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Old 10-31-2006, 04:40 PM   #1
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Safety of Beta Blockers?

Can anyone tell me how safe are beta blockers? I'm taking a beta blocker for my bp and notice it also lowers the heart rate, my question which I asked the DR., was how low is too low for the heart rate? She said not to take my blood pressure all the time, only to watch for symptoms. I asked her again what target range I should be in, and she said it didn't matter as long as I wasn't having symptoms. She said my hr could be 50, and bp could be 90/58 if I wasn't having any symptoms. I just knew a friend whose husband took too much of a beta blocker for only 3 days and ended up in heart failure and had to have a pacemaker put in, so I'm just trying to understand it. Thanks, Jed

 
Old 10-31-2006, 08:11 PM   #2
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Re: Safety of Beta Blockers?

Hi jdr,

I don't have an answer for you, but Im on Toprol XL 25 mg, and I check my bp and hr once a week or so. Two days ago it was 89/48 hr 86. I'm on it for bp spikes (190-200/110 while exercising and high readings I've had (150/96), and I don't have those as much anymore, but am starting to feel that maybe I shouldn't be on them. It's a really low dose from what I've read. I researched a little, and it seems that bp and hr can vary a lot depending on the individual, and symptoms determine whether there's an actual problem. The only symptoms I have are sometimes feeling a little faint and tired, and feeling my heart beat, however it's not incapacitating. I would be interested in hearing other input as well on it.

Fran

 
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Old 11-01-2006, 06:06 AM   #3
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Re: Safety of Beta Blockers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdr
I asked her again what target range I should be in, and she said it didn't matter as long as I wasn't having symptoms.
This REALLY amuses me. What I couldn't resist would be to tell the doctor that I want to stop taking all hypertensive meds.
He would ask, "WHY? your numbers are too high!"
And I would reply "those numbers didn't matter as long as I wasn't having symptoms."
If I had a drum with me I'd also play a little rat-tat-tat.

<I tend to be a bit "cheeky" :>

jdr,

Okay,
There is ONE big danger to beta blockers...certain kinds of heart attacks depend for survival on the effects of adrenal hormones to keep the heart beating through the crisis. Beta-blockers block these hormones so some people who might otherwise survive the heart attack, but for the beta blockers, DIE instead.
On bradycardia, I'd say that a rate in the 50's is not too low PROVIDING that exercise tolerance remains at a decent level. If you dip into the 40's time for a doseage adjustment or another drug class.

Beta blockers are best for people with hypertension AND angina or tachycardia...not so wise a choice with only hypertension.

Last edited by Lenin; 11-01-2006 at 06:08 AM.

 
Old 11-01-2006, 09:01 AM   #4
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Re: Safety of Beta Blockers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdr
Can anyone tell me how safe are beta blockers? I'm taking a beta blocker for my bp and notice it also lowers the heart rate, my question which I asked the DR., was how low is too low for the heart rate? She said not to take my blood pressure all the time, only to watch for symptoms. I asked her again what target range I should be in, and she said it didn't matter as long as I wasn't having symptoms. She said my hr could be 50, and bp could be 90/58 if I wasn't having any symptoms. I just knew a friend whose husband took too much of a beta blocker for only 3 days and ended up in heart failure and had to have a pacemaker put in, so I'm just trying to understand it. Thanks, Jed
The nurse's instruction may be misleading to say watch for symptoms and not take BP all the time!... High BP almost always has no symptoms and taking BP at various times of the day will give one a more accurate understanding whether it is high most of the time or not.

A serious consequence can happen with taking BB's. It can raise the potassium level to an abnormal range. Potassium effects impulse conduction and an abnormal level can cause a heart attack or a non fatal arrhythmia. Potassium level monitoring should be closely watched for a period of time. It is somewhat ironic that a BB is prescribed for an arrhythmia, but it can cause a fatal arrhythmia.

Beta Blockers are used for heart failure cases as it reduces HR and BP by reducing the stress hormones. Another drug family (ACE inhibitors) can decrease blood pressure by dilating vessels and would not effect the HR. It is my understanding a beta blocker is contraindicated if HR is normally low.

I take an ACE inhibitor and a beta blocker (coreg) for heart failure. I asked my first doctor (he is history) the target rate, and his reply was to get it as low as possible without symptoms (fainting, or...!) Anyway the beta blocker side effect for me is less stamina and tolerance for exercise. My BP and HR are in the normal range, but first thing in the morning my HR is the lowest 60 bpm), but consistently my BP systole measurement is somewhat high (approx. 140) diastole around 60. Doc states med's benefit is diminished during the night.

 
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