HealthBoards (
-   High & Low Blood Pressure (
-   -   Question re: CCBs & beta blockers (

Sonia567 11-28-2006 08:54 AM

Question re: CCBs & beta blockers
Hi everyone. :) I have just been given samples of Toprol XL (beta blocker). I have tried other meds with lots of side effects. Changed to a new dr and he wants me to try 25mg Toprol (time release) to lower my resting pulse (it was 105 in his office yesterday), but at home has usually been 80-100, which is still high. After reading all the posts on this board about beta-blockers, I am definitely worried about starting to take one. Dr. had mentioned that if this one doesn't work for me, he will try CCBs. My questions are, do CCBs have less scary side effects than the beta blockers (dependency, depression, unable to exercise, weight gain, etc.) and do they help lower pulse rate? Thanks for any input!

Looly 11-28-2006 05:19 PM

Re: Question re: CCBs & beta blockers
it is my opinion CCB's cause less problems than beta blockers. I was on atenolol (beta blocker) for a while. I didnt want to wake up every morning because of the side effects. I just couldn't handle it. Don't go the beta route. Hardly anyone I know can stay on theml.

Sonia567 11-29-2006 09:40 AM

Re: Question re: CCBs & beta blockers
Lolasmom: Thanks for your reply. I am definitely deciding NOT to go the beta route. Glad I looked here for insight BEFORE I took it. Have you ever been on a CCB? If so, how was it for you?

Anyone else ever had problems with CCBs?

MickeyMouseee 11-29-2006 02:06 PM

Re: Question re: CCBs & beta blockers
beta blockers totally messed me up when i went off them, i now have anxiety problems and such like which is being investigated and MAY NOT be because of them - but I do believe it is because of the beta blockers as i was fine before i took them and went off them, i went on them for migraines.

Lenin 11-30-2006 06:40 AM

Re: Question re: CCBs & beta blockers
I HATED amlodipine (Norvasc.) It made me feel wired and caused my ankles to swell...UGLY!
BUT I know that the other CCB's verapamil, nifedipine, and diltiazem act very differently so I think it might be worth trying one or another.

But on a slightly different note. It makes me see RED :mad: that all these doctors are prescribing Toprol XL when it is one of the very few remaining formulations of beta blockers still inder patent protection and high priced. Sometimes these shills, aka doctors, are so blatant when someone waves "inducements" from drug companies, in this case Astra-Zeneca, under their noses.
Far cheaper is generic metoprolol, the same drug, which you take several times a day...but do doctors prescribe this: NEVER!

If you decide to go the beta blocker route, which may suit you, tell your doctor you want a once-a-day medication like atenolol or nadolol which costs peanusts compared to TOPROL XL.
In fact, do what I do: IMMEDIATELY tell any new doctor, I WANT ONLY GENERIC MEDS UNLESS MY LIFE IS AT STAKE! <Capitals to show how emphatically you must speak so your doctor can HEAR you since they so conveniently go deaf on certain topics.>

Sonia567 11-30-2006 09:00 AM

Re: Question re: CCBs & beta blockers
Thanks everyone for your input!

If you try a CCB and can't handle the side effects, is there a weaning process involved like beta blockers? I guess I am scared of trying these 2 classes of meds, that your body can get "addicted" to. (Is that a good way to descibe it....?) I've never been one to want to be addicted to anything......except chocolate, perhaps :)

And Lenin, I agree! One thing I HATE about drs is when prescribing a new med for someone, they say "Oh, let me see what samples I have.....". As if you want something as important as your bp med to be dictated by what stock of samples they have on hand. Maybe I should find a dr with hypertension, then maybe they would understand what an important issue it is for us to find a med that doesn't interfere with our jobs, our commitments, our lives.......

ACE28 12-06-2006 12:08 PM

Re: Question re: CCBs & beta blockers
Hi Sonia567,

The good news is that a new beta-blocker will be FDA approved in the new year. The beta blocker is called "Nebivolol" it is a 3rd generation beta blocker with an excellent safety profile and minimal side effects. The problem is the FDA drags their ### when a great new drug, proven in 50 other countries to work needs final approval. Another new beta blocker in the Pipe line is "Celiprolol" also a proven and excellent beta blocker probably won't be approved till 2008 - 2009. All the lousy pills with serious side effects and not proplerly tested are approved rather quickly by the pressure of the large Pharm. companies (Remember: VIOXX/Merck) We're stuck with 1'st generation beta blockers with horrible side effects; Atenolol, Metoprolol, Nadolol etc....

The Toprol XL (25mg) is not a very high dose. To bring your pulse down TOPROL (25mg) does a fine job. (It also will relax you more) I think you should listen to your MD and give Toprol a try for awhile. When the newer beta blocker is approved you can ask your MD for a new prescription. I was on Toprol for quite awhile (25mg) as many others I know with very few side effects.

Many CCB's have been shown to increase death by all causes (mainly heart attacks) Almost all CCB's cause fluid retention (leg swelling), flushing and heart irregularities.

Beta Blockers and ACE's are known to prevent heart attacks and strokes in
research studies. The most proven beta blockers to prevent heart attacks and heart failure are METOPROLOL (TOPROL) and CARVEDILOL (COREG).

Remember, all meds have some side effects. but increased death rate is one I'd like to avoid.

P.S I hope this info helps

cartner 12-09-2006 08:21 AM

Re: Question re: CCBs & beta blockers

This is the first time I hear that there are generations of Beta-Blockers :|, where can I find more info about that?

lane413 12-14-2006 05:21 PM

Re: Question re: CCBs & beta blockers
I have never heard that ccb's can cause heart attacks. My mom has been taking verapmil 240mg since 1999, she did have some problems but they went away. The only thing I've read negative about ccb's (verapamil) is the breas cancer/breast enlargement.

Where did you read or hear about the heart attach thing?

pal7778 12-16-2006 06:09 AM

Re: Question re: CCBs & beta blockers
What's particularly scary about beta blockers is the rebound effect if you stop taking them. And generally the "unnaturally" low heart rates they produce also should cause more concern than they do. I really do think the dliltiazem-type CCBs are better; I take it with no side effects at all that I can tell, except an increased sensitivity to alcohol. If you concerned about the heart attack thing, take the CCB with an ARB or ACEI, preferably the weak and expensive ARB--just because it's more benign and the CCB will do most of the heavy lifting in terms of getting your bp down. The new generation beta blockers may be a different story.

Lenin 12-16-2006 06:48 AM

Re: Question re: CCBs & beta blockers
[QUOTE]I have never heard that ccb's can cause heart attacks.[/QUOTE]

The evidence is there. It's a result of a couple studies in the mid '90's. A couple studies had to be actua;;py STOPPED becasue of the high incidence of heart attacks.

[QUOTE]This is not the first time that concerns have been raised over the safety of calcium channel blockers. In 1995 a study found that short acting calcium channel blockers such as nifedipine were associated with an increased risk of heart attack (JAMA 1995;274:620-5). This effect was thought to be limited to the short acting dihydropyridine subtypes, and the new study is the first to suggest that long acting calcium channel blockers may share this cardiovascular risk. Calcium channel blockers have also been recently associated with increased risks of suicide and depression, gastrointestinal haemorrhage, and even cancer. The MIDAS study (JAMA 1995;274:620-5) also found more adverse cardiovascular events such as angina and stroke in patients given calcium channel blockers compared with those taking diuretics. [/QUOTE]

These drugs are NOT innocuous.

[QUOTE]Data suggesting that certain patients with high blood
pressure who were given immediate-release formulations of certain
calcium channel blockers (nifedipine, diltiazem and verapamil) were more likely to suffer heart attacks than patients who received
other medications, such as diuretics or beta-blockers.[/QUOTE]

cartner 12-16-2006 07:02 AM

Re: Question re: CCBs & beta blockers

it says

Data suggesting that certain patients with high blood
pressure who were given "immediate-release formulations" of certain
calcium channel blockers (nifedipine, diltiazem and verapamil) were more likely to suffer heart attacks than patients who received
other medications.

So they are not talking about the SR ones?
Thanks for help,

Lenin 12-17-2006 06:51 AM

Re: Question re: CCBs & beta blockers

THe data seems to support the longer acting versions to be less harmful than the fast acting ones but nobody is giving the long acting ones a clean bill of health.
Nifedipine seems to be the largest offender with stroke and heart attack rates almost 30% higher than placebo...IMAGINE!
With ANY CCB, be wary.

Problem is the studies. We take hypertension and anti angina medicine to prevent DEATH and DISABILITY. But the only TEST of these drugs is whether they lower systolic blood pressure or casue less chest pain...long term effects are ignored and FINDING them is actively discouraged.

This HAS to change.

A good way to deal with the problem is NEVER to take a drug that isn't 10, or better yet 20 years old...and even then, read everything you can about it.

I guess the CCB drug being pushed the hardest these days is Norvasc (amlodipine.) I wonder what it's long term expectations are?:confused:

cartner 12-17-2006 09:04 AM

Re: Question re: CCBs & beta blockers
Thanks Lenin :), I guess that Diltiazem is more than 20 years old right?
I really have no other option, this is the only drug that works for me.

lane413 12-24-2006 05:06 PM

Re: Question re: CCBs & beta blockers
Lenin, thank you sooooo much. My mom has been complaining about verapamil sr (generic) and her doctor refuse to change the drug. She was more concern about the breast cancer connection, we didn't even know about the heart attack part.

The sad part about it is that the verapamil and clonidine do not lower her bp very much. She can't take avapro or lisinopril so what else is there. I guess we're keep trying. Thank you.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 08:22 PM.