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Tachycardia and beta blocker
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Tachycardia and beta blocker

I am 42 years old and have had skipping beats since i was 19.  I am use to them they do not bother me.  This past jan. I woke with a heart rate so fast and hard it scared me.  I had it every month after that during my period. Holter said 160 bpm..sinus tachycardia.  Normal echo and ekg was performed...cardiologist suggested beta blocker.  I was fearful of them.  He then suggested taking them just during my period - five days then off till the next period.  I did this and wow what a relief it has been.  Worked not only on fast rate but skipping as well.  
Question:
1.  The fast rate started out of no where...why?  Hormones?  Any thoughts?  How dangerous is this rate?
2. Is it SAFE to stop and Start the 25 mg. Atenenol?  I am starting while i start my period and then start again next month.
So basically 5 days on and 21 off. Should I taper off by taking a 1/2 pill at the end?
3. Can you take Ibuprofen while on Atenenol??  Package says to ask dr.
4.  This fast rate arrythmia happens while im in bed - I roll over and it triggers something and then it takes off..any idea why that happens that way? No dizziness no real symptoms except heart rate.
5. If i decide to eventually go on beta blocker daily do you eventually build up resistence?  Im nervous to be on meds everyday at this age. Do they make u gain weight?

Thank you so much for you help.  
Judianne
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Hello,

1. The fast rate started out of no where...why? Hormones? Any thoughts? How dangerous is this rate?

If it is sinus tachycardia there is no danger.  Hormones are a common reason for PVCs and tachycardia.  Has this been recorded on a monitor to show a narrow complex tachycardia?

2. Is it SAFE to stop and Start the 25 mg. Atenenol? I am starting while i start my period and then start again next month.
So basically 5 days on and 21 off. Should I taper off by taking a 1/2 pill at the end?

No need to taper.  It is perfectly safe.

3. Can you take Ibuprofen while on Atenenol?? Package says to ask dr.

If you have normal kidney function, this should not be a problem.

4. This fast rate arrythmia happens while im in bed - I roll over and it triggers something and then it takes off..any idea why that happens that way? No dizziness no real symptoms except heart rate.

Hormones are known to cause "triggered activity" in the heart and are responsible for many arrythmias.  It is important to classify which one you are dealing with -- that is why it is important to catch it on monitor.

5. If i decide to eventually go on beta blocker daily do you eventually build up resistence? Im nervous to be on meds everyday at this age. Do they make u gain weight?

Beta blockers make some people feel sluggish, especially if they work out a lot.  Weight gain is not common but can happen.  It does not sound like you need to be one them continuously, but if your choose to, I would not worry about resistance.

I hope this helps.  Good luck and thanks for posting.
14 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
Hello, I can sympathize with you, I have had pac's pvc's for 6 years now (I'm 35), and this last few months started experiencing fast pounding heart rate and skipping.  They recorded it on the holter as SVT, at rate 154.  I still would like a specialist to re-examine it and make sure it really was svt and not just sinus tach.  Either way, I need to keep my heart rate down.  I just started Inderal LA today, I was kind of hoping for Atenolol, because I've heard such good stuff about it, but we'll see how this goes.  Good luck to you, at least you only get it one week out of month.  Michelle
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Avatar_n_tn
I remember a thread several months ago where someone posted about hormones and PVC's in women. I really wondered if there was a connection. I notice more anxiety and because of that more PVC's before my menses and sometimes I get more PVC's or sensations of them and when my menses come I give a sigh of relief becuase the PVC's will go away. Well, mine do not go away completely but I don't feel it as much.I would sometimes take Toprol to make my PVC's less hard so to speak. I am glad for your post because it gave me piece of mind and assurance of a hormonal connection with menses and PVC's. This is making me scared of menapause because I am afraid heart problems will start or PVC's will become worse when I do start menopause but anyways hope you feel better and have gotten piece of mind from this great website. Be well.
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Avatar_n_tn
I guess I should have also said that I do too have very bad pvc's or pac's right before my period, about a week before and once I start, they settle down as well.  Take Care, Michelle
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Avatar_n_tn
I've had tachycardia for 10+ years beginning in my early 20's.  My avg heart rate is 120 at rest - all the way up to 150.  I've been on several beta blockers - Inderal, Corgard, Zebeta (only reason I change is because they keep discontinuing the generics!).  I've not noticed any major side effects from them.  No weight gain, no increased tolerance.  I was on the same dosage for 10 yrs and am just now having to see a cardiologist again for an adjustment - but I think that's only because I began a cardio exercise routine!  I have always been on a low dosage - so I don't know if that matters.  I wouldn't be afraid of a beta blocker - just monitor your heart rate and blood pressures (beta blockers can also decrease bp) to begin with and as long as everything is within normal ranges you should be ok.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hey there, just saw you mentioned your taking BB for your tachycardia, is it sinus or svt?  I have SVT, and just started Inderal today.  My pulse was the same as yours was 100-150.  Hate it bad when it gets over 140, because the beats are too fast and skips a lot.  Anyways, my question to you, or anyone who can answer, does it take awhile for Inderal to work, like overall?  I started it today, the Inderal LA 60mg, it worked good for 4 hours, and now my heart rate is going back up into 110 upon standing and walking around.  But if I'm sitting it is in the 60's.  Is this normal at first?  I thought the pharmacist said it takes a few days to get the heart responding to the med all the way, but wondered if you noticed that it took a few days too.  My Dr. is already having me start .20mg 3 times a day tomorrow instead of the LA, mostly due to the cost reduction.  I would dearly love some input.  Thank you, Michelle
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Avatar_n_tn
I think when I first started the BB, it did take 2-3 days to regulate.  I remember having to keep a log and also feeling a bit strange initially.  But I don't recall such extreme numbers as yours - but this was 10 yrs ago!  I have sinus tach, so these are two different things.  I'd definitely give it some time - everyone's bodies responds differently to medications.  I work in the medical field and see that everyday with my patients.  Good luck to you!
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi,

I've been on Atenolol for about 18 months now for some kind of tachycardia (mine used to go up to 180 before medicine).  When I first started taking it, my heart skips really picked up.  I had a lot of them for almost 2 weeks and then they really settled down.  I still get them occassionally, mostly before my period and then when my period starts they tend to go away.  I'm only on 12.5 mg two times a day because when I was on 25mg 2 times a day, I was exhausted and had a horrible time exercising.  My point is that everybody reacts differently to beta blockers.  The good news is that they've been around on the market for a long time so the side effects and everything is well known.  Good luck to you!

momto3girls
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi there! Wow, our situation sounds almost exactly the same! I'm 35, suffering from PVCs and sinus tachy since I was 29 or so. Mine aren't specifically linked to my period and don't happen in my sleep, but the symptoms are the same, and also the wonderful effect the beta blocker has on both my heart rate and the frequency of my PVCs. And I too was very worried about developing resistance to the BB - since a bad tachy episode I'm on Inderal daily and I feel very well.
Check my question on the forum from a few days ago, exactly on developing resistance to beta blockers taken for sinus tachycardia and PVCs. I was glad to read once again the doctor thinks we shouldn't really worry about that, and also to read that others on this forum have been taking it for years and still get benefit.
I too was reluctant to take the BB daily, but now I feel very happy about it. On some days, when my heart is particularly slow, I don't take it just to test myself...sometimes I do OK, but it's the meals that really bring it up for me more than anything else.

I'm relieved to see there are many others like me with both sinus tachy and PVCs, as it seems that for many, PVCs occur mostly when their heart rate is slow. I get both together most of the time, as mine seem to be related to oversensitivity to catecolamines which triggers both.

Hope you continue to feel OK!

Take care

Fran
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi there, I'm 35 also, and started getting this when I was 29 also!  But, I was told I have pac's pvc's and svt.  One Dr. said it might not be svt but really st, I haven't gone any further to try to rule them out yet, I need to someday for my peace of mind, but just started Inderal yesterday.  It is already helping, we just need to get the correct dosage down tho.  Can you please tell me if you were dizzy for the first week or so from the Inderal?  How high was your hr getting to before the beta blocker?  My mom is a RN, and my friend is a heart nurse, so they are very into me going and getting an ep study done to figure out if its svt or st and getting ablated. I am not ready for that, they say it's no big deal, but is to me, especially if a beta blocker works. Thank you, Michelle
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi everyone,

Thanks for any comments directed my way.  I feel good hearing the response from the dr.  I feel more comfortable stopping and starting the atenenol every month.  I have to tell you beta blockers are little miracle workers for me.  I almost hate to go off of them after my period is over.  It is comforting to know that if i ever need them daily i know they will work for me.

I have had my arrythmia recorded by holter monitor...once a 24 hr monitor caught it and a 4 week monitor caught it twice.  Since i have been on the atenenol the racing has stopped.  Hopefully your beta blocker will work for you too...(both of the ladies who started theirs this week).  Thanks again for the well wishes and commiserating.  It helps to know your not alone.

Best Regards,

Judianne
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi Michelle! Hey we have very similar histories! I think it's important that you find out if you have sinus tachy or another type of SVT, because treatments can be different, though as I understand it, none is dangerous.
I wasn't really dizzy the first week I took Inderal, but I felt very sluggish. Now I feel perfectly fine even on the rare occasions when I take a double dose, 40 mg, so I'm not sure anymore if I was really experiencing sluggishness or if that was just psychological, since I had been told this might happen. Anyway, just hang in there because you'll soon feel great and will forget you're taking a BB!
Without the BB, my HR after meals was definitely higher than 110, probably around 120, but sometimes it also got higher. I also got tons of PVCs.

Judianne, I too define Inderal as a miracle pill! I know I must be cautious - the good effects can change. Inderal has let me down once - when my tachy wouldn't go away even after taking 40 mg and I went to the ER. But in general it does work wonders. Let's enjoy it while it works! LOL

Take care everyone
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Hello, I know I need to see someone else and get another opinion on the strip.  I asked my Dr. and she said that it is very easy to tell the difference, and she said the Dr. who interpreted the strip knows what he is looking at.  But then I read that it isn't easy to tell the difference.  (I've been wanting to post to ask the Dr. how easy it is to tell the difference) I would like to know for my piece of mind, because SVT sounds like it can be more ominous than just sinus tach. I took my Inderal this morning, 20mg, and my heart rate was 120 when I first got up, so I don't know if it is working as wel as it should be.  I also can't tell which is making me dizzy, since I am taking Xanax as well, for the panic attacks.  I don't know if I'm panicking because of my fast pulse or the fast pulse making me panicky.  Either way, I feel out of control right now.  I'm scared and hoping that I get a beta blocker to help, without the lightheadedness and tiredness.  Because she said that if these don't work, she'll try a calcium channel blocker, and if that doesn't work, than I need to go see a specialist and possibly ep study.  YIKES!  How fast was your hr, and was all it all the time, or just once in awhile?  Mine is all the time, but when it gets to 145, or 150, it starts skippin really bad, and then my panic attack goes off, and I can't calm myself down to calm my heart rate down.  I'm glad your doing better.  Do you still take the Inderal daily, and how long have you been on it?  Take Care, Michelle
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Avatar_n_tn
Michelle, I know how it feels when things seem to get out of control. But try not to worry about what may happen if both the BB and the other options don't work. After all, you just started on the Inderal! You said your HR was 120 when you got up, and you said you took Inderal in the morning. It takes about half an hour for the BB to work, at least for me. How are you doing nowlater in the day?

My ht wasn't high all the time even without the BB. But one time, in 2003, I had tachycardia and tons of PVCs for 2 weeks straight. That was so scary...My cardiologist friend said no wonder I was feeling bad: it was as if I had been running for 2 weeks! I had to beg her to give me something to relieve my symptoms, because since holter had only showed benign arrhythmias she didn't feel it was necessary. I took a BB for the first time, not Inderal, and it immediately went away.
Since then I never had tachy constantly, because whenever I feel bad I take a BB. I've been on Inderal daily since Feb 2006, when I ended up to the ER one night with very fast HR and constant bigeminy.

I thought SVTs were the kinds that only lasted a few minutes, or a few hours, but not weeks. Probably I'm wrong, but maybe others on the forum can correct me and give you advice. I don't think either is dangerous, but it may be easier to ablate SVT than it is for sinus tachy.
If you want to chat about this, just email me at ***@****

Take care

Fran
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