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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Background: very similar to many others on this forum, my blushing issue started a few years back after starting university. Previously, I was very confident (I still am to an extent) and outgoing and now this is starting to change due to social anxiety caused by the blushing issue. I've definitely always been an anxious person, but in no way has it affected my life in the way that my blushing issue has. My case presents usually by the reddening of the upper cheeks and sides of my head (so definitely not as severe as some others have it), but when I know I am blushing this exacerbates the issue => more blushing. In terms of triggers, a lot of the time it is almost as if there isn't one, I just get a flush of reddening; almost as if my body has created a habit of having to blush, rather than blushing in a natural way. Again, I am lucky in that when I am in a lot of scenarios I am immune to blushing completely. I always use the example of walking into a packed lecture hall late - an easy blushers' worst nightmare, right? Well I wouldn't blush in that scenario. Sitting down in a filled room with others I don't know, however? Yep, it is time to blush lol.

I started of taking Propranolol (20mg) for the blushing and the results were as follows:
  1. Reduction in anxiety
  2. Blushing/reddening in the gym almost completely eliminated*
  3. Nothing meaningful in terms of blushing in any other environment
*Very, very effective at this

N.B. No regime was carried out when I first started taking propranolol as it wasn't taken everyday so I am sure this would have hindered the effects of the drug.

I am now taking a combination of Propranolol (20mg) and Clonidine (quarter of a 150mcg pill) for the blushing. I have been taking this combination for a total of 3 days and it seems very effective so far, however it is hard to say how truly effective it is due to the face mask wearing and the fact it is the summer holidays, but I am very hopeful. Credit must be given to user Beffrey28 for his post* regarding this combination for the same issue.

Some results/notes:
  1. Random hot flushes almost completely eliminated
  2. Blushing intensity reduced
  3. Blushing frequency reduced
  4. Less anxiety (from less blushing intensity/freq.??)
  5. Sweating increased***: not sure if this is a side effect of the drug (Clonidine, not Propranolol), or a side effect of the reduction in blushing (or both), but I sweat a lot more now. In particular, my feet sweat a lot which is kind of disgusting to be honest. It is interesting to note that before this whole blushing issue started, my anxiety symptoms would be sweatiness, not blushing. I would often experience very sweaty hands, and would profusely sweat in my armpits, for example, when driving I would have to wear a t-shirt under my shirt to control the sweat, and even this would soak through onto my shirt.
  6. Seems to work for a period of 4/5 hours**, afterwards another dosage is needed
  7. Tiredness caused by the drug (Clonidine, not Propranolol) is fairly intense; arriving home after a workout at the gym can leave you feeling like you've been hit by a bus (this honestly doesn't bother me at all but I could imagine this would not suit many people)
  8. Drinking alcohol on the combination will leave you wanting/needing to sleep; don't drink on it, control the amount you drink on it, or make sure you have a coffee
*new poster, need some advice about facial blushing
**unsure
***If anyone is considering surgical options, please, keep this in mind. Yes, your blushing will be gone, but physical side effects such as sweating are still going to be there and as a result of the surgery these kind of symptoms could be potentially chronic

It is also important to note that you should, at the very least, attempt to cope with the blushing in some sort of way. This will do wonders for you mentally, and may also help your recovery. This is probably one of the hardest things to do with this kind of condition but these things help. You should also always keep yourself occupied, don't cope yourself up in a room by yourself - get hobbies, read books, go a run - it is important you expose yourself to the outside world in some sort of way.

I will update this post frequently with updates.

Also, if anyone has any input, advice, questions, stories etc., please post a reply or DM me - don't be scared to make an account to do this.

TL;DR Taking propranolol and clonidine for blushing/flushing/involuntary reddening - seems to be working well so far.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Ok, update.

I'm going to introduce an anti-anxiety benzo (probably Klonopin). The current combination works well, but in some scenarios when I would usually blush, my body is asking me 'why aren't I blushing. Basically, my mind is still focused on blushing, almost in a state of constant paranoia which itself causes more blushing.

In terms of dosages I can't really tell the difference between 20mg/40mg of Propranolol and a quarter/half of the 150mcg Clonidine pill, so at a bit of loss as to how to proceed with them.
 

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That is a super low dose of clonidine. It's not uncommon to not notice much from propranolol. It doesn't work on the central nervous system. Only the peripheral nervous system.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
That is a super low dose of clonidine. It's not uncommon to not notice much from propranolol. It doesn't work on the central nervous system. Only the peripheral nervous system.
What dosage would you suggest? I can definitely feel the effects of it for sure. In terms of the propranolol, it helps as well, particularly combined with the clonidine, but as I said it is hard to gauge the difference between the dosages.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
12am 20mg Propranolol + quarter 150mcg Clonidine.
3:30pm (Pre-work) done 20mg Propranolol and 1mg Klonopin.

Felt very unusual, mood was up and confidence was up, and most importantly I wasn't anxious at all. I hadn't felt like this in a very long time. The effects of this were kind of really short lived, or I should say the 'euphoria' was short lived. I was still not very anxious at all throughout my shift which is very social and involves a lot of face-to-face talking with clients which is an easy trigger for a blush.

Overall, was a very unusual experience, and would say I need to adjust the dosage for the Klonopin for more longer last effects.

To surmise:
Initially felt incredible - like I was back to my old self.
Then slowly but surely over a short period of time went back to 'normal', the difference being that I felt less anxious and focused on my face and also what others were thinking.
Was absolutely no side effects at all from the Klonopin and the combination of the two other drugs.
 

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You may have found yourself going back to normal because, and you may know already, but Klonopin only lasts for a certain amount of hours depending on the dose and how long you've been taking it as your body tends to build a tolerance to it over time.

In my experience when I was on Klonopin it could give me that feeling of "euphoria" for a bit as well, but if I took more than 1mg per day I started to feel kinda numb. Though medications can affect people in different ways. What's right for one person might not be for another.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
You may have found yourself going back to normal because, and you may know already, but Klonopin only lasts for a certain amount of hours depending on the dose and how long you've been taking it as your body tends to build a tolerance to it over time.

In my experience when I was on Klonopin it could give me that feeling of "euphoria" for a bit as well, but if I took more than 1mg per day I started to feel kinda numb. Though medications can affect people in different ways. What's right for one person might not be for another.
This was my first time ever taking it. In fact, my first time ever taking a benzo. Was just completely unsure what to expect from it and also unsure whether to up the dosage more.
 

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What dosage would you suggest? I can definitely feel the effects of it for sure. In terms of the propranolol, it helps as well, particularly combined with the clonidine, but as I said it is hard to gauge the difference between the dosages.
My apologies, I was thinking of a different medication entirely. Thankyou for expressing that.
 

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A little off-topic, but phenelzine (Nardil) has completely stopped my blushing.

Yes, it has side-effects, but for me it was more effective and sustainable than taking a beta-blocker and a benzo on a daily basis.

But I'm glad to hear the combo has worked for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
A little off-topic, but phenelzine (Nardil) has completely stopped my blushing.

Yes, it has side-effects, but for me it was more effective and sustainable than taking a beta-blocker and a benzo on a daily basis.

But I'm glad to hear the combo has worked for you.
I've read a lot of your stuff mate, but getting Nardil is out of the question for me, I tend to go down the 'get it myself' route' rather than from a GP (so if you have any other ideas DM me ;)). Nevertheless I highly, highly doubt I would get prescribed this immediately as my condition couldn't really be described as chronic even though it does really effect my life and mental health significantly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Update:
Working an early shift so beforehand done: 40mg Propranolol, quart 150mcg Clonidine, 1mg Klonopin.
About 3pm dropped another 0.5mg of Klonopin.

Felt much better throughout my whole shift/day. Blushing still occurred but it was fairly minor. It's also worth noting that I have to wear a facemask for up to ten hour shifts in a hot environment, so a lot of the time the blushing/flushing is triggered by that.

I have yet to actually try the combination in other more social spaces which are more of the issue for my condition

Also very interesting to note that I have absolutely no side effects and in particular I feel no less tired than before with the Clonidine and Propranolol combination.
 

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I've read a lot of your stuff mate, but getting Nardil is out of the question for me, I tend to go down the 'get it myself' route' rather than from a GP (so if you have any other ideas DM me ;)). Nevertheless I highly, highly doubt I would get prescribed this immediately as my condition couldn't really be described as chronic even though it does really effect my life and mental health significantly.
No worries mate. Just thought I'd chime in, as I do whenever I see a post about blushing lol.

Yeah, you're right that Nardil would be hard to get hold of without a script. And if you tried to go the proper route, you'd no doubt have to try heaps of other meds first, SSRIs etc.

Anyway, good luck with what you're doing. Hope you can find a mix that does the trick.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Update: 40mg Propranolol, quarter 150mcg Clonidine pill, and 1mg Klonopin seems to be the sweet spot. Feel like I am almost back to normal - 'normal' meaning my random blushing is gone and the intensity of it is completely diminished, also much more social and able to respond better to others.

May increase the Clonidine dosage just to experiment. Definitely won't be taking the Klonopin everyday as well.

Also worth noting there is almost no side effects at all for me on this combination (Klonopin seems to counteract the fairly intense fatigue caused by the Clonidine??) , this is even after working 12hr+ shifts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Not much more to add to be honest.

With the combination of Clonidine, Propranolol, and Klonopin, the social anxiety and erythrophobia is reduced significantly/gone. In particular. the fear of blushing - I don't really care when I blush now, unless it's fairly intense. On the topic of intensity/frequency, the blushing occurs much less and is less intense.

If you're going to try this combination I would say you would need to apply some sort of exposure therapy, e.g. putting yourself in situations that would normally make you crumble under your own blushing-fuelled anxiety. This will help grow your confidence and acceptance of the blushing.

Alcohol should be kept to an absolute minimum (something I haven't done well with), not only due to the effects this'll have on your blushing but also cause it'll just make you fall asleep. One thing I have noticed on the combination is that my pupils grow quite big which I don't really have an explanation for but either way I don't think it is a healthy sign.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Oh yeah, unrelated side note.
Drinking on this combo leads to almost no hangovers for me. Even serious drinking involving beers, cocktails, and shots, still no hangovers.
 
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