Performance anxiety, social anxiety and similar anxiety-related issues have the potential to negatively affect your life, career and relationships. At the very least, these afflictions make living a fulfilled, happy life much more difficult than it needs to be.
These types of anxiety are not new. Many accomplished performers still experience stage fright every time they get on the stage or in front of a camera, including big name stars like Adele, Taylor Swift & Shawn Mendes. The list of people suffering in private from bouts of anxiety related to conference calls, meetings, interviews, social gatherings and dates, is longer than you could imagine.
There is a growing number of people taking a class of drugs called beta-adrenergic blocking agents (beta-blockers) to deal with their social anxiety or stage fright issues. There are a several different beta-blockers that show potential as a treatment for anxiety, one of which is Carvedilol (Coreg).
In this article we’ll look into how Carvedilol works to treat the symptoms of performance anxiety, and its effectiveness at doing so. We’ll also touch on Carvedilol dosages for anxiety, known side-effects or interactions you need to know about, and whether there are viable alternatives to Coreg available and how they match up to the beta-blocker.
But before diving into why Coreg may help people with their anxiety symptoms, let’s take a look at why you experience performance anxiety, stage fright and/or social anxiety in the first place. Knowing why you experience anxiety symptoms will help you better understand how drugs like coreg, or similar alternatives, may be effective against your performance anxiety symptoms.
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Why do I experience performance anxiety?
For people suffering from performance anxiety, performing in front of others is a significantly stressful experience for you. This is because performance anxiety is an exaggerated stress response. This is when your fear and worry about performing results in a stress response within your body, and this triggers the release of certain stress hormones. If the level of these stress hormones gets too high, then your cardiovascular system goes into overdrive, resulting in shaking, sweating, nausea, and other symptoms of stage fright .
The bad news is that performance anxiety spares no one. It is blind to levels of fame or success. There are well-known cases of world-famous performers/artists like Adele, Hugh Grant, Katy Perry, Barbara Streisand, just to name a few, that have suffered from debilitating anxiety to the point where they contemplated quitting acting or performing altogether.
So it is not surprising at all that so many people seek out solutions to their performance anxiety symptoms through medications like Coreg and some others like Clonidine.
What is Coreg and how does it help with anxiety symptoms?
Carvedilol, commonly sold under the brand name Coreg and Coreg CR, is a high blood pressure medication that’s taken orally. Carvedilol is a prescription drug (at least within the US) and in 2019, it was the 33rd most commonly prescribed medication in the United States, with more than 20 million prescriptions .
Is Carvedilol (Coreg) a beta-blocker?
The short answer is yes, Carvedilol is a beta blocker. Carvedilol belongs to a group of medicines called beta-adrenergic blocking agents, beta-blocking agents, or more commonly, beta-blockers.
Carvedilol (and most beta-blockers) work by affecting the response to some nerve impulses in certain parts of the body. As a result, they decrease the heart’s need for blood and oxygen by reducing its workload .
A study performed all the way back in 1987 revealed that beta-blockers are particularly popular among musicians. The survey, carried out by the International Conference of Symphony Orchestra Musicians who represent some of the largest orchestras in the U.S., found that 27 percent of their musicians were using beta-blockers to help with their performance anxiety symptoms . Many experts estimate that number is much higher today.
So why are so many performers using beta blockers like Coreg to help with their stage fright? Well beta-blockers relax the load on your cardiovascular system by blocking the effects of the adrenaline hormone. This has major benefits for a performer or a person about to enter a high-anxiety situation.
Adrenaline is a stress-related hormone. It binds itself to adrenergic receptors in the heart, also known as beta receptors . As a result, the heart has to pump blood with greater force, which causes your blood pressure and heart rate to go up.
Beta-blockers block the effects of adrenaline and prevent it from binding to the beta receptors in the heart. Consequently, the heart can return to its regular workload, and your blood pressure can remain steady .
When you’re about to go on stage to perform, or you’re about to walk in for a job interview or an audition, it is to be expected that you’ll feel some level of stress. In this scenario, you’ll naturally feel somewhat of an adrenaline rush as a part of that stress response.
When you experience performance anxiety/stage fright, you are experiencing your stress response going too far. The adrenaline hormone is having a much greater effect on you, which causes your heart rate to skyrocket, along with other symptoms of stage fright.
As beta-blockers like Carvedilol block the effects of adrenaline, as we covered above, they also prevent you from experiencing the physical symptoms of performance anxiety. Remaining physically calm has an overall calming effect, which then allows you to get through your engagement. And that is why so many performers use beta blockers like Coreg to help them before getting on stage!
What is the recommended Coreg dosage for anxiety?
The recommended Coreg dosage for adult hypertension is:
- Starting dose of Coreg is 3.125 mg twice daily for 2 weeks
- Following Coreg being well-tolerated, the dosage can be increased to 6.25 mg twice daily
- Patients should be maintained on lower doses if higher doses are not tolerated
- A maximum dose of 50 mg twice daily has been administered to patients with mild-to-moderate heart failure weighing over 85kg (187 lbs) 
When considering Coreg dosage for anxiety, you should talk with your doctor to make sure there are no potential negative interactions and to find the exact dosage that matches your physical/health attributes.
Are there any downsides or side-effects to using Carvedilol for anxiety?
As with any medication, Coreg can cause side effects, especially when taken in combination with other substances or medications. Reported common side effects of Carvedilol include the following :
- Slow heartbeats
- Weight gain
- Dry eyes or problems wearing contact lenses.
More serious but less common side effects of Carvedilol (occurring in less than 5% of patients) include the following. Please contact your doctor IMMEDIATELY if you have any of these potentially serious side effects :
- A light-headed feeling, like you might pass out
- Slow or uneven heartbeats
- Cold feeling or numbness in your fingers or toes
- Chest pain, dry cough, wheezing, chest tightness
- Heart problems – swelling, rapid weight gain, feeling short of breath
- High blood sugar – increased thirst, increased urination, dry mouth, fruity breath odor.
Coreg/Carvedilol requires a prescription
Do note that, assuming your doctor approves of you taking Coreg for your anxiety, and writes a prescription, you’ll have to refill that prescription every time you run out.
This will not be an issue if you only plan on using Coreg a few times, but if you start using Carvedilol more often, then it could become a significant inconvenience.
Are there any natural alternatives to Coreg?
If you’re not too excited about becoming dependent on a beta-blocker like Coreg every time you want to perform; or having to get a prescription whenever you run out, you may be wondering if there are natural alternatives to Coreg?
But it would do so by supporting your mind and body in a way that, over time, makes you more resilient. You’d become better equipped to handle the stress response and learn to think about your performance in a way that makes it less stressful, to begin with.
Here are some of the most effective natural remedies to performance anxiety that we know about today.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a form of therapy designed to modify your thoughts in a way that makes the idea of performing less stressful. In fact, CBT has been shown to be effective in treating a variety of anxiety disorders, especially in the long term when patients stick with the therapy.
The goal of CBT is to take something you find overwhelming (like, say, performing in front of a large audience), break it down into smaller parts, and then replace any negative patterns with more positive and productive ones .
Your licensed CBT therapist will help you understand the thoughts and emotions that are responsible for your anxiety, and how you can adjust your perceptions about performing for an audience in a positive way.
If it was possible to train your body to learn how to better deal with stress, the result would be that you’d have a less severe stress-response, and your symptoms of stage fright would be less severe.
And that’s precisely what yoga can help you accomplish.
According to a well-known Harvard Health article, yoga can work as a natural anxiety relief by reducing the impact of an exaggerated stress response, which is what causes stage fright in the first place .
Yoga trains your body to exist in a state of calm. So, whenever there is a stressful situation, you will be more habituated to breathing easier, keeping your heart rate steady, and your blood pressure stable.
Yoga has also been shown to increase your heart rate variability (HRV), which is the difference in the time interval between heartbeats . A higher HRV indicates your body’s increased ability to deal with stress.
PerformZen Calm Performance Formula
PerformZen has proved extremely effective at overcoming performance anxiety symptoms as it contains a combination of GABA & L-theanine, which help boost mental clarity; Theacrine, which aids mental clarity and energy; Ginkgo Biloba, which is an effective stress reducer; plus vitamins and minerals like Magnesium & Vitamin B6, which have proven effective in reducing even severe cases of stress.
This combination provides the positive anti-anxiety effects of beta blockers like Carvedilol, Atenolol and Propranolol, but also boosts alertness and mental clarity, which are more subtle symptoms of performance anxiety that beta blockers don’t tend to address. Overall, this may mean a natural solution such as PerformZen is not only safer, but more effective than many beta-blockers for performance anxiety.
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So can Carvedilol help with anxiety? The conclusion
You really do not have to let anxiety control your life/career and prevent you from doing the things you love; which is performing for an audience.
Beta blocker medications like Coreg/Carvedilol can provide a much-needed relief from the physical anxiety symptoms so you can get through what you need to do.
To overcome performance anxiety in the long term, consider natural alternatives like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), yoga, and a natural supplement like PerformZen.
In the meantime, If you are considering Coreg as a short-term fix for your anxiety symptoms, be sure to consult with your doctor to make sure it is right for you.
- ^ https://performanceanxiety.com/how-to-overcome-stage-fright/
- ^ https://clincalc.com/DrugStats/Drugs/Carvedilol
- ^ https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/carvedilol-oral-route/description/drg-20067565
- ^ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5618811/
- ^ https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-pressure/in-depth/beta-blockers/art-20044522
- ^ https://performzen.com/beta-blockers-for-anxiety-guide/
- ^ https://www.drugs.com/dosage/coreg.html
- ^ https://www.drugs.com/coreg.html
- ^ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4610618/
- ^ https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/jclp.20039
- ^ https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/yoga-for-anxiety-and-depression
- ^ https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/heart-rate-variability-new-way-track-well-2017112212789