Question: Should beta blockers be used to treat predictable moments of anxiety, such as a public speaking engagement?
Answer: Yes, this is the ideal use of a beta blocker is to use it on an as needed basis for predictable episodes that are for sure going to cause your anxiety or, in situations like being in a social interaction which can typically cause anxiety symptoms as well. And again these drugs tend to block the physical manifestations of anxiety, so things like a racing heart and shortness of breath, and tremors, which again can make people much more functional, much more able to tolerate these situations.
In addition, the nice thing about beta blockers, in contrast with benzodiazepines, which are also used for this indication, is that they don't cause sedation, so in situations where you need to be on your toes as far as your thinking ability, beta blockers are an ideal thing. For example, in situations like public speaking where sedation would not be a good thing.