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Dr. Frank
Dr. Frank, Board Certified Physician
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 9000
Experience:  Neurologist/Internist with academic and clinical experience.
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I have taken propranolol (10-20 mgs.) on ocassion for situations

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I have taken propranolol (10-20 mgs.) on ocassion for situations of performance anxiety for some years and it's worked well for me. Other than that, anxiety I had was manageable. Recently, after several stressful life events including an injury (which is now improved) I experienced a couple of panic like episodes while driving. This has lead to a more anxiety in a generalized. My doctor has prescribed venlafaxine (37.5 mg week 1, then 75. mg. weeks 3 and 4). Is it safe to take these two drugs together if I should find I continue to need ocassional propranolol?
Welcome, as an Internist I will try to answer your Medical Question, for informational purposes only, please see your doctor as needed.

Hello. there is no problem using an occasional propranolol ( 10 mg up to 3 times a day) for performance anxiety, and you should find it works better with the venlafaxine on board. You may find you do not need it as much, though. You, I expect, know that if you use propranolol for more than a few days in a row, you need to taper it off as you can get a rebound effect with tachycardia (rapid heart rate).

please get back to me with questions if I can help Dr Frank T
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I'm not sure that my reply went through, so....

I've yet to take the venlafaxine as I've read lots of negative comments about it. My dr. suggested it for the anxiety issue as well as hot flashes. Do you see it as an appropriate medication given the issues I've described. Thanks so much.

You will read a lot of negative comments about any antidepressant online. I can tell you from studies that venlafaxine is very effective, it usually gives you more energy than the regular SSRI, and there have been patients on high doses (300 mg) having side effects, but I do not think this should be a problem, and if your panic attacks are incapacitating, then I would say you should try it, you can always stop it as well. If this is only performance anxiety, and you have a normal mood and affect, then you may not need it. Please get back to me with questions if I can help. Dr Frank T
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

One other question on venlafaxine. Will the drug increase anxiety when I first begin it as I've been concerned about this? Though I know everyone is different, I wonder if this should be expected, or if it's just with some patients. How long should the drug take to work before producing positive results re: feelings of anxiety. Thanks so much.

Hello. I have prescribed a lot of venlafaxine in the last 10 years, and I would say that some patients do feel more anxious when starting, but the most common first side effects are headache and nausea (like most SSRI meds, very common). I will attach a list of common side effects with venlafaxine, the percentages are the incidence rates, note that for headache, it is up to 35%.

these effects usually stop after the first week, and it the reason you start slow and work up on the dose, and do not expect any positive effects for 3 weeks, ok? Dr Frank T