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Boy252 10-02-2012 01:52 AM

Here is my story. I hope someone can shed some light on my problem to help with my concern. About a month and a half ago i went to my doctor to get a routine check. I generally had a stressful week and my read BP 150/90. I am overweight but live a generally healthy life. I walk 3 to 4 times a week. Eat and drink in moderation take fish oil and cook completely in Extra virgin Oil for the last 15 years. Red meat is consumed in moderation. The only bad habit i had was smoking but have quit over a month ago.
Any way the doc put me on Atenolol 50 mg a day. Within a day or so i started feeling every single side effect you can think of. Anxiety,pain in the neck, lethargic etc etc. I went to another GP and she advised me to stop the atenolol as i simply did not need them. Did a full blood test. Cholesterol 4.7 and all other numbers perfectly normal. I have tapered it off and today is my last day. The problem is i now have a high heart rate in the vicinity of a 100 to 110. Systolic BP is up and down between 130 and 150 and i feel anxiety attacks on and off. Is this part of the withdrawal and when am i likely to start feeling normal again. I will appreciate any replies greatly. I need to feel better knowing that this is temporary.

JeffUK 10-03-2012 03:16 AM

Re: Atenol

I'm not a doctor - but I am someone with long-term personal experience of Atenolol. I'm now 8 months approximately after a lengthy weaning off period (having taken it for 17 years!) and I am still sufffering and many or most people do when they withdraw from this drug.

Basically ..... unless there is something else not in your post .... your doctor should never have put you on 50mg - or any Atenolol. It is frankly outrageous that he put you straight onto meds after one slightly raised BP reading after a stressful week. It is made more so because he put you onto a beta blocker as a first med. I'm not a doctor or medically qualified - but he shouldn't have done either. He should firstly have taken some subsequent readings at follow-on consultations and encouraged you to lose a bit of weight etc. He should also have listened when you told him you were having a stressful week.

It isn't clear how long you had been taking Atenolol before the second doctor told you to stop. If you had been taking them for longer than say a week or so then she/he should have weaned you off more gradually.

Feeling lethargic on beta blockers is a regular side effect as are many others. I was like that for 17 years. Your BP spiking and feelings of anxiety are perfectly normal withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking Atenolol. If you have stopped taking them now for more than a few days I guess the best thing to do is to hang on in there - the anxiety and BP and pulse rate issues will all subside over time and don't worry if you have a few good days when you think you are fine and then a bad day which knocks you back - this is what happens - it's normal.

So in summary ..... what you are going through is perfectly normal so don't worry - it should all go away. Your pulse isn't excessively high - one problem for ex-beta blocker takers is that they often have to get use to normal higher heart rates - and yours should go down once the anxiety wears off. I would however consider changing your original GP who clearly shouldn't be (a) prescribing BP meds so quickly and in any event (b) not be prescribing Atenolol as the first med and (c) should have monitored your BP for a while without diving in to meds in any event.

There is another issue which I find perplexing. Your doctor knows that Atenolol reduces your heart rate. This in turn reduces your metabolic rate, which in turn reduces your calorific burn rate. So Atenolol is going to help you put on wheight or at least not help you maintain or reduce wheight. At the same time the most common side effect is to make people lethargic. So they exercise less. And you are a little overwheight. How is helping you to put on wheight going to help your BP?

If you want more info may I suggest that rather than repeat what other threads about Atenolol have said that you search on this forum under beta blocker and specifically Atenolol.

In the longer term .... try and lose a bit of weight and take a minimum of a 45 minute brisk walk every day for at least 5 days each week if you can .... and perhaps buy yourself a decent memory BP monitor.

Don't measure obsessively but get to know your BP when fully rested ie after relaxing for an hour or so and when you aren't anxious and haven't eaten for an hour or two. Only if it is consistently over 140/90 and after you've done all you can to reduce your BP naturally should you start consulting doctors ... as medication for BP tends to be from that point of consulting a doctor onwards - for the rest of your life more often than not - which you should avoid at all reasonable costs.

Don't worry ..................:)

Boy252 10-05-2012 12:45 AM

Re: Atenol
Hi JeffUk.

I took the Tablet for over a month. I don't have any other issues except a mild case of lack of iron which comes form a lack of Red meat. Any way i have changed my GP. My Heart rate i notice goes up and stays up in the morning for at least 3 hrs or so. It then drops to under 80 for a while. It goes up very quickly after a meal and late afternoons. I am no longer experiencing the sudden rushes of anxiety but still have the high Heart rate. Any thoughts.

Boy252 10-05-2012 12:46 AM

Re: Atenol
Hi JeffUk.

I took the Tablet for over a month. I don't have any other issues except a mild case of lack of iron which comes form a lack of Red meat. Any way i have changed my GP. My Heart rate i notice goes up and stays up in the morning for at least 3 hrs or so. It then drops to under 80 for a while. It goes up very quickly after a meal and late afternoons. I am no longer experiencing the sudden rushes of anxiety but still have the high Heart rate. Any thoughts.

JeffUK 10-05-2012 01:22 AM

Re: Atenol
Well .....!

I think that my last morsel of atenolol must be 8 or so months ago and my heart races to 100+ when I'm rushing around and after eating. As long as some time after you sit down and a couple of hours after eating it settles down then join the club - you are normal!

Part of the problem is that your mind has to get use to have a variable heart rate like everyone else NOT on a beta blocker.

JeffUK 10-05-2012 06:07 AM

Re: Atenol
I think it is now considered [B]not[/B] to be a first medication for the reduction of f BP - it use to be - but is useful for patients with existing heart desease where [B]both [/B]BP and HR needs to be reduced and other regimes have failed.

Boy252 10-10-2012 10:25 PM

Re: Atenol
Hi Jeff UK and others. It has now been 3 full days since i stopped Atenolol. I stopped once but freaked out and went on a reduced dose for a few more days. Just went and had my BP checked and the reading was 130/90 that was after a long walk to the Dr.'s Clinic. It seems like my BP has stabilized but my heart is still thumping away going up to 110 or 130 beats per minute. Any idea how long this will continue. I am freaking out that this could result in damage to my heart.

miss345 10-11-2012 12:26 AM

Re: Atenol
I have taken Altenol since I was 29 years old...High BP runs in my family...Your BP is too high...It should be in the not over 140/and under 90 range...Get yourself a monitor...Get some weight off...Watch your salt and sugar and carbs...If you need medication then take it...

Your stress, IMO, comes from what you are doing to yourself...First, you have one doctor tell you one thing and then someone else another...This only can put you in a panic...Sure your heart rate will race, but this again is panic...Learn to relax...Stop looking for problems when you take a medication...You will know when they bother you...I am allergic to Amoxicllan and I know it...This makes me sick...Shortness of breathe and break out in a rash....

Question: How old are you...????

JeffUK 10-12-2012 12:50 PM

Re: Atenol

I mean no disrespect to others .... but at this moment you really should let things settle down before you are paniced into concerning yourself about 130/90 after a brisk walk to your doctors.

Medication does leave the bloodstream quite quickly but that is just a small part of the story and spooking you with such over simplifications is at best counter productive.

My Atenolol left my blood stream many months ago but It takes the body a lot longer to re-learn it's duties with respect to heart rate control and it's responsibilities with respect to adrenaline.

I'd try and relax for a couple of weeks and see whether the pulse has settled. Having a high heart rate after stoping a beta blocker is a normal response and having doses of adrenaline from the stress and worry causes a double whammy.

In the longer term I suspect that you could benefit from weight loss and exercise etc before you consider a mediation regime.

Boy252 10-12-2012 02:09 PM

Re: Atenol

You have been very helpful. I am waiting to get my pulse down to normal levels before starting a weight loss program. My BP has stabilized at between 130-120/80-85. And am not on any medication. I know these numbers are not ideal and i am fully committed to work on this naturally and do whatever is necessary to maintain it below 120/80. It has been the heart rate that's been bothersome and as you, my doctor,and my pharmacists have all said it will stabilize in a week or 2. Thank you for your support and calming words.

JeffUK 10-12-2012 03:56 PM

Re: Atenol
Your BP is fine - I'm very envious.

Good luck.

Boy252 10-22-2012 02:54 PM

Re: Atenol
Hi JeffUK and all those who are reading this. I am now fully 2 weeks past the last tablet of Atenol i took. My heart rate has stabilized although i still get an occasional bump upwards after a decent meal and my BP at the doctors office last Thursday was 120/80. I seem to have higher readings at home but generally averages about 130-140/80. I added a 40min walk to my routine every day and reduced my salt intake. I feel much better and know that in another week or so i will feel even better. All; this after i felt that the world would end when i stopped the damned drug. So anyone who is going through cold turkey with Atenol and is reading this please know that it will get better. I have also lost my fear of high BP. I learnt as much about it as i could and am now committed to changing my lifestyle and reducing the risk factors that i have. The problem with us modern humans is that we expect a small pill to cure us from a life of abuse to our bodies. It simply does not work that way. Nature has provided us with all the remedies that we need. We just need to learn how to live a bit like they did in the old days. Good clean unprocessed foods with a lot of activity in our lives and most things will take care of themselves.

JeffUK 10-23-2012 12:43 AM

Re: Atenol
It's lovely to read your feedback and for taking the trouble which will help reassure people going through what you have gone through.,

I'm very envious of your BP readings - particularly as you get such a good reading at your doctors - something I have never been able to achieve.

I very much agree about taking things into your own hands. It's really important to understand as much as possible. For example the origins of "140/90" and where most of the research comes from, who pays for it and how selectively that research is presented. You need to make decisions for yourself based on the best information you have rather than simply do unquestioningly what a doctor during a short consultation tells you.

When you think of how you felt a short while ago compared to now it is really great to hear.

Good luck.

Boy252 10-28-2012 05:57 PM

Re: Atenol
Hi Jeffuk and everyone on this site. I have now been almost 3 weeks off Atenol and generally feeling good. BP and Heart rate is stable and i feel a hell of a lot better. I got some palpitations today and have had a strange mild electric shock like feeling around the chest over the heart area very briefly once or twice since yesterday which has got me a bit concerned. I know my lipid numbers are very good. If i had a few bad days food wise before now i eat very healthy exercise and generally try and eat very good and healthy all the time. I am wondering could the palpitations and the strange feeling i described be linked to the withdrawal of Atenol as the heart tries to find its normal rythem and speed etc or could be something more which i should investigate with a cardiologist. Appreciate your feedback when possible.

MX6guy 12-07-2012 06:12 PM

Re: Atenol
If I had BP 130/90 i would be happy, mine is usually 155/100 when i first walk in then settles to 140/92 after 5 min. Sometimes, its as high as 180/105 after a salty meal and a hard day !

I take 25mg of Atenolol because i have a lot of (PVC's) skipped beats (some days 1 out of every 10) Atenolol isn't a cure but softens then beat so they don't hurt as much. (they hurt in the neck because blood of forced backwards up the vein)

Do you have a fluttering feeling across your chest ?

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