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Old 07-13-2011, 03:40 AM   #1
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Red face Atenolol Withdrawal/Usage HORROR! HELP!!!

Hello,

I have been taking this awful drug (25mg) for 9 weeks, noticed I was feeling "choked" where my thyroid is, trying DESPERATELY to wean off, but the withdrawals are HORRIBLE; almost feel like my body is shutting down-

Blurred vision,
Hard to concentrate at tasks at hand,
Mental fatigue,
terrible dry mouth,
swelling of tongue,
NO APPETITE WHATSOEVER
Morning panic attacks
cannot shut mind off
Nausea to the 10th power!!
loose bowels,
weight gain, (water retention?)
geographical tongue, (looks like tongue has leprosy)
abdominal cramping
weakness in legs
Need to pace around everywhere
Sweating, cold feet/ hands but feels like I have a temperature

I didn't know the horror of trying to stop this awful poor excuse for a drug, didn't know it was a big deal to wean myself off on my own and then let my Dr. know.

This was for high blood pressure, and I was feeling the choking feeling before (once in a while) any meds, usually only when laying down. (and slight anxiety)
My Dr. prescribed Atenolol 25mg and Celexia 20 mg.

I didn't want an SSRI, so I waited after a month of taking Atenolol before making that second mistake. One pill (Celexia) and DEAR LORD never again!
My Dr. was out on vacation yesterday, so I got an "on call" Dr., told him everything, all he wanted was to put me on another class of SSRI's!! I needed something (valuim/ xanax?)for the withdrawal effects of Atenolol, but the Dr. wouldn't AT ALL because I wasn't HIS PATIENT!! O-M-G!!!
So yesterday was the absolute worst, and broke down to take a half 12.5 mg. of Atenolol to stop the horrible withdrawals, didn't get to sleep until 4am, due to my mind would not shut down, trying to quench fears, tongue swelling w/ dry sahara desert mouth.

WHAT DID I GET MYSELF INTO???? HOW CAN I GET OFF IT- Sanely and safely??

Thank you!

Ps. the (on call) Dr. did not even BLINK when I gave him the "serious" side effects!!

Last edited by Djhouse; 08-04-2011 at 08:16 AM. Reason: Forgot to add:

 
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Old 07-13-2011, 07:02 AM   #2
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Re: Atenolol Withdrawal/Usage HORROR! HELP!!!

Hi there. I was on Atenolol a few years ago and my Dr. switched me to something else so to wean off the Atenolol, which was 50 mgs. I took 25 mgs. for 2 weeks and then cut that in half and took the 12.5 for another week. Beta blockers are hard to come off of with most people. Even after I got off all the Atenolol it took me another 2 weeks to actually feel NORMAL.

I'd just keep taking the 12.5 mgs. until you feel less anxious and then try getting totally off of them. You might even have to take the 12.5 every other day till your totally free of them.

Wishing you the best...JJ...
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Old 07-13-2011, 02:33 PM   #3
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Re: Atenolol Withdrawal/Usage HORROR! HELP!!!

agreed. youve got to taper downward very slowly, perhaps in steps of 2 weeks at the next lower dose.

 
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Old 07-19-2011, 03:08 PM   #4
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Re: Atenolol Withdrawal/Usage HORROR! HELP!!!

Ok I've experienced this too. Atenolol actually worked quite well for me and I took it for around 10 years but then they wanted me off it so they could try CCB's instead as now Beta Blockers are out of fashion. Anyway, yes, it feels horrible - the reason is mostly that Atenolol blocks adrenalin and when you come off of it suddenly your body is flooded with it and you get fight or flight and all that - feel like you are going to die (or I did). But this is mostly illusionary - but very very unpleasant.

You definitely need to come off it gradually - IMO this is little different from other addictive drugs... maybe worse. As others have said 25mg - then 12.5mg... but even at this level I couldn't stop. So here's what I did. Absolutely no guarantees, I am not a Doctor, Doctors do not approve of this and mine made that very clear when I told him. But it worked for me.

Assumption:
You are not using any form of prolonged release Atenolol - if you are this will not work. You need the regular tablets for this.

What you will need:

Pestle and Mortar
Freezer Ice Cube Rack (mine had space for 10 cubes)

Method:

Fill the ice cube rack with water and pour the water out of the ice cube rack into a jug.

Grind up the Atenolol and then dissolve in the water in the jug.

Make sure it's COMPLETELY dissolved which will take some time and a lot of stirring. Once done divide the water with the dissolved Atenolol back into the ice cubes rack. There should be no water left when you fill the ice cube rack. Make sure the quantity of water remains the same as needed to exactly fill the rack - do not add water or pour any off.

Put the rack into the freezer. MARK IT CLEARLY "POISON" AND MAKE SURE YOUR FAMILY DO NOT TOUCH IT.

The dose per ice cube will then be 25mg (assuming you used a 25mg tablet) divided by the number of ice cubes.

This way you can get much smaller doses. Mine divided into 10 which equaled 25mg/10 = 2.5mg per ice cube. Then you can gradually reduce the dose easily by drinking the required number of ice cubes... I kept halving it every few days. Eventually I was on 2.5mg a day and then I stopped it altogether (I'd already been switched to CCB's so didn't need the BP effect). I STILL even at 2.5mg got withdrawal - but it wasn't so bad I couldn't cope with it - for me going from 25mg to 12.5mg and then stopping was too horrible and I couldn't function.

Possible problems: you must make sure that the Atenolol dissolves completely and doesn't settle at the bottom. Otherwise you will get uneven amounts in your ice cubes. Even if it does seem to dissolve completely it will probably still be a little uneven. In my example the actual dose per ice cube was probably somewhere between 1.5mg and 3.5mg - but this is still better than going from 12.5mg to nothing.

Ok hope that helps and as I said - full disclaimers. I'm not a Doctor, Doctors don't approve of this but it worked for me. It might work for you - I hope so.

Since I did it I've found lots of people with this problem. I don't understand why drug companies can't manufacture kits for coming off the drug with clinically prepared smaller doses. Guess there's no money it

Last edited by brandonb; 07-19-2011 at 03:33 PM.

 
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Old 07-20-2011, 05:27 PM   #5
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Re: Atenolol Withdrawal/Usage HORROR! HELP!!!

Thank you so much for your help and suggestions!!!

I had to drop it like it was hot, only because when I tried another 12.5 - it was just as bad as the withdrawal, w/ a swelling tongue and buzzing besides ringing in my ears. So I am on day #8, totally free!!
It seems like it rebounds every-other day, though.
I have to say the mental part is the worst. But Dr.'s only want to put you on SSRI's these days. No...ho...ho... thank you. Have to keep positively thinking, and smile as much as you can. I seem to have to walk around a lot to feel a little better. My co-workers must think I lost my mind.

Night sweats and freezing to death are a treat. I have to sleep in sweats no matter how hot it is. My new bedtime is 8:30.
Oh, for some reason my pulse is thru the roof when I shower in the morning.

My thyroid and glands swells along with solar-plexus pain, nausea comes and goes. Legs feel like jello tonight. It feels so good to burp. Also- jaw seems to feel like it wants to lock-up on me from time to time.

If I make it thru this, I'm going to be addicted to Pepto, become a millionaire to then give it all away. How I will never take things for granted....ever again. It has brought me closer to my family and to God.

Crap.... here comes another rebound session. Better hit the sack pronto!

Question: Is 2 weeks the length it takes to feel somewhat normal, again?

Last edited by Djhouse; 07-20-2011 at 05:35 PM. Reason: forgot!

 
Old 07-20-2011, 07:00 PM   #6
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Re: Atenolol Withdrawal/Usage HORROR! HELP!!!

Wow..you are really going through a lot trying to get off those things. I hope you never go back to them EVER. I found the first 2 weeks off a bit rough but nothing like what your going through. I really hope they get out of your system soon, you must be absolutely miserable.

Hubby had a terrible time swallowing when he was on Atenol. Dr. said oh it can't be the meds. but our Cardio Dr. told us his dad had the same problem. It's rare I guess, but hey, we are all different and get different side effects.

Take care...feel better...and keep us posted....JJ...
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Old 07-20-2011, 07:05 PM   #7
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Re: Atenolol Withdrawal/Usage HORROR! HELP!!!

It's probably different for everyone. In my case when I went from 2.5mg to nothing it took about a month for everything I associated with Atenolol to disappear though most of it was gone in 2 weeks. So if you are the same after 2 weeks you should be seeing a big improvement with it completely out of your system in 4.

 
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Old 07-22-2011, 01:54 PM   #8
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Re: Atenolol Withdrawal/Usage HORROR! HELP!!!

Thanks, JJ!

Ok, Finally got to see Doc. He said that some people are very sensitive to meds, and it could be the Atenolol withdrawals, so he has prescribed Clorazepate 7.5 mg. to help with the side effects.
Has anyone tried this, and if so, does it help?

 
Old 07-22-2011, 02:33 PM   #9
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Re: Atenolol Withdrawal/Usage HORROR! HELP!!!

I'd tend to be cautious taking another drug to counteract one you are already on. But I'm not a doctor and I haven't taken Clorazepate. It seems to be a hypnotic/relaxant so may relieve anxiety caused by the flood of Adrenalin from coming off Atenolol... I did read on wikipedia though that you can become dependant on it if you take it for more than 4 weeks. So I should be very rigorous about your use of it. Don't let it become a crutch which you are unwilling to give up once you are off Atenolol - otherwise you may just be swapping one problem for another. Especially as you are now 2 weeks through dumping Atenolol - you are almost there. I would therefore only use it if you really feel you have to.

As I said I'm not a Doctor - so this is just my opinion. Do as you and your Doctor feel best.

Last edited by brandonb; 07-22-2011 at 02:34 PM.

 
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Old 07-25-2011, 11:39 AM   #10
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Re: Atenolol Withdrawal/Usage HORROR! HELP!!!

Today I feel really weak, very dizzy (almost lost my footing) brain-fog and tired.
My thyroid (and neck glands) are slightly swollen about everyday. I still didn't take the Clorazepate yet.

When it gets this bad, it's hard to focus on small things, def. need glasses to get thru.

Last edited by Djhouse; 07-26-2011 at 03:31 AM.

 
Old 07-26-2011, 03:30 AM   #11
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Re: Atenolol Withdrawal/Usage HORROR! HELP!!!

Last night my heart rate wouldn't slow down, going double-time while lying in bed, trying to fall asleep.
This morning, fast heart rate as usual, somewhat anxious, tired and a little weak.
Today is day #13, almost 2 weeks with no Atenolol. No Clorazepate.

 
Old 07-26-2011, 03:52 AM   #12
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Re: Atenolol Withdrawal/Usage HORROR! HELP!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Djhouseblend View Post
Last night my heart rate wouldn't slow down, going double-time while lying in bed, trying to fall asleep.
This morning, fast heart rate as usual, somewhat anxious, tired and a little weak.
Today is day #13, almost 2 weeks with no Atenolol. No Clorazepate.
Still sounds like withdrawal - but it should be getting easier from now onwards. You may still get these symptoms up to 4 weeks but they shouldn't be as intense ... If you still get them after 4 weeks then there is something else that needs looking at. Atenolol should be completely out of your system by then! Stick with it.

 
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Old 07-26-2011, 05:49 AM   #13
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Re: Atenolol Withdrawal/Usage HORROR! HELP!!!

You must be extremely sensative to Atenolol as with that low doseage I would think you should be feeling pretty good. I know you don't want to take the Clorazepate but do you think maybe one pill at bedtime might at least help you sleep? You keep saying your Thyroid glands are swollen, maybe something else is going on and needs to be checked. After 13 days of being off 25 mgs. things really should be better.

Sending good wishes...JJ...
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Old 07-28-2011, 05:24 AM   #14
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Re: Atenolol Withdrawal/Usage HORROR! HELP!!!

Thanks again. I have to keep in mind it's only illusionary, temporary, and things get better every passing day. I really appreciate the "good days".
On day #15.
Brandon, did you experience muscle fatigue and weakness, every-other day a "good" day- too?

 
Old 07-28-2011, 06:50 AM   #15
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Re: Atenolol Withdrawal/Usage HORROR! HELP!!!

Occasionally muscle fatigue and weakness was around - but that was mostly when I first started with beta blockers and my first one of this type was Propranolol - by the time I was on Atenolol I'd got used to that. If Atenolol is the first beta blocker you've ever taken it wouldn't surprise me if you had that side effect. But I think as we're all saying wait until day #30 and if you still experience these things there may be some other issue you need the doctor to look at. By day 15 I would expect you to be feeling off only occasionally - but do remember I came off very gradually whereas you've gone cold-turkey and in addition you seem to have been very sensitive to Atenolol - so your experience may be different. Incidentally I found Atenolol infinitely preferable to Propranolol!

 
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