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Old 02-04-2010, 11:00 AM   #31
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Re: Need Advice For Transitioning Off Beta Blocker

Update: 6th day of tappering off BB going well. BP in low to normal levels and only 8 days from being free of beta blockers. Worked out very hard last night with no adverse reactions. Got HR up to 129 which is 83% of maximum HR. Avg between 111 and 129 for 25 mins. Recovery HR was 62 after 3 mins post last exercise. BP after 15 mins was 137/85 and 1 min later, 125/79-Pulse 59. BTW, Pre-workout BP (3 readings) was 145/75, 138/76, 123/78 P-66. Feel good with little or no anxiety--only work related anxiety-LOL. Jack

 
Old 02-04-2010, 12:23 PM   #32
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Re: Need Advice For Transitioning Off Beta Blocker

Hi Jack and Ace, Thanks for your reassuring posts! Jack, I am an anxious person and have always been. I'm sure that I've had high blood pressure, starting with labile hypertension, for many years before it was discovered.
I understand that 'they' now believe that white-coat hypertension leads to true (or whatever it's called) hypertension many times. I am so hoping that maybe finally I am taking the correct combination of drugs to keep my b/p under good control. So far my readings have been much lower - even going to 111/60 early this morning (I took it with two different b/p monitors just to be sure it was a correct reading The highest reading so far has been 142/77 today, which two weeks ago would have made me happy! But now I'm trying for the 120's but happy with 130. The diastolic has not been higher than 80.
It certainly is disheartening to learn about the many recalls of various drugs!
I won't be one bit surprised if Tekturna is recalled some day, or at least has some of it's side effects increased.
Jack, you certainly are doing well on your tapering, and also on your exercise routines!!! Do you exercise daily, Ace? I need to do more walking...
Mabent

 
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Old 02-04-2010, 12:38 PM   #33
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Re: Need Advice For Transitioning Off Beta Blocker

Mabent - It seems the Coreg is controlling your blood pressure. Maybe it's the Alpha blocker ingredient which contributes to the better effectiveness. In regard to exercise, I wish I was more like Jack LaLanne. I sometimes you my treadmill, but no solid schedule. I do most of the handy work and chores around my house, such as lawn and garden work, trim trees, painting and maintaining a very large vegetable garden (about 12 feet by 75 feet). You can say I work up a real sweat. Mainly from spring to summer. In the winter, I seem to go more into hibernation mode.

 
Old 02-04-2010, 03:29 PM   #34
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Re: Need Advice For Transitioning Off Beta Blocker

Mabent/Ace,
In answer to your question about my exercise routine Mabent, I have always been addicted to working out since I was a kid; into weights, martial arts for years in and out of the service, but haven't always done it religiously. However, that said, I've worked out in a gym (24 hr fittnes) near my home for the last 16 years pretty much with out breaks. I did take a hiatus for about a year in the mid 90's as I hit a plateau and couldn't make any gains in strength or muscle. I took another one a couple of years ago and only worked out occasionally throughout any given week. Then about a year and a half ago, I hit an all time high weight of 210 (I'm only 6 ft) and decided that was it. Since then I try and work out 5-6 nights a week consisting of 25-30 mins of hard cardio and about an hour of weight lifting and stretching. I'm down 18 lbs and holding. What I've really noticed this time around, as I'm older now and nothing is as easy, I've noticed that I really feel better and have better gains the harder I make myself work out. Seems like my body is craving it. Also, I'm certain that it helps with my BP and general cardio as well. You know they say that today's 60's are yesterday's 40's (or something like that) and I truly do feel much younger than I thought I'd feel at 65 (in two weeks). My wife is 20 years younger than me and into exercise as well and just as addicted so it is fun for us--Golf is my only other vice. LOL! I highly recommend buying the book "Body for Life" by Bob Phillips. You can pick it up anywhere. It was one of the contributing factors that has help change and mold my older adult life. A great read and thought of my many as the number one book on exercise and diet and changing your life for the better. Hope to hear from you all soon, - Jack

 
Old 02-05-2010, 07:35 AM   #35
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Re: Need Advice For Transitioning Off Beta Blocker

Harcle - Exercise is known to improve all cardio. parameters and definitely boost circulation. I need to be more rigorous with a steady activity plan. I find that HBP medications (especially beta blockers) have a negative effect on having a positive motivational attitude. Sometimes minor chores can seem like a big burden. Add working 9 - 10 hours a day at a desk job and you can see why exercise becomes even more important, but often shrugged off.
At 65 years old (God Bless), I give you lot's of credit for such a determined, rigorous and dedicated exercise routine... Just continue to keep tabs on the blood pressure numbers, and continue the positive weaning process...

 
Old 02-05-2010, 12:22 PM   #36
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Re: Need Advice For Transitioning Off Beta Blocker

Hi Ace! You are my biggest fan! When I first got on Beta Blockers, I was very negative even depressed over not being able to get my HR up enough (Avg on Beta Blockers was like 105 max while on Atenolol-much higher later on Bystolic though) and I was worried that I wouldn't be able to work my heart enough for cardio or even fat burning. I went on line and there were a ton of threads on just this subject. Basically the cardio's all say that if you are exercising hard enough to be winded and sweating for at least 20-30 mins a day, you are indeed burning fat and working your heart enough to keep it in good shape. My doctor said that exertion (running on treadmill or fast walking on treadmill at incline for example) times duration of time (20-30 mins) will be all you need to do the job. Once I got on Bystolic I was able to bring my HR way up in the 120's at times but that took a while--still it was a personal best since being on Beta Blockers. My maximum at age 65 on the basic formula's is the number 222 minus your age (65 for me) times 65%-75% to reach your fat burning zone; 75-92% for max cardio. So in my case the HR levels would be 222-65=157 (Maximum HR) X 65%= 102- 117 for fat burning; and 118-144 for peak cardio. I probably wouldn't push it past the 144 for an extended amount of time but plan on trying for 150 at least once after I'm off of the pills. At 144, believe me, I'm winded-LOL!

As for the desk job routine, believe me I know what you mean. <My work days> sometimes go well into the evening, like last night but I know that if I want to last long enough to see my 44 year old wife make it to 88 (I'd be 108 ) then I have to do this. And i love it honestly! Plus, there is nothing better than taking your BP 15 mins after a work out and seeing the 120's over 60's, like this morning!

BTW-Update:
BP last night was 126/69 no gym as I had a late night at office--no pill last night--this morning readings were pre-w/o 145/80; 137/76;135/77--Post workout 15 mins-126/77 p 67--max HR was 133 for short duration-avg 114 for 25 mins. recovery was 4 mins after last exercise. Have a great day Ace and think about a gym membership close to you where you can spend 30 a day-4-5 days a week if possible. Personal trainers at good establishments like the big names have great trainers who know how to build a program around people like us who are on meds. Jack

Last edited by mod-anon; 02-05-2010 at 09:03 PM. Reason: Please keep these Boards anonymous

 
Old 02-06-2010, 12:33 PM   #37
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Re: Need Advice For Transitioning Off Beta Blocker

Update Sat Feb 6, 2010: Start skipping to every third day this weekend with the beta blocker. Woke up kind of tired this morning for the first time and I believe that it is due to the 2.5mg Bystolic I took last night, as last night was my "pill" night in my "every other day" tappering off routine. This is the first time I've felt this way but have read that others feel tired when skipping days. I almost didn't take it last night but decided to stay with the program as planned. Lite work out this morning. BP prior to working out after waking was 129/76 P-67. I haven't taken it since working out as I had to come into my office-hence the update. My workout was lite-25 mins of cardio-max HR 120, stretching and legs. Golf tomorrow if the rain ever stops-so much for it never rains in So CA-LOL. Sinuses are killing me! Can't wait to be off of the beta blockers! More later-Jack

 
Old 02-07-2010, 06:28 PM   #38
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Re: Need Advice For Transitioning Off Beta Blocker

Ace:Sunday evening: first negative and I'm not really sure how negative it is. last night was a skip a pill night which I did, and this morning everything was normal as it has been, however I played golf today in very windy weather-tough going and around the end of the round, I noticed that my heart rate was very rapid for not being exercise induced. When I got home to watch the Super Bowl, my heart rate was still rapid but blood pressure was good-115/78 but pulse was between 89 and 112. it's been rapid for the last few hours in the 100 area but I don't feel any negative effects and in fact feel very normal--just anxious over the high heart rate after having it be between 55 and 65 for the last two years. Since I've been working out while tapering off I don't think I'm doing any damage to my heart (or I would have on the machines in the gym) so I feel it's just one of the issues with tapering off beta blockers. I take a pill tonight (2.5mg) as it is scheduled but will go every 3rd day starting on Tuesday. So, is there anything to worry about with the rapid Heart Beat? BTW, I took a 0.025 mg Ativan to head off the anxiety that was coming. I know, don't laugh, that is such a small dose but it works for me. Ace--any thoughts on this please? Jack
Update--10:30PM Blood pressure low-115/70-Pulse back to normal 65 beats per min.

Last edited by harcle12; 02-07-2010 at 10:25 PM. Reason: punuation and updates

 
Old 02-08-2010, 07:24 AM   #39
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Re: Need Advice For Transitioning Off Beta Blocker

Harcle - Great to hear the workouts are continuing with positive progress.

It seems beta blockers can play tricks on us. They are not supposed to be addictive drugs, but they sure seem to have this effect. Beta blockers seem to quench and suppress the adrenaline surges. This in part, is how they were meant to work. Your system has become accustomed to the use of beta blockers for quite awhile, this dependance interferes with our normal body chemistry. Our system is in kind of a temporary shock, because we now need to deal with daily life situations without any assistance from drugs. The heart rate increases, it seems, become more magnified. Beta blockers dulled and soothed this effect. I believe all the side effects such as mild anxiety,
increased heart rate have to play out for a little while longer. I experienced the same thing when I discontinued Toprol some years back. The only difference was, I transitioned to another HBP drug at the time (not a beta blocker), which kept the blood pressure in check. It appears your blood pressure is OK. In my opinion (keep in mind, only a doctor knows for sure), I believe this heart rate increase/tachcardia is harmless for someone who does not have cardiovascular problems or heart disease. With your intense and rigorous exercise regimen and optimum cardio-conditioning, the increased heart rate should not be a concern. If you are worried or unsure in any way, you should see your doctor for more peace of mind.

Last edited by ACE28; 02-08-2010 at 10:49 AM.

 
Old 02-08-2010, 08:42 AM   #40
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Re: Need Advice For Transitioning Off Beta Blocker

Thanks Ace for your valued thoughts and knowledge. I rememberd reading that a person tapering off beta blockers shouldn't do anything strenious if you have any cardio problems which I don't, but then with my doc first saying it was ok to work out, and then after reading the disclosure with bystolic, saying, ok-don't work out while tapering off--well frankly, it kind of scared me a little-and at nearly 65 not a lot scares me!
Still logically I know that I haven't stopped working out during this tapering down to the 1/2 dose and not during the first week of skipping a day-and haven't had any noticeable symptoms of withdrawal. So, to all of a sudden experience a rapid heart rate (with a few but only a few skipped beats) with out doing anything really exerting, well, it was unsettling to have the rapid heart beat go on for so long before adjusting down to normal. I took a pill (2.5mg bystolic)last night at bedtime, per my schedule but I am supposed to skip tonight and tomorrow night and I'm a little anxious over it. Honestly, part of me thinks that I was going along so well that when I noticed the increased heartbeat, it scared me which in turn caused anxiety that kept the unchecked adrenalin pumping-hence rapid heart beat. What's odd, was other than the anxiety over it, I felt really,really good, almost like if I wasn't aware that the heart was beating that fast, I wouldn't have thought anything about it. Do you think its ok to keep working out, since it hasn't effected me in the past while getting off of these. I know you are not a doctor but you have had a lot of experience with this and have spoken to many others with it so I appreciate your thoughts. Just don't want to do any damage to my heart. Thanks a ton, Jack

Last edited by harcle12; 02-08-2010 at 08:45 AM. Reason: puntuation

 
Old 02-08-2010, 10:48 AM   #41
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Re: Need Advice For Transitioning Off Beta Blocker

Monday AM update: Racing Heart Rate returned to normal of mid 60's by 10:30 pm last night and BP was at 115/70 pulse was 65 prior to taking bystolic and going to sleep. Slept good but woke up once and was cold, almost shuddering-that stopped almost instantly and not sure why it happened, maybe covers were off. (its in the 50's in So CA so were shaking in our boots ) Checked heart rate and it was in low 50's thanks to the 2.5mg bystolic taken prior to bedtime. This morning's BP readings were a high of 142/70 to a low of 124/67 over 4 readings with pulse in low to mid 50's. Tonight and tomorrow night are the first two days of the "take every third day" of my tappering down program. Other than what I believe was anxiety driven rapid heart rate, I feel great! Probably won't work out tonight but if I do it will be a lite work out. If this is the worst of the withdrawal symptoms, then I've very happy. Wait to see how going to taking 2.5mg every third day will transpire. Wish me luck. Jack

 
Old 02-08-2010, 11:10 AM   #42
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Re: Need Advice For Transitioning Off Beta Blocker

Harcle - Beta blocker withdrawal can sometimes give you a feeling of unsteadiness or even a shakey/chills kind of feeling. So it's hard to determine if it's the cooler temperature, or a withdrawal reaction. The increased heart rate is a known side effect. I think most of these side effects, unfortunately, will have to play out.

Last edited by ACE28; 02-08-2010 at 11:30 AM.

 
Old 02-08-2010, 11:37 AM   #43
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Re: Need Advice For Transitioning Off Beta Blocker

thanks! I'm not that worried (I don't think ) I'm up in the air about working out tonight but, that said, it hasn't bothered me all this time when exercising, so I think I'm going to go for it.
It's funny that prior to the beta blockers being introduced to me 2 yrs ago, I woudn't have thought twice about my heart beat being elevated a little--would have chalked it up to something I ate or some adrenaline rush. Now you think about it everytime something odd rears its ugly head!
Other than some sore muscles from my hard workout on Saturday morning, I actually feel great! Thanks for getting back to me with your thoughts Ace. I'm sure I haven't done any damage to my heart or anything else--God, I had my HR up to 133 on the Elliptical machine Sat am and felt great afterwards with a 5 min recovery time!

Last edited by harcle12; 02-08-2010 at 12:02 PM. Reason: spelling

 
Old 02-09-2010, 06:46 AM   #44
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Re: Need Advice For Transitioning Off Beta Blocker

I'm pretty sure your heart must be fine, or you would be getting some other kind of symptoms. If you have any doubts, you can always check with your MD for a quick office visit and list some of your concerns or questions. Keep in mind, a doctor will re-check your blood pressure and be much quicker to prescribe a medication for any elevation. Sometimes when stopping hypertensive drugs, you get a temporary re-bound hypertension. Beta blockers can be even more tricky, because of the adrenalin and high blood pressure surge. Sometimes, you may have to stay on a low dose of your drug, till you and your doctor determine everything is OK. He can also substitute another drug (for the short term), which would be much easier to stop cold turkey. A few options are available.

Did Bystolic not agree with you?? becuase it's probably one of the best beta blockers or for that matter, better medication available (Unless side effects caused a problem). It appears to target inflammation, (especially CRP levels) better then statins and improves endothelial function (the lining of the arteries).

 
Old 02-09-2010, 12:09 PM   #45
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Re: Need Advice For Transitioning Off Beta Blocker

Hi Ace! To answer your question, I wanted to get off of Beta Blockers in general as I didn't like the negative effect while working out. Remember that I do not have true sustained high blood pressure but rather, Labile hypertension (white coat syndrome).
Going on a typical BP med would lower my normal BP too low and could be potentially harmful to say the least. I started BB’s 2 years ago when my BP surged prior to having cataract surgery. My doctor suggested a beta blocker to see how it worked for me. I switched from Atenolol a year and a half later to Bystolic for the exact reasons you mention—3rd generation, best beta blocker out there with the least side effects--however it caused my glucose levels to increase as one of the negative side effects and though I was able to get my HR up higher during workouts, it still was controlling the HR by not allowing it to reach my potential.
Lastly, my doctor believes as did another internist that I went to, that the spikes in BP that I occasional get were due to anxiety and not true high blood pressure. I had a dear friend of 50 years die in June followed by my ex-wife (mother of my daughter) die unexpectedly a month later, and it hit me hard. I had panic attacks for the first time in my life and that is when the anxiety theory was pretty much confirmed as my BP went high even on Atenolol and it took Ativan to bring it back to normal—took Ativan at low doses for about 3 months and honestly was pretty scary to not be in control. Remember that I am a businessman and own my company so not being in control has never been an issue for me. Once that was over my BP returned to normal readings and I upped my workout routine and kept the BP at bay. My readings since Sept have averaged around 130/70 over hundreds of readings.
After reading all the possible negatives with beta blockers and realizing that I could possibly control my BP without them, I decided to ask him about getting off for good and controlling my BP with supplements like Magnesium, Hawthorn, Potassium and C-Q10. He was all for it. Of course I will watch it closely with him and if it does start to go up then we will look at possible alternatives.
By the way (and I apologize to all for this long dissertation), I’ve had zero issues since the racing heart beats on Sunday. Worked out last night after work and pre w/o BP was 142/71—135/68 Pulse-51 (beta blocker night before) and Post Workout the readings were 129/72 and 125/71 with pulse at 59..This morning my BP was 126/68 with no pill last night. I am now on “every third day” so won’t take another Ĺ pill until tomorrow night. Feel great and had HR between 114 and 121 for 20 mins last night during cardio work out—recovery was 5 minutes to get back down to 72 and 8 mins to 59. Everything is fine. Thanks for your comments and for listening to me. Jack

 
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