Beta blockers are drugs that block the effects of stress hormones norepinephrine and epinephrine (adrenaline). These hormones are what cause the physical symptoms of anxiety and blocking them reduces these effects, helping control some of the physical symptoms of anxiety.
Xanax (alprazolam) is an anti-anxiety medication in the benzodiazepine family, similar to diazepam(Valium), clonazepam (Klonopin), lorazepam (Ativan), and others. Xanax acts to enhance the effects of a neurotransmitter called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain, reducing the stress response and helping the body relax.
I’m on a betablocker. I think it’s great. Could really tell a difference in the first year of taking it. I don’t notice much after 3 years, but it’s probably doing something.