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    Old 06-18-2004, 12:10 PM   #1
    ptrlittle
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    Has ANYONE ever gotten off a beta-blocker??

    My doc put me on atenolol awhile back (25mg)for 140/90 BP, but I noticed much fatigue and PARTICULARLY< in hot weather now, I cant tolerate it. (I work outdoors as a mailman) I'm trying to kick it, but after 2 days without it my pulse jumps to 120. Thats TOO high to work. I spent last vacation resting ALL week hoping the pulse would come down, but to NO AVAIL. My doc actually suggested maybe I should get another job thats indoors out of the heat(EASY FOR him to say) Any suggestions? --------Patrick

     
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    Old 06-18-2004, 04:34 PM   #2
    jtu91952
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    Re: Has ANYONE ever gotten off a beta-blocker??

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ptrlittle
    My doc put me on atenolol awhile back (25mg)for 140/90 BP, but I noticed much fatigue and PARTICULARLY< in hot weather now, I cant tolerate it. (I work outdoors as a mailman) I'm trying to kick it, but after 2 days without it my pulse jumps to 120. Thats TOO high to work. I spent last vacation resting ALL week hoping the pulse would come down, but to NO AVAIL. My doc actually suggested maybe I should get another job thats indoors out of the heat(EASY FOR him to say) Any suggestions? --------Patrick

    The only beta blocker i've ever stopped cold turkey was toprol xl. According to others on this board, you should wean yourself by taking 1/2 pill.I did not. Toprol was so awful, I could not tolerate the severe backach and muscle pains. I'm sure there must be other bp med you could take.

     
    Old 06-19-2004, 05:15 AM   #3
    mishmu
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    Re: Has ANYONE ever gotten off a beta-blocker??

    I have been on atenolol 25mg for about 10 weeks now. I posted here asking for advice as I too wondered if I would be on this for ever. Initially I was like you - zonked out for a few days and yes in this heat I sweat like a Trojan, which I didn't before. However my BP is back in normal ranges, I bought myself a BP cuff and keep a check to show the doctor (knowledge helps) - I seem to have white coat syndrome compounding matters - . On the plus side - I do not have the ectopic beats I had anymore (except once when I had a virus) I find I seem to have more endurance and with diet and exercise I feel much better. Was wondering whether to try and wean myself off them after more weight loss (easier said than done!) If I did, the advice given by others here is to gradually wean off, half a tablet then every other day for a week then gradually longer periods - not cold turkey. Hope this helps.

     
    Old 06-19-2004, 02:11 PM   #4
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    Re: Has ANYONE ever gotten off a beta-blocker??

    According to what I've been told if you wean yourself off your pulse should return to pre-beta blocker range. Dd you have a fast pulse before? I have been taking Atenolol for yrs. Am cerrently taking 75mg, With no problem but then I don't work outside.
    Be sure to work with your dr while weaning off just to be safe. He will probably want you to take another bp med.
    If your dr refuses to help you get off - I'd find another dr.
    Good Luck
    Cass

     
    Old 06-19-2004, 06:22 PM   #5
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    Re: Has ANYONE ever gotten off a beta-blocker??

    ptr,

    I agree with Cassie, my doctor recently reduced my dosage on atenolol from 50mgs to 25mgs, you do have to be weaned as rebound Tachycardia will happen. Within one day for me I went from 50's to 120bpm. That was the 10th of June, its averaging 80's now and sometimes higher, as I understand it, it takes a while for the pulse rate to regulate with the weaning of medicine, so its slowly decreasing. Im on it for anxiety induced hypertension along with rapid heartrate with panic attacks, to try to keep my pulse from getting in the gosh awful near 200 bpm.

    Im kinda surprised that since your numbers at the borderline hypertension, that a beta blocker was your doctors first choice of BP med, if you havent had angina or previous heart attack, or tachycardia to begin with. Would be very interested in knowing what your regular pulse was prior to being on beta-blocker.

     
    Old 06-19-2004, 07:17 PM   #6
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    Re: Has ANYONE ever gotten off a beta-blocker??

    That is VERY interesting Crabby,
    My dr feels that my hypertension is affected by my anxiety. I have been dealing with this my whole life and it has gotten progressively worse since my diagnoisis of hypertension. I had a rapid pulse untill I started on Atenolol and have never considered getting off, it's like a crutch that I need as I really get anxious when my pulse starts to race. I have never noticed any side effects from this drug even when I was on 100mg.
    I would be interested in knowing more about how you deal with this problem.
    I am seeing a psych Tues. for the first time - don't know how that will go as I also have a med phobia to go along with anxiety, panic, and everything else and I have heard they want to give drugs for these problems.
    Hope everyone is havig a great weekend!
    Cass

    Last edited by CASSIEBEL; 06-19-2004 at 07:20 PM.

     
    Old 06-20-2004, 05:42 AM   #7
    zip2play
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    Re: Has ANYONE ever gotten off a beta-blocker??

    Patrick,
    I've been on and off Corgard (nadolol), Inderal (propranolol), and atenolol.
    The worst rebound on stopping was the atenolol and I did it over a week (using propranolol to ween) but I'd only taken it (50mg) for a month.
    Some people take MUCH MUCH longer to get off this stuff. Strangely the much stronger nadolol with a three day half life had no noticeable effects from cold-turkey?
    maybe the extrememly long acting drug is "self weening."

    Maybe lowering your caffeine intake is a good idea during the ween?

    Start with a week with half pills (12.5 mg.) and check your BP and heart rate often. If rate still spikes a lot go for a week or two more. Then cut it down to a quarter pill (get your magnifying glass) for a week. That should do the trick.

     
    Old 06-20-2004, 08:19 AM   #8
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    Re: Has ANYONE ever gotten off a beta-blocker??

    Cassie,

    I dont know the extent of your anxiety/panic, how long, how severe, agoraphobia? I too am mediphobic, when I started my BP meds about 5 months ago, I was panicked inside, waiting for horrible side effect, it took me a week to calm down, I was posting to Zip and Zuzu daily for reassurance. It just seemingly came out of the blue (the hypertension), and I became obessessed with my readings, worrying, fear to do anything to heighten my anxiety for fear of pushing my numbers up higher to a stroke or heart attack.

    This is the second time with hypertension, first was 13 yrs ago upon my first panic attack, reading was taken the next day, and immediately was throw on BP medication, this made matters worse, I started having attacks 3-4 times daily after this diagnosis, I was 28 then. I could for the life of me understand, as I have just one month prior given birth to my son, no HBP during pregnancy or afterwards, only after the attack, about 12 hours later was seen by a local doctor not my regular GP. By the time I saw my GP 5 days later, I was already so sensitized to panic attacks having had at least 20 in those 5 days prior. He was extremely upset that the doctor who took my reading threw me on meds that very day, he said he should have monitered it over a week or two, before making the diagnosis. Long story short, damage was already done, the panic was overwhelming my GP ended up putting me on BP meds, after doing blood work, urine tests, etc. It controlled my BP, (I had the complusion of taking back then also), he also rx'd Xanax for my panic. That is what calms me down when feeling anxious or panicky, or lessens the duration of the attack. After about 3 years, with BP controlled, he slowly weaned me off the BP med, I was seeing him at least one a week with each taper, and even when completely off the Bp med, he monitored it for 6 months, once a month. I lasted 10 years with normal BP readings, until 5 months ago, after a new type symptom of anxiety shot it up again, so I am again on it, as you can see from my previous post. And the complusion taking it started back over. My numbers when at home were fine or really on the low side 90's/low 50's and I was weak, pulse hovering around 50's.(beta and diuretic) I did as Zip and Zuzu said, I took my numbers at home, and they would be normal, that I dropped the diurectic myself, only taking it about every 3 days, its was an extremely low dose 12.5mg of hydrochlorot.

    I noticed I would only get higher readings when I was anxiety ridden, Im agoraphobic pretty much, and the thought of having to travel outside my safe zone, would shoot my numbers up, I would bail out of going anywhere, then they would come back down. So I took that diurectic for 4-5 days straight before my follow up visit, just knowing it would be high in his office and he wouldnt believe my numbers at home. Well, I must have drove it really down, because it took them 8 times to get a reading. Off the diurectic I go per him, and halved the atentolol.
    Im instructed my anxiety is driving it up as is my complusion with reading it, he said once a day, or he instructed my husband to take it away from me. He stated only if it reached 180/110 should I call him. Well it was hard those first few days, err week, it would go 144/95, but I had to put it down, as days progressed, it gradually dropped, and dropped, and I wrote the numbers down, they were averaging 117/77. So last visit he kept me on the 25 mg atentolol, even though that morning in his office the reading was 140/90. He stated it was my anxiety causing this spikes, like leaving to come to his office. Sure enough I came home, and it dropped to 111/78. Im to monitor it daily still, and follow up in 3 months this time. Again they are the same, normal range at home, yet if a family function is planned, and Im nervous about traveling far, it goes up. My agoraphobia is really what has gotten worse since this last HBP readings, Im scared to leave when it spikes, im more nervous, and worry. After I forgo the functions and stay home it drops again. Ugh!

    I truly think you could benefit seeing a psychiatrist, lay your fears on the line with them, in my experience the benzo's, Xanax, Klonopin or Ativan are best for nipping the nervousness. The anti-depressants, Paxil for me, made me more nervous when starting it, and each time the dosage got raised. Perhaps for you, if yours is just generalized, not constant, nor everyday attacks, is a benzo on an as needed basis.

    Good Luck to you and let me know how it goes,
    Crabby Road

     
    Old 06-20-2004, 05:21 PM   #9
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    Re: Has ANYONE ever gotten off a beta-blocker??

    Crabby,

    Thanks for the insight. I have tried Lexapro, I was given samples by my cardio. When I finally got the nerve to take one it made me so jittery that my BP went way up I was so nervous I couldn't sit, I just paced the floor. I don't know if it was the med or my mind so I didn't take anymore.

    I don't have agoraphobia, well maybe a little, I have to somtimes force myself to go out alone but if someone is with me I'm OK. I do have social anxiety and try to avoid social gatherings, even if it's family. Don't understand why.
    Have had plain anxiety and Panic attacks for 25 years! I usually only have a panic attack if I have very high BP, or a rapid pulse, palpatations, or if I think I have symptoms of a heart attack. I have repeatedly had all kinds of tests for heart problems only to be told my heart is in great shape for someone with such high BP. And that is why they want me to see psych.
    I have no idea how this all started except that when I was diagnosed with hypertension I had never had health problems at all. I got scared of the many side effects of the BP meds and thought they were heart symptoms. Anyway that's how I think it started.
    I am looking forward to my appointment Tues. I just hope I'm not expecting too much.

    I really appreciate your input. It helps so much to know others who are somewhat like me.

    Cass

    Last edited by CASSIEBEL; 06-20-2004 at 05:22 PM.

     
    Old 06-22-2004, 08:27 PM   #10
    ptrlittle
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    Re: Has ANYONE ever gotten off a beta-blocker??

    Thanks for the replies. I told my doctor how other people on the web had problems coming off atenolol, but he doesnt believe it. He thinks since its now been 6 days, that the atenolol should be out of my system, and any tachycardia is just the way my body is( even tho BEFORE atenolol I never had a problem with a fast pulse. My only problem was borderline high blood pressure.) He now put me on 240mgs of Diltiazem, which is keeping blood pressure reasonable, but I still get awful spikes in pulse. It'll go sometimes from 72 (resting) to 120+ just from getting out of bed in the morning. Today, he suggested upping the diltiazem to try to keep the tachycardia under control. HE JUST DOESNT GET IT! I also feel edgy and restless now, which I didn't feel before the meds; so the good Doc suggested a prescription for anti-anxiety meds. I said NO THANKS! My mistake was ever going to a Doc in the first place; as I used to feel healthy as a horse. (dont drink or smoke or drink coffee; im on a low fat diet and do aerobics). Anyway, thanks for letting me vent! ------Patrick

     
    Old 06-25-2004, 06:40 PM   #11
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    Re: Has ANYONE ever gotten off a beta-blocker??

    Being a senior member in age, I am well aware of all side affects from medicines as I have been there and done that!! To this day I still havent found the right combination for me. My system just cant take high doses or combinations of drugs! Drs never seem to care or believe what drugs can do to some of us. I have been on Atenolol(the generic brand)I cannot take it as it slows my heart beat down to much, while on it the beat will go down to low 40,s and I just feel like a zombie! It seems all heart Drs always put you on beta blockers or Ace inhibitors which I cannot take either.
    I have even had to stop HCTZ that I took for many years as my kidneys seemed to not want to work! I wish you luck with your problem as I too would get anxiety when trying new meds. Guess it was because of all the troubles I have with them.Sometimes we can take our BP too often which makes us more upset. I have learned not to worry and maybe take it every 3rd day ect. I dont profess to know what is best for someone else just ME!LOl! Good luck, akjoha

     
    Old 06-26-2004, 02:53 PM   #12
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    Re: Has ANYONE ever gotten off a beta-blocker??

    for what it is worth I also would be sitting there and all of a sudden I would hear my heart pound kinda hard and sped up, not in your range but noticable, the first time that happend I was about 11 years old and i thought I was having a heart attack, my brother said that I was thinking about the fast pace of my heart and making it worse by worrying about it,

    so I guess to this day I still get those hard beatings (related to my blood pressure problems? or anxiety disorder? not sure which)I just breath normally and it doesn't frighten me like it did when I realized it would calm down in a few minutes, tho I still listen to it while it is happening and I then divert my attention to the tv, or trying to relax my body or someway to divert my attetion away from that, and since it happens so often, (sometimes I think I am holding my breath and not aware of it) I have just gotten used to it.

    as for doctors I think you need to write your questions down before hand and tell the doctor why you believe the meds are causing the problems not something else, such as when you stop taking it for a few days the problems clears up, my doctor gave me a look of surprise when I told her I took verapimil 100 mg and it caused insomnia and when I stopped taking it It mostly cleared up, she was shocked and gave me lotrel saying this should not cause insomnia, well I am here to say yes it does.

    you have to stand up for yourself in a respectful manner towards doctors and if the one you have you dont' feel is helping your or concerned about your concerns or tries to help you through it get another doctor.

    oh yea, I hate it when doctors tell us the solution to our problems (like get another job and take some time off from work to recope)I don't think they realize how hard or impossible that is for us, I guess they dont' understand how hard jobs are to find that pay decently since they make so much they feel everyone else probably makes good money too.

    RR

     
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