Heart Disease Expert Forum
Atenolol and exercise performance
About This Forum:

This forum is for questions and support regarding heart issues such as: Angina, Angioplasty, Arrhythmia, Bypass Surgery, Cardiomyopathy, Coronary Artery Disease, Defibrillator, Heart Attack, Heart Disease, High Blood Pressure, Mitral Valve Prolapse, Pacemaker, PAD, Stenosis, Stress Tests.

Font Size:
A
A
A
Background:
Blank
Blank
Blank
This expert forum is not accepting new questions. Please post your question in one of our medical support communities.
Blank Blank

Atenolol and exercise performance

I am a 39 year old male.  I am preparing to run my first marathon in 2001.  I currently run 20
Related Discussions
238668_tn?1232735930
In general there is no need to modify activities on beta-blockers.  A highly trained athlete would probably notice the effects of the beta-blocker but it may not cause you any problems.  If you notice effects you could discuss with your doctor changing to a alpha-blocking drug.
6 Comments
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
If I were you, I would not use a beta-blocker to treat BP.  They will pull down your heart rate and make it harder to exercise.  Also, in my case, Atenolol desensitized my autonomic system and caused Vasal-Vagal Syncope episodes, which are really a *****.

Choose an Ace Inhibitor like Altace instead.  Doctors just precribe this stuff because it's cheap and it works.  It's also a good drug after a heart attack.  It's mainly for people with rythm problems that are relatively sendentary.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Are you sure about the atenolol causing your vasal-vagal syncope? I was put on atenolol to control mine.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I have been on Atenolol for a few years. I run 10ks. I have had 2 MI's, 4 and 9 years ago. I am male 46.

The pharmacists have told me that I should not be able to run on the beta blocker. The family doctor said I should and the cardiologists ducked the question.

The first problem is that is the demand by the body for a higher heart rate such as when you start up that last hill is driven down by the beta blocker. The result is fatigue. You can always walk when the thighs start to hurt.

The second problem is resting heart rate. Because we are fit, our    natural rate is maybe as low as 45. I understand that the beta blocker lowers both active and resting rates therefore the 45 is taken even lower. This has made me dizzy and almost pass out when the low rate is combined with a normal variation of blood pressure. Watch out for mid-day.

Thirdly I believe that you cannot improve your performance as quickly as when you didnt take the drug. I think this is because improvement requires stressing, muscle damage and then recovery to a stronger position. This is harder to do when you can not get your heart rate up. So the improvement curve is flatter. (which it is as you get older anyway)

Given the half life of the drug, it max's in the blood 3 to 6 hours after taking. I usually time my runs to be 12 to 15 hours after and that helps.

My brother in law, doctor and 65yr marathoner makes sure he takes a regular aspirin before any race or very long training session. I dont bother as I am on daily dose anyway.

I have also started on an ACE a year ago. I have found no effects on running nor have I read of any.

Finally 25mg is a small dose and maybe you will have no effects at all.

Keep up the running, surely the miles will reduce the hypertension more than any drug.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I have the same kind of problem on atenolol.  I take 25mg a day in the morning around 7:45am and around 11-11:30 feel a bit wobbly. My workouts are much slower than when I was on Verapamil but then my resting heart rate is about thiry beats less now and my by has dropped from and average of 145/95 to 116/67 right now (5PM) which is typical.  I run at noon and boy oh boy is it harder since I started on the atenolol.  My mile time averaged 9min for 3-5 mile runs and just now one month into it is breaking 10min miles.  Its really slowed me down but doesn't stop me.  Uh I take it also for arrythmia but that still occurs.  I sleep a bit better though.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I take Atenolol for skipped breats and fast heart beats also.  I find that taking it before bed makes it easier to function during the day.  I only take 1/2 of 25mg before bed each night.  It does help with the skips but I still get plenty of them.  Sometimes, when I wake up, for some reason my heart is beating fast (around 120 when standing) and I take another 1/2 in the morning also.  This works well for me.  You might want to try it.

Blank
Avatar_n_tn
A related discussion, SLOW HEART RATE was started.
Blank
Continue discussion Blank
Blank
Request an Appointment
MedHelp Health Answers
Blank
Weight Tracker
Weight Tracker
Start Tracking Now
RSS Expert Activity
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
The 3 Essentials to Ending Emotiona...
Sep 18 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Control Emotional Eating with this ...
Sep 04 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Emotional Eating Control: How to St...
Aug 28 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank