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Old 11-07-2008, 10:14 AM   #1
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which med is better to be on... Alpha/Beta blockers or calcium channel blocker?

ultimately its the doctor choice based on your particular health concern, but which med is it better to be on?

 
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Old 11-07-2008, 10:35 AM   #2
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Re: which med is better to be on... Alpha/Beta blockers or calcium channel blocker?

Well, they do such different things---I am on atenolol, a beta blocker, because I can tend to have a rapid heartbeat, tachycardia, which a cardiologist said is not dangerous, but I use the beta blocker for that. By itself, it does not totally control my bp, and I was on a calcium channel blocker for no good reason than that my original doctor had samples---

I was taking Norvasc (amlodipine) and it worked, but I really didn't like the side effects, particularly the swelling. And after a time pharmacists and ultimately my new doctor---I fired my old one---had no idea why I would be on a ccb as a first line of treatment.

My new doctor much prefers the ace inhibitors (like lisinopril----the ones that end in
-"ril"-----
although the lisinopril didn't agree with me
and now I am just starting Benicar which is what they call an ARB, a cousin to the ace inhibitors.

My doctor and pharmacist said a lot of doctors tend to prescribe the ace inhibitors because I think most if not all are now generic,and so, cheaper.

Benicar is new enough that it is not generic, and so will be more expensive-----but if it works better for me, the extra dollars are worth it.

But your basic question, I am sure it is a question of either/or because they do different things.

Beta blockers block the effects of adrenaline on the body's beta receptors and slows the nerve impulses that travel through the heart and then the heart does not have to worok as hard because it needs less blood and oxygen. They block the impulses that can cause an arrhythmia.

When I read about this, I totally understood why that was a good choice for me because I was having a racing heart beat---

I have actually have read that beta-blockers are used for anxiety----that effect on the adrenaline thing.

Calcium channel blockers do something different, which is to slow the rate at which calcium passes into the heart muscle and into the vessel wall. This relaxes the vessels to let blood flow more easily through them.

But as my doctor yesterday was actually showing me in a picture he drew-----and I can't duplicate it---but it is that which causes the typical swelling especially in feet and ankles because the blood flow (and fluid) gets to the extremities, but then cannot get out----

It is the same reason I discovered that the ccb's caused such horrible heartburn. I had NEVER had heartburn, ever----but I read in a number of places that this same relaxing of the vessels does that in your esophagus or digestive system----whatever causes it---and I started taking Prilosec, and within two days the heartburn was gone.

So it depends on what issue regarding your high blood pressure that you are trying to treat.

Some people hate beta blockers. For me, they have been one medication that did not seem to have side effects, and was very effective for its purpose for me.

 
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Old 11-07-2008, 05:50 PM   #3
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Re: which med is better to be on... Alpha/Beta blockers or calcium channel blocker?

I'm been on Lebetalol (an alpha/beta) for 5 1/2 yrs. I like it because it is easier on my tummy, produces less heartburn than regular beta blockers, & it works better than beta's for very high b/p. And if that wasn't enough, it's cheap!!! Oh!!! It works fast so I can take it for sudden b/p rises during stressful times. Fam

 
Old 11-07-2008, 10:20 PM   #4
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Re: which med is better to be on... Alpha/Beta blockers or calcium channel blocker?

Calcium chanel blocker.... the British have recently classified beta blockers as forth lie choices in HBP, due to the fact they seem to lower blood preasure without improving cardiovascular risk.

First line is a low dose diuretic (hctz, 12.5 - 25mg per day), second line is an ace inhibitor or a calcium chanel blocker, with or without the diuretic

 
Old 11-08-2008, 08:46 AM   #5
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Re: which med is better to be on... Alpha/Beta blockers or calcium channel blocker?

You can see from the answers, it really depends on what issue your doctor is trying to treat. I don't know if better is the right word, as much as which "family" of bp meds treats the issues you have---and within that group, which one will you tolerate the best, least side effects, most effective, and if you are lucky, least expensive.

As I said before, for my own personal situation, I need a beta blocker because of tachycardia/possible heart rhythm issues. That may not be something you need at all. I also need a second med to totally control my bp. I have read and been told that it is very typical to need two meds to well control the bp.

My internist was commenting that sometimes it takes many different meds to finally control bp. Everyone is so different.

 
Old 11-08-2008, 10:29 AM   #6
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Re: which med is better to be on... Alpha/Beta blockers or calcium channel blocker?

Fine tune all the lifestyle stuff too. I, for one don't want to take one extra pill if there is something else I can do with no side effects. Although, I haven't lost the 20 lbs I've gained since being on meds. I keep trying.

Stress reduction has been a big one for me. I just refuses to get involved in stressful situations that I can avoid. Meds just don't control my b/p that well. Fam

 
Old 11-08-2008, 01:12 PM   #7
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Re: which med is better to be on... Alpha/Beta blockers or calcium channel blocker?

I have battled against chronically high blood pressure and heart failure for about twenty years. During March, 2008, I started switching from Verapamil (CCB) and my Ace Inhibitor to Coreg.

I feel much better on the Coreg, and am doing much better. The only side effect I am getting from the Coreg is numbness in my fingers when it's cold. Grocery stores drive me nuts. The finger numbness doesn't hurt, it is just a nuisance.

I have more energy and my heart is much more stable on the Coreg. I LOVE Coreg! I am so glad I dumped my CCB and AceI and my Diuretic and my Statin.
__________________
CHF, A-Fib, HBP, Diabetes, Asthma doing great

⇒ Avoid allergic & non-allergic irritants/triggers
⇒ Low calorie ovo-vegetarian diet
⇒ Power walk, weight lifts, pushups
⇒ Coreg 25mg bid

Last edited by Machaon; 11-09-2008 at 06:59 AM.

 
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