A key difference between propranolol and anti-anxiety medication is that propranolol starts working in a few hours.
Anti-anxiety medications, such as. Xanax and Zoloft, targets different parts of the brain and central nervous system, whereas propranolol works by blocking beta receptors present in the body.
Propranolol works peripherally by not letting adrenaline and noradrenaline hormones bind to beta receptors.
Social anxiety or performance anxiety leads to the release of stress hormones from the brain that acts on beta receptors in the body and causes anxiety. Propranolol restricts reaching adrenaline and noradrenaline to the target receptors; hence, physical anxiety symptoms are relieved.