I have been scared to take a beta-blocker because of all the side effects I have read on this board, but I haven't found any drug class that works for me yet, and the 2 I haven't tried are diuretics and beta-blockers. Has anyone had experience taking a low dose of betas? (My dr. gave me samples of 25 mg Toprol XL). The side effects I have heard people describe that are particularly worrisome to me are: being extremely tired/having no energy combined with insomnia, being unable to exercise, weight gain, and some people have said they now have heart problems, such as palpitations, flutters, etc. that they didn't have until they started taking a beta-blocker. Additionally, I am concerned about betas increasing the risk for developing type II diabetes (as I am insulin resistant) and also the whole weaning off process that folks describe.
Would you still get these symptoms with a lose dose? and what would be considered a low dose on a beta-blocker?
A beta-blocker of 25 m.g. I believe is the lowest dose you can get. I take Atenenol 50 m.g. which is not high either. I find I have no problem with it. Have been taking it now for 2 1/2 years. My doctor recommends I take it at bedtime. That my solve your problem of being tired.
I am an 25 mg Toprol Xl and I have absolutely no side effects. I have been on it about a year now. But, the first week I took it it made me sleepy in the afternoon, I liked this as normally I cannot nap. Sadly, this lasted just 1 week. Doctors usually do a 1 month checkup after a change in medication, there is a good reason for that...it allows our body some time to adjust to the medication. The Toprol did nothing for my BP however but it really helped with anxiety symptoms that I was having. I don't know if this makes a difference or not but I exercise regularly at a gym.
I hope this helps.
I don't know which one of my meds is making me so sleeping in the afternoon. I take 50 mg. of Atenolol, 80 mg. micardis plus and 1/2 of a 5 mg. of Norvasc. Madfit mentioned taking atenolol at night - does it make a difference if you take you BP meds in the morning or night???
I have been on 25 mg twice a day of metoprolol, the generic, non timed release version of Toprol for more than 2 years. No side effects that I've noticed.
The beta blockers have been around for many, many years and while some people do have side effects, the likelihood is small.
If you do decide to try the beta blocker, ask your doctor why you need Toprol instead of the generic. You can save some money unless you have a truly individualized need for time release: ever notice that when a drug patent runs out they invent a timed release version of the same thing to keep making money???
I was on beta blockers for over 10 years, having numerous problems including a constant rash on my neck and chest, the worst problem for me was my feet and legs were constantly swelling up, I blamed this on the Norvasc I was taking. Beta blockers slow your heart rate so fluid was collecting in my lower extremities, I read in a british journal where beta blockers should be discontinued, because there was strong correalation between beta blockers and early onset of adult diabetes. I started to wean myself off the beta blocker (which is very difficult), but I am happy to report that I no longer have any swelling in my feet and legs and the rash is totally cleared up. My advice for anyone taking beta blockers is to get off it as soon as you can.
I experienced severe side effects while on 25 mg atenonol--bone pain, toe and ankle pain, but most serious was the exhaustion that drove me almost to the point of suicide. I took myself off and immediately felt like my old non suicidal self.
I experienced exhaustion when on hydrocholorothizide, benicar hct, lisinopril, and atenonol to the degree that i couldn't brush my teeth, couldn't dry myself off after showering, and definetly couldn't work (I'm self supporting). I'm now on Norvasc and thus far doing ok. I have been advised by my health care providers that side effects from a drug can occur even after being on the drug for years with no problems. So I try to be very aware of any physical or mental changes. All drugs have side effects but the biggest problem i've found with the bp meds is the side effects mess with your mind---every morning i would walk around the house saying to myself "somethings wrong, somethings very wrong" but i had lost the ability to organize my thoughts to the point where i could call someone and say I NEED HELP. It was only after i took myself off of the drugs that i was able to do so. This was a dangerous thing to do without medical advice but in my case it saved my life. Don't let it get to that point. Report ANY CHANGES in your thinking, your body, your daily activities to your doctor. Be aware that doctors aren't aware of all of the side effects--many side effects don't get reported because they aren't "listed" on the drug sheets. Good luck and good health!
Too bad more people are not aware of the beta-blocker/diabetes connection. I can't understand why a drug with such a potential for causing a life long affliction is allowed to remain on the market. In 1985 I was given Tenormin (Atenolol) for elevated blood pressure. After a year of feeling "drug out" and completely blah, I weaned myself off it, but too late, by that time I was a full fledge diabetic. Another year and 1/2 later I had a heart attack and triple bypass. I feel that I owe it all to the drugs that caused my diabetes. Why would doctors feel that reducing blood pressure was more important than the risk of causing a life long disorder that contributes to heart problems? To me that risk is not only not worth the taking but a poor choice in trade off's. If I had known then what I know now I would not have been so ready to follow the doctors advice. I believe that the least the doctors could do is to give you the information that one of the risks of taking beta blockers is the possibility (probability?) of developing diabetes from them.
thank you for sharing your experience with beta blockers. I am sorry to hear about your considerable health problems which can be directly attributed to the use of beta blockers.
Another serious condition that can be brought on by the beta blockers (as well as a few other meds) is a symptomatic sinus bradycardia. Who is to say what damage a long-term use of this drug might result in? I wonder if any studies have been done regarding long-term effects of beta blockers.
People need to be aware of these facts (conveniently not mentioned in drug info sheets ) and the only way to do that is through extensive research.
We then have to weigh our options and decide which path to choose.
My experience with beta blockers (Torprol XL 100) was a rise in my BP and no effect on my sinus tachycardia (the whole reason they put me on it was to lower the ole ticker rate)
One major problem with beta blockers and other meds tossed on the market is that they absolutely FLOOD the market... there are so many types with new ones coming out every day. There is no way that any Dr can stay current on the side effects, drug interactions and 'down the road effect' when at the most they get fifteen minutes with a drug rep who tells them what a wonder the drug is, hands out clocks, free samples and cute little calendars. Many Dr's like getting the samples knowing that not all their patients can afford new drugs so they can hand them out by the convenient advertising bagfulls.
Unfortunately it is a buyer beware life out there... you need to research what drugs you are given a 'script for yourself and hope to find more than just the drug companies pretty site. It is places like these forums where we get to hear what the info sheets don't tell you and the Dr is never told in the fifteen minutes of getting arms fulls of samples, notepads and do-dads. Next time you go to your Dr's office look at the clock... there is a drug name on it... look at the pens, tissues, do-dads and posters. It is great that the Dr does not have to pay for a clock and so forth, but should we have to pay with our health in the end?
If all that doesn't kill you makes you stronger then just call me SuperMan
I've found the package insert (information sheet) to be very informative. The pharmacy information sheet does not contain all the information. The manufacturer is required by law to put the information in the package insert. You can also go to the
FDA website to research drugs. I have called numerous drug manufacturers to find out potential drug side effects. You can get the phone no's from you pharmacy. There are some very good books on the market to inform you. All this takes enormous amount of time just went you are stressed out & not exactly feeling like researching stuff. Hypertension Source book is an excellent reference book. Sorry to hear about your health conditions. I have my battle scars to from meds- damaged knees, arms, & hands from Cozaar. Fam
I've found the package insert (information sheet) to be very informative. The pharmacy information sheet does not contain all the information. The manufacturer is required by law to put the information in the package insert
You are absolutely right, Fam.
The drug manufacturers are required to provide package inserts with the drugs and I believe they all do. The only problem is that by the time we get the drugs, the original inserts have been removed and replaced with the pharmacies' own printouts. Having been on a number of BP meds since December 06, I have come across only ONE drug that came with the original package insert. This was Micardis (quite recently). Reading it, I could not believe how informative and detailed it was, not leaving out anything negative or undesirable and thus enabling the user to make an informed decision about whether or not to take the drug.
Even the drugs packaged in blister packs get to us without the original inserts. Never mind those that have to be counted out and dispensed by the pharmacist.
Simply put, the original inserts are very difficult to come by!
Last edited by flowergirl2day; 06-29-2007 at 08:33 AM.