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Hi anxietysucks:

I haven't heard of GABA, but my understanding is that panic attacks are caused by the fight or flight response (adrenaline surge) coming at random times due to anxiety overload and not in response to an actual stimulus, like being chased by a tiger. Beta-blockers block the affects of adrenaline.

I was originally prescribed beta-blockers because I had high blood pressure and palpitations. I noticed it also helped stop my panic attacks (never needed a benzo) and I had fewer migraine headaches too. Beta-blockers are not addictive and I also didn't notice any withdrawal when I stopped taking them. My doctor stopped prescribing them because I lost 45 pounds and my blood pressure went back to normal. When my headaches got bad, I asked if I could go on them again and he was fine with me doing that (I think he'd rather me take those than Xanax, which is addictive). Lately, I've been considering asking for them again because my anxiety has been pretty high for several months.
I've been on a beta blocker for about 2 months now. It was perscribed to me for a irregular heartbeat and high blood pressure. I have a noticed a decrease in my anxiety since i've started taking them and when i do have them they are not as bad as they were before. Mostly because the beta blockers don't let my heart rate get out of control(which is what made my anxiety attacks worse). As far as being addictive; i would say no for myself(some people may be different), there are times when i completely forget to take my pill and end up remembering to take it about 5 hours later(i think if they were addictive i would be watching the clock waiting for my next "fix").When i asked my doc. if the beta blocker could be taken instead of my xanax he said that it MIGHT help with the anxiety, but just in case i should take the xanax if things get out of control.

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