Beta-blockers in psychiatry

ß-blockers

ß-blockers such as propranolol block both β-adrenergic receptors. Other agents such as metoprolol and atenolol

have a higher affinity for the β1-receptors and are thus more specific for this receptor. As is represented in the graphic, when the post-synaptic receptor is blocked, the effects of these receptors are also blocked. Note that the symptoms of anxiety and tremulousness are associated with all the post-synaptic receptors, but a blockade of only the post-synaptic β-receptors will lead to a reduction in these symptoms.For more information on β-blockers click here.

1

Specific β2-adrenergic blocking agents are commonly used agents in psychiatry. 

2

Specific β2 adrenergic blocking agents are commonly used agents.

3

β-blocking agents are used for the chronic treatment of obsessive compulsive disorders. 

4

Propranolol is appropriate therapy for an asthmatic patient who develops stage fright on opening nights of his orchestra’s symphony.

5

Clonidine (an α2 adrenergic agonist) is also appropriate therapy for the symptomatic management of anxiety.