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  • switching to beta blocker. any input??

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    Old 03-09-2006, 10:12 AM   #1
    omalll
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    switching to beta blocker. any input??

    Im an enigma.. im 24, 110lbs, nonsmoker and otherwise a very healthy young woman. But my blood pressure skyrockets when I go to the doctor, like, 170/118. I was on the birth control pill, but had to get off it because it made me dizzy, they worried about stoke due to the BP (so now I have a non-hormonal IUD).
    Anyway, in december i was prescribed Cardizem CD 120mg (calcium channel blocker) by my "home" physician who doesnt know me too well (im still in college and usually see the campus doctor, and thought my high BP was just white coat syndrome). Well, it worked really good, when I would monitor my BP at walmart it would be in the 125/85 range.. but still, when I go to the doctor its high (today it was 170/95). I KNOW I get nervous, and I can feel my heart race even when I walk into the clinic. I also get seriously nerved up when I have to give presentations, etc.. but otherwise, I dont suffer from anxiety. I have no trouble sleeping, no chest pains, or anything like that.
    Well, my campus doctor wanted to switch me from Cardizem to Inderal (a beta blocker.. actually, the FIRST beta blocker there was, so its been around a long time). He said the beta blocker would help with getting all nerved up when Im at the doctor. I dont want this to leave me sedated every other day of my life. Does anyone have any experiences? Or even switching from a calcium channel blocker to a beta blocker? My Dr said since the cardizem has a short half life, that I can start taking the beta blocker starting tomorrow...
    any input?
    thanks

     
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    Old 03-09-2006, 10:32 AM   #2
    rigel434
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    Re: switching to beta blocker. any input??

    Watch your mental status VERY carefully. If you feel yourself getting depressed, contact your doctor immediately. But don't stop beta blockers cold turkey- you are supposed to taper off using them.

    Honestly, inderal was the worst drug I ever took- no other bp drug made me depressed like inderal did. But you may well not have this reaction.

     
    Old 03-09-2006, 11:22 AM   #3
    hey_all
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    Re: switching to beta blocker. any input??

    Hi,

    Yes, I would agree with what rigel said. However, this drug is working for ME. It did cause some little mental problems for me. But, the benifits I'm having from this drug are outweighting its side effects. In fact, I'm taking this medication to regulate my heart and lower my heart rate, which gets high for nothing (140 pulse/min at rest). I believe you will do fine with this drug.

    Do NOT stop the drug without first consulting with your doctor. You might develop SERIOUS problems if you stop it immediately, and take this drug seriously, I mean try to minimize the number of missed doses.

    Wish you the best

     
    Old 03-09-2006, 01:46 PM   #4
    omalll
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    Re: switching to beta blocker. any input??

    thanks for the comments... im really good at taking medications on time (i never missed one birth control pill when I was on it), yeah I read that you can even get a heart attack if you dont taper off of it. pretty serious.
    wow I didnt know it could contribute to depression. My doctor said some people take it for anxiety, and he thinks that [anxiety] is why my blood pressure goes way up.. though, it WAS high out of the doctor's office too (a skinny young girl with no heart or kidney trouble shouldnt have 150/100 on an average day)... all my blood/urine tests, and all the sonagrams say that im 100% healthy..... its the weirdest thing, except that my dad is the same way - skinny and healthy nonsmoker, but has high BP.
    hopefully this drug will be able to help me out.

     
    Old 03-09-2006, 02:05 PM   #5
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    Re: switching to beta blocker. any input??

    omalll,

    Buy yourself a BP tester and take daily readings at home, relaxed and reclined with your elbow at heart level and your arm supported with a cushion.
    Get a month of readings and see what kind of average BP you have.

    It would be almost criminal to get a person on these drugs for a lifetime starting at 24 if she REALLY didn't need them.

    I took Inderal for YEARS...it's not too bad, but it's not very GOOD either...makes you feel tired and sluggish.

    I wouldn't take ANYTHING til I tested for a month at home to see what the story is.

     
    Old 03-09-2006, 02:24 PM   #6
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    Re: switching to beta blocker. any input??

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by omalll
    thanks for the comments... im really good at taking medications on time (i never missed one birth control pill when I was on it), yeah I read that you can even get a heart attack if you dont taper off of it. pretty serious.
    wow I didnt know it could contribute to depression. My doctor said some people take it for anxiety, and he thinks that [anxiety] is why my blood pressure goes way up.. though, it WAS high out of the doctor's office too (a skinny young girl with no heart or kidney trouble shouldnt have 150/100 on an average day)... all my blood/urine tests, and all the sonagrams say that im 100% healthy..... its the weirdest thing, except that my dad is the same way - skinny and healthy nonsmoker, but has high BP.
    hopefully this drug will be able to help me out.


    Omall,


    Lenin is correct. Get yourself a BP monitor and begin testing. Don't go on BP meds at 24 if all you are suffering from is White coat.

    Yes, although I have never taken Inderal, it appears to have the ability of crossing the "blood brain" barrier which MIGHT contribute to depression. I found a site that explains this to some point. BUT then again, it may not for you. Atenolol, which is the newer version does not cross this barrier. I have tried Atenolol and like Lenin says, is noy really good nor bad (in my opinion).
    Actually for me, 1/4 of a tablet, about 6.5 Mg. will knock heart palps right out, which I like if I have them.


    One other point...don't let your size fool you. I have known several very small people who have very high HBP. Who knows why?
    Actually one of them, a female in her 50's has had HBP since the age of 21. And I mean HIGH...like in H-I-G-H..like in the 200's. She has taken BP meds all that time to control it.

     
    Old 03-28-2006, 02:24 PM   #7
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    Re: switching to beta blocker. any input??

    I totally agree with Lenin. You're too young to take drugs if you don't really need it. Just relax, take deep breaths - try yoga and lots of daydreaming. My blood pressure is very high too when I'm at the doctor. I can feel it while walking to the clinique too and the more I say to myself 'relax' the more i think about it. i can't win.

     
    Old 03-28-2006, 02:33 PM   #8
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    Re: switching to beta blocker. any input??

    I took Inderal when first diagnosed with high BP, but my doctor switched me to Toprol XL because the Inderal was causing me to wheeze more (I also have Asthma). I had no problem with it other than that though.

     
    Old 04-03-2006, 08:06 PM   #9
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    Re: switching to beta blocker. any input??

    Hi Omalll,

    I've been taking a beta blocker (atenolol) for about 3 years now. I find it's great for relieving anxiety, which was definitely a big contributor to my hbp. I haven't experienced the depression that some people report, but I think it does deplete my energy somewhat. It seems there's always a cost/benefit tradeoff in taking meds! Overall, for me I think the diminshed energy level is worth it (which doesn't mean I like it, however) -- because I've become a much calmer person, much better able to handle stress than I was before.

    Best of luck!

     
    Old 04-07-2006, 04:18 PM   #10
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    Re: switching to beta blocker. any input??

    I have been on Tenormin beta-blocker since Jan 2000. I did not have any side effects that I noticed (I am on 1/2 of a 25 mg tablet) until a year ago. I had a bout of trying to catch my breath which was frightening -- I did not know at the time that this was a side effect. I also felt a bit hopeless for a few months for no reason, and I then discovered that this drug can have some depression symptoms. I never knew why I was put on this drug -- I was 140/90 consistently before medication -- but I do lots of active sports and want to avoid breathing issues. I have no angina -- never have. My doctor used to think this drug was very good, but now he wants to switch me to another, although I do not want the side effects he has said could occur with the change. I want to get off medication altogether! BTW, I cut out an article and gave it to my doctor a couple of years ago from Italian researchers who said the 'white coat syndrome' is not acceptable (my doctor had me take several weeks' BP home readings which were quite good, but I would still be variable at his office). He told me to just stop the Tenormin and see how my BP reads once off, but I am frightened when I hear of the consequences of abrupt cessation -- perhaps it is because I am on such a low dose is why he recommends this.

     
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