Metoprolol can relieve anxiety in some people by stopping the nerves in the brain from absorbing adrenaline.
Prescribing metoprolol for anxiety would be considered an off-label use of the drug, meaning it was not specifically developed or sold as a treatment for this type of problem. Metoprolol is a beta blocker that is intended to treat heart problems, including angina and congestive heart failure, and it can also be given to prevent heart attacks in people who have had one or who are at risk for some other reason. The drug has been shown to effectively reduce symptoms of anxiety in some patients and is believed to work by blocking certain receptors in the body that respond to stress hormones such as adrenaline. It may also be effective in reducing some of the negative physical effects of stress, such as an elevated heart rate and increased blood pressure.
Metoprolol is most commonly given to treat heart problems.
Chronic anxiety disorder is characterized by persistent worry that can affect a person’s ability to function normally in daily life. People with this type of condition may develop persistent fears of injury or death for themselves or their family members. They may also be hypochondriacs or have excessive health concerns, or they may have symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder, which is characterized by repetitive behaviors that the person has difficulty controlling. In addition to these mental issues, chronic anxiety disorder can also cause physical effects, and metoprolol can sometimes be used to reduce these symptoms. They include shortness of breath, heart palpitations or arrhythmias, and increased blood pressure.
Negative drug interactions with certain other medications may limit the use of metoprolol.
Metoprolol for anxiety is thought to work by preventing nerve receptors in the brain from absorbing adrenaline, a hormone the body releases in response to stress. The process of producing adrenaline in response to stress is called the fight-or-flight instinct. During a stressful or life-threatening situation, ancient people would experience a surge of energy and heightened senses, which could have made them more alert and able to fight off danger. While this instinctive response may have been beneficial under these circumstances, it has become a cause of physical problems in modern people who suffer from chronic anxiety.
Chronic anxiety disorder can affect someone’s ability to function normally.
While using metoprolol for anxiety can be effective for some people, it can also have harmful drug interactions with some other medications commonly used to treat these disorders. A person who is already taking other medications should see a doctor to make sure they can safely take metoprolol for anxiety. It is also important to report any negative side effects to a healthcare professional so they can be treated appropriately.