Lots of misinformation in this thread.
First off Lyrica is NOT a calcium channel blocker, its an anticonvulsant (antiseizure medication) thats also used mostly for nerve pain. If you are using it for anxiety, it is an off label, non approved use.
Second off there are two types of calcium channel blockers:
1. Dihydropyridine calcium channel blockers: These DO NOT affect the heart at all and are totally useless in treating anxiety, but work very well for blood pressure. Examples are nifedipine and amlodipine.
2. NON-DIHYDROPYRIDINE calcium channel blockers, which do slow down heart rate like diltiazem and verapamil.
In my experience, NON-DIHYDROPYRIDINE calcium channel blockers are ineffective in treating social anxiety. Sure, they slow down the heart, BUT not in the way that beta blockers do.
Have you guys ever heard of the "Fight-or-Flight Response"? Basically its what your body does to help you out if you feel threatened. This is what happens:
-Heart rate and blood pressure increase
-Pupils dilate to take in as much light as possible
-Veins in skin constrict to send more blood to major muscle groups (responsible for the "chill" sometimes associated with fear -- less blood in the skin to keep it warm)
-Blood-glucose level increases
-Muscles tense up
-Smooth muscle relaxes in order to allow more oxygen into the lungs
-Trouble focusing on small tasks (brain is directed to focus only on big picture in order to determine where threat is coming from)
Sounds a lot like a panic attack doesn't it? Guess what is responsibe for all this: adrenaline. Beta blockers block the adrenergic receptors where adrenaline works. Thats why non-specific beta blockers like propranolol (Inderal) help reduce a lot of these symptoms.
Calcium channel blockers have no affect whatsoever on adrenergic receptors. They affect heart rate by blocking voltage gated calcium channels in the heart. And although they may slow down your heart rate, they won't do much else for anxiety.