NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde Area Drug and Therapeutics Committee
Greater Glasgow and Clyde Medicines
Medicines Update

Propranolol for anxiety

The Prescribing Management Group (Mental Health) has produced guidance on prescribing of propranolol for anxiety which can be accessed here. Propranolol is a useful drug for somatic symptoms of anxiety, particularly tachycardia, sweating and tremor, but is not a benign drug. If used to treat anxiety, the lowest effective dose for the shortest period possible should be used.

Treatment should be continued according to response. Patients should be reviewed after six to twelve months' treatment and at least six monthly thereafter.

The following doses are commonly used in practice:

  • Acute situational anxiety - 40mg daily may provide short term relief.
  • Generalised anxiety (if longer term therapy required) - 40mg twice daily usually sufficient but may be increased to 40mg three times daily if required.
  • Anxiety tachycardia - 10mg to 40mg three to four times a day.





Published 05/01/2017