Heart Disease Expert Forum
Palpitations and pounding heart on Atenolol
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

Palpitations and pounding heart on Atenolol

Hello,
I was diagnosed with Graves disease a few weeks ago and was put on 25 mg of Atenolol.  This worked well for palpitations and racing pulse for about 2 weeks, and then the symptoms returned, so my dr. increased my dosage to 50 mg daily (once in morning, once at bedtime).  My pulse rate has gone from 103-110 down to 73-80, so in that respect it is working. However, my heart is still pounding, and I am still having periodic chest pain, along with some palpitations.  I thought a beta-blocker would take care of this. I have also noticed some shortness of breath while on this medication.  Is this a side effect?  Would it be worth it to call my doctor and see if he would change the beta blocker? Would Lopressor or propanolol work better?  This pounding is driving me nuts.I am currently taking 20 mg of Tapazole daily for Graves.   I had a normal EKG in the clinic before my Graves diagnosis, but these cardiac symptoms are disrupting my daily life.  Thank you for your time and attention!
Related Discussions
239757_tn?1213813182
abcsoup,

It sound like you are still experiencing the symptoms of your Gravves disease. Truthfully, all the beta blockers will work about the same, and the true cure is to treat the Graves which is where the Tapazole comes in.  It can take awhile to bring things under control and if needed you could go up on the beta blocker dose, but time and better control of your thyroid consition should alleviate the symptoms.

good luck
16 Comments
Blank
84483_tn?1289941537

I feel my heart beating all the time, whether its 60 or 100 beats a minute, i have been sensitive to my heart beat all my life. I also take atenolol. My cardiac evaluations have been termed essentially normal and I have had just about every test besides a cardiac cath or an Ep study.My cardiologist tells me some peolpe are just much more aware of their heart beat than others, being 40 and having this all my life I have learned to live with it and ignore it most of the time, also i have never let it interfere with my life other than being a nuisance at times.Take care.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
I also have Graves disease and am on meds. to control hyperthyroid.  I started having fast heart beat several months ago and put on atenelol (beta blocker)  Endo. said as long as my thyroid was under control, my heart rate should be fine.  Well, my thyroid is fine but I was still having palps.  I had a stress echo. which wasn't totally great but considered normal except for the rapid pulse rate upon exercise.  I am still on very small amount of beta blocker but even when I think I'm having palps. I check my pulse and in actuality it is normal.  Normal being anywhere from around 60 to 100 resting. I assume you will be goin for regular checks of thyroid to be sure it is within normal range.  Once it is, you may not need beta blocker anymore.
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
I've felt every beat of my heart for at least 40 years, I have a very flat chest cavity. When I'm sitting quietly, my heartbeat actually makes my body rock! When I have PVC's and PAC's, it just about drives me nuts. I'm on 50 mg of metoprolol, which seems to help, but the one thing that I've found that keeps them away is to stay aerobically fit. If I put in 5 to 10 hours weekly on my road or mountain bike, at a good strong pace, then I rarely have PAC's/PVC's, my BP is under 100/70, my resting HR is about 50, and I sleep better.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
One more thing I wanted to ask, is how would you taper off of taking 50 mg of atenolol (25 mg at 8a.m. and 25 mg at 8p.m.)?  Thanks!
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Dear ABCSoup,

I am a 36 year only female who for about a month now have had PVC's/bigeminy. I to had every test know to man and they say everything was normal and have no specific reason to why I am having them. The came on suddenly and I have not been sick nor am I an poor eater or over weight. I started on Topral xl which did not help me at all. So I am now on propranolol and they have almost stoped.

My problem is that we they start up not only does my heart beat heavy and fast but I have also past out. I also have sharp pain in my chest at times starting from under the left armpit to the middle of my chest. I also get bad headaches and feel tired all the time now. I have started to feel very hot and my menstral cycle has decreased from 10 days to 5 or 6 days. They checked my thyroid's and they came back fine.

Question: Could this still be a sign of Graves Disease or does any one else have these systems.

Thanks
Paris102

Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Yes, I have very similar symptoms...thousands of PVC's daily for 5 mos. now, black outs/grey outs, hot flashes, chest tightness/pain, gi disturbances...
I have had bouts of month long PVC'c in the past in addition to these past 5 mos., all which seemed to come out of nowhere-  although clearly stressful times in my life and postpartem.  I feel like there is a major hormonal component and my cardiologist says that hormones are a trigger but not the cause.  As far as the passing out goes, I was told to lay down as soon as I was feeling lightheaded and let it pass.  I have been told the PVC's will disappear as quickly as they came, and just learn not to get frightened.  Easier said than done, but possible. good luck!
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Five weeks ago I started taking 12.5mg of Atenolol for skip beats (had a series of 3, 3 times over a few minute period while exercising). Have had skip beats over period of 15 years with varying frequency and they have increased over the last few years (46 year old female, I think it's related to hormones). Also, have had fast heart rate (diagnosed as inappropriate tachycardia - superventricular tachycardia) that would wake me out of my sleep one hour after falling asleep.

My question is has anyone taking atenolol had their sleep disrupted? The first 10 days I had very light sleep and then would be completely awake by 4-5am. Over the next 25 days, my sleep is more solid but I typically sleep for 5 or 5.5 hours and then wake up at 5am. I lay in bed for a few hours trying to go back to sleep and sometimes I can catch another hour or two.
There have been 8 nights over the last 35 nights that I've been able to sleep through the night.
Before taking the Atenolol I use to get 8.5 solid hours of sleep other than the periodic wake-ups with the tachycardia.
I've read that beta blockers deplete your melatonin...any truth to this?

Blank
Avatar_n_tn
My sleep WAS disrupted probably everynight from atenolol. I've pinpointed exactly why too. It's because the atenolol wears off before i wake up, eventually making a change in my heart rate and level of sleep..

If you're taking it once a day, I suggest taking it at night, right before you sleep. This way atenolol's effects wear off in the morning or afternoon, when you should be waking up normally.

I originally took atenolol once a day in the morning, but decided to move to half the dosage twice a day because of what you're experiencing. (once in the morning, once at night)

For ME, atenolol starts to wear off noticeably after 12 hours almost every time. If I happen to be sleeping after 12 hours, it will wake me. Its ironically convenient, because I don't have to set an alarm clock. If i want to wake up at 8 Am, I'll take the tenormin at 7:30-8:00 Pm.

Works very well unless I'm exhausted.

Hope this helped
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
My sleep WAS disrupted probably everynight from atenolol. I've pinpointed exactly why too. It's because the atenolol wears off before i wake up, eventually making a change in my heart rate and level of sleep..

If you're taking it once a day, I suggest taking it at night, right before you sleep. This way atenolol's effects wear off in the morning or afternoon, when you should be waking up normally.

I originally took atenolol once a day in the morning, but decided to move to half the dosage twice a day because of what you're experiencing. (once in the morning, once at night)

For ME, atenolol starts to wear off noticeably after 12 hours almost every time. If I happen to be sleeping after 12 hours, it will wake me. Its ironically convenient, because I don't have to set an alarm clock. If i want to wake up at 8 Am, I'll take the tenormin at 7:30-8:00 Pm.

Works very well unless I'm exhausted.

Hope this helped
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I am awakened several times a month with a fast heart rate. It gives me s sick impending death feeling.  I hate this occurence and am frightened by it. Thank God it wears off after several minutes.
Has anyone heard of this fast heart rate being linked to the early morning hormone levels or diabetes?
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
i have anxiety, and the words "impending death" smack of anxiety in my opinion...

Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I take 12.5mg of atenolol right before bed and typically fall asleep immediately and then about 5.5 hours later I am completely awake. Therefore, it's not the 12 hour lag when atenolol may have decreasing effectiveness. I am now moving toward week 7 on this medicine and have only had 8 nights of sleep that was a solid 7 hours (before taking this medicine my typical sleep time was 8.5 hours). I've asked the pharmacist about this and they said they had not heard of sleep disruption as a side effect. However, the internet information says atenolol depletes your melatonin.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
i just read something on the net "...carvedilol does not influence melatonin production."

fyi
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I am a 48 year old male and have been on inderal la 160 x 2 for 15 years for pvc and pac,  
I see an EP cradiologist at St Paul heart clinic.
most of these are single beats but I have had alot of fluttering
that lasts 10-30 seconds.
my cardiologist says my heart is basically normal and that
i shouldnt be to worried, this worked fairly good for about 12 years but then it seemed to lose its effectivness,
I quit smoking 5 yrs ago, I quit coffee 3 weeks ago and only drank it for a couple of years at 3 cups per day.
I do not usually drink alcohol, though I like to sometimes
have 5-6 beers and relax a few times a year.

it seems as though the inderal is rapidly losing its effect and for the past 3mos i egt more of these things than ever.
the beats I get feel like someone thumped my heart, they actually kind of hurt and then might flutter a beat or two
this used to happen before inderal therapy and now it has been happening
daily 20 + times and they scare me and get the adrenalin
They seem to come on when i am happy or talking and otherwise feeling excited about something, and also if im stressed or upset,  is their any other beta blockers i could ask for/

I tried sectal 200mg x 2 but it actually seemed that after taking each dose, the next 8 hrs were miserably full of the skipped and very hard beats so I went back on inderal

This seems to be getting worse, is this how these things progress, and has anyone tried melotonin or co enzyme Q-10?
any help is a godsend, these things have ruled over me since I was 17 and it just is more than I can take.

Doug  :)
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I have experienced the same situation as one of the above comments in reference to aerobic activity. I may go for several days on PVC/PAC mode, which come and go. Had a full 2 days of work ups in the hospital last May due to being in Bigeminy for 2-3 days straight with everything checking out normal (echo, stress echo, etc.), but I have noticed that when my anxiety level increases, this happens. If I then go out for a good run of 2-4 miles, it resets my ectopic pacemaker in the ventricle and I completely smooth out for weeks to months (I think that it really helps in my anxiety/stress diffusion). I do find that I have to keep up my exercise routine, and in my case that seems to help. But do note that I had a complete work-up with no abnormalities or signs of cardiomyopathy. Like everyone, there are days that you feel you could just leave your heart at home in the closet until you get back later to put it back on. Then there are those days where you wonder is it really anxiety/stress related or is it something different. You just get the reassurance from the electrophysiologic studies that the "ticker" is fine, and the problem may be simpler than you think to fix.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
A related discussion, palapitations was started.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
A related discussion, Atenolol 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
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
233488_tn?1310696703
Blank
New Cannabis Article from NORTH Mag...
Jul 20 by John C Hagan III, MD, FACS, FAAOBlank