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Old 06-29-2010, 09:40 AM   #1
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Atenolol withdrawal rebound effects—how long do they last?

Hello, I’m new to these forums, but I’ve found some great information here and am just looking for a little input. I’ve read through many of the old threads here regarding atenolol withdrawal effects and it’s been incredibly helpful, but I would love some input from anyone who’s been through this. Currently I’ve been completely off atenolol for two weeks, and am only taking benezepril-HCTZ (20-25) and a low-dose aspirin. I’m 47 years old, and while I used to be pretty inactive and overweight, I’ve been on a diet and exercise program for the last year or so (mostly to lower cholesterol/triglycerides) and have dropped 25 pounds (though I can stand to lose more) and I work out pretty much every day. The cholesterol and triglycerides are looking really good now, and prior to stopping atenolol, my BP was in acceptable ranges.

I’d been taking atenolol for about 8 or 9 years (50 mg/day, split 25 in the morning and 25 at night) when I went to the ER recently with dizziness, heaviness in my chest and numbness in my arms and legs. After three days of tests (which I passed with flying colors), they found nothing wrong with my heart except for a heart murmur, which I already knew about. However, the atenolol was apparently depressing my heart rate to dangerous levels—routinely into the 40s and as low as 34 at one point. So the cardiologist told me to stop taking it and follow up with my regular doctor. No warnings about any side effects and no info on weaning off the drug. Of course, within the next few days my BP and HR were spiking (as high as 156 systolic, high 90s diastolic and over 100 HR) and I was having horrible anxiety. By this time it was the weekend, so I decided to just go back on a half-dose (12.5 mg each morning and night), which calmed all the symptoms. That Monday, I saw my regular doctor who told me to stop the atenolol. He also raised the diuretic from the 12.5 I’d been taking to 25, and also put me on a low-dose aspirin. It was after this that I started googling and found all the horror stories regarding this medication.

I’ve now been totally off the atenolol for 2 weeks, and while I haven’t had the anxiety (thank goodness), the BP and HR are still all over the place, mostly high. BP has been averaging between 130-150/80-95. HR has been anywhere from the high 70s to high 90s. I have some days that are pretty good, and others that are awful. Yesterday, BP was 138/91 but HR was in the mid to high 90s all day long. I felt horrible with my heart feeling like it was going to pound out of my chest and with the occasional palps as well. Today, BP is higher (was 147/98 this morning before I took my meds) but HR was a semi-tolerable 85.

I will say too that I never realized how many side effects I was having from the atenolol until I stopped taking it. The blurred vision is gone, my hair isn’t falling out, and I’m sleeping great!

I really don’t want to go back to my regular doctor until I’m sure I’m over any rebound effect caused by stopping the atenolol, as I’m afraid they’ll just want to put me on additional meds to bring it down. My BP prior to stopping was generally pretty good— around 115-130/75-85. In reading through the old threads, it sounds like the atenolol really doesn’t do much to control BP anyway. So my main question is how long do these effects last after going completely off the drug? I can’t wait to get back to some approximation of normal!

Thanks for any input you can provide!

 
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Old 10-15-2010, 04:48 PM   #2
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Re: Atenolol withdrawal rebound effects—how long do they last?

I wish you would have received some replies to your post, I would've been most interested in other people's experiences. I was taken off Atenolol in mid-September due to needing to start allergy shots. I also eventually started using a calcium channel blocker. I, too, suffered a pounding, to the point that I had trouble getting to sleep the first two nights. The doctor seemed to think it was the prednisone I was taking for my sinuses, but I only took that for 5 days, and the rapid heart beat, crappy BP, mild anxiety, and fatigue continues to this day. Throw in occasional light headedness, and you know I am having a ball! I am afraid to consult a doctor, as I may open a can of worms I will not be able to get back in the can - cardiac consult, etc... I would feel better first dome first hand info on how many weeks it takes your body to readjust after stopping Atenolol.

 
Old 10-15-2010, 09:47 PM   #3
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Re: Atenolol withdrawal rebound effects—how long do they last?

Thanks for your response! Yes, I was really hoping for some input myself, but now that it's been 3-4 months for me, I am doing much better. It was a hellacious couple of weeks, but after about a month or so, I was pretty much back to normal. The high HR and palps stopped after about two to three weeks, and everything just gradually settled from there. My BP is still a bit higher than I'd like, but I am due for my annual exam with my regular practitioner next week, so I'll see what she thinks. No way am I going back on any beta blocker though--after the experience with the atenolol, I never want to go through anything like that again! I'm still amazed at how much it was messing up my vision--I just thought I was getting old. Now I have no trouble reading even the finest print, where before I had trouble with everything from my computer monitor to road signs.

Hang in there....it will pass.

 
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Old 10-16-2010, 01:12 PM   #4
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Smile Re: Atenolol withdrawal rebound effects—how long do they last?

Glad to hear from you - your response was reassuring, as I have a rough couple of days with the symptoms. One step forward, two steps back I suppose. I shall report later on how I make out.

 
Old 08-13-2011, 03:50 PM   #5
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Re: Atenolol withdrawal rebound effects—how long do they last?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pawz View Post
Thanks for your response! Yes, I was really hoping for some input myself, but now that it's been 3-4 months for me, I am doing much better. It was a hellacious couple of weeks, but after about a month or so, I was pretty much back to normal. The high HR and palps stopped after about two to three weeks, and everything just gradually settled from there. My BP is still a bit higher than I'd like, but I am due for my annual exam with my regular practitioner next week, so I'll see what she thinks. No way am I going back on any beta blocker though--after the experience with the atenolol, I never want to go through anything like that again! I'm still amazed at how much it was messing up my vision--I just thought I was getting old. Now I have no trouble reading even the finest print, where before I had trouble with everything from my computer monitor to road signs.

Hang in there....it will pass.
Hey Paws,

I am a little over a month of being free of Atenolol. Still getting rebounds, not a bad as it was....It messes w/ my vision too. I think it's not a case of getting Atenolol out of one's system as I read so much about online, but your body getting used to being normal again. It screws with so much...I just hope it didn't permanently damage anything, like my thyroid. It still swells up every-other day, along with my upper neck glands, and seems to cause M/S symptoms- like involuntary muscle jerks and movements- vibrating thigh muscles, muscle fatigue/weakness. For the good it does for some people- good for you, but it really needs to be taken off of the market- for all the damage it does to everyone else.

 
Old 03-18-2012, 06:51 PM   #6
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Re: Atenolol withdrawal rebound effects—how long do they last?

I was on atenolol 50 ml for 14 years and decided to try and get off .( For the past 5 years I had kept my sodium intake to less than 1500ml per day and have eaten lots of potassium foods.) Over a period of 8 months I incrementally reduced my dosage to 12.5 ml a day. My bp and pulse were normal.
Consequently, I felt that quitting a measly 12.5ml would be no problem.
For two wks everything was normal ....then my pulse and bp skyrocketed.
In order to mask the withdrawal effects of atenolol, I got a prescription of apo-hydro ( 25ml) and this brought things back to normal...except my pulse remained somewhat elevated.
Unfortunately, Two months later, my pulse and bp again skyrocketed so I increased apo-hydro to 50 ml. I've been on this dosage for 4 wks and my bp and pulse are normal but every once in a while take off for a few days before returning to a more normal state. During thesw periods, I reduce my exercise considerably.
I feel that it's going to take 6 or more months to get over the rebound effects of beta blockers...and I'm willing to stay the course.
Eventially, if the withdrawal symptoms ever disappear, I'll wean myself off the apo-hydro.....which I think will be easier to do than quitting beata blockers.

 
Old 04-26-2012, 07:17 PM   #7
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Re: Atenolol withdrawal rebound effects—how long do they last?

Wow! You all have been ssoooo comforting for me. I hurt my back 4 years ago and with the increasing pain over the years, my BP went to above borderline range. Then 1 1/2years ago I started having spiking episodes - BP/HR.. It was real scary.. So my internist put me on Verapamil 120mg. Then the spiking came back last Dec. with 180/100 & HR up to 120 so my internist put me on metopranol which brought everything under control...so I thought. Back pain got worse, so finally had contrast MRI & that was when it was discovered I had a broken disk. Had to have cardiac profiles done for the surgery & the cardiologist I went to told me to "just stop the beta blocker" So I did..(lowest dose even). I went into afib while in surgery. Was fine after the IV Betas given to me til the next morning. I was home & I felt weak, lightheaded. Then one side of my mouth went numb.. I told my husband to take me to the hospital & I would call 911 on the way. I knew I was stoking out. By the time I got there I couldn't talk or walk. I was stabilized within 45 min after leaving our house.. Spent the weekend on the stroke ward with the dx of medication induced TIA. SSoooo back on Atenolol lowest dose for stabilizing. One month later my hair started falling out !!! So my internist guided me into a slow withdrawal from the Atenolol..25mg.. 1 week down to 12.5, then next week down to 6.25mg, now I've been off about 8 days.. The second day I stopped the 6.25, I started getting the palls, lightheadedness, spiking BP/HR even though I am still taking Verapamil. It's getting better each day, but still unpredictable
Also, I didn't realize that my knees hurt while taking Betas & I retained fluid. Mt energy level is much better, too. I would go to sleep in front of the tv after supper. Now I can stay up til 11. Also, my hair stopped falling out, just hope it grows back.
Well it's comforting that I'm not nuts. My best friend who is an RN told me "Beta blockers will change your life" & boy was she right !!!

 
Old 05-03-2012, 04:16 PM   #8
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fredho HB User
Re: Atenolol withdrawal rebound effects—how long do they last?

Sorry to take so long to reply to you. I neglected my emails for a while.
May 19 will mark the 5 month mark of my quitting attenolol (50mg . I was only taking 12.5 when I decided to stop. I am still on 25 apo-hydro, but my bp and hr seem to be stabilizing. In a few weeks, I will reduce to 12.5.
Let me tell you, this drug is extremely powerful. It blocks adrenergic receptors , so the longer you've been on the drug and the stronger the dose , the longer it takes to get of them . Anything that produces adrenalin will cause a spike in bp and hr.
Many doctors don't seem to know this fact. An aunt of a friend of mine who was in a nursing home and who'd been on a beta blocker for years, was ordered by her physician to stop taking them ... cold turkey. She almost died.
If you were on metopranol 25 mg for1/12 yrs, it will take you a while to get off it...and during that time, your hr and bp will spike because of the rebound effect. You should mask the effect with another bp pill for however long it takes.

Good luck

 
Old 05-05-2012, 06:13 PM   #9
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Re: Atenolol withdrawal rebound effects—how long do they last?

I have now been off atenolol for a little over 2 wks.. I seem to now be a symptomatic @ the high hp and palpitations. My BP seems to be stabilizing @ 128/75-68hr.. Sssoooooo tonight I will begin to decrease the Verapamil to 180 mg AM ..they had me taking an extra 90 mg at night because of the fluctuations caused by withdrawing from Atenolol . I had been on 180 mg Verapamil for @ 1 1/2 yrs, then Metopranol to Atenolol. I had terrible nightmares on Metopranol so was switched to Atenolol til after the back surgery.
Now I'm ready to start the next phase of dropping down the "helper" BP med.. I feel great but my BP is 116/77-83. Still a bit of rebound with the 83 pulse..I think I still will drop the evening Verapamil dose.. Wish me luck

 
Old 05-16-2012, 06:03 AM   #10
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Re: Atenolol withdrawal rebound effects—how long do they last?

Good luck. I'm not exactly sure how long you had been on 25mg of atenolol.The longer the length of time will probably make the rebound effect more severe.
Your email said you have been off them for two weeks with no withdrawal symptoms. Let's hope this continues, but I would expect that the rebound effect will raise its ugly head at some point....maybe more than once before you can get off them for good.
Hang in there.

 
Old 06-01-2012, 12:38 AM   #11
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Smile Re: Atenolol withdrawal rebound effects—how long do they last?

Hi, I'm in a similar situation, have been on atenolol for about 2 years I guess, originally on 50mg but after the 50's lowered my hear rate too much the doc lowered me to 25mg.

To be honest I've hated being on atenolol since day one, never liked taking pills for anything and after reading the possible side effects of good old atenolol I did not start taking these things willingly, especially as I was taking the pills to hopefully help my irregular heart rate and frighteningly one of the side effects is possible irregular heart rate...great.

Anyhoo, I have decided to come off the atenolol and see what happens, I was supposed to have a month ago and started but got so worried I went back on them. But I have now decided nows the time.

I'm not sure if I have / am doing this the right way but I initially took half a pill for 3 days and now have cut it out totally, I possibly should have taken longer but hey hoo.

Symptoms so far have been a fairly rapid heart rate at times up to about 120 bpm and then settling back down to 60 ish, so will see how things go.

From what I've read on various posts here it can take a few weeks to get out of my system so I'll see how it goes, but either way I'm never going back on those pills.

I'm in th UK and really feel that so called specialists don't really either A) know what their in about or B) don't seem to care what the patient has to say.

I have learnt so much about AF (atrial fibrillation) just by using the Internet and reading other people's comments, why don't doctors read these????? I guess they don't like their patients telling them what's wrong with them possibly.

Well, I wish everyone on here trying to quit the best and any comments are welcome

Jonathan

 
Old 06-01-2012, 06:35 AM   #12
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Re: Atenolol withdrawal rebound effects—how long do they last?

My Internist worked with me to get off the Atenolol . I was on 25mg for about 3 mos.. I dropped down to 12.5 mg for a week, then half of that - 6.25 mg, for a week, then half that again.-3 mg ( almost dust), for the 3 rd week. Which I took in the AM.. At the same time, she had me take 60 mg verapamil , a calcium blocker, at night.. I had a real hard time on the first drop down.. Palpitations, spiking BP & pulses.. second week wasn't so bad. Took the verapamil a week past the last Atenolol. I have been off all of it for about 1 1/2 months now.. My BP has still some minor fluctuation but my pulse is staying around 60-75 which was the worst before... If I remember right, I think I even extended the first week drop down a couple days because I was having such a terrible time with the symptoms... It was VERY scary. But I made it through & feel so much better physically...atenolol also made me so exhausted and I couldn't sleep.. Also my joints ached all the time.. I feel great now, like I use to.. That atenolol made me feel 15 years older.. And now I find I didn't even need it..
Good luck and be patient..try not to let your BP drop too rapidly..that's not good either.. Gently & patiently..

 
Old 07-14-2012, 03:35 PM   #13
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Re: Atenolol withdrawal rebound effects—how long do they last?

Hello, I seen your posts and was hoping that you could help me with a few questions about weaning atenolol. First, how are you doing now? What was your bp and hr when coming off atenolol and what is it now? Also, what kinds of symptoms did you have coming off of the this drug and how are they now? How long has it taken to be comfortable again?....As for me, I tried to quit from 12.5mg and felt terrible, so I went to 1/4 pill every other day. That didn't work either. So, now for the last few weeks I have been on a 1/4 pill. My main problem is that I feel like I cant breath. Like I can't catch my breath. I am always trying to take a deep breath. I think what is happening is that because my heart rate has increased, my breathing doesn't know how to keep up... Dis you ever have this weaning symptom, and if so, how long did it last? Your response would be greatly appreciated!!! Thanks!!!

 
Old 07-14-2012, 03:42 PM   #14
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Re: Atenolol withdrawal rebound effects—how long do they last?

Hello,

Do you have any breathing problem? Like you can't catch your breath? I am down to a 1/4 pill from 1/2 pill. I totally fill out of breath. Its been like this for a few weeks. Wow, this isn't normal. It's got to stop soon. Thanks!!!

 
Old 07-14-2012, 08:53 PM   #15
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Re: Atenolol withdrawal rebound effects—how long do they last?

Hi Willie,
I haven't had that problem, but I do get it once in a blue moon. I never had a real problem with it- it's just a feeling- nothing to worry about. One thing I learned is when coming off that horrible drug, you might experience many uncomfortable things. Most of it was all in my head, I just had to deal with it and it all eventually went away. (completely-just about a full year- able to deal with it- 6 months) As for the fast heart rate- I freaked out cuz it got so bad- but that went away as well. Try to get off it totally as soon as you can, and the sooner all this will be a distant memory. (Nightmare) lol Here is my phone number 317 657 7186, (my name is Neal)- if you ever need to talk about it or you are in a freak out and need help getting un-freaked. Watch what you drink, avoid high caffeine drinks until you are 2 months totally off it. The breathing thing might be just another unpleasantry from the med, and it will go away. Practice deep breathing exercises and YOGA. Hang in there, bud!

 
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