Beta blockers bind to, and block beta adrenergic receptors in the body. They inhibit the affects of epinephrine and norepinephrine on the sympathetic nervous system. Therefore, inhibiting the fight/flight/freeze response.
Propranolol is the most commonly used beta blocker.
Beta blockers have been used to treat hypertension, migraines, glaucoma, and phobias. They lower anxiety-related symptoms (fast heart beat, shakiness, palpitations, etc).
Side effects include:
- decreased heart rate (bradycardia)
- low blood pressure (hypotension)
- insomnia and difficulty sleeping
- depression (as a result of decreased norepinephrine activity in the central nervous system)
- sexual dysfunctions
- memory impairments