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Drug Treatment for Stage Fright

Many people experience anxiety or stage fright when required to stand up before an audience. This condition can be as mild as dry mouth, or the sufferer may exhibit a few tremors and a little sweat.

In severe cases, the person may be incapacitated and unable to speak or move. Those who feel extreme anxiety before any public performance or appearance may want to try medications to help.


Drug Treatment for Stage Fright


Non-Prescription Options

For some, the simplest solution to stage fright is an alcoholic drink–just enough to calm the nerves. Herbal remedies may also work for some. Among them, Valerian and kava are popular. Both are good for calming and relieving anxiety.

However, as with any medication, side effects are possible and kava should not be taken for long-term issues. The homeopathic remedy argentum nitricum is used for relieving apprehension. In general, homeopathic remedies are popular because they have fewer, if any, side effects. Argentum nitricum may react with milk or coffee and shouldn’t be taken in conjunction with herbs or other medications.


Prescription Options

Doctors may prescribe a number of drugs to quell stage fright. Antidepressants such as Zoloft, Paxil and Celexa may be tried. Be aware that all drugs have potential side effects. Some who take Zoloft experience insomnia, stomach upset, dizziness and confusion.

These latter effects may be worse than having stage fright during performance. Paxil has been linked with numerous concerns, including birth defects and suicidal tendencies. More commonly, it may produce dry mouth and increased anxiety, which may worsen feelings of stage fright.

Instead of antidepressants, doctors may prescribe drugs which relax the mind and muscles, including Valium (diazepam). One of its risks includes over-relaxing the patient to the point of drowsiness. Other medications often prescribed for stage fright include Xanax and beta-blockers like Atenolol.

While Xanax is a common prescription for anxiety, it can have clumsiness as a side-effect, which may be detrimental for a performer. And while beta-blockers are intended for cardiac patients, there is some evidence they help with anxiety issues. Always consult a doctor before trying prescription drugs and be cognizant of potential side effects.


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