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Old 06-05-2007, 12:31 PM   #1
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Question about coming off Beta Blockers

On May 22, I went to the ER in A Fib. I was admitted over night and my heart finally snapped back into a normal sinus rhythm at 8:30 that night.

A little history:

I am 35 years old and I had been taking 50mg's of Metoprolol(sp) once a day for about a year for AFib and Palpitations. I did not like the Beta Blockers at ALL and was trying to wean. I had cut my 50mg pill in half and was on that dose for about 3 days when I went into the AFib. My doctor said that is probably what did it this time. Well in the ER they tried to get my heart rate under control with the Lopressor but it didn't touch my irregular hartbeat. They then switched to Ditiazem(sp) and that instantly lowered my heart rate but didn't touch the irregularity. The doctor I saw after being admitted came in to talk to me about my condition and what they were going to prescribe (I'm on Cartia 120mg's 2x's a day). I asked about my Beta Blocker because a) it was what landed me there in the first place and b) I had heard that you should not stop them "cold turkey". Well he told me I was on such a low dose that just stopping them at that point wouldn't matter. So I did. About 3 days after I quit the Beta Blockers, I started having a flutter in the morning. I told my Doc and he upped my Calcium Channel Blocker, it then progressed to harder flutters and now it's more like a "rubbing" palpitation feeling with the anxiety. Now almost 2 weeks later I'm still having Palpitations with exertion and my Anxiety is in FULL FORCE! I'm wondering if it's because I quit my Beta Blocker cold turkey and now am feeling the after effects? How long do these last? Will they end? Do I need to go back on the Beta Blocker? I'm really not liking this feeling and it's definitely not helping with my anxiety!!!! Thank you for any help! I'm going to put a call into my doc too.

 
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Old 06-05-2007, 05:38 PM   #2
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Re: Question about coming off Beta Blockers

Hi,

Has anyone been through this? I'd like to hear the answer as well. I have been off an alpha/beta blocker (Labetalol) completely for four days now. My 4week old headache (coinciding precisely with the first reduction by 1/2 daily dose of this drug to the day) which is present 24/7 got worse after discontinuing it completely on Saturday. I also experienced irregular heartbeat at times while weaning off of this med.
My face is flushed, my BP is up and not in the very healthy range. On the plus side, I can breathe normally again. Severe shortness of breath, developed over a period of time, was the ONLY reason for discontinuing this great and so very useful medication. I cannot think of anything equally effective to replace it with. Hopefully, the doctor will.

Flowergirl

 
Old 06-06-2007, 06:57 AM   #3
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Re: Question about coming off Beta Blockers

It is SO variable.

Some people can get off beta-blockers almost cold turkey with no problems while others seem to need MONTHS of weaning.

Best advice I can give is to go off so slowly that you don't see a return of symptoms. At the first sign of discomfort, then stay at that dose for as long as it takes til you feel normal before moving down again.

People with heart disease or angina should take even MORE care than someone with only hypertension and anxiety.

 
Old 09-26-2007, 08:56 PM   #4
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Re: Question about coming off Beta Blockers

I'm going through it now and I'm worried because of all the bad things I've heard & read about tappering off beta-blockers. I've been on Metoprolol for about six years now and I went from 100 mg to 200 mg over that period of time. I was put on it for high blood pressure and then developed palpitations. As soon as I was put on this drug I noticed a lot of changes like my thinking got cloudy and it caused mild E.D. and that was hard to take because I'm young. In the last year I have lost some weight and started having breathing problems about 8 months ago. I started wheezing and couldn't breath very good when I was lying down and The doctor said it was asthma and put me on an inhaler but now I think it was because of not needing that much Metoprolol. My pulse rate was very slow at anywhere from 39 bpm up to low 50's. Sept. 18 my doctor decreased my dose from 200 mg to 150 mg daily. There was no change in my pulse rate so on sept. 24(my birthday) he decreased the dosage from 150 mg's daily to 100 mg's daily. I went back to him on the 26th because my pulse was still slow and he told me to cut down to 50 mg's daily. I thought that this was a bit much but he said that I'd be fine. I even called back at the doctors office for reassurance.(think I made them mad) Today I've been shakey and have felt panicky because I'm afraid that I'm going to have a heart attack like so many that I've read about. My blood pressure has been fluctuating from 144/62 to 127/86. It kinda scared me when my low went in the 60's. My pulse is doing better, though. Any feedback on tappering like this would be greatly appreciated.

 
Old 09-28-2007, 11:10 AM   #5
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Re: Question about coming off Beta Blockers

ALWAYS TAPER OFF OF BETA BLOCKERS UNDER YOUR DOCTORS DIRECTIONS! Please, I stopped them abruptly a few years ago. I started back after 9 days because of TIAs and BP of 185/120. Pulse rate was also 120. My vital signs returned to normal, but I had an mi and stroke 6 weeks later.

I didn't know anything about this drug......

P.S. My mi and stroke were both due to blockages but, there could have been a connection with stopping the beta blocker abruptly.

Last edited by huckfinn; 09-28-2007 at 12:09 PM. Reason: additional information

 
Old 09-28-2007, 04:06 PM   #6
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Re: Question about coming off Beta Blockers

Quote:
Originally Posted by huckfinn View Post
ALWAYS TAPER OFF OF BETA BLOCKERS UNDER YOUR DOCTORS DIRECTIONS! Please, I stopped them abruptly a few years ago. I started back after 9 days because of TIAs and BP of 185/120. Pulse rate was also 120. My vital signs returned to normal, but I had an mi and stroke 6 weeks later.

I didn't know anything about this drug......

P.S. My mi and stroke were both due to blockages but, there could have been a connection with stopping the beta blocker abruptly.

Thanks for the info. Hope ya get well.

 
Old 09-28-2007, 04:25 PM   #7
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Re: Question about coming off Beta Blockers

Larry, you state you were treated for high blood pressure and then developed palpitations?! A beta blocker (Metoprolol) will help stablize heart rhythm and palpitations can be more problematic than a low blood pressure.

For a heart event or stroke, the bp reading almost has to be double what you may have. Exception would be if one already has damaged vessels or elderly. No need to worry about a heart attack from reading your post.

Your bp does not have to be as low as you cite, however, if one has had a heart attack (damaged heart muscle) the goal would be to get the blood pressure as low as possible without serious side effects. The expected range just to maintain a normal measurement should be the normal 120/80, not lower.

 
Old 09-30-2007, 11:35 AM   #8
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Re: Question about coming off Beta Blockers

Quote:
Originally Posted by kenkeith View Post
Larry, you state you were treated for high blood pressure and then developed palpitations?! A beta blocker (Metoprolol) will help stablize heart rhythm and palpitations can be more problematic than a low blood pressure.

For a heart event or stroke, the bp reading almost has to be double what you may have. Exception would be if one already has damaged vessels or elderly. No need to worry about a heart attack from reading your post.

Your bp does not have to be as low as you cite, however, if one has had a heart attack (damaged heart muscle) the goal would be to get the blood pressure as low as possible without serious side effects. The expected range just to maintain a normal measurement should be the normal 120/80, not lower.

I've never had a heart attack, only anxiety problems which is what was running my BP up, I think. I was the type of person that wouldn't go to the doctor for anything. If I cut my finger or whatever I'd just wrap black tape around it, lol. When the Palpitations came along that's when I went to the doctor and he put me on Metoprolol. My BP is doing good except sometimes during the day & night it will drop down to 117/61 then it will be something like 157/86. My heart rate is the prob. While sitting or resting it is low 40's or 50's but when I get up it will go to 80 to 100 and I feel anxious. I've been taking diazapam 5mg and it doesn't help. I seen my doctors assistant at the fall festival that my community had saturday and she told me that my doc was gonna try & lower the 100 mg dose to 50 mg's again tuesday and that I should be ok but if I have problems then she's sending me to a cardiologist. I'm hopeful that I will be able to go off it altogether and just take something that will keep my anxiety under control. I take 50 mg's of Met. at 11:00 am then at 11:00 pm. A couple hours or so after I take it my heart slows and freaks me out. Then later in the day when I stand or walk it will speed to 100 or maybe a little faster then at 11:00pm I take it and it's like a broken record, all over again. I'm up all night until 4 or 5 in the morning afraid to go to sleep because I worry about how slow my heart will go while I'm snoozing. this morning at about 2:30 or 3 it was 40 at one point. It's a vicious thing for someone with an anxiety disorder and I feel sorry for anyone that is having these problems. I came here to find people that was having the same problem as me but never actually found anything that I could relate to but I hope that if anyone is having the same prob. that I am comes here and gets piece of mind. I will keep updating this & hope it will help others. To all that has responded, thank you.

 
Old 11-15-2007, 03:27 PM   #9
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Re: Question about coming off Beta Blockers

It's been almost 3 months since I started tappering off of 200 mg's of Metoprolol a day and now I'm down to 50 mg's a day. I take 25 mg in the morning and 25 at night. The reason the doctor tappered it down was because it was making my heart beat too slow. At full rest I caught my heart rate at 34. The doctor that I had told me that I would have to have a pacemaker and I was devastated. She was also very hateful towards me and never once tried to console me and I finally told her to $#@& $@# %$*&! and got a new doctor.

My new doc sent me to a Cardiologist and after a short evaluation he asked me why they had sent me there and I told him about the pacemaker and he shook his head in disbelief & said that I didn't need one and told me(off the record) to get a new doctor & I told him that I already did. He done a stress test on me, which I completed with no problem, while he watched my heart on the ultrasound screen. He then told me that my heart looked great & was working right and to put this behind me. He was one of the coolest doctors that I've ever met. He was a good guy and when I left his office I was on a cloud! But at the same time I felt a little guilty because I know that most people that go there get bad news and my heart goes out to all of them.(no pun intended)

Krista1994, I know how you feel. Your anxiety WILL get better! Just hang in there. I've always had anxiety but was able to keep it under control for the most part other than the occasional panic attack. When I started tappering off of Metoprolol my anxiety was tenfold. I was SO nervous that I thought I was gonna snap! I felt awful. It's better now but It's still there. I get short palpitations a few times everyday, too. My BP started elevating a little bit & my doctor put me on a mild dose of Zestril and it done the trick. My heart seems to race sometimes when I stand up or walk through the house but other than that I'm great.

I was also having breathing problems. The doc that I fired thought it was asthma and put me on an inhaler. The inhaler didn't help. The Cardiologist told me that Metoprolol would cause fluid to build up in the lungs and in other places and cause breathing problems. I can already breath A LOT better! Another thing is that it seems like my thinking is clearer. I'm sure that it was causing foggy brain.

My advice to anyone concerned or having problems going off of a Beta-Blocker is to ask your doctor to send you to a Cardiologist. They specialize in the heart & know far more than an M.D. or D.O. or whatever. That's the only way that you'll ever be at peace. One last thing is to start eating healthier & start exercising or briskwalking everyday(if it's alright with your Doc). I have been & have lost 35 pounds in the last three months. To those that responded to me THANK YOU! Good luck to everyone here and I hope that you all get better.

 
Old 11-16-2007, 08:42 AM   #10
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Re: Question about coming off Beta Blockers

Larry, I'm glad to hear everything is looking better for you. However, I'm confused about what you wrote in your post about Metoprolol causing fluid build up in your lungs and other places. The point in taking it is so your heart won't beat to quick and to try to repair heart damage. Fluid build up will occur in the lungs with heart failure, but Metoprolol is used to treat heart failure. I just don't understand how it would cause fluid build up in your lungs & other places, because then it would defeat its purpose and be lethal to people it was being used to help. Where did you get such information? It has worked wonders in keeping my blood pressure under control. Sometimes mine runs as low as 100/60 or so.. but my doc said he is happy with a low BP as long as it doesn't make me dizzy or like I will pass out.. He said low BP will give my heart a chance to rest and heal itself. I can't imagine that Metoprolol would cause fluid build up on the patients who are using it to try to prevent the same problem.

 
Old 11-16-2007, 10:44 AM   #11
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Re: Question about coming off Beta Blockers

Well said, girl A danger with the med is developing a very slow heart rate and that can cause a clot resulting in a stroke or cardiac arrest.

 
Old 11-16-2007, 01:19 PM   #12
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Re: Question about coming off Beta Blockers

ken,

What would be considered a heart rate that is too slow then? I know my doctor is slowing building up my metoprolol. I started t 25 mg, am up to 37.5 and will be going to 50 next month. She is hoping to get it even higher so my heart does not have to work so hard. I am just curious as what would be considered too slow..Right now my pulse has been in the mid 80s even when resting.

Terry

 
Old 11-16-2007, 06:53 PM   #13
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Re: Question about coming off Beta Blockers

yeah Ken, how slow is too slow? mine gets very slow sometimes when i'm resting, especially coming out of a sleep. Sometimes my pulse is as low as 49, if I just woke up.. I called my cardiologist and told them about the problem this morning. But if I lower my dose, like the doctor told me I could, I'm afraid it will be too low. Once I tried to lower it too much and my heart was pounding in the morning. My pulse also goes extremely high when I get stressed out, I even called an ambulance tonight b/c I was so scared cause it went high due to stress. I don't want to lower my metoprolol too low than what I need.. for these times when my heart races.. But at resting times it gets EXTREMELY low. What would you suggest Ken? I have the same question, how low is too low of a pulse? Is there a good chance you will develop blood clots?

 
Old 11-17-2007, 12:51 PM   #14
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Re: Question about coming off Beta Blockers

Here is my experience... I was taking metoprolol several times a day but switched to the long acting toprol. I had some issues going on and they needed to stop my heart meds (or at least try to). I am on flecainide and toprol. We stopped flecainide but the cardiologist said that we would have to wean off of the metoprolol over several weeks because stopping it quickly would cause rebound heart rate issues. Needless to say it didnt work for me because I went into rapid atrial tachycardia and went unconscious. It was found to be because we stopped the flecainide, but at any rate the cardiologist stressed the not stopping the metoprolol quickly. Also while I was in the hospital, I had low heart rates down into the 50's while I was resting in bed or asleep. He was not concerned because as soon as I was up moving it came up. He said as long as I was not symptomatic (ie lightheaded, passing out, extremely fatigued) then I was fine. He was more concerned about what my blood pressure was then my heart rate. So, just thought I would offer what I was told by my electrophysiologist, hope it helps.

 
Old 11-17-2007, 02:27 PM   #15
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Re: Question about coming off Beta Blockers

thanks Sam.. I just don't want it going so low I go into sudden cardiac arrest. I have had a doc that has been specializing in CHF for 20 yrs tell me that sudden cardiac arrest is very rare. But I'd still like to know how low is too low that way you know when to get to the hospital.. ya know? There are always those rare cases.

 
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