Metoprolol for Anxiety: Uses, Side Effects, and More

Metoprolol for Anxiety: Uses, Side Effects, and More

Therapeutic treatments with medication have become a common practice today. With normal life becoming much faster than before people always opt for quick fixes which will help them carry out daily activities with ease.

Medications have been used to treat and control a lot of mental disorders over the years. Ancient Greeks used drugs that gave psychedelic, narcotic, euphoric effects to the person taking it. Most of these drugs were derived from plant components.

A common medical condition which 40 million adults in the U.S alone suffer from is Anxiety. It is our everyday companion. Some individuals suffer from mild anxiety while some suffer from severe ones which are quite hard to control and can cause panic attacks in individuals if ignored. Today there are a lot of medications available out there that can be used to treat anxiety with therapy. Some of them include – Benzodiazepines which is a form of tranquilizers in other words they are sleeping pills to calm the active body, Xanax that enhances the anxiety inhibiting transmitters like GABA, Valium which is a type of Benzodiazepines and Metoprolol which is a beta-blocker, and changes the pattern in which your brain reacts to certain nerve impulses.

Today we will be talking about metoprolol. Metoprolol is used by many people because it is considered an affordable treatment for anxiety than other drugs which are quite expensive. Metoprolol is used to treat the physical symptoms of anxiety, like high blood pressure, increased heart rate, increased breathing, sweating, nausea, etc. The drug usually focuses on the heart and the heart muscles and is also used to treat various heart issues. It has inhibitory factors and thus helps in reducing the physical symptoms of anxiety.


Metoprolol is a beta-blocker used to reduce the physical symptoms of anxiety. Metoprolol does not reduce the psychological symptoms of anxiety and isn’t effective to treat anxiety. They are solely used to lower the physical symptoms whenever anxiety kicks in. Beta-blockers are also known as adrenaline blockers and block the neurotransmitters to avoid the flight and fight response. Many people who suffer from severe anxiety are recommended to take beta-blockers. There are different types of beta-blockers other than metoprolol available like:

Propranolol- works by slowing down the heart rate and helps the heart to reach blood to different body parts. It is often recommended to heart patients and people who have high blood pressure.

Atenolol- this particular drug is similar to other beta-blockers and is used to treat heart patients. The drug is effective to lower high blood pressure and is also used to treat migraines and headaches.

Bisoprolol- helps with heart issues like heart attacks, heart diseases, heart failure, hypertension and also is effective for preventing strokes.

How does metoprolol work?

Metoprolol is a beta-blocker and thus works by blocking the reactions that arise due to epinephrine, a hormone released during fight or flight situations. The drug helps in calming down the body by blocking the effects of epinephrine like increased heart rate, increased breathing, sweating, nausea, and high blood pressure. The drug blocks the stress hormone from making contact with your heart’s beta receptors. The drug can affect every other area that contains beta receptors like the heart tissues, smooth tissues, airways, lungs, kidneys. Beta receptors are present on every tissue that is part of the sympathetic nervous system and thus reacts to the stress hormone.

Metoprolol blocks the stress hormone contact with these beta receptors to avoid the flight and fight response. This avoids the heart from beating faster and maintains the normal rhythmic contractions and expansions of the heart. Small doses of the drug affect the heart’s beta-1 receptors only and thus maintain the heart’s normal momentum. Higher doses of the same drug can affect the beta-2 receptors as well which can affect the person’s breathing and cause problems while inhaling as they directly attack the lung and airway receptors.

The drug is commercially available in two forms or often considered as salts-

  • Metoprolol tartrate- Is a lower duration drug and often includes a small dosage. It works immediately and gives relief. These types of metoprolol are used before a heart attack to increase the person’s survival chances.
  • Metoprolol succinate- It is a higher-duration drug and lasts for long hours. It does not work immediately but lasts longer than the metoprolol tartrate.

Metoprolol and other psychological disorders

Metoprolol is a beta-blocker drug and does not help in treating disorders. The drug can even worsen a person’s depression and anxiety due to its inhibitory features. Even though the drug is quite affordable it should be taken with precaution.

Clinically approved or not?

Metoprolol is not approved clinically for the treatment of anxiety by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). But the drug is retailed off label as it works well in reducing the effects of epinephrine.

Where can you find metoprolol?

Metoprolol is not available for retail use and is a prescription-only drug. These drugs need to be prescribed by qualified health professionals who are recognized by the state. These drugs can be found at any cardiologist’s clinic.

Who is recommended to use it? 

People with heart problems ranging from irregular rhythms, hypertension, heart attacks, migraine, muscle seizures, etc. Any normal individual who does not suffer from any severe psychological disorder can use the drug. It is also recommended that people above the age of 60 years shouldn’t take the drug.

Is the drug effective on anxiety?

The drug is effective in reducing the physical symptoms of anxiety such as increased heart rate, sweating, tremors, and dizziness. But the drug cannot be used to completely cure the disorder.


The drug/ medication industry has expanded a lot over the years and now has every drug for every disorder, disease. Drugs have been used since the 1800s and are still used for treating patients. They don’t actually cure the disorder or the disease but add to the efforts and make the process faster. Some drugs help individuals perform their daily activities without interruption. But it is expected from you to not use any drug without a prescription as it may lead to severe consequences.

Metoprolol for Anxiety: Uses, Side Effects, and More

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