It appears you have not yet Signed Up with our community. To Sign Up for free, please click here....



High & Low Blood Pressure Message Board
Post New Thread   Closed Thread
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 06-10-2013, 09:24 AM   #1
Junior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Broomfield, CO
Posts: 11
amie843 HB User
Atenolol Withdrawal and Nightmares/Dreams/Insomnia

Hello All,
I'm on day #12 of no Atenolol (cardiologist switched me to Losartan which seems to work ok on the BP but has no effect on the HR) after a 6 week tapering process. I have had the normal weaning side effects (anxiety, panic attacks, adrenaline surges, racing hr, mild depression, hyperventilation, muscle twitches, headaches, and pins and needles sensation) but those seem to be ever-so-slowly subsiding. I've been on Atenolol 25 mg since last fall with relatively few problems (and 50 mg for about 6 months before that, but it was dropping my hr too low so we lowered the dose); however, when I began weaning from 12.5 mg twice a day to 12.5 once a day about 6 weeks ago, I began having horrible insomnia, vivid dreaming in which I seemed to be almost awake through the process, and some horrifying nightmares. This has led to sleep deprivation and extreme daytime fatigue almost every day as it can happen from anywhere between 2 and 5 times a night, resulting in zilch quality of sleep. From my research online, I read that Atenolol, along with most beta blockers, can cut melatonin levels almost in half while you are using it (causing nightmares/dreams during usage) but that it also shortens REM sleep. It's my understanding that when you begin to lower/quit your dosage, your body will go into "REM rebound" sleep to make up for the missed REM time during usage, which causes the vivid dreaming and nightmares. My question is: has anyone else experienced the REM rebound sleep during weaning/quitting Atenolol (or other beta blocker) and how long does it last? My doctor prescribed Temezepam to use occassionally if I have several nights of insomnia, but I've only used it about 4 times in 6 weeks because I'm scared of addiction and having to wean off of another drug. It's also my understanding that benzodiazepines like Temezepam also reduce REM sleep, so all I'm really doing is buying myself a night of dreamless sleep and that will prolong the REM rebound when it comes. This results in me being a zombie during the day (not good for my job!). This board has been a lifesaver for me in understanding the withdrawal symptoms and any input would be helpful - thank you!!!

Last edited by amie843; 06-10-2013 at 12:39 PM. Reason: misspelled word

 
Sponsors Lightbulb
   
Old 06-10-2013, 09:01 PM   #2
Senior Member
(male)
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: NJ
Posts: 191
soflsun HB Usersoflsun HB Usersoflsun HB Usersoflsun HB Usersoflsun HB Usersoflsun HB Usersoflsun HB User
Re: Atenolol Withdrawal and Nightmares/Dreams/Insomnia

Why don't you try an over the counter melatonin supplement to help with sleep? Either way, the side effects from withdrawal won't last long. It's usually as much psychological as physical, so get in a good state of mind and it will help the process along.

Last edited by soflsun; 06-10-2013 at 09:02 PM.

 
Old 06-11-2013, 10:24 AM   #3
Junior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Broomfield, CO
Posts: 11
amie843 HB User
Re: Atenolol Withdrawal and Nightmares/Dreams/Insomnia

Hi soflsun, thanks for the response. Unfortunately, I'm already taking melatonin, so that doesn't seem to help. I have worse nights than others, and listening to guided meditation as I fall asleep and eating complex carbs about 2 hours before I go to bed seems to help. Thanks for the input, much appreciated!

Last edited by amie843; 06-11-2013 at 10:25 AM.

 
Old 07-05-2013, 04:04 AM   #4
Junior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Florida
Posts: 26
Belkeys HB User
Re: Atenolol Withdrawal and Nightmares/Dreams/Insomnia

Hi amie843, how are you doing so far. I have been off atenolol for 15 days now and I am feeling better but still have trouble with sleeping. The first 6 days were rough...with high pulse, headaches, severe anxiety to name a few. This health board really helps. Hope to hear from you soon.

 
Old 07-05-2013, 10:22 AM   #5
Senior Member
(male)
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: New York City
Posts: 214
Voxx976 HB UserVoxx976 HB UserVoxx976 HB UserVoxx976 HB UserVoxx976 HB User
Re: Atenolol Withdrawal and Nightmares/Dreams/Insomnia

I've done atenolol 50 mg./ day for 3 months and then 75 mg./day for a month for angina.

I think I'm done with the surgery and doctor told me to wean from atenolol. His suggestion was down to 50 for a week then 25 for a week. Then off.

I hope that doesn't cause problems.


I used to use propranolol immediate release and if I took any after 7 PM it was a night of insomnia with bouts of truly bizarre dreams, so I was happy to find that with atenolol I could at least SLEEP.
I have read that propranolol crosses the brain barrier but atenolol does not.

Since I tend towards hypertension, taking as long as possible is not a problem for me. I hate the weight gain of atenolol and I am not fond of a heart rate under 50. But other than that I was expecting worse.
It DID help with the angina.


Any recommendations? How does a month at 50 then a month at 25 and a month at 12.5 sound?

 
Old 07-05-2013, 09:49 PM   #6
Junior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Broomfield, CO
Posts: 11
amie843 HB User
Re: Atenolol Withdrawal and Nightmares/Dreams/Insomnia

Quote:
Originally Posted by Belkeys View Post
Hi amie843, how are you doing so far. I have been off atenolol for 15 days now and I am feeling better but still have trouble with sleeping. The first 6 days were rough...with high pulse, headaches, severe anxiety to name a few. This health board really helps. Hope to hear from you soon.
Hi Belkeys, sorry to hear that you are having such issues, beta blockers can do great things for some people but they are hellacious to try to wean off of once your body gets used to the drug regulating your bp, your hr, and your adrenaline response. I am heading toward 6 weeks off and I'm slowly getting better. If you read the boards here for atenolol and beta blocker withdrawal you'll find that it is more often than not a rough process, especially the first few weeks. My first two weeks off I had crazy irrational fear, adrenaline rushes, trouble taking a deep breath, racing heart rate even while resting, and a horrible time sleeping. The paralyzing fear has gone (that took about 2 - 2 1/2 weeks), the adrenaline rushes still come but ALOT less frequently, the breathing issue has almost completely resolved, my resting heart rate has gone from 85-100 back down to around 50-70 and the sleeping issues are gradually getting better. I believe it's related to REM rebound coupled with the fact that REM sleep revs up your heart rate along with adrenaline so it just seems to keep you from getting a good night's sleep. In the beginning of my final tapering and then the first couple of weeks off completely, I had horrible nightmares and crazy vivid dreaming 4, 5, even 6 times a night that would wake me up and I often would have a hard time falling back asleep. I would say now I remember about 2 dreams a night, although still a bit more vividly than usual, and I either wake briefly or just sleep through. However, about every 4th to 5th night I seem to have a bad "active" night where they are either more frequent or just more vivid where I still wake up with my heart racing over 100 bpm. The insomnia has lessened as the adrenaline rushes have lessened in frequency; in the beginning I had all kinds of nerve responses - pins and needles, lots of hypnic jerks falling asleep, random and frequent twitches, migraine headaches, and it would feel like the nerves in my chest, head, neck, arms, and hands were quivering when I would lay down at night. I still get occasional pins and needles, but the rest of the nerve issues have pretty much resolved on their own over the past several weeks. I wish I had a magic bullet for you; the best hope I can offer you is to remember you are not alone, what you are experiencing is very normal for the withdrawal process, and most importantly it will get better with time. Time is your friend. Each day you are off the medicine puts you another day closer back to your normal life. Keep me posted and please don't hesitate to ask more questions as you move through the process. You'll find a lot of comfort and reassurance from these boards as you read through other people's similar experiences and they are great about responding and reassuring you. Hugs~

 
Old 07-05-2013, 10:10 PM   #7
Junior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Broomfield, CO
Posts: 11
amie843 HB User
Re: Atenolol Withdrawal and Nightmares/Dreams/Insomnia

Quote:
Originally Posted by Voxx976 View Post
I've done atenolol 50 mg./ day for 3 months and then 75 mg./day for a month for angina.

I think I'm done with the surgery and doctor told me to wean from atenolol. His suggestion was down to 50 for a week then 25 for a week. Then off.

I hope that doesn't cause problems.


I used to use propranolol immediate release and if I took any after 7 PM it was a night of insomnia with bouts of truly bizarre dreams, so I was happy to find that with atenolol I could at least SLEEP.
I have read that propranolol crosses the brain barrier but atenolol does not.

Since I tend towards hypertension, taking as long as possible is not a problem for me. I hate the weight gain of atenolol and I am not fond of a heart rate under 50. But other than that I was expecting worse.
It DID help with the angina.


Any recommendations? How does a month at 50 then a month at 25 and a month at 12.5 sound?
Hi Voxx976, I'm not a doctor nor am I in the medical field so I can't recommend any course of medicine or a withdrawal schedule (and that's not allowed on these boards). What I can tell you is that reading through a lot of atenolol and beta blocker withdrawal posts on these boards will show you that historically it takes most people a period of several months (sometimes many months) and several dosage decreases to minimize side effects (which are very individual for each person). Some people have posted the dosage decreases and schedules that worked for them. I know that I couldn't just quit 25 mg cold turkey, I had to go on down to 12.5 mg. Other people have taken it down to 6.25 and even lower through various methods (including grinding it into powder and freezing it in ice cube trays or having a compounding pharmacy fill your prescription in liquid form as opposed to pill form so that you can better control your gradual dosage taper). If it were me, I would take my time and go at a pace that I could handle. Unless you are having severe allergic reactions to the meds, a very gradual taper is best and you definitely need to call your dr if your angina starts again as that can be serious. I wish you the best and please check in and let us know how you are doing during the process. Many of us have been through this and can offer reassurance when you need it.

 
Old 07-06-2013, 09:18 AM   #8
Junior Member
(male)
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: CAPE MAY
Posts: 14
dova08401 HB User
Re: Atenolol Withdrawal and Nightmares/Dreams/Insomnia

Feelin alot better hang in there

Last edited by dova08401; 07-07-2013 at 01:19 AM.

 
Old 07-06-2013, 12:56 PM   #9
Junior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Florida
Posts: 26
Belkeys HB User
Re: Atenolol Withdrawal and Nightmares/Dreams/Insomnia

Hello dova08401,
I am right behind you on day 16 and it is getting better. I was on Atenolol for 8 weeks. I was on 50 mg and then 25mg and stop. I could not even leave my house because of the bad anxiety and panick attacks. Now, I am able to leave the house but the anxiety can really be a little to much. Sleeping is still terrible. I am taking Ativan which helps with the anxiety but I am tire of taking pills. I can not wait until I get back to normal. Atenolol is one dangerous pill and I do not want to go through the withdrawal symptoms again.

 
Old 07-06-2013, 01:05 PM   #10
Junior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Florida
Posts: 26
Belkeys HB User
Re: Atenolol Withdrawal and Nightmares/Dreams/Insomnia

Hi Voxx976,
I started on 50mg and then 25mg and stop and it was horrible. Maybe if I had went down to 12.5 it would have not been so bad but I was only on Atenolol for 8 weeks and I thought it was going to be alright but I was dead wrong. Everybody bodies are different and maybe it will be alright for you. Keep me posted on your results.

 
Old 07-09-2013, 05:16 AM   #11
Senior Member
(male)
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: New York City
Posts: 214
Voxx976 HB UserVoxx976 HB UserVoxx976 HB UserVoxx976 HB UserVoxx976 HB User
Re: Atenolol Withdrawal and Nightmares/Dreams/Insomnia

I was at 50 mg atenolol for 3 months (25 every 12 hours) then I was at 75 mg. (25 every 8 hours) for about a month (for angina control) and now I have started the wean.

Heart taken care of...I hope.

I did a few days at the 25-25 regimen and went to 25 morning- 12.5 evening. So far so good, a little more insomnia than I like (like 4 hours sleep last night.) If the insomnia keeps pestering me, I will switch around so that the night dose is the 25 mg.
BP is okay to good, but my heart rate is still around 50, sometimes into the 40's.

I will stay at this dose for several weeks and then go to 12.5 -12.5.
I guess using heart rate and blood pressure are the best measures of how fast I can taper. If I get anxiety I have diazepam around.

Hoping for the best. I am thinking my wean may not be as severe as some since I have only been on atenolol for 4 months.

Last edited by Voxx976; 07-09-2013 at 06:31 AM.

 
Old 07-09-2013, 07:30 AM   #12
Junior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Florida
Posts: 26
Belkeys HB User
Re: Atenolol Withdrawal and Nightmares/Dreams/Insomnia

Feeling better but still having some anxiety issues. I am working on it. Can't wait to be back to normal. Will keep you all posted.

 
Old 07-10-2013, 04:20 AM   #13
Senior Member
(male)
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: New York City
Posts: 214
Voxx976 HB UserVoxx976 HB UserVoxx976 HB UserVoxx976 HB UserVoxx976 HB User
Re: Atenolol Withdrawal and Nightmares/Dreams/Insomnia

This atenolol withdrawal is harder than I thought and I see I was rash in hoping for a couple weeks.

My current regimen is 25 mg. morning and 12.5 mg. 12 hours later. Last night I went out and while walking towards the subway on a very hot evening I got a couple bolts to the heart, palpitations, strong beats or whatever. Of course you can IMAGINE the anxiety after having had two cardiac procedures in a single week and feeling ANYTHING untoward in the chest.
So I got to the theater and immediately popped the 12.5, resisting the urge to take 25.

I felt fine but then of course I awoke at 4 AM again.

So I will try a reversal. If I can hold out 'til 11AM I will take the 12.5 this morning and the 25 at 11PM to see if that will give me a full nights sleep.

Since the last 75 mg. day, blood pressure going to high normal which I am no longer going to worry about and heart rate reached 60 for the first time in several months. (lowest was 44.)

Here's my hypothesis: atenolol blocks adrenaline and noradrenaline receptors. What would be the body's expected response? Likely more adrenaline and noradrenaline production, right? So, discontinue the blockade and you get the rush of these catecholamines and all the symptoms of fight or flight.


I knew what I was getting into when I started the atenolol because I had taken it years ago. But when you are trying to control angina without resorting to surgery or percutaneous, you have few good options other than to get your heart rate down to bare minimum.
But those palps STILL scared the spit out of me yesterday.

 
Old 07-11-2013, 06:13 AM   #14
Junior Member
(male)
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: CAPE MAY
Posts: 14
dova08401 HB User
Re: Atenolol Withdrawal and Nightmares/Dreams/Insomnia

belkeys....how often do u take the Ativan for ur anxiety,,, and how has it helped... i thought i was fealin better but the anxiety just keeps going back

Last edited by dova08401; 07-11-2013 at 06:19 AM.

 
Old 07-12-2013, 05:56 AM   #15
Senior Member
(male)
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: New York City
Posts: 214
Voxx976 HB UserVoxx976 HB UserVoxx976 HB UserVoxx976 HB UserVoxx976 HB User
Re: Atenolol Withdrawal and Nightmares/Dreams/Insomnia

The insomnia getting of atenolol is really brutal. Last night with 25 mg. at bedtime (after 12.5 at noon) AND 10 mg zolpidem (Ambien) I was up at 4:30AM.

Anxiety after a heavy lunch.

Gee, my cardiologist said "Go down to 50 for a week, then 25 for a week, then off." That's what I call overoptimistic.
Seems it cannot happen that easily for me.

I suppose I could skip a nighttime dose and just watch TV re-runs all night, or worry about palpitations.

 
Closed Thread

Tags
atenolol, dreams, insomnia, nightmares, withdrawal



Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Join Our Newsletter

Stay healthy through tips curated by our health experts.

Whoops,

There was a problem adding your email Try again

Thank You

Your email has been added




Top 10 Drugs Discussed on this Board.
(Go to DrugTalk.com for complete list)
Atenolol
Benicar
Clonidine Cozaar
Diovan
  Lisinopril
Lotrel
Norvasc
Potassium
Toprol




TOP THANKED CONTRIBUTORS



Machaon (55), atengnr (48), JJ (35), soflsun (29), Flutterbye77 (17), flowergirl2day (16), flitz (16), zuzu8 (15), cartner (12), rudiraven (12)

Site Wide Totals

teteri66 (1166), MSJayhawk (1000), Apollo123 (898), Titchou (833), janewhite1 (823), Gabriel (758), ladybud (747), sammy64 (668), midwest1 (665), BlueSkies14 (610)



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:14 AM.



Site owned and operated by HealthBoards.comô
Terms of Use © 1998-2014 HealthBoards.comô All rights reserved.
Do not copy or redistribute in any form!