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Old 02-25-2011, 03:32 PM   #1
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Question Significant Pulse Decrease with Atenolol

been having trouble bringing my BP down. usually 160/100 or so at the doctor's office, despite prescribing me a variety of meds. prior to today, I was taking 10mg lisinopril and 5mg Amlodipine and it wasn't doing much. would only bring it down 20-30 points AT BEST.

the doctor then decided to try out 50mg of Atenolol since my BP was so high. I took it a few hours ago and feel fine, but I notice some startling readings on my BP monitor. first of all, my blood pressure is an outstanding 107/68. prior to taking this medication, my lowest would be in the mid-120s... usually it would be in the 130s.

so that's great, but here's the concern: my pulse is all the way down to 50bpm. I'm a 21 year old male who weighs 160lbs so my pulse is usually 70, 75 or so. I am not an olympic athlete though to the point where my pulse should be this low, I think.

keep in mind, I took the lisinopril and amlodipine earlier this morning. he told me it was fine to use all three. is this excessive? I mean, it's doing my BP wonders but my pulse seems low.

is this normal? it dipped down to 48 at one point. I feel fine, but I'm surprised this med's effect was so sudden.

Last edited by mikevm; 02-25-2011 at 03:33 PM.

 
Old 02-25-2011, 05:17 PM   #2
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Re: Significant Pulse Decrease with Atenolol

Atenolol is good powerful antihypertensive medication. It works very quickly on both blood pressure and pulse. My resting pulse is normally in the 60's so I can only take low doses of beta blockers. When I took atenolol, I took 12.5mg, and my pulse went as low as 42. My doctor always said if the low pulse was not symtomatic than it wasn't a concern.

It's a great med for blood pressure control. Congratulations!!

 
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Old 02-25-2011, 05:22 PM   #3
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Re: Significant Pulse Decrease with Atenolol

thank you! may have found something that actually works.

so you wouldn't advise cutting the dosage in half to 25mg/day? pulse around 50 is normal on this?

my pulse is low but I feel fine. actually, I feel better than I have all week!

Last edited by mikevm; 02-25-2011 at 05:24 PM.

 
Old 02-25-2011, 05:27 PM   #4
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Re: Significant Pulse Decrease with Atenolol

I wouldn't advise going against doctor's orders...but, there is a chance that 25mg may be enough. You do still have the other meds in your system so it's a bit early to decide. Give it a few days and see how you do. If you can maintain those great numbers on the atenolol alone (which I think you will), then you can decide if a reduction is possible. A pulse of 50 with no symptoms is perfectly fine in my opinion.

 
Old 02-25-2011, 06:14 PM   #5
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Re: Significant Pulse Decrease with Atenolol

hah, just went on a walk which usually leaves my pulse at 110 afterwards
now it's at 60 and will probably go down soon.

I guess I'll try 25mg tomorrow instead. if I can maintain the low blood pressure but with a heart rate more in the late 60s early 70s that would be better, no?

let me know if this is a bad idea though. none of the other two meds ever made my pulse decrease, so the atenolol is definitely the cause.

 
Old 02-25-2011, 08:18 PM   #6
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Re: Significant Pulse Decrease with Atenolol

Hi!
Atenolol is not only an antihypertensive, but it also is useful for those of us that need slower hearts. A moderate dose drops my heart rate by 20-30, even though it doesn't have much effect on my blood pressure. My cardiologist wants my heart as slow as possible without dizziness.
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Old 02-26-2011, 04:59 PM   #7
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Re: Significant Pulse Decrease with Atenolol

Did your pulse get lower than 55?

My pulse runs in the 50-55 range with beta blockers as well

 
Old 02-27-2011, 08:34 AM   #8
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Re: Significant Pulse Decrease with Atenolol

it's still 55. so odd! I even skipped a day to get it out of my system, hoping my pulse would go up. I took the usual lisinopril and amlopidine yesterday.

but here I am over 48 hours after taking it and it's still 55!
do you think it's safe to take a 25mg dosage or is having your pulse at 55 too much of a risk? my BP is currently 122/73.

I'm a bit worried and I don't have a doctor with a weekend line

 
Old 02-27-2011, 09:06 AM   #9
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Re: Significant Pulse Decrease with Atenolol

Why are you taking the lisinopril and amlodipine? I thought the doc took you off those...and you said yourself they weren't working?? The atenolol is doing what it is supposed to! The pulse lowering effect persists much longer than the BP lowering effect, but as your body adjusts to the medication, your pulse will adjust. Your beta receptors will upregulate and your pulse and BP won't drop as much (unfortunately!). Do what your doc said and quit your meds that aren't doing crap and just take 25mg atenolol until he/she can advise you further.

Last edited by soflsun; 02-27-2011 at 09:08 AM.

 
Old 02-27-2011, 10:17 AM   #10
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Re: Significant Pulse Decrease with Atenolol

Quote:
Originally Posted by soflsun View Post
Why are you taking the lisinopril and amlodipine? I thought the doc took you off those...and you said yourself they weren't working?? The atenolol is doing what it is supposed to! The pulse lowering effect persists much longer than the BP lowering effect, but as your body adjusts to the medication, your pulse will adjust. Your beta receptors will upregulate and your pulse and BP won't drop as much (unfortunately!). Do what your doc said and quit your meds that aren't doing crap and just take 25mg atenolol until he/she can advise you further.
thanks for the response. so even if my pulse is currently at 55 after not taking it for 48 hours, it's OK to take a 25mg dose and it won't lower my pulse any further to dangerous levels?

 
Old 02-27-2011, 01:11 PM   #11
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Re: Significant Pulse Decrease with Atenolol

Mike,

I can't tell you what to do, but if I was you I would have taken 25mg of the atenolol. Now that you went back to the other meds I don't know what to tell you. Maybe just wait for your doc tomorrow. Did he tell you to drop the amlodipine and lisinopril?

I take a beta blocker every evening when my pulse is between 48-55. It doesn't drop much lower, but then again I go to sleep. If you don't have symptoms, a low pulse isn't dangerous. Some athletes have resting heart rates in the low thirties. If you take another dose you will probably end up high 40's low 50's if it moves at all. I don't think you will end up in the hospital...but if you are worried wait until you ask your doctor. Good luck!

 
Old 02-27-2011, 03:23 PM   #12
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Re: Significant Pulse Decrease with Atenolol

atenolo sure works quickly!
just as signs were showing that it was starting to fade (my pulse went up to 90 and BP was around 150/85), I took 25mg an hour ago and it's down to 122/70 with a pulse of 58.

the low pulse is unfortunate, as I imagine that will bring me fatigue in the long run, but at least it lowers the BP. I'll ask the specialist about it in two weeks.

soflsun, do you experience fatigue or any nasty side effects with your pulse in the high 40s, low 50s range? as I said, I'm in pretty good shape (5'9", 155lbs), but certainly not in good enough shape to be considered a top-tier athlete. after all, I know my normal BP prior to taking this med was about 30 points higher.

but if this pulse decreasing stuff is normal and it doesn't drop into the mid 40s, I guess I'll be fine.

I'll start freaking out if it goes to the 30s though. that would be time to call the ER, correct?

 
Old 02-27-2011, 03:37 PM   #13
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Re: Significant Pulse Decrease with Atenolol

My only side effect from a lower pulse is less anxiety, which I welcome with open arms. Your exercise endurance may improve, as mine did, due to a lower exercise pulse and less fatigue.

My exercise pulse was always very high, so the atenolol helped keep it lower and more "normal." This allowed me to exercise harder without my pulse getting out of control and making me uncomfortable.

There is no set heart rate that you would have to go to the ER. I've been in the high 30's a few times with no issue. I doubt at 25mg or even 50mg you will have an issue. If your resting pulse is in the 70's normally, you will have a real tough time getting in the 30's. Plus, as you get accustomed to the medication, the heart rate effect with lessen slightly. How old are you?

Last edited by soflsun; 02-27-2011 at 03:39 PM.

 
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Old 02-27-2011, 03:41 PM   #14
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Re: Significant Pulse Decrease with Atenolol

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikevm View Post
it's still 55. so odd! I even skipped a day to get it out of my system, hoping my pulse would go up. I took the usual lisinopril and amlopidine yesterday.

but here I am over 48 hours after taking it and it's still 55!
do you think it's safe to take a 25mg dosage or is having your pulse at 55 too much of a risk? my BP is currently 122/73.

I'm a bit worried and I don't have a doctor with a weekend line
Well, if youre concerned, then take half the dose and keep an eye on your pulse. See what you get, then adjust from there.

 
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Old 02-27-2011, 03:47 PM   #15
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Re: Significant Pulse Decrease with Atenolol

soflsun, I am 21. how someone that age who isn't overweight and whose thyroid and kidney tests came back A-OK has high blood pressure is another mystery in itself.

soflsun and atengnr, your support the last few days has meant a lot to me! members like you make this place what it is. I will keep you guys updated. as of now, my BP is low and I feel fine, so hopefully 25mg is good. possibility i might just need 12.5mg but this is fine for now.

as I said, I have an appointment with a great cardiologist in less than two weeks. if anything is awry, he'll straighten it out. in the meantime, I'll monitor my pulse and BP to make sure everything's OK.

if my pulse can raise to 75 or so and my BP can stay in the 115/70 range and I'd be a very happy man! right now it's almost TOO LOW at 108/68, but I'd certainly take that over 160/100 any time!

Last edited by mikevm; 02-27-2011 at 04:01 PM.

 
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