Beta blockers performance anxiety

Beta-Blockers for Performance Anxiety

performance_anxietyHave you been tapped to offer a toast at the rehearsal dinner of your best friend’s wedding? Are you anxious about sitting for that upcoming licensure exam that you’ve put off for far too long? Do you find yourself dripping with sweat or shaking like a leaf at the mere thought of delivering a presentation to your company’s favored client?

If so, you’re not alone for sure. Performing under pressure where there is something to lose plagues all of to some extent. If or when you find yourself in such a situation, beta-blocker medications can potentially make quite a bit of difference for the better.

By blocking beta receptors in the heart, blood pressure, heart rate and cardiac output are all decreased. This has led to clinical uses in the treatment of hypertension, angina, and cardiac arrhythmias.joe Outside of physical medicine though, beta-blockers are used in the treatment of anxiety-prone situations with symptoms such as palpitations, sweating and tremor.

Commonly prescribed beta-blockers are Inderal (propranolol), Tenormin (atenolol) and Toprol ( metoprolol). When taken one to two hours prior to a stressful event, side effects are negligible – possibly a bit of tiredness and a slowed heart rate – which of course is a goal in alleviating peripheral anxiety symptoms. Beta-blockers are contraindicated though in those with asthma, emphysema and other respiratory disorders.

Use of Inderal in performance anxiety is customarily in a dosage range of 10-60mg – again to be taken one to two hours prior to the perceived stressful circumstance. These drugs have long benefited performers in many genres appear calm and collected when the “red light” goes on.

Performance anxiety

by cherry_bomb

Are there any musicians out there who have had to conquer their performance anxiety?
what helped you out of it?
i've got a performance in a couple of weeks and to say i'm nervous would be the biggest understatement of my life.
i wasn't like this as a kid, either.
do i just need to play more often in front of an audience? beta blockers? meditation? lobotomy? all of the above?
my teacher downplays my nervousness and just says "oh you'll do fine!" which is really no help at all.

I had overwhelming amounts of anxiety

by ---

Surrounding school, tests, work, and speaking engagements that lasted for several weeks. I eventually saw a doctor about it b/c the worry and stress was ruling my life. Just *seeing* the doctor helped immensely. I was prescribed beta blockers that I took one time before a performance, and it seems to break my personal cycle of anxiety, not to mention help with my public speaking. I only took the medication once, but just know I had something there was an immense relief. I suggest seeing your doctor and asking their advice.
Also - meditation. deep breathing exercises. yoga.

Ok, here's a serious reply

by serious-reply

If your anxienty problems cause shakiness that interfere with your performance, there are drugs (e.g. beta-blockers) but there are also natural methods. bananas have a chemical which inhibits the beta adrenaline (the one that makes you shaky), as does chamomile tea. try that as well as some deep breathing exercises. of course, more experience always helps, but even the most seasoned of musicians can get performance anxiety.
also, break down your goal into managable steps. try performing for some friends, then maybe a party or with a small ensemble, and gradually work on becoming more comfortable in a formal concert setting

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