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Those of you on beta blockers.......




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Old 10-26-2006, 04:04 PM   #1
miche31
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Those of you on beta blockers.......

Ok, having anxiety issues here. Really hard time trying to adjust to the beta blocker. I am constantly checking my pulse, resting, rising, walking, REFUSE to do any running right now, since my tach is exercise triggered. Anyways, now I'm obsessing over that. Also, I'm tired, sluggish, dizzy, sick to my stomach, and zoned out, no memory. The nurse told me that it will take at least a week, maybe longer, but I will adjust. She said I can play with the dosage too. If I need more, then I can up it, if it seems to be intermitent, the heart rate going up and down, then to leave it and see if the med evens it out. WHATEVER, then I ask for an Echo for my piece of mind because I'm wanting to make sure my heart is really ok, and worried about things now, (thanks to the anxiety disorder) and she told me I can talk to my Dr. about that in two weeks, to just deal with one thing at a time. !!!!!! I'm so frustrated, I can't even drive. Did it take any of you guys a week or so to get used to this? The pharmacist said it can take two weeks with this one I'm taking, Inderal. I'm just scared to death of everything right now, and I don't know how to get my mind off this broken record. I called the top electrophysiologist at the heart hospital in our state, and talked to his secretary/assistant. She was so sweet, reassured me and scared the heck out of me at the same time. She said that my Dr. is doing what they would do, start me on drugs first, try that whole round of regimen, before any thought of ep studies and ablations. Then she said, almost EVERYBODY who has svt has to have the ablation at some point tho. She said, look on the bright side, it could be 20 years before you had to have it. WHAT!! I don't want it ever.
I dont feel well, I feel very faint, like these buzzing feelings in my head, which I'm sure is my body getting used to the drug. My bp isn't too bad, right now its' 112/76, hr 67, so that isn't bad, I've had it way lower before. About a half hour ago I had this pinching pain in my chest, lasted 2 seconds, but right over my heart. Instant thought was "heart attack" from the bb. I'm trying to stick it out with this drug, because I know much stronger people than I wouldn't notice half of them. But I think, I sit and obsess over every little new worry I find. My chest is hurting too, can any of you PLEASE PLEASE help me. I'm really at my wits end, and tired of this and so very scared. Thank you, Michelle

 
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Old 11-01-2006, 02:06 PM   #2
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Re: Those of you on beta blockers.......

I know it's hard not to, but try not to worry. I take Atenolol (beta blocker) for SVT and I felt the same way you did when I first started taking it-lightheaded,tired,etc. It took me about a week to adjust to it and it really has helped. I've been on it for 2 years now and my pulse is in the low 80's when it used to go as high as 170 at times! Worrying too much about it will only make you get more anxious and your pulse will just go up. {REMOVED}Sometimes I get like that too. Try and relax and let the medicine work. Just know that you can call your doctor at any time of the day or night if you were to have a reaction or bad side effect to it. I'm glad that the cardiologist's assistants were nice and able to reassure you. No,you're not crazy! SVT is a real medical problem. Take good care and good luck!

Last edited by ms_mod; 11-01-2006 at 03:00 PM. Reason: Don't post your creditials or those of family or friends. Ms_Mod

 
Old 11-01-2006, 05:50 PM   #3
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Re: Those of you on beta blockers.......

Hey, thanks for replying. I would love to ask you some questions if you don't mind. Did you have a hard time adjusting when you found out you had svt? Do you also have sinus tachycardia? I just can't get over my anxiety of knowing that I have a real heart condition. Does it lower your bp too much? I'm not sure if I'm on the right med or not, probably because my anxiety over the med itself. But, my hr gets as low as 50, bp 89/60, but then if I stand up and move around my hr goes up to 105, bp120/80. So I don't know if I'm taking too much, because when I'm up moving around the hr jumps up, but at resting it gets really low. Who knows if I'm having symptoms, because my anxiety masks it. My Dr. chose the Inderal for me because Inderal is a beta blocker that shuts off the epinephrine that is released during anxiety attacks, which causes my svt. She thought that is the first drug to try. But, it is also the worst for dizziness they said. What's the lowest your hr gets? How often did you get your SVT before you started the meds, and do you have any breakthru svts since your med? Do you know what brought your episodes on? Thanks again for letting me ask you all these questions. I'm hoping by talking to someone else who has this, it will help put my severe anxiety over this at ease. Michelle

 
Old 11-01-2006, 08:09 PM   #4
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Re: Those of you on beta blockers.......

Hi Michelle, I'm new and actually just registered to ask a question about beta blockers myself! But maybe I can answer some of your questions too.

I have been taking Metoprolol for about a month now for sinus tachycardia (attacks that were usually just out of the blue for no reason, but sometimes due to caffeine and worsened by anxiety). I started with metoprolol 25 mg, twice a day. I didn't have any trouble with the side effects you describe, but I know they can occur but my Dr. and pharmacist both said most side effects go away within the first week or two. I had a different problem, after I had taken it for a couple of weeks I started having terrible insomnia. After doing some research I found out that BBs can lower levels of melatonin. So I started cutting my pills, first taking 3/4 of a pill for a few days and getting down to 1/2 pill, still twice a day, and taking melatonin and it helped. (But ask your dr before you start cutting pills, I know some time release ones you can't!) They switched me to Toprol XL, 25 mg once a day-- still metoprolol, but extended release, she thought it might help the insomnia. This is my first day on it so we will see!

I have not had any ST since starting the BB, and it has really been a relief for me to not have to worry about it. I think I am the opposite of you, I used to obsessively take my pulse before starting the BB, now I don't because I am not as worried about it. It did not lower my BP substantially either. The lowest my heart rate has gotten is probably 65 or so since starting the BB, the highest it has gotten is about the upper 80s. This is from someone whose normal heart rate was 85-100, and when I had ST episodes it would be 120-150. 50 does sound pretty low for your resting HR, but nothing that is dangerous. But maybe cause to lower your dose.

Try not to worry, the chest pain and pinching I'm sure is anxiety, I used to get that when I would have my ST episodes. The BB should do a good job, and if you still have side effects, talk to your dr, they could lower your dose or try a different BB. Good luck!

 
Old 11-02-2006, 01:05 PM   #5
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Re: Those of you on beta blockers.......

Hello, I was going to tell you that the Inderal is giving me insomnia too, but I don't mind that I guess. I take a Xanax at night and sleep like 6 hours, and 6am I'm AWAKE. There are other side effects that I'm not liking, but I'm on day 9, and taking my Xanax for the anxiety of it all, and will continue for awhile longer. I refuse to let my mind get the better of me this time, although in an hour I'll probably be in fear again, haha. One step at a time. Don't go off your bb for your sinus tach, I read your post in the heart forum, and agree with them. It could send your sinus tach very inappropriately high. Trust me, I don't want to be on this darn bb either, but I don't have a choice. Sometimes we just have to take medicine, even when we don't want to. Good luck, take care, Michelle

 
Old 11-02-2006, 03:56 PM   #6
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Re: Those of you on beta blockers.......

Hi Michelle. I haven't been on the boards for a week or so. I'm sorry you're having such a hard time with this. I was on Inderal a couple years ago for "migraines" and had no side effects whatsoever. That was back before I had all this anxiety about my heart, so I have no clue what it did to my heart rate. I am on Bisoprolol now because my cardiologist said it is the weakest of all the beta blockers. I am on a very small dose and it still drops my heart rate real low...into the 40s at night, but my doc said that is OK. I'm still a little tachy when I first get up out of bed in the morning (usually right around 100) so that is why I am still taking them. Within 20 minutes my heart rate goes down in the 60s. I think you are having serious anxiety over this. I was exactly the same as you were a year ago. I'm not going to tell you to stop checking your pulse, because I know how hard it is to do. I am trying very hard to not check my pulse and I find that I am worrying about it less and less. Just try to trust that the meds are doing what they're supposed to do. You may be having some side effects to the Inderal, or your anxiety could be causing some of your problems also. Has the doctor cleared you to exercise? If so, I think you should. I have been trying to go to the gym 2 or 3 times a week. At first I was really scared what my heart would do, but now it doesn't bother me anymore. I bought one of those Polar heart monitors with the chest strap and I wear that and I CANNOT get my heart rate over 150 (most likely because of the beta blocker). I really do feel better after working out. Don't get scared over what that EP's secretary told you. First of all, she is not a doctor and she had no right saying anything to you over the phone. Second, you still don't know that you have SVT (or do you?) and if you do, it may just be triggered by anxiety.

I really hope you start feeling better soon. I will check in on you tomorrow. I know exactly how you're feeling. I went through the same thing. I'm still here, and getting a little better every day. Try to relax!

LeeAnn

 
Old 11-02-2006, 05:10 PM   #7
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Re: Those of you on beta blockers.......

I take a small,small amount of beta blocker and it seems to mess with me abit.it seems like i sweat more the first few hours that the BB is in my system. My anxiety is so bad its hard for me to tell if i really have symtoms or im just creating them.

 
Old 11-02-2006, 06:08 PM   #8
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Re: Those of you on beta blockers.......

Hi Gimli, what bb are you on? I was a huge mess the first 5 days, and slowly the side effects are diminishing, right now it's mostly fatigue and sluggish. And my legs are restless and I don't want to sleep longer than 6 hours at night, and I have to take the Xanax or I only sleep for 2 hours at a time. I just don't know about the amount I'm on, but I think I will eventually have to go up in dosage, as it still gets my rate high. Are you taking it for the mvp?

LeeAnn-
Hi, I missed talking to you. Isn't it weird how the bb's can make our heart rate go really low, and yet than go really high too? Mine lets my heart get down to 50, but when I stand up and move around can get up to 110 for awhile, before settling back down. No, my Dr. has not cleared me for exercise yet. I asked her about the SVT and she said she is completely confident that the Dr. who interpreted it is right about it being SVT. Nontheless, I had asked my Dr. friend, he is only a GP, but been a Dr. for about 40 years, if he would double check the strips. I have not heard back from him yet. He works with a Cardiologist/Internal Dr. so I was hoping if he couldn't read the strips he could ask the Carido Dr. The only thing I worry is that the SVT episodes was only 6 beats long, so they don't have much of anything to study there. In a way, I have come to the decision somewhere in my head that I really do have SVT, because it is such a different feeling in my heart when it reaches a certain point, and it does that skipping feeling, that it doesn't do at 145. I could be wrong, and I hope I and the Holter Dr. is wrong, but we'll see. LeeAnn, I'm scared to even go run. I make myself get up and move around during the day, but it's getting winter here in Montana and I don't like being cold, so I try to go for a ten to 15 minute walk, but if I feel my hr at 100 or 110, I slow down. I'm trying super hard to get a control on my anxiety, but darn, it's got the best of me right now. I just ordered the Linden Method tonight, and ordered it priority mail. I'm desperate to try anything. I wish someone could just hypnotize me into a new person. I wish I was like my husband. He was told 2 years ago by his Dr. that they thought he had bone cancer, and for a year we did tons of testing, x-rays, blood works, bone scans, cat scans, mri's and finally found that he ONLY has a autoimmune disease, that is extremely painful and will one day cripple him, but not once when he was told he had cancer did he even come close to reacting like I am. I almost hate myself. He is out working in another state right now for us, takes all sorts of medicines and shots, and not once complains. He is so strong, and I am so weak. Nothing gets him down, he loves life.
I bet if they gave me Inderal for headaches and didn't tell me any of the side effects, I probably wouldn't know them either. I wish the Xanax didn't make me goofy. It does help with the anxiety, but then I'm sluggish more. I am on .25mg, do you think if I upped it that it might take the sluggishness away? I don't know. My DR. friend told me to take at LEAST .25 3xday, but possibly more. My current Dr. only wants me on .25mg twice day and only for two months and then I'm cut off. They are both conflicting. But I believe they both have my best interest at heart. My Dr. just doesn't want me addicted and really wants me to keep trying an SSRI or some other type to help with the anxiety instead of just the Xanax. I am thinking of trying another one again, maybe Lexapro. Haven't tried that one yet. All the others never worked, but she said one might help.
Thanks for being here for me, Michelle

 
Old 11-03-2006, 07:39 AM   #9
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Re: Those of you on beta blockers.......

Hi Michelle. I think that I am just really sensitive to beta blockers. I am on a really low dose and it still lowers my heart rate a lot. I'm just trying really hard not to focus on it. I'm hoping I can get off these things once I quit smoking and exercise more. Supposedly with exercise you can train your heart to beat fast only when it needs to. We'll see.

I understand your fear about exercising. And you shouldn't do much until you have been cleared. I really think you need to go ahead and get the stress test. I know you don't like it when your heart rate gets fast, but there will be doctors there and they won't let anything happen to you. When I had my stress test I think my heart rate went up to like 179. They had me stop as soon as I reached my target heart rate. Trust me, they will not let anything happen to you. This way, you can get clearance to do some exercising. It really does help. You will probably be like I was and be a nervous wreck the first couple of times, but once you realize that you are OK, you will calm down.

I know what you mean about your husband. My boyfriend (soon-to-be-husband!!!!) is the same way. Last weekend he noticed this sore lump on the side of his neck, down by his collarbone. Of course my first thought is the "C" word, but he's not worried about it at all. I bugged him every day until he finally called the doctor. He is going in today to get it checked out. I am totally freaked out about it. I even said to him "What if it's cancer?" He just blew it off. I wish I could be so calm.

As far as your xanax, I take .25mg when needed. Some days I take two, other days I don't take any. Right now I'm having a hard time getting any more (stupid doctors!!!) so I am trying to really only take it when I need it. If I take .5mg, I do get a little tired, but I can still function. I refuse to take SSRIs. I don't want to be on something that you have to take every day. I am hoping to try to get pregnant next year, and I don't want to have to wean myself off of something. But if you think it will help you, then you should definitely give it a try. I saw a counselor once that said Lexapro might be good for me because it has the least amount of side effects. But I didn't want to try it anyway.

I know how scared you are. All I can say is to just keep following up with your doctors. My cardiologist has been pretty good in reassuring me that my heart is fine. Granted, I still would like to know why it shoots up as soon as I get out of bed. He can't give me an answer to that. But whatever is going on, I just can't let myself be consumed with it anymore. Luckily, my wedding planning is taking my mind off of some of this stuff. Now I just have another form of anxiety to deal with!

I really hope you start feeling better soon. Keep me posted! I will keep checking this board...so anytime you want to chat I will be around.

Take care!

 
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