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  • Safe to Take Beta Blockers?



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    Old 02-19-2006, 09:03 AM   #1
    lena_33
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    Safe to Take Beta Blockers?

    I'm a 16 year old female whose had a racing heart for a year now with no explanation. I've been checked out for everything under the sun, and right now I'm just waiting to get my results back from a metal poisoning test I just did (assuming that my racing heart could be caused from poisoning).

    I have been diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder and have been anxious most of my life (high achiever) so naturally, my racing heart could also have to do with anxiety. It's weird though because even when I don't think I'm anxious, my heartrate is still higher then it should be. When exercising it can go up to 180bmp.

    I was a horseback rider and rode most of the week, and miss it terribly now. The only thing holding me back is my racing heart because if I try to do physical activity I end up exhausted and feeling ill after. I'm going to try another anxiety med (zoloft didn't work) but by the summer, if that doesn't solve the racing heart at least somewhat, would it be safe to take Beta Blockers before exercising? I'm not saying that the answers on this board are immediately going to make my decision, I'd just like to know what everyone would do/would have done in this situation. Thanks

     
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    Old 02-19-2006, 10:54 AM   #2
    Lor4Him
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    Re: Safe to Take Beta Blockers?

    I just recently started taking the beta blocker, Toprol XL...very low dose - 25 mg. I didn't like it at first (especially the dizziness that I was feeling the first couple of weeks), but it slows my heartrate down quite a bit. I am 40 and just this past year I've experienced the rapid heartbeat for no reason at all. I've had many tests, they have told me my heart is healthy, but the beta blocker is the only thing that is slowing it down right now.

    It could very well be anxiety related for you and I would try that route first before you go on a beta-blocker and if you do, hopefully your Cardiologist will give you a very low dosage.

    I also take Xanax when needed...the other anxiety meds I tried did not work for me. So I take both right now and it helps.

    I also have low blood pressure, so if you go on a beta blocker, make sure you check your blood pressure regularly. I also have an irregular heartbeat so sometimes I think the beta blocker slows my heartrate down and increases that. My rapid heartbeat did the same thing, but the beta blocker seems to make it less symptomatic.

    Hope I helped a little

     
    Old 02-19-2006, 11:01 AM   #3
    hry33
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    Re: Safe to Take Beta Blockers?

    Im surprised that doc hasnt put you on a beta blocker yet, you may need to remind doc as some sadly dont think of them for anxiety caused problems, doc should monnitor your bloodpressure

    try to ignore your heart, let it do whatever it wants to and dont check or monitor it
    also you need to learn new ways of relaxing and calming yourself as your present methods dont work well enough
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    Old 02-19-2006, 02:41 PM   #4
    lena_33
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    Re: Safe to Take Beta Blockers?

    Lor4Him - what you have actually sounds a lot like what I'm struggling with. What did you do for physical activity before you were on the Beta Blockers and what do you do for activity now?

    Also, I remember reading your post awhile back and you said that your heartrate gets worse when you lie down. Have you ever been tested for POTS? Just wondering because I know that if you do have it, your bloodpressure and heartrate will differ from sitting up to lying down. I had them test at Sunnybrooke for it.

    I'm really interested in some beta blockers as I need to get back to physical activity. I'm really surprised that none of my 500 doctors mentioned them

     
    Old 02-19-2006, 06:12 PM   #5
    notredamebird
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    Re: Safe to Take Beta Blockers?

    I'm sure someone has already thought of this--but have they tested you for high or low thyroid? I had heart racing (and sudden weight change, anxiety, etc, etc.) as a freshman in college, and it turned out that I had Grave's Disease--which is a condition where your immune system attacks the thyroid and they thyroid produces too much hormone. And that hormone controls you metabolism. As it turned out I was very high, and my resting heartrate was 120 beats per minute (!).

    If that turns to be it, it's very treatable. You just need to identify it--a good internal practioner or endochronologist can tell from a blood a test.

    Incidentally, I also took beta blockers initially--they are one way to treat the symptoms of Grave's. I had pretty awful allergic reactions to them. I took tapizol and propranol (those are horribly mispelled!). One gave me large, raised, itchy blotches and the other roving joint pain (I could barely walk). However, my allergic reactions were severe and very rare. I think they are safe otherwise.

    Last edited by notredamebird; 02-19-2006 at 06:13 PM.

     
    Old 02-20-2006, 12:50 AM   #6
    xersen
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    Re: Safe to Take Beta Blockers?

    Lena,

    im 24 yo male and am just coming from a 4 day hospitalization for a different unidentified cardiac condition, BUT, i have been on the beta-blocker propranolol .5mg (inderal). I took it as prescribed which was "as needed" with xanax "as needed" too. the results seemed to be good. My doc says that propranolol is a good all around beta blocker and i had absolutely no bad side-effects. I hear this is not the case with everyone, but it might be worth mentioning.

    one more piece of advise, cardiac issues can be extremely difficult to diagnose and are a huge source of anxiety for a lot of people. you really have to push your doctor to make sure they are doing everything they can to find your problem.. i.e. echocardiogram, stress test, EKG, complete electrical study etc etc. For you I would reccomend persuing a referral to an electrophysiologist from your cardioloist. they should get you fixed in no time. Good Luck!!

     
    Old 02-20-2006, 01:39 PM   #7
    trittsneighbor
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    Re: Safe to Take Beta Blockers?

    At your age, I would think a racing heartbeat would be a symptom of mitral valve prolapse syndrome, a very common condition of the heart that causes symptoms of panic disorder, racing heartbeat, etc. I've had it all my life, but, wasn't diagnosed until 29 years old, but, my heart would race like crazy when i would get nervous etc. The only way to really telll if you have it is by doing an echiocardiogram, and you can also wear a heart monitor which can tell if your heart rate is excelling really fast and unsteady, which isn't safe, or excelling at a steady and regular pace. At your age you will probably be okay, except for the symptoms of mvps suck, like the racing heartbeat, and can hold you back. Beta blockers are what the docs use sometimes to regulate the heartbeat, but, don't do much for panic attacks when something happens suddenly, to scare you. I take atenonol for my racing heartbeat. But, they are not like nerve pills. You can't just pop one when you are going to do something to make your heart race. Make sure your doctor gives you the one that right for you, and your condition.

     
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