modifying stress - beta blockers

  • Created by: Elyseee
  • Created on: 08-01-21 11:15
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  • Beta Blockers
    • how they work
      • antagonist action - reduce activity of SNS, reducing subsequent symptoms
      • Beta adrenoceptor blocking agents - block receptor sites for adrenaline and noradrenaline, dampens physical effects
      • Breathing and heart rate do not increase, person feels calmer and less anxious
      • Do not stop anxiety, block outward signs of it
      • Useful in acute stress situations eg) public speech - reduced negative effects of stress such as shaking, sweating, change in voice pitch
    • different types
      • non-selective - eg) propranolol, block adrenaline and noradrenaline in other areas of body as well as heart. Block beta1 and beta2 receptors, will affects heart, kidneys, liver and other areastled
      • Selective - eg) atenolol, affect mostly heart, less effect on other parts of body. Block beta1 receptors only, will mostly affect heart and reduce cardiac output
    • off-label use
      • Primarily prescribed for heart conditions eg) angina and high blood pressure
      • ‘Off-label’ for anxiety conditions, manufacturer not applied for licence for beta blockers to be used to treat anxiety
      • Drug not undergone clinical trials to test whether it is safe or effective for particular condition
      • If a doctor feels the benefits outweigh the risks then they may prescribe beta blockers, usually at a lower dosage than they would for heart conditions
    • use by musicians
      • Due to calming effects, used by musicians to deal with stage fright, make them more able to perform under pressure
      • Lockwood 1989 - 2000 musicians in US symphony orchestras, 27% used beta blockers, 19% used them on daily basis
      • More up to date evidence is limited, anecdotal evidence suggests that today the numbers are much higher


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