Hi. I just took my first dose of Atenolol 25 mg last night, after trying so many BP meds and the dr finally telling me this is what I have to try. Beth, I remember you talking about how it made you depressed and lethargic and unable to complete normal everyday tasks. Last night, about an hour after I took it, I felt like I couldn't breathe very well and short of breath. (I took some Benadryl just in case it was an allergic reaction and tried to sleep). This morning, I stayed home from work, because I can't think clearly at all. I am having trouble even forming thoughts about the simplest things. If I think, for example, "I'd like to get a cup for some tea" my brain is like a thesaurus and searches for all the words for "cup", like glass, mug, etc. before I get to the word "cup". I feel like my life is in slow motion. Beth, this was only my first dose and it's scaring me. Did you have weird symptoms initially, or did they get worse over time? I also feel like my heart is moving around. My pulse and BP are lower; and I guess I could handle the way my brain is working now, but if it gets progressively worse as I continue the med, I think I would be a bumbling idiot before too long. (that's about how I feel right now.....I have to think really hard to quickly remember basic things).
Also, if I want to stop this med, can I abruptly stop after only one or 2 days doses of it? or does your body get used to it that quickly? Thanks for any advice from Beth and others.
I also just started taking Atenolol but its 50 mg tablets to take twice a day! ha! thats not happening because by time I take all the other meds I am a fruit basket curled up on the floor sleeping! ..I get the same thing you are getting with this medication, I can not funtion, breath, or see good everthing go's blurry and I get dizzy..
I am interested in hearing also how it is affecting others if at all.
I also noticed it makes my heart hurt, chest and arms. I have fibro and I think that is all it is..well I am hoping anyway! I also have been taking Propranolol 40 mg 3 times a day..along with 7 more different meds.. as far as I know all I am being treated for with this doctor is blood pressure and fibro..she said nothing can be done about my back!
I am not happy with all this medication and do not like taking it. to be honest I dont take it like the doc told me to..I just cant! not when it makes me feel like I am in someone elses broken down body! but like you I am very concerned about the side effects and risk involved with these meds.
I am on Atenolol 25mg at night for SVTs and when I was first put on it, the effects you mention sound like what I had. I was also taking Verapamil at the time, and I had to call in to work the next day I was so loopy. Wasn't going to drive that is for sure.
I was switched to diltiazem instead of the Verapamil and I feel much better. I do get dizzy when I go to bed sometimes, but then my bp is pretty low than also and dr warned me about it and hence why I take it at night.
I would check your other meds and call you doctor. Changing mine around helped a lot.
Haven't been following the boards too much lately, but did see your thread, thank goodness! Am so very sorry you're having difficulties now, but things will get better, Sonia. They have for many of us...
First of all, difficulty breathing may be a symptom of overdose so I hope you'll read your drug sheet and call your doctor right away!!! Call your doctor before your thinking gets anymore messed up...my thinking got so messed up on some of those meds, that I couldn't call the doctor and ask for help so call right away!!! I always recommend reading the sheet first so if your doctor tells you (as my doctor has told me) "there isn't anything to support what you're saying..." you can refer back to the pharmacy info with confidence and educate your doctor! I've also read (and after the fact) that lack of energy, wheezing, blurred vision, slow heartbeat, slow pulse, and excessive tiredness are also symptoms of drug overdose. So again, do report back to the old doc asap.
Oh, and atenolol has a warning regarding people with allergies...it sounds like it may intensify the effect of the allergies so again, refer to that drug sheet! Flowergirl asked me which meds caused me congestion and I wasn't sure...but after reading the atenolol sheet again, I'm thinking that it was the med that caused the breathing problems for me.
As far as stopping the med abruptly, it may be dangerous, especially for those with known and unknown heart conditions to stop taking it suddenly so check with your doctor or pharmacist to see about how to go about getting off...I stopped taking my dose when I became suicidal and only felt better immediately but I found out later that it could have been dangerous to do so--but given heart attack or cement embankment, I would choose heart attack any day!
Oh, I do hope you're feeling better...do post again to let us know how you are doing...
PS You may want to call your pharmacist tonight if your doctor's office is closed. They may be able to answer your questions about getting off of atenolol.
Last edited by bethsheba; 05-16-2007 at 04:40 PM.
One thing Beth does bring up, is not to stop taking a BetaBlocker without Dr's advice.
Verapamil/Beta Blockers was listed as a possible reactant to the Atenolol, but I was told to take it anyway by the cardio. Do ya think it reacted to the other Beta Blocker I was on.... YEP!
...I can not funtion, breath, or see good everthing go's blurry and I get dizzy.. ...
Do check to see if this is a sign of overdose with some of your medications---it can be for atenolol, but I suspect it's true with other meds, as well.
fibro..she said nothing can be done about my back!
If you have unexplained back pain, it may be a side effect of a medication. I had excruciating back pain, and shoulder pain while on a diuretic.
I am very concerned about the side effects and risk involved with these meds.
I would be, too. I learned in school many years ago that doctors frequently write prescriptions that are too strong for their patients and prescibe more drugs to treat the side effects instead of reducing the dosage. What's scary is that my personal experience with physicians and with meds, supports what I've learned in school. Scary...mistakes are being repeated and repeated and repeated.
Last edited by bethsheba; 05-16-2007 at 04:51 PM.
Thank you everyone, for your replies. I am feeling a little less "loopy" now; but am wondering if the dose is just wearing off some (took it around 11pm last night and it is now 4pm). I just spoke to my cardiologist, who was in a hurry to get off the phone.......... He did not seem concerned at all about the breathing difficulty I had last night (I will call the pharmacist next), and he told me that I couldn't possibly be having such symptoms on my first dose of such a small dose (25mg). I told him that my body is very sensitive to side effects from meds, and he told me that some patients are "psychologically opposed" to meds and have symptoms that are not even listed........................... I guess he was very tactfully trying to say I'm crazy......I reminded him that I have been on a med (methyldopa) that I do not have ANY side effects on for almost a year, but that it quit working and he had no response at all. Anyway, he told me that since I am having a hard time finding a med, I should take another dose tonight and see if it is indeed the atenolol. (Like I am normally loopy and incoherent and how would I not know it is because the only thing different is trying a new med)
I guess I can try one more dose, but my opposition to that is that I don't want to get "hooked" on the atenolol, where I will have to taper down the dose to get off of it. My cardiologist said I would not need to taper at all on 25 mg - which I will also ask the pharmacist about. Another thing that annoys me about my drs (cardio and PCP) is that I have asked them (and some pharmacists, by the way) if there is an ARB that does not have a sulfa component in it (which I am allergic to), and they have all told me that knowing that would involve looking at the chemical composition of the drug and they just don't have the time for that. If there was a way I could find out, I think that taking an ARB would make more sense for me, because beta blockers can cause weight gain and raise glucose levels and I am insulin resistant. When I tell the drs this, they just gloss over it and get annoyed, as they always seem to, when a patient has any opinion at all about their own health (very frustating, to say the least).
Last edited by Sonia567; 05-16-2007 at 05:18 PM.
.... He did not seem concerned at all about the breathing difficulty I had last night (I will call the pharmacist next), and he told me that I couldn't possibly be having such symptoms on my first dose of such a small dose (25mg).
B******t. Pardon my language, Sonia. What your doctor says about symptoms on such a small dose is simply is not true. Arghhhhh!!!
I told him that my body is very sensitive to side effects from meds, and he told me that some patients are "psychologically opposed" to meds and have symptoms that are not even listed...........................
I'm trying to calm down...bear with me here. I'm trying to write something that won't be censured.....
Sounds like he is not a very smart or well educated man.
I reminded him that I have been on a med (methyldopa) that I do not have ANY side effects on for almost a year, but that it quit working...
Good for you!
and he had no response at all. Anyway, he told me that since I am having a hard time finding a med, I should take another dose tonight and see if it is indeed the atenolol.
Doesn't he mean since he is having a hard time finding a med that's appropriate for you (I believe there are over 200 bp meds available)? Sonia, me speaking, I wouldn't take another one if I were you. My side effects never got "better"---only worse. And atenolol doesn't have a very good reputation given the severity of the side effects. Do, oh, do, check with your pharmacist and do look for information elsewhere.
I guess I can try one more dose, but my opposition to that is that I don't want to get "hooked" on the atenolol, where I will have to taper down the dose to get off of it. My cardiologist said I would not need to taper at all on 25 mg - which I will also ask the pharmacist about.
Yes, do ask the pharmacist! I was on 25 mg of atenolol and had no problems stopping immediately, but as you know, everyone is different!
Another thing that annoys me about my drs (cardio and PCP) is that I have asked them (and some pharmacists, by the way) if there is an ARB that does not have a sulfa component in it (which I am allergic to), and they have all told me that knowing that would involve looking at the chemical composition of the drug and they just don't have the time for that.
This may be one more reason you should not have been prescribed atenolol, given the allergy warnings.
When I tell the drs this, they just gloss over it and get annoyed, as they always seem to, when a patient has any opinion at all about their own health (very frustating, to say the least).
Sonia, there is no excuse for this behavior from your doctors. Time to go doctor shopping!!! And I mean that with all of my heart.
Last edited by bethsheba; 05-16-2007 at 06:04 PM.
and he told me that I couldn't possibly be having such symptoms on my first dose of such a small dose (25mg)....
For the sake of new readers, I am going to repeat myself again.....the pharmaceutical companies used to test drugs on healthy white young men under the age of 25 (probably college students). They found that the results from these tests were biased because healthy white young men process or metabolize drugs differently than other populations who acually USE the drugs(older women with health conditions, for example). There are many reasons for the differences in how the drugs are metabolized depending on the drugs...a body's water composition, fat composition, muscle composition, and age may all play a role in how a drug is broken down in the body. They have found that often older people need LESS of a med, not more!!!! No, we are not sensitive to meds, as some docs would like us to believe. The docs are not keeping up with their education and are not prescribing appropriate dosages....that's why we've got to keep up with our reading! We've got to be informed health care consumers.
PS I've noticed that some of the drug sheets are now addressing dosing in older populations on the med sheet but don't know if this is voluntary or is due to the newer testing practices.
Beth, Thank you so much for your replies! I was indeed wondering what to do last night (take another dose?) and I was feeling so frustrated, since both of my drs are making feel like I am a difficult patient who "dares" to not want to follow their orders........and then I read your post. It made me feel so much better. I also decided not to take the 2nd dose of atenolol, and I am so glad. From the one 25 mg.dose I did take Tuesday night, I was still having side effects from it. Last night, I had the most horrific hallucination (or the most extremely vivid nightmare) I have ever had. (A man standing over my bed about to attack and it seemed so real). That could give me a heart attack right there! Anyway, I still need to find another med, since my BP is not controlled, but I don't want to take a med that messes so much with my mind.
Lenin, you said don't take atenolol with propranolol. Did you mean atenolol with methyldopa (which is the med I am currently taking)?
Thanks for everyone's advice. I really don't know what I'd do without being able to come to this board and find the great support and advice
I'm so glad you posted. My concern is sometimes masked in anger and I was very angry and very, very concerned. I'm relieved to hear you are ok.
Originally Posted by Sonia567
since both of my drs are making feel like I am a difficult patient who "dares" to not want to follow their orders... From the one 25 mg.dose I did take Tuesday night, I was still having side effects from it. Last night, I had the most horrific hallucination (or the most extremely vivid nightmare) I have ever had. (A man standing over my bed about to attack and it seemed so real).
Sounds like your doctors are of the old school and still believe the doctor is GOD. My 80 year old obgyn could teach them a thing or two about listening to and respecting the patient! And yes, "vivid" dreams are a frequently reported side effect of atenolol....don't you wonder why they say "vivid" dreams instead of "terrifying nightmares"? It makes me angry when I read "changes in mood" as a side effect instead of "depression and suicidal tendencies". We need to look past the euphemisms and speak in common tongue. Oh, did the man standing over your bed look like a doctor ?
FYI, I felt NOTICIBLY better every day I was off Atenolol but it still took a few weeks to get back to normal. I was off of medication for about a month (I'm not recommending this without doctor's supervision) and it was amazing how quickly my health returned to before bp med condition. Again, a simple but effective way to id side effects---however, it may be dangerous if one's pressures are too high.
I've got to rush, Sonia. I hope you'll keep in touch.
Linin, you got the propranalol sp? from my post..quick up date..I didnt take another atonol..way toooo spooky for me..and, since I only took maybe 2 of them I was not concerned about stoping the med. I feel much better and my bp has come down to normal..well, so far. I didnt call my doc because she would have precribed me something else!
I posted on this thread because of the scare I got and was interested in other folks reaction to atenolol also. but, I did not want nor intend to hi jack this thread for sure hence the not posting again until now.
And to sonia thanks for posting this thread! and to all who replied to it! It confirmed my feelings and reactions to this med. it may not have reacted this way to me if I was not taking so many other bp meds. but I am not gonna be the ginneypig to find out for sure! LOL anyway I hope you find all your answers and dont let them doctors see you sweat! ~take Care~