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Old 01-29-2008, 09:49 AM   #1
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Beta Blocker Withdrawl

Hello All!!

I started yesterday weaning of my Toprol XL 25mg... It is HARD... I do not feel good at all -- I have a horrible headache, chest tightness, feel exhausted, and just 'unwell' -- can anyone that has gone off a Beta Blocker tell me how long I will feel like this, anything I can do to make it better?

Thank you all so much!

Vanessa

 
Old 01-29-2008, 11:00 AM   #2
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Re: Beta Blocker Withdrawl

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vanessa74 View Post
Hello All!!

I started yesterday weaning of my Toprol XL 25mg... It is HARD... I do not feel good at all -- I have a horrible headache, chest tightness, feel exhausted, and just 'unwell' -- can anyone that has gone off a Beta Blocker tell me how long I will feel like this, anything I can do to make it better?

Thank you all so much!

Vanessa

Hi Vanessa74,

Luckily, 25 mg is a very low dose. Most are taking from 100 to 250mg a day. (Can you imagine) I also weaned off TOPROL XL 25 mg. I split my tablet in half for 2 weeks (taking 12.5 mg a day) and then I split that for 2 weeks (approx. 6.25 or less) then I stopped completely. While I was weaning off the drug I felt a little anxious. When I stopped completely my heart felt like it was beating a little faster and harder for a couple of days. After a few days I was fine.

P.S. It is much harder to wean off these Pills when the dosage is high and you suffer from heart disease.

 
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Old 01-29-2008, 12:17 PM   #3
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Re: Beta Blocker Withdrawl

Hi Vanessa,

I had to go through a withdrawal, weaning off an 800mg dose of Labetalol. As ACE suggested in his post, it is a very difficult thing for some of us to do.
My withdrawal symptoms included heart rhythm irregularities and chest pain, a horrible headache and all of the symptoms you describe. The 24/7 headache lasted almost six weeks while the duration of the other symptoms was only several weeks . You were on a low dose so hopefully won't need as much time as I did for the withdrawal to be complete. As ACE pointed out, due to the low dose you were on your withdrawal symptoms should remain on the mild side.
I don't know of anything to make the transition easier. Sorry!

PS. come to think of it, I do have a suggestion. Think of how much better you will be able to breathe without the beta blockers!!! I had to stop mine for the same reason - not being able to breathe. I am on a more suitable beta blocker now. What medication is your doctor replacing the beta blocker with?

good luck,
flowergirl

Last edited by flowergirl2day; 01-29-2008 at 12:29 PM. Reason: adding PS

 
Old 01-29-2008, 04:20 PM   #4
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Re: Beta Blocker Withdrawl

Hi - thank you both very much!!

I wish it was mild -- but I feel just HORRIBLE.. The headache is the WORST - I have had it now for two days and it is really getting to me. I feel tired and almost flu like. My head is punding, I have a hard time keeping my eyes open from the pain and I feel AWFUL...

Flower - how long did it take for you to notice an improvement in your breathing?

The Dr. wants me to try Diovan AGAIN - so that is what I am doing - I hate it though - gives me a tight fist like feeling in my upper chest ......

I am very angry with myself for letting him put me back on Toprol in the first place - I have been back on it now for about 39 days. I had only been completely OFF of it for 10 days when he had me go back on the low dose. Because my breathing wasn't better after those 10 days he said that it wasn't the Toprol doing it -- I asked if having been on Toprol for 4 years - maybe it took more time than that to get out of your system - he LAUGHED at me......

Could the Toprol make the GERD/Acid that I have worse too???

You are both right -- I need to try and remain positive. - thank you

 
Old 01-29-2008, 05:56 PM   #5
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Re: Beta Blocker Withdrawl

How's your b/p? My husband went off a beta blocker that he was only on for one week. His heart pounded so much in bed that I could feel it.

I think you should go a little slower going off of it. It doesn't matter if you were on a smaller dose-some of us are more sensitive.

I'm sure Toprol can cause acid/reflux just as most of the beta blockers do.

It took me two months to get off of Clonidine & I was on the lowest dose. My b/p was constanly in the 200's.

You so have my empathy!!! We'll have to have a party for you when you get off of it Fam

 
Old 01-29-2008, 08:16 PM   #6
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Re: Beta Blocker Withdrawl

Hi again,

Quote:
Flower - how long did it take for you to notice an improvement in your breathing?
Quote:
The Dr. wants me to try Diovan AGAIN - so that is what I am doing - I hate it though - gives me a tight fist like feeling in my upper chest ......
It took me about a week to notice an improvement. However, the medication could not have been the only reason for my breathing problems. After an initial improvement in my breathing there was a relapse. I was on other drugs at the time that may have contributed to the breathing problems. As you know, Vanessa, I also have a hiatal hernia and an acid reflux, either of which can cause breathing problems, not to mention the asthma some seem to believe I have. In some people with multiple problems the exact causes of breathing problems are hard to pin down. I have a feeling that may also be the case with you.
I hope you'll get some relief from that awful withdrawal headache and your breathing and AR symptoms. Good luck!
flowergirl

 
Old 01-30-2008, 04:23 AM   #7
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Re: Beta Blocker Withdrawl

Thank you both,

I am sure my B/P is probably pretty high - my Doc. said not to take it for a couple of weeks because I will just panic and FREAK OUT and it is probably just rebound from going off the Toprol. Because I am young and healthy - he tends to seem not too concerned about my high B/P????

I do seem to be 'hyper' sensitive to medication side effects - and this Toprol REALLY gets to me. I woke up @ 1:30am with my head hurting so bad that I could not even open my eyes - it kept me up for an hour -- the headache is the hardest part for me.

I guess I should get off it more slowly - just not sure how. I have 25MG tabs that I have been cutting in half -- what should I do instead?

I agree Flower - I think it is probably a 'combination' of the Toprol and the Acid/GERD stuff -- and maybe asthma too... I wish I knew... I'll just tackle one thing at a time. I have been keeping a journal of everything to see if I can find a pattern.

Thank you both for your help!

 
Old 01-30-2008, 09:34 AM   #8
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Re: Beta Blocker Withdrawl

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vanessa74 View Post
Thank you both,

I am sure my B/P is probably pretty high - my Doc. said not to take it for a couple of weeks because I will just panic and FREAK OUT and it is probably just rebound from going off the Toprol. Because I am young and healthy - he tends to seem not too concerned about my high B/P????

I do seem to be 'hyper' sensitive to medication side effects - and this Toprol REALLY gets to me. I woke up @ 1:30am with my head hurting so bad that I could not even open my eyes - it kept me up for an hour -- the headache is the hardest part for me.

I guess I should get off it more slowly - just not sure how. I have 25MG tabs that I have been cutting in half -- what should I do instead?

I agree Flower - I think it is probably a 'combination' of the Toprol and the Acid/GERD stuff -- and maybe asthma too... I wish I knew... I'll just tackle one thing at a time. I have been keeping a journal of everything to see if I can find a pattern.

Thank you both for your help!

Hi Vanessa,

I was on DIOVAN about 2 years ago. I also had side-effects after taking it for awhile. I was later switched to BENICAR which is the same class of pill.
I believe BENICAR is probably the best medication of them all. BENICAR lowers blood pressure for a full 24 hours and has proven better than lots of other meds. The most important thing about BENICAR is it is currently being studied to prevent MIGRAINE HEADACHES....... My doctor told me that if you cannot tolerate an ACE drug, BENICAR is probably the better choice. So far I am still on an ACE. If this should change, I will definitely return to BENICAR.....

P.S. I thought of BENICAR when you mentioned headache but this is only a suggestion...

 
Old 01-30-2008, 11:49 AM   #9
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Re: Beta Blocker Withdrawl

Thanks ACE - I will definitely ask my Dr. about the Benicar - I do not like the way the Diovan is making me feel.

Thanks!

 
Old 01-30-2008, 01:55 PM   #10
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Red face Re: Beta Blocker Withdrawl

Vanessa - The only thing that I can say that I believe is an absolute fact is that "everyone is different". My Dr. took me off Atenolol (50mg) with 25mg diuretic cold turkey 9/18/07, my life and my B/P have not been the same since.

I suffered great amounts of panic anxiety pluse a rapid heartbeat and greatly increased B/P for many, many weeks. I have tried ACEs and ARBS and have yet to establish adaquite B/P control and still suffer occasional rapid heartbeat.

I have researched rebound hypertension from Atenolol and have not found an overwhelming amount of information on it, some studies suggest that it doesn't even exist. All I know for sure is that when I went on Atenolol I was only mildly hypertensive and had become that way through a very gradual increase in B/P over a twenty year period, when I stopped Atenolol after 18 months usage my B/P increased more than it had raised in the total 20 year period proir to going on medication and has remained stubbornly high even on ACEs or ARBs.

As I said everyone is different but going off Beta Blockers was akin to the proverbial "runnaway train" for my body! All I can say is stay on your Docs rear about this and do everything you can to find some B/P relief that works for you and if your body reacts to Betas anything like mine, find something other than Beta Blockers to achieve this!

 
Old 01-30-2008, 03:07 PM   #11
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Re: Beta Blocker Withdrawl

Thanks JR22,

I will try and stay on top of this -- as I am 34 and do not want to spend years suffering trying med after med with side effects. I cannot WAIT to get this Beta Blocker OUT of my system.

My head hurts and I actually had to come home from work at lunch because I feel so awful -- one day at a time right!!!

Thanks for the information - sorry for your suffering. At times I wonder if the drugs are worth it -- so many of them seem to harm the body instead of helping it??? Its a toss up I guess.......

Hope you find something that works for you soon. I must say my B/P seems to gradually be getting higher the longer I am on Toprol -- ODDDDDD.....

 
Old 01-30-2008, 06:33 PM   #12
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Re: Beta Blocker Withdrawl

Quote:
Originally Posted by jr2212 View Post
...My Dr. took me off Atenolol (50mg) with 25mg diuretic cold turkey 9/18/07, my life and my B/P have not been the same since.

I suffered great amounts of panic anxiety pluse a rapid heartbeat and greatly increased B/P for many, many weeks. I have tried ACEs and ARBS and have yet to establish adaquite B/P control and still suffer occasional rapid heartbeat.

I have researched rebound hypertension from Atenolol and have not found an overwhelming amount of information on it, some studies suggest that it doesn't even exist. All I know for sure is that when I went on Atenolol I was only mildly hypertensive and had become that way through a very gradual increase in B/P over a twenty year period, when I stopped Atenolol after 18 months usage my B/P increased more than it had raised in the total 20 year period proir to going on medication and has remained stubbornly high even on ACEs or ARBs.
JR,

I took myself off atenolol, cold turkey, in January 07, and experienced what I believe was rebound hypertension, also. Like you, I found some literature that mentioned that symptom/side effect/repercussion but nothing in depth. Any info you gleaned (from personal experience or from the literature) would be appreciated.

I've found that too often, med sheets mention the possibility of the med making one's condition worse...but they don't elaborate...it's only when you read the clinical literature that you find out about rebound hypertension, etc.

Bethsheba

 
Old 01-30-2008, 06:59 PM   #13
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Re: Beta Blocker Withdrawl

An article by a ER Dr. convinced me that going off certain meds especially beta blockers & Clonidine "cold turkey" or fast is dangerous. Then today when I heard that John McCain's wife had had a stroke when she tried to go off a b/p med abruptly, I knew I had to post.

The ER Doc said he is getting so tired of Dr's telling patients to quit their beta blockers & especially Clonidine abruptly because he sees the results in the ER. The PDR for nurses warns of the dangers of stopping these drugs fast. I have one of the HBP guidelines which lists these drugs inparticular as being on the list of reasons patients come in the ER for hypertensive crisis.

If the patient has an acute problem like an allergic reaction to a medicine & has to get off of it abruptly, then I for one would want to be in the hospital where the equipment & meds were avaliable to take care of the situation.

When I went off Clonidine, it was two steps forward & two steps backward. I would never have tolerated severe headaches because to me that is a signal that damaged could be done to the brain. I checked my b/p everyday even though it was nerveracking.

Clonidine is such a tiny pill. I cut it up into 1/8 of a pill & even smaller at times. I cut it on a piece of wax paper so I could get every grain of medicine. It isn't exact but it works. Then I wrapped each piece in wax paper & stored it in a airtight bottle.

I cut out 1/8 of a pill a week depending on my symptoms of withdrawal. I kept myself busy so it wasn't on my mind. Fam

 
Old 01-31-2008, 06:10 AM   #14
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Re: Beta Blocker Withdrawl

Quote:
Originally Posted by famnd View Post
An article by a ER Dr. convinced me that going off certain meds especially beta blockers & Clonidine "cold turkey" or fast is dangerous. Then today when I heard that John McCain's wife had had a stroke when she tried to go off a b/p med abruptly, I knew I had to post.
I really appreciate people going public to share their experiences...I'm sure more would but there's always fear of repercussions (rolled eye syndrome, lawsuits, etc.)

Quote:
The ER Doc said he is getting so tired of Dr's telling patients to quit their beta blockers & especially Clonidine abruptly because he sees the results in the ER.
It is reassuring to know that some health care professionals are knowledgable and upfront about the dangers involved. This may sound strange but one of the most comforting comments I've read, was from a doctor who said, more or less, "We've got a long way to go when it comes to blood pressure medication". His comment validated what we on these boards have found out from personal experience.

Quote:
If the patient has an acute problem like an allergic reaction to a medicine & has to get off of it abruptly, then I for one would want to be in the hospital where the equipment & meds were avaliable to take care of the situation.
I would definitely agree with you there...at the very least, I wouldn't attempt starting withdrawal on a weekend.

Quote:
...I cut out 1/8 of a pill a week depending on my symptoms of withdrawal. I kept myself busy so it wasn't on my mind. Fam
Amazing, Famnd.

Bethsheba

Last edited by bethsheba; 01-31-2008 at 10:23 AM.

 
Old 01-31-2008, 08:53 AM   #15
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Re: Beta Blocker Withdrawl

Hi,

Quote:
If the patient has an acute problem like an allergic reaction to a medicine & has to get off of it abruptly, then I for one would want to be in the hospital where the equipment & meds were avaliable to take care of the situation.
In a perfect world....a hospital setting for drug withdrawals would be preferred These days when cost-analysis of 24 hour hospitalization after a recent TIA is done and found to be only borderline-cost effective...and thus recommended only for patients with a high risk of stroke...I don't think any type of hospitalization is very likely for a mere (routine) drug withdrawal.


Quote:
I would never have tolerated severe headaches because to me that is a signal that damaged could be done to the brain.
Fam, I think it depends on each individuals' circumstances. I was under a doctors' supervision at the time. The neurologist did not deem it necessary to even medicate my headache. Needless to say, there was little choice as to what I was or was not willing to tolerate. The main thing is I got through it OK (after a lot of suffering....) I hope I never have to go through it again though!!!

I think the severity of a drug withdrawal depends on the type of drug, the amounts and length of time taken. Some drugs like Clonidine are more potent than others. Thus, some withdrawals are potentially more dangerous than others. My failed attempts to withdraw from a calcium channel blocker were much more scary than the alpha/beta blocker one I had gone through last year. It's never easy!

flowergirl

Last edited by flowergirl2day; 01-31-2008 at 09:00 AM.

 
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