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Lopressor vs. Inderal: Which Should I Take?


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Anxiety symptoms can be overwhelming, especially if you’ve tried medication after medication and nothing seems to be working. While beta-blockers like Lopressor and Inderal are primarily used to treat circulatory or cardiovascular problems, they can also effectively manage anxiety. 

In this article, we’ll discuss each medication’s benefits and side effects so that you’re prepared to have an informed discussion with a healthcare provider about your treatment options. 

If you want to talk to an anxiety-trained care provider, Klarity can connect you with a specialist within 48 hours. Just fill out this brief mental health assessment, and we’ll match you with the right healthcare professional.

Inderal and Lopressor are the Same Class of Drugs (Beta-Blockers)

Inderal and Lopressor are in the same class of drugs known as beta-blockers, primarily used to treat cardiovascular conditions.

What are Beta-Blockers?

Beta-Blockers, also called beta-adrenergic blocking agents, stop the activity of hormones like epinephrine (adrenaline). While these medications can have other uses, they are often second-line prescriptions for lowering blood pressure and increasing circulation to avoid irregular heart rhythms, heart failure, chest pain, cardiac arrest, migraines, and certain tremors. 

How Do Beta-Blockers Work?

When your body goes into fight or flight mode, you experience a spike in adrenaline that elevates your heart rate and breathing and activates your muscles. Beta-blockers slow down this process by blocking the release of epinephrine into your system.

Inderal and Lopressor Can Treat The Physical Symptoms of Anxiety

When you experience a panic attack, it’s often accompanied by a racing heartbeat, dizziness, sweating, or shaking. Inderal and Lopressor can reduce those physical symptoms of anxiety by slowing down your heart rate and widening your blood vessels to increase circulation. 

What Else Does Inderal Treat?

Inderal, also known as Propranolol in its generic form, is FDA-approved to treat heart conditions, circulatory problems, and migraine headaches. That said, it has been used in an off-label capacity to treat symptoms of certain kinds of anxiety. 

Off-label Uses for Inderal  

If you experience performance anxiety, you may be prescribed Inderal off-label to treat your physical symptoms. Inderal can help reduce performance anxiety symptoms, including dry mouth, rapid pulse, nausea, dizziness, and shaking or sweating hands. 

What Else Does Lopressor Treat?

Known as the brand name form of the generic Metoprolol Tartrate, Lopressor is prescribed to treat high blood pressure, chest pain, acute myocardial infarction, and heart failure. It can also be used off-label to treat symptoms of short-term anxiety. 

Off-label Uses for Lopressor 

Beta-blockers can’t directly treat psychological anxiety symptoms, but they can work in the short term to alleviate symptoms like social anxiety. Lopressor is one such beta blocker that can be prescribed to reduce heart palpitations, sweating, dizziness, and shakiness related to stress before a social event or performance.

Doses, Dosage Form, and Side Effects of Lopressor 

You should always take Lopressor exactly as your healthcare provider instructs to minimize adverse side effects and get the most benefits from the medication. 

Common Lopressor Doses and Forms

Lopressor comes in two forms: an injectable intravenous (IV) solution and a tablet. The IV is typically only used when the patient has already had a heart attack, whereas the tablet form is more commonly prescribed to manage symptoms outside of an emergency. Your healthcare provider can prescribe 50 to 100 mg tablets per day with food, depending on your symptoms and history.

Common Lopressor Side Effects

When taking Lopressor, you may experience the following common side effects:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dry mouth
  • Gas and heartburn
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Dizziness
  • Tiredness or drowsiness
  • Depression
  • Reduced sex drive or impotence
  • Sleep problems
  • Skin rash
  • Anxiety

If you experience the following serious side effects, contact emergency medical services immediately:

  • Wheezing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Swelling
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Lightheadedness
  • Cold hands or feet
  • Rapid weight gain
  • Changes in vision
  • Headache 
  • Confusion
  • Slurred speech
  • Muscle weakness

Common Lopressor Drug Interactions

Lopressor has a total of 409 drug and four food/alcohol interactions. When you check Lopressor against the most commonly prescribed medications, it has moderate interactions with Lasix, Norvasc, Prednisone, and Xanax. 

Alcohol and certain multivitamins can also alter the effects of Lopressor, and you should always consult your physician before mixing anything with this medication. 

How Much Does Lopressor Cost?

The cost of Lopressor will vary based on whether you have insurance and your healthcare provider’s recommended dose. That said, beta-blockers are often a more affordable option, and you can pay anywhere from $3 to $10 a month, depending on your pharmacy. 

Doses, Dosage Form, and Side Effects of Inderal

Inderal, or Propranolol, is prescribed in varying doses depending on your symptoms and the intended treatment. Like Lopressor, Inderal isn’t FDA-approved for anxiety and can have many side effects. 

Common Inderal Doses and Forms

Inderal comes as an oral solution, injectable solution, tablet, and extended-release capsule. Because this medication can treat various conditions, your healthcare provider may recommend a dosage of anywhere between 40 mg and 320 mg per day as an off-label treatment for anxiety.

Common Inderal Side Effects

Inderal has several common side effects, including dizziness, tiredness, and lightheadedness as your body acclimates to the medication. 

You may also experience:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Stomach pain
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Vision changes
  • Insomnia
  • Unusual dreams
  • Reduced sex drive or impotence
  • Difficulty orgasming 

If you have any of these serious side effects, contact emergency medical care immediately:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Blue fingers and toes 
  • Swelling
  • Changes in your mood
  • Numbness or tingling 
  • Slow heart rate
  • Fainting
  • Sudden weight gain
  • Increased thirst or urination

Common Inderal Drug Interactions

Inderal has 533 drug and four food/alcohol interactions. Compared to the most frequently checked medications, Inderal has moderate interactions with:

  • Clonazepam
  • Cymbalta
  • Flexeril
  • Klonopin
  • Prozac
  • Seroquel
  • Trazodone
  • Xanax
  • Zoloft

If you mix alcohol with Inderal, you could dangerously lower your blood pressure. Additionally, some multivitamins and minerals can decrease Inderal’s intended effects. 

Inderal should be taken with food exactly as prescribed to avoid adverse results. How Much Does Inderal Cost?

Like Lopressor, the amount you’ll pay for your Inderal prescription will depend on your dosage and the pharmacy you use. You can expect to pay anywhere from $5 to $13 a month for a 40 mg daily dose and $10 to $33 a month for 320 mg per day.

Do I Need A Prescription for Inderal or Lopressor?

Yes, Inderal and Lopressor require prescriptions and cannot be purchased without one. You should always source your medication from a trusted pharmacy to ensure that the medicine you’re getting is safe and works effectively. 

Selling beta-blockers without requiring a prescription is illegal and can jeopardize your health. 

Beta Blocker Warnings

It’s important to discuss your current and past medical history with your healthcare provider before taking any beta-blockers, especially if you are pregnant or breastfeeding or have cardiovascular issues. 

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding on Beta-Blockers

Beta-blockers like Atenolol, Acebutolol, and Nadolol are not recommended if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, as they can result in congenital disabilities and fetal health complications. However, Lopressor and Inderal have only been found in small amounts in breast milk and could be compatible with breastfeeding. 

Lopressor and Inderal Frequently Asked Questions

What is Lopressor?

Lopressor is a beta blocker (beta-selective 1) typically prescribed to treat cardiovascular issues like angina, hypertension, acute myocardial infarction, and congestive heart failure. This medication is also off-label to treat physical anxiety symptoms (racing heart rate, sweating, shaking, and dizziness).

What is Inderal?

Inderal is a beta blocker primarily used to treat migraine headaches, hypertension, chest pain, heart rhythm disorders, and other circulatory conditions. Additionally, this medication is prescribed off-label to treat physical symptoms of anxiety. 

Are Lopressor, Inderal, and other Beta-Blockers the same drug?

While they may belong to the same class of drugs (beta-blockers), they are not the same medications. Each one has its own side effects, forms, and doses, and you should only take them exactly as your healthcare provider prescribes. 

Why is Lopressor an off-label treatment for anxiety?

Lopressor is FDA-approved to treat cardiovascular issues, helping to slow your heart rate and widen your blood vessels to improve circulation. While it may not be approved to treat anxiety specifically, healthcare providers can use it off-label to treat the physical symptoms that anxiety creates.

What’s better for anxiety? Lopressor or Inderal?

Both medications have a similar impact on anxiety. Inderal may be the more popular choice as it works well for short-term relief and can have fewer serious side effects than Lopressor. If, however, Inderal makes you drowsy, Lopressor might be the better option for you, depending on the advice of your healthcare provider.

Can I drink alcohol on Lopressor or Inderal?

Alcohol (ethanol) interacts with Lopressor and Inderal and can reduce the intended impact of both medications. Because alcohol affects your blood pressure, you should not drink while taking beta-blockers. You should always consult your care provider before mixing alcohol with your medication. 

Does it matter what time of day I take Lopressor or Inderal?

Inderal can make you tired, so it’s best to take your first dose with food before bedtime. After you’ve acclimated to the medication, you can take it morning or night, depending on what works best for you. Similarly, Lopressor should be taken with food in the morning or at night.

How Klarity Can Help You Access Anxiety Treatment

At Klarity, we know that navigating symptoms of anxiety can disrupt your day and your sense of self. The board-certified providers on Klarity work with you to evaluate your symptoms and outline the best plan of care for your needs.

Your mental health matters. Get access to the care you need by taking this brief mental health assessment, and we’ll match you with an anxiety-trained specialist within 48 hours. 


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Kaylea Swearingen. “What To Know About Using Propranolol for Performance Anxiety” GoodRx Health

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