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ms58 07-07-2008 02:01 PM

Another Atenolol Negative
I had been on Atenolol 25 mg for about 6 months when I started getting a headache on the left side of my head, ringing in the ears, dizzy and not very good BP control. I am also on Lisenopril/HCTZ 20/12.5. Generally feeling not so good all the time.

I figure its vertigo (cause sometimes I get it) and keep on trucking. Finally I get too annoyed and go to Dr. He says my symptoms are from BP being too high and he adds 25mg more Atenolol at night :confused:

After 5 weeks on this lovely addition of Atenolol I am getting nervous, anxious (and I am never that way, I am a happy person), and not sleeping well, and one thing I do normally, is sleep well. So I call the doc, nurse says I need a tranquilizer, I say, WHAT???, and I come here and read all about the side effects of Atenolol. And they sound like someone wrote my side effects down.

So, I am starting to reduce the beta blocker on my own because no one called me back today but I know that's what will be done. And we will then embark on another BP med adventure.

I am just POed that I tell the doc my symptoms, they mirror Atenolol side effects, and he increased the dose. So sad.

Just wanted to vent and let others know to watch your own self because most docs aren't overly interested in pill administration. I don't even know why docs do pills, seems appropriate for a smart nurse to take care of, but so it goes.

marantz1935 07-07-2008 02:22 PM

Re: Another Atenolol Negative
[QUOTE=ms58;3637358]and I come here and read all about the side effects of Atenolol.[/QUOTE]


I too had a nasty experience with Atenolol. My biggest complaint was depression while taking this drug. I mentioned this to the doctor and he suggested I start anti-depressants. I refused point-blank.

If you read my other posts you'll see what effect Atenolol had on me.

Good luck.

ms58 07-07-2008 02:34 PM

Re: Another Atenolol Negative
Yes I did read your other posts and they were very informative and I thank you for all your good info.

I was wondering if you or anyone knows if beta blockers and CCBs are vaso constrictors. The reason I ask is that years ago I had very similar symptoms, as my reaction to this beta blocker, to Nutra Sweet (Aspertame), a known vaso constrictor which exhibits similar negative effects to those who are allergic to it.

Just wondering as the side effects are similar and are all beta blockers and CCBs known to constrict vessels?

Thanks for any info.

Looly 07-07-2008 06:06 PM

Re: Another Atenolol Negative
Atenolol was a huge problem for me. Besides being extremely fully of anxiety I always felt flushed, confused, had twitches, felt sickly, etc. etc. etc. As soon as I went off of it, I felt so much better. Beta Blockers are notorious for side effects. I'm sure you have read on this board the problems that occur with taking them. Beta blockers cause the most side effects, from what I have read, and I did the correct thing for me getting off of them. There are other drugs, and yes, they have their side effects also, but I don't think they're as severe as atenolol. While on it my life was ruined.

marantz1935 07-07-2008 10:38 PM

Re: Another Atenolol Negative
I was wondering if you or anyone knows if beta blockers and CCBs are vaso constrictors. [/QUOTE]

Truthfully, I don't know. But I can say with certainty is that the Atenolol had a direct physical effect on my body's adrenaline and this is what caused the severe depression.

Marantz. :)

sally47 07-08-2008 12:57 AM

Re: Another Atenolol Negative
hiya ms58....just came on to say be careful when reducing ATENOLOL or any beta-blocker if you read other posts by myself you will see i went through terrible withdrawal symptoms because of them of my docs told me just to stop it then when the symptoms of withdrawal kicked in the other doc said it should have been done slowly reply is just a word of warning ..see beta-blockers actually block your adrenaline so if you just stop them you will end up with your heart racing like goodo/palpitations/ectopic...

hope you manage to wean yourself off them "SLOWLY "


ms58 07-08-2008 08:02 AM

Re: Another Atenolol Negative
Yes I know about the slow withdrawal and was told as I was on on 25mg morn and 25mg nite, just quit the nite one, which I have done, and get with my doc about proceeding forward. So I took the AM one and am feeling OK as I was on the PM for only 5 weeks. Hopefully we'll find something which works with fewer adverse effects as Marantz and I experienced (and many others).

I spoke with a relative this am and found out that beta blockers are vasos diolators, not constictors, so now I know that.

Will post back when something good is resolved.

flowergirl2day 07-08-2008 08:07 AM

Re: Another Atenolol Negative
Hi Ms58, :)

[QUOTE]I was wondering if you or anyone knows if beta blockers and CCBs are vaso constrictors[/QUOTE]

Beta blockers can also be vasoconstrictors (as well as vasodilators). Blockade of beta2 receptors is associated with a degree of vasoconstriction in many vascular beds. Peripheral vasoconstriction is a side effect of some of the beta blockers. (Some beta blockers are more likely to induce it than others.) For instance, Propranolol causes both bronchoconstriction and reflex peripheral vasoconstriction.

It is mostly the non-selective (beta2) beta blockers that appear to cause vasoconstriction. Peripheral vessels are those that do not supply the core of the body or the skeletal muscle, such as the skin. Peripheral vasoconstriction and vasodilation control the amount of blood reaching the skin. The blod flow to the skin in turn controls the temperature regulation. It is the vasoconstriction that results in cold hands and feet. If cold extremities become an issue, changing the medication from a non-selective beta2 to beta1 or beta1 with ISA is recommended. The Atenolol you take is a beta1 (cardioselective) beta blocker without intrinsic sympathomimetic effect.

Blood pressure control is dependent on cardiac output and the total peripheral resistance. This resistance is in turn dependent on the constriction of the arteries and the volume of blood. A feedback mechanism (a network of nerves and hormones) regulates the volume. Blood pressure depends on the strength of the "pump", diameter of the vessels and the force of the heart beat. It is the diameter of the blood vessels (smooth muscle) that is important from the blood pressure variation perspective - vasodilation or vasoconstriction.

[QUOTE]Just wondering as the side effects are similar and are all beta blockers and CCBs known to constrict vessels?[/QUOTE]

Calcium channel blockers block the voltage gated calcium channels in muscle cells of the heart and blood vessels. This results in a slower conduction of electrical activity within the heart. There is less muscle contraction. The cardiac contractility is decreased and the blood vessel walls relax. This allows the blood to flow more freely and reduces our blood pressure. The effect of CCBs is vasodilation, not vasoconstriction.


ms58 07-09-2008 10:27 AM

Re: Another Atenolol Negative
Well, went to the doc today. And as many others have stated, he was sure it was all in my imagination. Totally POed at this response. But did switch me to a CCB and I shall see how this does and report back in case anyone is wondering how my saga will play out.

I was disappointed in his dismissal of the known side effects of this beta blocker but was reminded of all the times my GYNO wanted me on HRT, and by refusing his insistance, probably saved myself future blood clots and cancer risks.

OK, enuf of my opinions. Will be back in a few weeks with info. And thanks all for your input, it's very helpful.

marantz1935 07-09-2008 10:54 AM

Re: Another Atenolol Negative

Delighted you are now switched to a different drug. When I asked my GP to switch mine, he didn't look happy at all. I was then put on Micardis which worked out much better. Since then I am med free. So far, so good with my BP values staying normal ( >140/90). I don't think some doctors like to be challenged.


ms58 07-09-2008 11:11 AM

Re: Another Atenolol Negative
You are so right about doc egos. I figure you are a confident person who feels comfortable confronting them, as am I. They prefer patients to defer to them all the time. Well, they can get over it :mad:

Glad you are drug free. My doc did suggest I lose some weight as I am about 30 pounds overweight, and that I have to agree with and shall try to get rid the pounds. He said it really does make a BIG difference in BP.

What did you do to be able to get rid of your meds?

marantz1935 07-09-2008 01:20 PM

Re: Another Atenolol Negative
What did you do to be able to get rid of your meds?[/QUOTE]

Well, I was actually overweight myself at the time (though I didn't look it). I was also eating a lot of sweet things and junk food (still battling with this one) , and I was under stress as well. I've since lost a good bit of weight and I maintain the lost weight by walking an hour a day (I could hardly walk while on Atenolol). I have started eating fish twice a week (salmon, which I love) and lots of salads. Another thing that I feel has helped a lot is an attitude of determination to get BP levels down. A kind of positive mental thing. I also try to meditate daily, but this can be hard to maintain. Having said all that, if my BP goes up, I will go back to my GP.

As regards my GP, I changed doctors after I got fed-up of his negative, condescending attitude. It was the new doctor that said I go off the drugs as long as I maintain BP below 140 over 90.

I found the help and support on this forum invaluable also.

Best of luck to you.


ms58 07-09-2008 01:33 PM

Re: Another Atenolol Negative
Thank you so much for all your support and input. I know what you mean about these forums being a lot of help with various issues.

My husband and I eat very healthful foods, lots of fish, no red meat, no fried foods, salads, etc., so I'm sure the devil is in the amounts I consume, even good foods in too large doses are fattening. And eating out on the weekends, but whatever, less will do going forward for me.

I used to walk a lot and will now start again. I might switch docs if this regime and new med doesn't work, but it probably will have some positive results. Time shall tell.

Thanks again :)

marantz1935 07-10-2008 12:30 AM

Re: Another Atenolol Negative

I used to walk a lot and will now start again. [/QUOTE]


By the sound of it, you are streets ahead of me with the diet. I'd say I could take a leaf from your book.

Yes, the walking is the business. Even if it doesn't affect blood pressure numbers at least the benefits can be had through stress reduction among lots of other things.

Marantz :)

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