Use of β-Adrenergic Receptor Blocking Drugs in Psychiatry

Whitlock F.A. and Price J. (1974) Use of β-Adrenergic Receptor Blocking Drugs in Psychiatry. Drugs, 8 2: 109-124. doi:10.2165/00003495-197408020-00004

Author Whitlock F.A.
Price J.
Title Use of β-Adrenergic Receptor Blocking Drugs in Psychiatry
Journal name Drugs   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1179-1950
Publication date 1974-01-01
Sub-type Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
DOI 10.2165/00003495-197408020-00004
Volume 8
Issue 2
Start page 109
End page 124
Total pages 16
Subject 2736 Pharmacology (medical)
2307 Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
3005 Toxicology
Abstract On the evidence surveyed it is difficult to reach clear-cut conclusions about the value of propranolol or other β-blocking drugs in psychiatry. Studies on anxiety for the most part have been of relatively short duration and, although some workers have claimed benefits for propranolol administration, more recent and better controlled trials have failed to demonstrate advantages over placebo treatment. The possibility remains that control of the autonomic symptoms associated with anxiety to some degree diminishes the patient’s distress in the face of an unpleasant affect. Hence there may be merit in the opinion that the autonomic symptoms appear to act as signals which are interpreted as warnings of impending danger. Such activation in its turn results in the psychological experience of anxiety. Hence, in this group of patients at least, control of the autonomie 1 See subject index in each issue for further indexing terms. symptoms should minimise the extent to which anxiety, as a psychological disturbance, is felt. In other forms of psychiatric disorder, the evidence is less convincing. There is no reason to believe that patients with chronic psychoses will benefit and the effects of propranolol in the treatment of alcoholism appear to be short-lived, although longer trials are clearly warranted. The finding that the drug appears to block the actions of opiates is of considerable interest and one can but hope that more extensive testing of propranolol with narcotic-dependent patients will be carried out. In healthy subjects, propranolol appears to be a relatively safe drug, but its use for the control of hypertension and cardiac symptoms in patients who have experienced former depressive illnesses should probably be strictly limited. Transitory hallucinosis and toxic confusional states have been recorded. They appear to be dose-related and subside when the drug is withdrawn. There appears to be a use for propranolol in the treatment of. lithium-induced tremor and overdosage with tricyclic antidepressants.
Keyword Alcoholism
Drug dependence
β-Adrenergic receptor blocking drugs
Q-Index Code C1
Institutional Status Unknown

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
Collection: Scopus Import
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 32 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 21 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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