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Old 03-16-2005, 10:02 AM   #1
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Attention disgruntled Atenolol users!

Article about recent Swedish study on Atenolol published in The Lancet late last year. (Nov 2004)

http://www.healthfinder.gov/news/newsstory.asp?docID=522165

Here's a couple of paragraphs that will no doubt have you copying and pasting that link fast!

"Atenolol, a drug commonly prescribed to treat hypertension, doesn't prevent heart attacks or cardiovascular death any better than dummy drugs and is less effective than a wide variety of other blood pressure medications...."

You will note in the article that even a guy named Gary Burell, a spokesman for AstraZeneca pharmaceuticals which makes the stuff says: "We don't promote atenolol," ...... "Atenolol has been out for a number of years, and you get new and improved molecules like Toprol-XL that show advantages over earlier drugs."

Yeah, so he's pushing Toprol instead. But still, read the article. It suggests that not only should atenolol not be used to treat uncomplicated high blood pressure, it should not be used as a control drug to test other blood pressure drugs....

Food for thought...

zuzu

 
Old 03-16-2005, 10:54 AM   #2
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Re: Attention disgruntled Atenolol users!

Yeah, this is the same thing we were discussing a few months ago:

http://www.healthboards.com/boards/showthread.php?t=229414

I love this quote from that article:
Quote:
"We don't promote atenolol," said Gary Burell, a spokesman for AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals, which makes atenolol under the brand name Tenormin. "Atenolol has been out for a number of years, and you get new and improved molecules like Toprol-XL that show advantages over earlier drugs."

Toprol-XL is a new beta blocker that is being promoted by AstraZeneca for treating high blood pressure.

Burell noted that because atenolol is available as a generic drug, AstraZeneca no longer actively promotes it, although it still manufactures the drug. "There is no problem with atenolol," he said. "But there are no trials that show benefits that are seen with newer beta blockers like Toprol-XL."
"Benefits" from Toprol? Is Toprol XL really all that great? Hmmm, let's examine Toprol's label...
Quote:
The table below shows the principal results for the overall study population. The figure below illustrates principal results for a wide variety of subgroup comparisons, including US vs. non-US populations (the latter of which was not pre-specified). The combined endpoints of all-cause mortality plus all-cause hospitalization and of mortality plus heart failure hospitalization showed consistent effects in the overall study population and the subgroups, including women and the US population. However, in the US subgroup (n=1071) and women (n=898), overall mortality and cardiovascular mortality appeared less affected. Analyses of female and US patients were carried out because they each represented about 25% of the overall population. Nonetheless, subgroup analyses can be difficult to interpret and it is not known whether these represent true differences or chance effects.
"Appeared less affected" - That's an understatement... If you look at the graph (I wish healthboards allowed images), you can see that that the placebo is FAVORED for total mortality in the US. In other words, this drug actually KILLED people. And, it's right there on the label. If you read the FDA approval documents, you'll find that the FDA made them put that stuff on the label. Of course, the drug company added the "Nonetheless..." . I guess they technically can't get sued since it is fully disclosed.

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Old 03-16-2005, 11:24 AM   #3
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Re: Attention disgruntled Atenolol users!

Well that makes me feel great.... I am on one drug that really doesn't help my blood pressure.... the Lotrel & the Xanax do & another that I was on before. I was put on the Atenolol, because it was supposed to have less side-effects. Yeah riiiiiiiight.

 
Old 03-16-2005, 02:32 PM   #4
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Re: Attention disgruntled Atenolol users!

Drug Company Line: all drugs that were FABULOUS become instantly useless and dangerous the MOMENT they go generic.

The way you can tell the NEW FABULOUS drug is by it's price. Any drug that costs over $1 a pill is good; over $3 a pill is WONDERFUL and a $5 pill is BREATHTAKINGLY MARVELOUS!

 
Old 03-17-2005, 05:48 AM   #5
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Re: Attention disgruntled Atenolol users!

Atenolol is the worst!!! Nice waking up a few times a week with stomach cramps. Didn't even eat anything or drink any alcohol last night... Going to start to wean on Monday. I'm done.

 
Old 03-17-2005, 06:53 AM   #6
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Re: Attention disgruntled Atenolol users!

After reading all this I gotta ask: Given that there are many other alternatives,
why would anyone use Atenolol just to control bp? In addition to the mood alterations
and other side effects, I would be mighty reluctant to use anything with the bottom line: Wean very carefully or die!

 
Old 03-17-2005, 07:31 AM   #7
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Re: Attention disgruntled Atenolol users!

Was never told to anything about having to wean off of this drug once I was on it. My 2nd doc. in the past two years said that she eventually wanted to get me off of the Atenolol. I was on Toprol 100 MGS before. She was more than happy to wean me off of 2 MGS of Xanax, but not the beta. I don't understand why I wasn't just weaned off of the Toprol, kept on the Lotrel & the Xanax. If someone has anxiety, wouldn't that make sense.

 
Old 03-17-2005, 06:30 PM   #8
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Re: Attention disgruntled Atenolol users!

Only one of the many doctors I have seen since I was put on atenolol 25 years ago ever said anything about the dangers of getting off this drug. Had I known any of the side effects or about having to wean off I would have learned to live with the mild tachycardia I had and never started taking it.
Most of my doctors, including my cardiologist, don't even seem to know how dangerous it is. I learned all the warnings about suddenly quiting it on the internet. And the sad thing about all this is it does't lower my BP at all, even at 100mgs! Just loweres my pulse to around 60.
Cass

 
Old 03-18-2005, 06:18 AM   #9
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Re: Attention disgruntled Atenolol users!

Thanks Cass for your honesty.... the Lotrel lowers mine from 135-140/75 to 116/66... The atenolol does nothing but give me side-effects like Toprol did. Read the study that Zuzu posted. It is pretty conclusive. My doctor didn't say anything about the dangers of weaning off when prescribing it, but warned me a lot about the Xanax. Well the xanax at 2 mgs & Lotrel controls my b/p & I never reach numbers like 140/80 like I would average before & feel fine. The weaning is going to be a tough one...... & I am not going on anymore meds.....

 
Old 03-18-2005, 07:00 AM   #10
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Re: Attention disgruntled Atenolol users!

Cassiebel, there are other drugs which lower your pulse. Cardizem (ccb) does for one, as does clonidine. Ask your doctor for other possibilites if this is the only reason you take a beta blocker.

 
Old 03-18-2005, 07:44 AM   #11
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Re: Attention disgruntled Atenolol users!

Cass,

It lowers my pulse to 53 at times. I really wonder what you pulse would be without Atenolol. Do you have any heart problems? I don't have any, so I don't know why I would be on this med. in the 1st place or a beta-blocker. Excercise & clean living can lower your pulse as well. When my pharmacist who is also a doctor said that the less meds. the better & to wean off of the Atenolol it really opened my eyes. Today I feel great, but tomorrow..... who knows. I tend to agree with the pharmacist who is a doctor. The less meds. the better in many cases. If you have heart problems I would understand what Graylorn is saying, but if you don't, why a beta-blocker? I am asking myself the same question.

 
Old 03-18-2005, 08:04 AM   #12
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Re: Attention disgruntled Atenolol users!

I was put on Atenolo to lower my pulse since my at rest rate was well over 100-120. But after being on the drug for a week with no sleep at all, the doctor took me off of it. Today is my 2nd day without.
Is letting my pulse stay at 100 all the time dangerous.

 
Old 03-18-2005, 08:11 AM   #13
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Re: Attention disgruntled Atenolol users!

What was your pulse on the Atenolol. I'm sure that the doc. could prescibe something else that is a "newer" med that doesn't have the side-effects of Atenolol that will lower your pulse. Do you excercise? Atenolol brings my pulse down to 53. I am 34 and 5' 11" 152......

 
Old 03-18-2005, 01:11 PM   #14
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Red face Re: Attention disgruntled Atenolol users!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lillians Axe
Cass,

It lowers my pulse to 53 at times. I really wonder what you pulse would be without Atenolol. Do you have any heart problems? I don't have any, so I don't know why I would be on this med. in the 1st place or a beta-blocker. Excercise & clean living can lower your pulse as well. When my pharmacist who is also a doctor said that the less meds. the better & to wean off of the Atenolol it really opened my eyes. Today I feel great, but tomorrow..... who knows. I tend to agree with the pharmacist who is a doctor. The less meds. the better in many cases. If you have heart problems I would understand what Graylorn is saying, but if you don't, why a beta-blocker? I am asking myself the same question.
Axe,
I don't have any idea what it would run without the atenolol. When I was on 100mgs it would be around 44, at 50mgs around 50, and at 25mgs it's ave. about 60 - 65.
No, No heart problems. I've had heart scans, stress test, echocardiograms, and, EKGs. I have had these test numerous time over the years because my BP is hard to control and every time I've switched docs they all think it must be heart related and so they do them over. My cardiologist said my heart was fine and my PCP told me, after my last physical that I would probably live into the next century(LOL)
I was put on atenolol in 1986 for mild tachycardia. The doc who did this said 90 pulse was a little to fast and atenolol would slow it down so it didn't have to work so hard and that it would also lower my BP. Well it didn't lower my BP she started me at 25 and ended up at 100mgs and then had to add an ACEI and diuretic to get it down to 140/90. Not much was known about "white coat " at this time and BP monitors were not as available as today. I am certain that I was experencing White coat because just sitting in the waiting room I could feel my pulse start to beat faster. My BP probably was a lot higher there than at home too. shortly after starting these meds I started to feel funny, I guess what some of the posters call "brain fog" best describes it.
I think this also added to my HBP because it scared me. Now, I feel sure it was probably BP that was too low combined with all the side effects of the meds.
I have tried to get off this drug but anything lower than 25mgs and I get palpations and severe anxiety with panic attacks. So I guess I'm on it for life.
I would advise anyone who hasn't had a heart attack or other heart related problems to never start it and anyone who wants off to wean, do it ASAP because I truly believe after so long it becomes impossible to get completely off.
Cass

Last edited by CASSIEBEL; 03-18-2005 at 01:26 PM.

 
Old 03-21-2005, 06:03 AM   #15
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Re: Attention disgruntled Atenolol users!

It sounds like you were nervous at the doctor Cass. Atenolol doesn't make that much of a difference, if at all in terms of blood pressure. I agree with what you say 100%.

 
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