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Old 01-04-2010, 01:29 PM   #1
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tiffanyhope12 HB User
Does anyone take beta blockers for their panic?

I was just prescribed a beta blocker for my panic attacks, as well as Celexa. My blood work and EKG were perfectly normal, but I still feel nervous about taking any medication.

I have had panic attacks since I was a teenager and, while it comes and goes, it's at it's worse right now, so I know I need to do something about it. I can't function normally, having symptoms of palpitations, trembling/shaking (like I'm cold), trouble sleeping (gasping for breath as soon as I fall asleep), body aches/pains, OCD, panic/homebound (not wanting to leave the house), hypochondriac symptoms, tingling in my hands and face, feelings of "not being myself" or feeling "out of it", forgetfullness, racing heart....

There are problably more symptoms, but I was just wondering how anyone did on Celexa and a beta blocker. I's so terrified to take anything (I daydream about dying of a cardiac arrest like the usual celebrity),but like I said, I know I need to do something to get out of this horrible nightmare.

Any advice/personal experiences would be great. The more the positive would be great, because negative ones will freak me out.

Thanks,
Tiffany

 
Old 01-04-2010, 02:29 PM   #2
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Wink Re: Does anyone take beta blockers for their panic?

hi there i suffered terrible panic attacks before i fell pregnant.i went for counseling which helped me immensley.i was put on beta blockers but they dropped my blood pressure to much which made me dizzy and light headed which in turn made my panic attacks so much worse!i was then put on a low dose antidepressant that along with the counseling definateley helped my case.hope this helps there is light at the end of the tunnel just keep taking a day at a time.let me know how it goes

 
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Old 01-05-2010, 09:46 AM   #3
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Re: Does anyone take beta blockers for their panic?

Thanks, Bubby. I used to go to counseling, but there was only one counselor and I didn't feel comfortable with him. He told me the same stuff every time I went and it annoyed me. I was always like "Omg, he told me this last time. Tell me something different!" He also had to look in his book to what a palpitation was!

Yeah, I'm really nervous to take a beta blocker. While I don't like my heart racing, it freaks me out thinking that a slower heart rate would be healthy. I'm perfectly healthy so I don't want to mess with my heart rate, but sometimes my heart will race for hours. It's a catch 22. I guess I can just try it and see what happens.

I began taking Celexa today (which I have had for 2 months and never taken because I was so scared)! Most people start at 10mg, but I started at 5mg, which is really low. I also took a 1/4th of a .25 xanax and immediately I began to get nervous.

Will let you all know when I take the beta blockers. Can't wait to hear what you all have to say!

Thanks.

 
Old 02-01-2010, 09:56 PM   #4
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Re: Does anyone take beta blockers for their panic?

HI Tiffany,
Just wanted to say welcome and let you know that you are definitely not alone!!
I am actually in a similar situation, I have been taking Zoloft consistently for over 7 years, which has kept my anxiety at bay. Almost 4 months ago, it decides to stop working. So, I too am on the quest to find something that will give me relief like I once had. I recently came across an article about Beta Blockers, that they are specifically prescribed for people with heart conditions, etc, but that prescriptions have been on the rise due to more anxiety patients trying them. Apparently they essentially calm the nervous system down, reducing the panic symptoms we experience, like heart palpitations, sweating, dizziness, etc. I am planning on seeing my doctor tomorrow, and will ask her about them. I haven't found much else on the topic but I too am interested. By the way, hang in there! Many of us have been where you are!

 
Old 02-10-2010, 06:38 PM   #5
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Re: Does anyone take beta blockers for their panic?

Hey Victoria,

How did it go with the doctor? Did you find a new medicine to take? Just wondering how you were doing!

 
Old 02-11-2010, 03:46 PM   #6
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Re: Does anyone take beta blockers for their panic?

Hi Tiffany,

Just letting you know I'm on a very low dose antidepressant to help me with my panic attacks (Aropax, in the US called Paxil). I still wake at night sometimes with my heart beating fast and whereas before it used to terrify me now it's just annoying and thus far I haven't had any more panic attacks. I would be worried about beta blockers because normally my blood pressure is ok (though it goes up when I have a PA) so I think there would be side effects. Also the antidepressant helps with the anxiety as well as slowing the metabolism down a bit.

I hope Celexa helps you. Panic attacks are the worst things. I've had them on and off for the last 20 years.

 
Old 02-11-2010, 06:29 PM   #7
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Re: Does anyone take beta blockers for their panic?

The first time I ever experienced panic attacks I went to the ER, who referred me to a physician that put me on a beta blocker (Toprol) for my rapid heart beat. I was scared to take it as I also have a healthy heart, but the dose was low. While my heart rate no longer raced at a moments notice, after only a couple of months my anxiety started to manifest itself in other ways. For me, beta blockers treated a symptom or two of anxiety, but did nothing to treat the anxiety itself. But you need to keep in mind that everyone is different and has anxious feelings and thoughts along different lines and the cause is often different. I am going to a therapist every two weeks and have been put on 1mg of xanax, which I take only as needed, often starting out with half a pill first, then taking the other half if I still feel anxious. I understand your fear of new medication and the thoughts of what it could do to you can be scary. HANG IN THERE! And remember, there is nothing wrong with changing physicians or therapists until you find one that you feel comfortable with. And being honest with said doctor is key. I told my doctor I was afraid to take the med I am now on and explained why, and he called a pharmacist right there at the desk, which really eased my fears a lot. Best wishes, and good luck. It is hard at times, but this anxiety doesn't have to beat you.
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Old 02-12-2010, 09:25 AM   #8
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Re: Does anyone take beta blockers for their panic?

For me, I take a beta blocker mainly for generalized anxiety disorder. My heart is always going too fast especially at night. I'm not sure if it helps for panic disorder type stuff. Maybe it would help prevent panic attacks? Your doctor would know. It didn't seem to for me but it does help reduce adrenaline. They are relatively harmless as long as you aren't light headed or fainting. You can easily adjust the dose. No real side effects (other than fainting, but that means you're taking too much) and no long term effects as far as my doctor told me but of course check with yours.

 
Old 02-12-2010, 11:20 PM   #9
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Re: Does anyone take beta blockers for their panic?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tiffanyhope12 View Post
Hey Victoria,

How did it go with the doctor? Did you find a new medicine to take? Just wondering how you were doing!
Hi there Tiffany,

Thanks for the checkup!
I actually saw my wonderful doctor and she said straight up, "Let's be honest. No medication is perfect, and frankly, it's not an exact science to determining what meds are going to do the trick." Although that could sound kind of discouraging, I'm glad she was so direct.

Anyway long story short, since I've been on Zoloft for almost 7 years and my anxiety is reemerging and I've suffered from 2 relapses since, it's pretty safe to say that sertraline (Zoloft) isn't working anymore. I asked her about the beta blockers and she said they are very commonly prescribed, but that's not the route she wanted me to go down just yet. She had me taper down to 100 mgs Zoloft (i was on 200/day) and combine that with 30 mgs of Cymbalta. Then cut out the Zoloft completely and so far so good.

I will give it a few more weeks before I give you (and anyone else reading) a definitive opinion on this new stuff.

Talk to you soon

 
Old 03-10-2010, 05:22 AM   #10
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Re: Does anyone take beta blockers for their panic?

i have had panic attacks since 1975. I was put on beta blockers for migrianes.. i noticed all of my daily panic attacks stopped within a few weeks of being on the beta blockers. I still have panic when i need to travel or fly etc.. but the beta blockers stopped my daily attacks!!

 
Old 03-11-2010, 09:52 AM   #11
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Re: Does anyone take beta blockers for their panic?

David,

Thanks so much! Perfect timing that you replied. I had a doctor appt. today and my doctor wants me to start taking Atenolol. She had me wait while I was trying some SSRI's which didn't workout for me, so she wants me to go ahead and start the beta blocker at 12 1/2 mg to start. My blood pressure is usally really good, except when I panic and then it spikes. I was worried the Atenolol would cause mhy blood pressure to go really low, but she said I will be on such a low dose, it shouldn't be a problem. Key word *shouldn't*!

If you don't mind me asking, what dose do you take and is your blood pressure usally normal?

I was 114/72 today at the doctor and my heart rate was 112. I was having a panic attack, of course. She said that was high for me, but not considered a high reading by any means.

Thanks again for your reply!
Tiffany

 
Old 03-12-2010, 11:16 AM   #12
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Re: Does anyone take beta blockers for their panic?

I take a low dose Lopressor for heart rate but I think its just from anxiety and I have been on it for about a year and it has helped with the heart beating so fast when I have PA or anxiety or all the above. I just want to be normal again I hate having to be on heart meds when all heart tests are fine. I don't know. But I know the meds will help cause its bad for your heart when you are stressed and PA.

 
Old 05-08-2010, 10:34 AM   #13
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sico HB User
Re: Does anyone take beta blockers for their panic?

I have been on BB for 12 years and although it helps with my BP and racing heart, it amplifies the palps. What I mean by this is that my HB is now 60 due to the BB where as it would have been 78 normally. Now when my heart skips a beat I have 2 secs of no beat. This is long and I can feel in it in my chest and I get a slight dizzy spell.
If your heart beats faster, you will not feel the palps.
Catch 22 situation for me.

 
Old 06-17-2010, 06:00 PM   #14
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Re: Does anyone take beta blockers for their panic?

sorry for the late reply. I take atenalol also. I've been on it over 25 years.. i take 100mg.. with absolutely zero side effects... i think in the beginning it made me a little tired for a few weeks.. but with panic, that's not a bad side effect!!
my blood pressure on 100mg is around 120/75.
good luck

Last edited by david85719; 06-17-2010 at 06:01 PM.

 
Old 06-17-2010, 10:29 PM   #15
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Re: Does anyone take beta blockers for their panic?

Thanks for all of the replies, all. I'm really glad you took the time to respond!

I never had the courage to take the atenolol, especially since I've moved across country and no longer have a doctor. I have a new appointment scheduled for a new doctor, which I'm really nervous about - going to someone new. :/ I do still have palpitations often and the last time I went to the doctor, my heart rate shot up to 142+. I had a panic attack in the office and the FNP asked why I never took the beta blocker (and that I should).

So I'm starting all over with a new doctor and we'll see what they recommend. I can't continue to live with this panic (and not try my meds). So thanks all for your encouragement! My appointment is at the end of the month, so I'll keep you posted.

 
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