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Old 12-31-2011, 06:31 AM   #1
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Want to stop bystolic...

I want to ask my doctor to get off of Bystolic. I've only taken two pills so far and they've been the worse thing for me. Yes, my pressure has been lowered but the second time I took the pill I felt nausea, had diarrhea, was super anxious, numbness and felt out of breath. It's been almost twelve hours since my last pill (the 2nd one) and I still feel a little bit of the three side effects.

Why did I react this way? Should I go to the hospital? Since I only took two this whole week and my BP is down, could I be taken off of it?

My BP was at 143/94 when I took it. It's back down to 120/80.

Please help.

 
Old 01-04-2012, 10:23 AM   #2
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Re: Want to stop bystolic....

Hello jude84. I can understand your concern. I was put on my first medication back in August and now in January I am on medication number five - Bystolic.

I have gone through Toprol, HCTZ, Lisinopril and Coreg. I had terrible side effects with Lisinopril and now it is on my allergy list. Coreg (also a beta blocker like Bystolic) did nothing for my pulse or blood pressure. Toprol made my heart pound and nothing for blood pressure while HCTZ made me feel constantly thirsty although I was drinking 80-100 oz. of water a day. I ended up in the ER with potassium depletion.

Now to Bystolic... I started on 5mg and now I am on 10. At first, I had terrible upper tooth pain, felt muscle aches, could not stay asleep at night, felt dizzy more than I had experienced with the others and had a very odd vivid nightmare. I am now 3 1/2 weeks into 10mg and I am sleeping better, a few muscle aches, sometimes dizziness (usually right after taking it) and a little sleepiness in the afternoon because I take it in the morning.

I have experienced chest discomfort on the 10mg and have had chest XRays, EKG, heart enzyme and all was good. Still, I am having a stress test and echo done on Monday to make sure that it is my body adjusting to the medicine and not something else.

I like Bystolic. My pressure overall stays in normal ranges 108-125/72-90 (I experienced a few low dips when I first started in the mornings of around 95/65). My heart rate is upper 50s to low 70s at rest/low activity. I was 100+ some mornings getting out of bed before.

I had days when I thought I would have diarrhea, but mine went more in the direction of very gassy and some acid reflux. I still think the acid reflux is the reason for the chest discomfort I have. I also had and still have some numbness that comes and goes in my toes. It usually happens when I have been at rest for a long time (in bed reading a book, for example). This has become much less. Numbness that I had experienced with other meds in my left pinkie and ring finger has gone away on Bystolic.

The only thing you mention that would concern me is the out of breath. Is it all the time, when you go upstairs or a tight feeling? I would check with your doctor since you are experiencing this. Also, you didn't mention what dosage you are on and if this is your first experience with HBP medication. Believe me, it can make you very anxious and the stress can do all sorts of things.

I hope this helps.

 
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Old 01-05-2012, 08:17 PM   #3
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Re: Want to stop bystolic....

Thanks, ShopGirl and Jude, for your posts! You bring up some of the very concerns that I have about Bystolic.

I have genetic (essential HBP) and I've been through a number of BP meds - Accupril, Cozaar (losartan), Hyzaar, Atenolol, Lotensin (benazepril), Tekturna, and, off-label, Xanax and Klonopin. Of all of these, only Xanax consistently brings my BP down to a safe range, but the effect is too brief - it's only a quick fix, not a wise long-term BP choice, and I'm trying to taper off of it.

Lotensin seems lower my BP 5 to 10 points at 20 mg twice a day, but that only gets me down into the 140-145/88-92 range. Cozaar used to work well, with NO side effects on me, but lately stopped having any effect on my BP whatsoever - even at 100 mg a day. Then I reacted very badly to Tekturna (headache, diarrhea, higher BP), so I must be allergic to it.

So today my doctor strongly advised Bystolic and gave me some samples of 5 mg pills. I've just finished reading so many good and bad reviews of this drug, including right here, and I'm bewildered and concerned (why can't there just be drugs with great results for everybody?).

I took my first 5 mg. of Bystolic about 2 hours ago, and my BP is already down from a daytime high of 150/95 to 125/78...but now I'm feeling achy all over, and my hands are cold, though the house is warm.

However, I recall feeling achy before when my BP suddenly dropped over 20 points. Anybody else get achy if your BP takes a sudden dive? Or is this achiness just a side effect of Bystolic? I've just taken aspirin and hope that the achiness stops so that I can sleep.

ShopGirl, I'm encouraged to know that your side effects diminished, especially the muscle aches, which is my immediate concern. I'm glad that this drug is working for you, too, when it's so hard to find the right one for each of us!

Vocrin

 
Old 01-06-2012, 06:55 AM   #4
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Re: Want to stop bystolic....

I am definitely affected when my blood pressure takes a sudden drop. I forgot to mention that I was also given Klonopin and Clonodine as a "band-aid" to get me through pressure spikes when I was going through "Which Med Will It Be This Week?" before Bystolic. When I would take that, I would feel achy, in a fog and so sleepy I would not be able to function. Zombie-like is a perfect description.

I can tell you that I have experienced cold hands and overall feeling chilled on Bystolic. I have not really had this problem with my feet, but at times my hands feel really cold and then I just feel overall chilled. I have also noticed that my hands will look very pale. I make a cup of herbal tea and have found that I warm up after a few minutes. While I am making my tea, I make a point to get up and move around. It seems to be worse when I am at work and have been sitting for awhile.

I will tell you of one thing I experienced with the 5mg. I left this out of my earlier post. I had headaches for the first time with my blood pressure. My head would feel sensitive to the touch and this would be worse because of the sensitivity it created in my upper teeth. It was like a constant tooth ache that may last for a 10 minutes or an hour. I really began to think I would have to stop taking it, but I had read others with this same problem sticking with it to see it stop. Now, I only sometimes feel a little ache in my upper teeth. Let me just add that I have really great teeth, so it's not an actual tooth problem.

My numbers are higher this week than they have been, but I am also feeling the stress of my upcoming echo cardiogram and nuclear stress test on Monday. My systolic has been around 125-130 in the afternoon, but my diastolic has been staying in the upper 70s to low 80s. As my cardiologist said, I won't lose any sleep over those numbers. We feel my pressure is due to letting my weight get out of control the last two years by packing on 60 pounds. Not very smart of me.

My issues right now is the on/off chest discomfort since starting the 10mg and joint pain (my left knee is the culprit this week). A couple weeks ago it was my right thumb.

I have had a couple weird things with blood pressure medications. I have this sort of sneezy feeling in my sinuses and before getting into Bystolic a few weeks, it was a pressure that would also go up the back of my neck. I still have the muscle tightness sometimes in my neck but not as bad. Then there are the weird visible veins. At certain times of the day, I can see all of my veins like I am an experiment. Bright blue where I couldn't see them before. I can see the vein in the top of my lower left arm almost all of the time. Sometimes I can see it more than others. That particular vein has been more visible since starting the meds, but the rest of it started only after a couple weeks on Bystolic. It is not because I am pale, since I am used to being able to see my veins. This is significantly pronounced. I asked my cardiologist and he says it could be the Bystolic relaxing the veins.

I am working through adjusting to not being as I was before the medication. I won't feel as I did then because I have a chemical in my body making it do something it doesn't want to naturally do. Still, like you said Vocrinthedes, it seems to be a round and round with medications. Then, I see some people that started on one pill years ago, have no idea what their pressure is, but have had no problems! I mean, yay for them, but I would have loved to not feel like a guinea pig.

I am also working on my stress management, which was good before this, but it seems I am more easily frazzled since starting the medications months ago.

 
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Old 01-06-2012, 09:32 AM   #5
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Re: Want to stop bystolic....

I was wondering if I should instead take fish oil, garlic pills, and CQ10. Exercise and get involved with stress decreasing activities.

Also I am giving up eating out every day. So my sodium count will decrease.

Does anyone know if green tea really lowers you BP?

I was taking 5mg Bystolic and it has been a nightmare for me.

The first thing I ever took to lower a BP scare of 180/120 a while back was a 90mg of Mycardis and that shot it straight down to 120/80 in one day! It also relaxed the hell out of me and had no side effects, that I know of, at least.

What is the difference between the two?

Last, how bad is a BP reading of 143/93? I took it again today and I got a reading of 137/88.

I think I may have that white coat syndrome because the first time I check my BP it tends to be high, mostly because I am nervous. I calm myself down for the next two readings and they're in the high 130s and high 80s.

 
Old 01-06-2012, 12:20 PM   #6
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Re: Want to stop bystolic....

Follow up on the 5mg Bystolic I took last night:

975 mg aspirin finally got rid of the aching (3 x 325 mg Bufferin) and 2 benadryls kept me asleep - but I still had some vivid, weird dreams.

Unfortunately, this morning I had to get up early to wait for a telephone installer after I'd had only 5 hours of sleep, and I've felt truly awful all day. Dead tired, and all day I've felt an urgency to have a BM, but there's nothing there! Just a few minutes ago, the achiness returned. Back to the aspirin!

(And the phone man STILL isn't here!!! Making people wait in limbo for 12 hours to get service is enough to CAUSE high blood pressure. )

However, my BP is averaging 137/84, hr 63! Yesterday at this time, it was close to 150/95. I sure hope I feel better with a full night's sleep. I think I'll take just 2.5 mg of Bystolic tonight. It obviously keeps my BP down and doesn't lower my HR too much.

Hope this helps somebody starting Bystolic with similar problems. I'll keep you posted after I sleep a full 8 or 9 hours. BTW, Jude, did you stop taking it?

Vocrin

Last edited by Vocrinthedes; 01-06-2012 at 12:22 PM.

 
Old 01-06-2012, 04:25 PM   #7
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Re: Want to stop bystolic....

Yes, I stopped taking Bystolic. It just kept giving me the worst nightmares, weird dreams, weird thoughts.

I am just going to rely on exercise and diet.

 
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Old 01-08-2012, 01:49 PM   #8
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Re: Want to stop bystolic...

Yeah, I've decided not to take any more Bystolic (thank goodness it was free samples) especially since I also take xanax for GAD/PTSD (xanax also lowers my BP to an average of about 135/87).

1.5 mg. of xanax and only 2.5 mg of Bystolic lowered my BP into hypOtension for me (113/68!!) and my HR into the 40's!!! I panicked seeing that low a heart rate, but even so, my pulse never rose above the low 50's!!! That can't be good!!

Plus the bad dreams, the phantom bowel urgency, and the extreme achiness? This is not a good solution.

I agree...nutrition and exercise. The fewer the drugs, the better.

Vocrin

 
Old 01-08-2012, 05:25 PM   #9
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Re: Want to stop bystolic...

Does Xanax lower blood pressure? I think I have problems with anxiety and it's affecting my BP.

I've stopped Bystolic and my BP is on average 140/90

 
Old 01-09-2012, 01:59 PM   #10
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Re: Want to stop bystolic...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jude84 View Post
Does Xanax lower blood pressure? I think I have problems with anxiety and it's affecting my BP.

I've stopped Bystolic and my BP is on average 140/90
140/90 used to be considered "borderline" or "high normal" - now it's been reclassified as "mild stage 1 hypertension". That was my average after the once wonderful (for me) Cozaar stopped working and before the problematic Lotensin and Bystolic. On my "ACE...achiness" thread, Lynette brought up clonodine - something I'm going to investigate.

Besides cutting anxiety or panic for me in minutes, xanax (alprazolam) does lower my BP (before it, I could get to 160/100 easily). It's really dose dependent how much it lowers the BP.

Research confirms that xanax lowers BP, but it shows other benzos may not do so well:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8944402?dopt=Abstract

But if you ever stop xanax, you have to slowly wean off of it because (for most people) the body goes into bad withdrawal (rebound BP and greater anxiety) if it is stopped suddenly - in other words, it's addictive or creates physical dependence, however you want to word it. I prefer the latter.

It's fast acting, but by the same token, its effectiveness lasts a relatively short time too. There is now generic extended-release alprazolam (xanax), but I've heard mixed reviews on how well it works, and it seems to depend on the brand of generic. I tried a generic alprazolam XR, but didn't like the way I couldn't control how much was in my system - sometimes too much or not enough, too long (hangover)...maybe it was a bad generic brand? So I still cut my instant-release into small pieces and take as needed during the day. At present, I take 2 mg before bed and my BP drops near 120/80. There's no hangover for me as it lasts from 5 to 7 hours in my metabolism, then bam, I'm awake! Sometimes anxious, too.

I've been on it for years, and I didn't find that under normal circumstances I built up tolerance, needing any more. The same amount still kept my anxiety and panic attacks down to a minimum.

And I suppose I could keep my BP lower if I upped my dosage, but I swore I would never go past 4 mg per day - unfortunately, I got up that high because of a series of painful deaths and losses in the past few years. I'm actually at 3.5 mg now and am slowly working back toward my original 2 mg a day (that's why I'm trying to find other ways to control my BP). Since I have a lifelong genetic anxiety disorder along with post-traumatic disorder, my psychiatrist told me I may just need the xanax like a diabetic needs insulin.

There are people who take 10 mg a day, but in my opinion, that's VERY unwise since withdrawal from that much is agonizing hell, even life threatening, so I've read.

Hope this helps in your decision making.

Vocrin

 
Old 01-09-2012, 02:28 PM   #11
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Re: Want to stop bystolic....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jude84 View Post
I was wondering if I should instead take fish oil, garlic pills, and CQ10. Exercise and get involved with stress decreasing activities.
Certainly all that is good to do for BP!

Micardis is in the same family of meds as Cozaar and Benicar, an angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARB). It blocks the hormone angiotensin II from activating the nerve receptors that tighten blood vessels. It doesn't lower heart rate like Bystolic, which is a completely different type of BP med, a beta blocker, but a new and unique one which also enhances nitric oxide, a blood vessel relaxer.

If Micardis works for you, that might be a good thing to ask your doctor about. I certainly had a side-effects-free experience with Micardis' "cousin", Cozaar, until it stopped working on me.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jude84 View Post
Last, how bad is a BP reading of 143/93? I took it again today and I got a reading of 137/88.
See my other post here.

Vocrin

Last edited by Vocrinthedes; 01-10-2012 at 12:14 PM. Reason: Correction of info on ARB's and Bystolic.

 
Old 01-09-2012, 03:06 PM   #12
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Re: Want to stop bystolic...

At a BP reading on average of 140/90 would I be able to work out; light cardio, push ups, sit ups?

Also, my uncle doctor was more concerned about my BP being higher than 140/90. He said not to worry too much about the ideal 120/80. He said it would be great if I could get it to that, but I shouldn't stress myself out trying that hard without meds.

He said I was really at "high normal" not stage 1 hypertension and that the numbers have been moved to please certain business interests within the medical community. So far I've been getting readings in the high 130s to high 140s depending on how anxious I am when taking the readings.

So far I've felt fine. No headaches, no blurry vision, no nothing considering all the effects high BP is supposed to have on someone.

Perhaps I freaked out a bit much because of the 120/80 ideal that is professed now.

 
Old 01-09-2012, 05:02 PM   #13
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Re: Want to stop bystolic...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jude84 View Post
He said not to worry too much about the ideal 120/80. He said it would be great if I could get it to that, but I shouldn't stress myself out trying that hard without meds. He said I was really at "high normal" not stage 1 hypertension and that the numbers have been moved to please certain business interests within the medical community.
I SO wanted to say that, Jude, but hesitated to be too controversial here. I've heard and read many who believe the "ideal 120/80" is not actually normal for everyone, but making it now so critical to get one's BP that low financially benefits certain business interests hugely.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jude84 View Post
So far I've been getting readings in the high 130s to high 140s depending on how anxious I am when taking the readings. So far I've felt fine.
I've had resting BP of 130-140/85-90 for decades (I'm 60 now), with countless spikes much higher. Just got the results of my comprehensive blood tests and urinanalysis today -- everything's normal! Looks like all my body parts are still working okay <knock on wood> despite some spikes over 160/100 this year. Only my sodium and chloride are at the high end of "okay" and my hemoglobin at the low end - gotta take some iron and lower the salt some more! (Damn, I love salt!) Could be why I've been spiking too often these days. Maybe I really can get off this damned achy benazepril!

So with an old HBP guy like me as an example, I hope you can relax about your BP. You sound like you have anxiety like I do, and I've freaked out so many times about rises in my higher than average BP (but maybe normal for me) and sometimes taken it dozens of times a day, accomplishing nothing but hours of increased anxiety and even higher blood pressure - classic vicious circle.

Vocrin

 
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Old 01-10-2012, 10:39 AM   #14
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Re: Want to stop bystolic...

I am so glad to read from the two of you. Since this whole thing started for me in August, it has been very stressful. It all started with a nurse checking my blood pressure in a grocery store "health fair". She said it was 155/122. I immediately went to my (former) doctor, and there began my road to being on meds. None of the professionals have thought the reading of 155/122 was accurate because my highest recorded spike since then under heavy stress and very sick from side effects was 145/108.

The anxiety has been difficult to deal with. I went yesterday for a chemical stress test and echo cardiogram. I am hoping it comes back clear. I believe my chest aches that resulted in the tests is because of muscle aches that Bystolic and other HBP meds can cause. Still, better to be safe than sorry.

I was prescribed Clonodine for spikes and while it worked great for a short duration on the pressure and overall mood, it made me feel like a zombie. I had very heavy lids, could hardly think and literally felt shut down. However, I know people that take it for other reasons and they do not have this.

Yesterday, after a day of not taking Bystolic in prep for the tests, my reading was 140/80 in the doc's office. The upper is a little high, but I am counting part of that to stress.

It amazes me the number of people that go to the doctor, receive a prescription and then never check their numbers again until the next doctor visit. Or, they have no idea what their medicine is called. Then again, maybe I worry to much.

 
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Old 01-10-2012, 12:03 PM   #15
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Re: Want to stop bystolic...

Vocrin,
Today has been my freak out day! I realized that benazepril is not working and I totally lost it. I have gone back and added 2.5 amlodipine, which I absolutely hate! I have a cabinet full of bystolic that I do not want to take,, but it looks like I might be forced to take them. I have a dr appt in the morning and I have already startedto get nervous! Just for the record, I watch my diet carefully, I don't drink or smoke, I exercise or try to each day, and I am not over weight (136 lbs). I am at a loss! My pressure is through the roof!

 
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