mismanagement Controller
    Join Date
    Aug 2009

    Re: Blood pressure, panic attacks and propranolol

    Absolutely - only it won't be as high as it would have been without the betablocker. Propranolol won't prevent the psychological fear developing into a PA but should ease symptoms, so it's all relative.

    Speak to GP about other options if propranolol alone is not doing enough. Or look at perhaps increasing dosage.

    Never Surrender, Comrade

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    , , United Kingdom.

    Re: Blood pressure, panic attacks and propranolol


    This is just a courtesy reply to let you know that your post was moved from its original place to a sub-forum that is more relevant to your issue.

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2017

    Re: Blood pressure, panic attacks and propranolol

    Propanolol can only do so much, the body still responds to the stress that we're feeling in certain ways, blood pressure is definitely one of them. Especially when your already in a situation that you've experienced high levels of anxiety in the past. - Also panic attacks in the doctors office isn't as uncommon as you might think... certainly not weird!

    Positive Vibes,


  5. #5

    Re: Blood pressure, panic attacks and propranolol

    Thanks Mouse. That helps. I feel like it blocks my heart from racing uncontrollably but as it isn't custom-built to open arteries and vessels it doesn't seem to be doing too much for blood pressure in a panic attack

  6. #6

    Re: Blood pressure, panic attacks and propranolol

    I also have had many panic attacks at the Dr's office. I have tried propranolol and had the same result, no matter what I do my BP is through the roof at my doctors visit; my cardiologist has confirmed I have white coat syndrome, but I guess most of us on the board probably have it. My latest idea is to up the dosage before next visit, but that should only be done with the consent of your Dr. The best resource is to get your own BP monitor and check it at home. Also, you can have the DR check your BP right before you leave, by then it should be normal-high.

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