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Old 09-01-2005, 06:54 AM   #1
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Question Beta Blockers & alcohol ?

Based on what I have read, you should not drink ANY alcohol while taking a beta blocker, because it can dangerously lower your BP & heart rate.

But conversely, I have been told by others that it is okay to have a couple of drinks (moderate!) while taking a beta blocker.

I do enjoy having a couple of cocktails on occassion with friends, so I'm wondering what to do.

Can anyone comment on this? Thanks so much!

 
Old 09-01-2005, 08:56 AM   #2
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Re: Beta Blockers & alcohol ?

The medical community has mixed thoughts on the subject. I have read one alcohol drink is beneficial for the heart. Another school of thought advises against.

Heavy drinking is a depressant on the system and of course would be contraindicated as it would enhance the effect of a BB to slow the heart rate, etc. I believe a drink or two is a stimulant? and may just offset some of the BB effect for a short period of time.

I don't drink in public establishments anymore as I don't wish to be exposed to the smoke.

 
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Old 09-01-2005, 09:14 AM   #3
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Re: Beta Blockers & alcohol ?

I have the occasional drink. I usually do one of two things 1) if i plann on having several drinks then i will not take my BB that day, 2) limit my drinks to one drink. Alcohol can also speed up your heart rate so becarefull how much you actually drink and what you drink. As you could end up out of rhythm and that would be hard to explain at the ER.

 
Old 09-01-2005, 11:15 AM   #4
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Re: Beta Blockers & alcohol ?

Thanks, both of you.

I would never have thought alcohol could SPEED UP the heart rate... wow.

So then, it is okay to skip taking your BB for a day if you plan to have some cocktails? Obviously I will ask my doctor this before doing so, but I didn't know that it would be okay to do so.

 
Old 09-01-2005, 12:44 PM   #5
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Re: Beta Blockers & alcohol ?

It is really not a good idea to miss a dose of your BB. I have dealt with the arrhythmias for 9 years now and 4 different drugs so I just do as i please mostly. I find if i drink with my BB then one drink really affects me badly, I start with side effects ( hot, headache, lightheaded, shakey) so I know one drink is my limit. But if i am planning to drink like i do once a year (one weekend a year i drink quite haevely) I don't take my BB and i am fine.

I find the alcohol increases my heart rate but it depends what i am drinking.

 
Old 09-04-2005, 04:43 AM   #6
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Re: Beta Blockers & alcohol ?

Hey,

Ive been taking a BB for a year.

Im 21 so alcohol was a regular thing for me . (pubs and clubs, etc...)

The doctor advised me not to drink so i stopped for 8 months. I then decided "what the hell" and had a few beers.

I had no bad effects so i drunk a bit more each time. Now i am back in full swing and go out and get quite drunk most weekends.

I do find my heart rate increases a lot and while im out it can go upto 150bpm and stay like this until i go home.

It doesnt really bother me though - im not letting a fast heart beat ruin my life and prevent me from doing whatever i want.

I cant see the point in stopping taking your bb just so you can drink though. I thought it could be quite dangerous too.

 
Old 09-04-2005, 07:19 AM   #7
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Re: Beta Blockers & alcohol ?

I've never had any problem mixing alcohol and beta-blockers...other than the side-effects from the beta blocker which are present with or WITHOUT alcohol.

 
Old 09-04-2005, 08:43 AM   #8
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Re: Beta Blockers & alcohol ?

Alcohol affects people differently and circumstances will affect people differently at other times. There is psychobiological component related to alcohol.

Some people at times become mellow and relaxed and obviously the state one's system is different from times if and when one is agitated, billigerent, obnoxious, etc. after a few drinks. Obviously these people will have elevated HR due to the physicogenic aspect.

That is may thesis based on years of experience and observation.

 
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