Betaxolol in anxiety disorders

Ann Clin Psychiatry. 1998 Mar;10(1):9-14. doi: 10.1023/a:1026146528290.


Betaxolol, a long-acting beta-adrenergic blocker that enters the central nervous system, was examined for therapeutic effects on the persistent anxiety of anxiety disorders. Prior studies of beta-blockers examined only agents that were short-acting or did not enter the brain. Betaxolol was administered to 31 patients in open trials. Of 13 outpatients, 11 had generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and 2 had adjustment disorder with anxiety. Five with GAD had concurrent panic disorder. Of 18 inpatients, 16 had GAD and 2 had adjustment disorder with anxiety. Betaxolol doses were increased until the patient responded or declined further dosage. Severity was rated on a 4-point global scale. Before betaxolol, all were moderately or severely ill. In all patients with panic disorder panic attacks stopped within 2 days (p<0.001). Anxiety decreased to no more than marginally ill in 85% of outpatients (p<0.0001) and all inpatients (p<0.0001). Betaxolol doses were usually 5 mg once or twice daily; four inpatients took 10 to 20 mg twice daily. In sum, betaxolol administration was rapidly followed by improvements that were easily noticed by the doctor, even in patients with longstanding anxiety and obsessive-compulsive personality disorder. Preliminary observations in posttraumatic stress disorder are similar.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adrenergic beta-Antagonists / therapeutic use*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anti-Anxiety Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Anxiety Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Betaxolol / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Adrenergic beta-Antagonists
  • Anti-Anxiety Agents
  • Betaxolol