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Old 05-10-2006, 06:57 PM   #1
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What's the best alternative to Atenolol

I'm a 40yr old male who was diagnosed with Essential Hypertension around ten years ago. I was put on 50mg Atenolol then and have been on it every since.

I've read lots of posts on this board about side effects from Atenolol, many of which I recognise, so would like to change to something else. Perhaps an ACE Inhibitor?

My particular concern is that I am also Hypothyroid, which of course slows the whole body down. This, coupled with the heart-slowing action of Atenolol means that my normal resting heart rate can be as low as 44bpm !

I'd be interested to hear from people who have comeoff Atenolol - what did you move to and have you felt better or worse?

 
Old 05-11-2006, 04:40 AM   #2
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Re: What's the best alternative to Atenolol

Hi

Your thread is very topical for me at the moment. I was admitted to hospital last Thursday and was diagnosed with sinus bradycardia caused by my 50mg atenolol which my kidneys were not excreting properly so there was an accumulation. I had noticed for some time that my pulse rate was 42-43 and when i went to my GP complaining of breathlessness and pressure in my chest area on exertion she did an ekg (ecg??). Anyway it was abnormal so i was sent to hospital. I am now decreasing my atenolol slowly 25 mg. Im feeling awful most of the time but my pulse is getting higher. When your pulse /heart rate drops below 40 its dangerous so if i were you i would report this to your doctor asap. Hope this helps.

 
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Old 05-11-2006, 06:29 AM   #3
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Re: What's the best alternative to Atenolol

My pulse rate is "normal", but I find that on 50 mg. of Atenolol, I'm always tired. I'm going to ask the doctor if I could decrease it to 25 mg. I also take Micardis - 40 mg.

 
Old 05-11-2006, 05:14 PM   #4
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Re: What's the best alternative to Atenolol

Hello. When I noticed the word "Atenolol", I had to respond! I have been on this med for about 4 months now, and am experiencing many problems. In the last two months, I have developed a terrible presure in my head, a very stiff neck, and had swollen glands. Made many visits to my doctor, and was told these symptoms were not from the Atenolol, and to keep taking it. I am at my wits end and feeling very sick every day. Am having many tests done, Cat Scan, MRI, EKG, Coratid Artery test of the neck, to see if anything else is wrong with me. It is in my head that the Atenolol is the culprit, and just wondering what anyone here might think, and has anyone else had strange feelings like me? Went to an ear, nose, throat guy this Monday and he said my ears were infected as well as impacted with wax. He cleaned them out and I felt good for about 3 days, and now back to the pressure feeling in head and very stiff neck. Appreciate any comments on this problem. It is making me very depressed.

 
Old 05-12-2006, 08:44 AM   #5
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Re: What's the best alternative to Atenolol

jd - how many mg. of atenolol do you take? I don't have head pressure or stiff neck - just tired all the time. I really don't think your ear infection and wax were caused by the medication. Wait until you have your tests and then discuss it with your doctor. Unfortunately, all meds carry some type of side effect, sometimes you just have to take it, or work with your doctor to find a med that's good for you. It's not always easy.

 
Old 05-16-2006, 01:02 PM   #6
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Re: What's the best alternative to Atenolol

Hi Arlmond18, I have been on 25 mg. of the Atenolol for about 5 months. I know the Atenolol didn't cause the ear infection, as I have had them before I started bp meds. I do think the ear infection is better due to the drops I have been using, but I have that very stiff neck and still am having such squeezing pressure in my head, as well as buzzing in the head and backache. What seems funny to me is, I have never had headaches or buzzing in the head, and it seems like every place I have had a touch of arthritus, like the neck and back, hurts so very much more and now I don't get any relief even when I take Tylenol or such. I probably sound like a chronic complainer, but all these symptoms are things that I have never had trouble with before. I just can't stand living this way and am afraid to go anyplace or do anything. I started to wean myself off the Atenolol, and I know my doctor is going to be very upset with me, but I just can't go on feeling like this and being so worried and depressed about it all. Thanks for listening! I get more satisfaction out of talking to you good people here that I do from my doctor.....and I'm paying him!!!!
Judy

 
Old 05-17-2006, 09:01 AM   #7
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Re: What's the best alternative to Atenolol

Hi Judy - you're certainly not complaining. No one wants to spend their days being uncomfortable and not feeling well. Do you have a BP monitor at home? This way you can check and see if there's any difference now that you've cut your dose. For sure, your doctor won't be happy with you, but tell him you feel lousy. I'm going to do the same thing next week - I want my dose lowered, or switch to another med. Maybe another med will make me feel tired also, who knows? I also take Micardis with the atenolol. I wish I didn't have to take either of them!
Arlene

 
Old 06-07-2006, 07:22 PM   #8
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Re: What's the best alternative to Atenolol

Hi Arlene, Sorry it took me so long to reply to your post. I have been busy running back and forth to doctors trying to find out what is wrong with my head and neck! After thinking it might be the Atenolol, I finally found out I do have a disc that is "out of place" in my neck. I forget what exactly the neuroligist said to me, but ended up getting a treatment of cortisone, which was shots in the neck area. Feels a little better, but not completely. But, I really have to wonder what in the heck the Atenolol does to a person's body. I never had neck pain, or this strange squeezing feeling in the base of my head. Might sound silly, but I just have to wonder did the Atenolol bring this on? Who knows with all the side effects that can happen. I haven't been taking it for about two weeks now, and my blood pressure is still about the same....ranges from 130ish/80ish, and sometimes goes to 150/80 range. Right now I am under a lot of stress as my grandaughter just passed away from brain cancer, so I kind of expect my bp to be a bit high. I decided to just take nothing for now, and concentrate on my bp later when I get my sanity back! Many people told me they don;t consider my bp that high, and the lower number is the most important one. Hope your feeling better, and let me know if you went off the Atenolol and if your trying anything else. Good luck to you.

Judy

 
Old 06-07-2006, 08:34 PM   #9
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Re: What's the best alternative to Atenolol

Hi I Am So Glad I Came Upon This Website Because I Really Thnk This Is A Blessing. I Just Gave Birth To A Baby Boy In March So Hes 3 Months And I Was Told That I Had High Bp For The First Time During My Pregnancy And Im Only 24. So After I Had The Baby My Bp Was Still Up And My Doctore Prescibed Atenolol. I Missed A Few Doses And For The Past 4 Days I Have Taken Them Everyday. I Have Been Feeling Dizzy, I Feel Like Fainting Sometimes, I Feel Like I Can Sleep For Days, And Its Really Scaring Me Because I Thought I Might Be Pregnant Again, Because Pregnancy Does Make U Fatigue. I Took A Home Pregnancy Test Today And My Results Were Invalid So That Didnt Do Me Any Good. I Pray That Im Not Pregnant Again Because I Have 2 Kids Already And I Dont Want Anymore, But I Really Think Its The Medicine Because I Dont Feel Like Myself Anymore And Im Scared That Something Terrible Will Happen To Me. My Mom Used To Take High Bp Medicine Years Ago And She Said It Made Her Feel Weird So She Gradually Stopped Using Hers. But I Know That Can Be Dangerous. Please Write Back And Tell Me If My Symptoms Sound Like Thats Probably The Atenolol.

 
Old 06-08-2006, 06:11 AM   #10
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Re: What's the best alternative to Atenolol

Hi y'all

All beta blockers slow the heart rate and reduce the force of the contraction of the heart muscle. They reduce the work load on the heart. Due to the laws of physics, they reduce the circulation of blood, especially in the extremities. The main difference in beta blockers is whether they are "cardioselective", or not. Atenolol is cardioselective (doesn't affect the lungs and/or brain). I have taken it for over 4 years now. Currently I am taking 50mg/day.

I think that all beta blockers cause the side affects of fatigue, and some degree of impotence and depression. This can all be researched for verification. They can also cause an increase in blood glucose levels and can cause some blood lipids to increase. The reduced blood flow in the extremities can also cause the symptoms of Renaud's Syndrome (very cold and sometimes blue hands and pain). Personally I believe they also interfere with the blood supply to the peripheral nerves, and may assist in the development of peripheral neuropathy, which I have. BUT I would be more susceptable than others for having PN, due to having Small Vessel Disease (SVD) also.

I have read healthboards for years and 2 of the most commonly prescribed beta blockers, atenolol, metotropol, and Toprol XL, which is a timed released version of metotroprol, all cause side affects. Coreg is probably the most prescribed BB for heart failure. These folks don't complain as much about side affects from Coreg, probably because they think the side affects are just due to a failing heart. Coreg is the number one choice for people with heart failure. It is the newest BB and also has alpha blockers, which makes it a bit different from other BBs. Researchers think that Coreg also helps the lining of the arteries, I have read.

I abruptly stopped taking atenolol in May of 2003. I restarted the med in 10 days due to super high BP and strange headaches, or TIAs. I had a heart attack and stroke in June of 2003. No one had ever warned me about stopping a BB abruptly. I was taking atenolol for high BP and tachycardia. I lost about 20 pounds and thought that I didn't need this med anymore (bad side affects). Now I know the medical literature says the heart attack and stroke could have been caused by the abrupt cease of BBs. I will never know for sure, but I wish all of you would be very careful with beta blockers.

 
Old 06-08-2006, 11:40 AM   #11
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Re: What's the best alternative to Atenolol

Brad, thank U for your post. It is a true fact, I know bcuz the same thing happened to my mom. She was taking toprol xl and stopped abruptly. Her bp rose to 220 ish or something like that and we rushed her to the ER.

I don't think ppl realize how these meds work, i know my mom didn't. We're more careful now.

Judy, i offer my sympathy on the lost of your granddaughter. My prayers will be with you. I think bcuz of all the things going on in your life right now, you may need a little help with the bp. Stress can cause bp to rise severely. Good luck and keep an eye on your bp and keep us posted.

 
Old 06-10-2006, 06:43 AM   #12
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Re: What's the best alternative to Atenolol

Lane, you are most welcome. I really hope you and your Mom are doing just fine

 
Old 06-12-2006, 12:37 PM   #13
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Re: What's the best alternative to Atenolol

Thank you, lane, for the kind words concerning my grandaughter; I appreciate that! I haven't even taken my blood pressure for a week or so, I am a little afraid to take it right now. I also found Brad's post very interesting and informative. Sorry to hear about your stroke and hope that you are getting back to good health. When I went off the Atenolol, I did it very slowly and I didn't have any problems, thank goodness. I am just taking folic acid and flaxseed capsules for now. Someone told me they help reduce blood pressure, so thought I would give that a try. However, I know that I will have to address the blood pressure issue sometime soon, and get back on something. I was thinking of trying the hydroclorizide (fluid pills) the doctor gave me to see if that helps lower my bp any. Right now I am afraid to take anything, but I know I will have to soon. All the side effects sure are scary. It's funny how some people take bp meds and have no trouble at all, and other people do. I am still dealing with my neck problem and hope I can find some relief soon for that.....have another appointment next week with the neuroligist, and I think he will give me more injections of steroids in the neck.

It is good to read everyone's comments on here. Thanks to everyone for all the input.

Judy

 
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