Long time no post! I needed someone to help me out with this issue I am having. If you read the anxiety post I am sorry because I posted the same thing there.
I have been weaning off of my beta blockers for a LONG time now. My cardio's office has a new PA and she told me the amount I was taking was really nothing at all (12.5 mg every other day) and I could just stop if I wanted to. I was too nervous to do that so I am now on 6.25 every other day. I have been feeling panicky lately. The first week I started it I wasn't bothered, but lately I am having like small panic attacks. Today it seems really bad! I feel like I could just fall over any second. I keep telling myself that it is ALL IN MY HEAD, but I am just getting a little nervous. My heart palps haven't been that bad, but I can feel myself on the verge of a full blown attack and I haven't had one of those in over a year. Am I crazy?
I agree with the "new PA", 12.5 mg to 0.0 mg should not have any noticeable side effects.
But, people are different, my experience may not apply to many... I have gone from 200 mg a day down to 100 mg and then down to 50 mg in only a few days. I have also gone from 50 mg to 0 mg without any problems. I'm on 50 mg right now.
Try to put it out of your mind, that's what my experience suggests.
I have been on the beta blocker for almost 2 years now because of heart palps. And all the doctors tell me the cause of the palps are anxiety so......I just don't want to continue taking meds for the rest of my life if at all possible.
But now It seems that my blood pressure wants to rise on me. I have NEVER had pressure problems until all this anxiety started-go figure. But that is another post :-)
Well thanks Jerry. I really do think it is in my mind, but I have to come here from time to time to get reasurrence. I am to afriad (I depend on them in a way) to cut them out completely. But I know the amount I am taking AND it being every other day probabl isn't doing much at all. It's almost like a babysitter.
My doctor also told me I was on a dose similiar to a homopathic dose it is so low. I don't know what beta blocker you are on, but I take 6.5mg of atenelol every evening. He told me that wouldn't hurt me at all if I wanted to take it the rest of my life. He also told me if I wanted to stop I could just stop. I'm sure all beta blockers are different but if you are taking atenelol you are not feeling withdrawl (withdrawal) from it. That dose is just too small.
Maybe as you already know from your comment above that you are feeling anxiety because that pill was kind of like a "security blanket" in keeping your ectopics at bay.
It is amazing how fast our anxiety hormones can resensitize our body isn't it! I think we are just some of the lucky people that have excessive amounts of adrenaline in our bodies and need something to help keep it quiet.
As with most (all?) medications "less is better", none is best. That's the way I look at it.
As far as beta blockers are concerned, yes they do have side effects ranging from decreased sexual capacity in males to dizziness/light-headed ... of course how much depends on the individual and the dose. I have few if any problems with 50 mg of Toprol SR (or Metoprolol ER), but 100 mg or more starts to give me problems.
I am on 6.25 of metoprolol-I know I didn't spell that right- every OTHER day. Yep, it is a security blanket. I especially feel like I need it when my hormones are acting up. Ugh, what's a girl to do. I hope to be off of them perhaps by the spring.
I am beginning an exercise routine also. So that has me a bit edgy. My thoughts are constantly "what if's." I am trying though. One foot in front of the other, day by day.
Give yourself permission to start nice and slow. Stretch, do a slow ramp up to your activity, and a nice, long cool-down period. Several years ago my wife bought me a Polar heart monitor - the kind that straps around your chest and transmits to a watch. I found that to be really useful and comforting when exercising - you can manage exactly how much effort you put out by watching your heart rate.
For me on the treadmill, once I'm at about 30 minutes of going the same speed and same HR, my heart rate will ever so slowly start to climb - I let it go up to a certain point, then start decreasing the speed just a tad to bring the HR back into the range I want. It really affords you lots of control over your heart rate which lends a lot to your peace of mind.
You can find them online and at probably any sporting goods store in your area.
Thanks so much for the encouragement. I am currently walking/using the eliptical and I really do enjoy it. My heart rate usually gets up to 133 or so and I am fine. What I am really shooting towards is starting to run again. I know that is going to take a while, but at least I am thinking about it. There was a time when I wouldn't even walk around my house fast because I was so fearful. Boy what these palps can do to a persons mind!
Or in my case Metopolol.
I am weaning myself off this beta blocker very carefully. I believe it has caused me to have fuzzy thoughts, some dizziness, and in general a less than optimal life.
I had the flu about 3 weeks ago and didn't take it for 2 days. During the second day I felt better than I had in years. I had mentioned to my counselor that I seemed to have a low grade depression all the time now when I used to only have seasonal affective disorder which I successfully treated with Vitamin D3 (from Wellness Pharmacy in Alabama).
I was on 25 mg a day but have cut the pill one time so that I'm now taking 3/4 of the 25 mg pill so 18.75 mg a day.The first week or so I tried to go from 25 to 12.5 too fast. I had headaches, racing heart and increased anxiety.I couldn't be around stree as it made my heart beat uncomfortably. When I went down slower, my heart adjusted. I've been doing this dose for 3 weeks, I'll give it one more week then will cut to 12.5, I plan to give that l month then go down to 6.25 for 1 month then off.
I believe the doctors put me on it because one doctor made a mistake in my hospital record saying I had a history of light blood pressure. I have a history of low blood pressure. My heart does have irregular beats when I'm stressed and I do have angina so according to my Nurse Practioner the doctors had good reasons for putting me on this meds. However in general I don't have a lot of anxiety and keep my stress pretty low. My angina is in control with fish oil and my blood pressure remains low. I believe in natural solutions to healh problems whenever possible and as few pharmacological meds as possible. I'd rather have fewer days but better days than more days in the fog I lived in.
My question is - what side effects of Toprol have you experienced and is anyone else going off that beta blocker
Hi! I had a post not to long ago on trying to wean off Atenolol, a beta blocker. I was on 3/4 of pill for PSVT. I am perimenopausal , am hypothyroid and think this all came on due to hormones changing... have always been extremely healthy all my life.
I really liked how you stayed on your reduced dose for a month, sounds like great advice to me. I asked my cardiologist last checkup if I could try and reduce dose or go off. I HATE the side effects which are dizziness, ( I have always had low BP prior to taking this and now its even lower), also fatigue, and heaviness in chest. Dr said to reduce doseage 1/4 pill a week... well no way- did not work for me. I had shakiness, anxiety, heart racing, ect... felt terrible. I am now down to last 1/4 pill and I think I will stay with that dose for some time. I feel SO much better on the lower dose, more human again!! This is a very hard med to get off ....so you are not alone.( my naturopath dr said it is like getting off cocaine- no experience in that area and never will )
Maybe to some this a small dose, but your body has become used to it so it needs time to adjust.
By the way I tried topral before taking atenolol. I absolutely hated it, headaches and depression... which I never have/had. Dr. switched me to atenolol saying it has lots less side effects which was true for me. Maybe if you feel you need a beta blocker try a newer one which he says has less side effects than the older generation.
I wish you best of luck. Let me know how you progress.
Recent studies suggest that for some people tapering off BBs can be much more difficult than doctors may be aware of. I am hoping an ablation I had earlier this year was successful and if it indeed was, I am planning to begin tapering off a daily dose of 25mg Toprol XL (extended release Metoprolol) in about January and have been looking into this at some depth since when I was instructed to stop my BBs cold turkey for my recent ablation, the first few days seemed fine, but within about 3 days I was having significant symptoms. I had an opportunity to speak at length to a pharmacist who specializes in cardio meds and she told me that there is pretty strong evidence that as the body "adjusts" to some BBs, it actually produces MORE beta receptor sites so that when you begin the taper, your body may be far more sensitive to the naturally produced beta chemicals your body makes.
The research I looked at and the information I have seen suggests the following may make tapering more difficult -- but certainly NOT impossible: 1.) The BB crosses the blood brain barrier (as in Propanolol) which means it's affecting not only the heart and other organs, but also the chemicals in the brain. These BBs are often helpful not only for heart and BP issues, but may occasionally be prescribed for anxiety, migraines and repetitive thoughts and may cause an increase in these even if you were taking them only for cardiac or BP symptoms. 2.) The patient has been on very high doses or on BBs for a long time as the body has learned to "operate" with this drug and must re-learn to work well and efficiently without it. 3.) Patients who take certain drugs that may act "synergistically" with BBs in some way -- these are suggested to be such meds as benzodiazepines and some other tranquilizers, some anti-depressants and some sleeping pills. It's not that these drugs act in exactly the same way, but that they enhance the action of each other. The medical community is somewhat split on the issue of what combining BBs with these other classes of drugs may mean to efficacy, dose and to withdrawal from either benzos, antidepressants or BBs as it seems in some cases taking one in place of the other may actually help the patient get off one or other of the drugs -- this is especially true of patients going through w/d of benzos who find BBs may lessen their symptoms. 4.) Quitting cold turkey or trying to go off too fast. Many docs recommend the half divided by half divided by half at weekly points method which seems to work for many, but for those having a harder time a reduction of 10% every week or two with holding points at "stabilizing doses" may be a more workable plan.
The point is, all these types of drugs can result difficult w/d. On the other hand, some people get right off the drugs and never have a problem with w/d at all, so as always, individual anatomy and physiology is the crucial factor here. My first thought is that you may not be "too sensitive" or "imagining" this, but to listen to your body and look for alternatives, like good diet, exercise, meditation and support groups to help you finally beat those BB blues. BBs can be lifesaving drugs for many, many people, but they can also have unpleasant side effects, develop tolerance levels and be difficult to taper off of. Good luck and let us know how it's going -- I fear/hope I may be in the same place as you in a few weeks!
Thanks for the great post and all the info. I read the same thing concerning the heart and beta blocker receptor sites which makes sense to me.
I have to say before I was on a beta blocker my FORMER dr put me on an antidepressant thinking it was all anxiety. I was on for 6 months til I found new PCP and did testing and found SVT. I slowly decreased my antidepressant dose til I was totally off and it was by far much easier than weaning off a beta blocker.
Good luck to all who try and get off... slow and sure wins the race!!
I've only read your response so far so I want to comment to you first. Thanks for the feedback. I'm brand new here and really feel the support and am glad what I'm sharing may help others.
Going off is such an individual choice. My doctors are watching me but didn't want me to go off but like you I am beginning to feel like myself again after all those years in a fog. If I hadn't missed my dose for 2 days when I had the flu I wouldn't have known what I was missing...I was missing me.!
I think you must take more than a week to go down 1/4 pill by 1/4 pill. My first week was not fun as I mentioned above. My Advice is never cut the time released pill twice. Only one cut and the integrity of the time release is in tact. I cut twice because I wasn't thinking straight. I cut the 25 mg in 1/2 then the 1/2 in 1/2 thinking to get 3/4 pill by taking 1/2 plus 1/4.No, no, no! I got hit hard with double time release for the first few days. It didn't take me long - 2 days - to call my pharmacist and validate my idea that I had goofed big time. Just a heads up.
I wrote down the side effects of Topril that affected me. These were subtle for me that's why I stayed on it do long...also I wasn't in the best shape to defend myself when I was put on it. I had just had my first angina attack and then had a botched arm angioplasty and a brachial artery surgery that has left me with permanent numbness in my left hand (nerve damage during surgery)and 80% blockage due to scar tissue in the main artery taking blood to my hand.Here are the symptoms of metoprolol that had hold of me.lightheaded, swelling of ankles and feet, depression, cold hands and feet, tired, anxiety and nervousness. fuzzy thinking, forgetfulness, fatigue, impaired thinking or reactions.
I am hypothyroid too and did you know Topril and it's generic messed with your thyroid. I have had awful adult acne and my hair has been falling out. I'm going to see if that stops. In spite of my obesity, I've been healthy all my life too. Here are other interactions, it interacts with diabetic meds, asthma, water pills, and more. Look this up for those of you who are thinking about weaning off. I asked my doctors questions they didn't answer. Get someone who will take the time to answer you.
You mentioned you had heaviness in chest. I hope that isn't angina. "Dr said to reduce dosage 1/4 pill a week... well no way- did not work for me. I had shakiness, anxiety, heart racing, ect... felt terrible." Know how you feel. I am glad 1/4 is working for you. I don't know what I'll do when I get there. I think I'll keep on going but who knows. "my naturopath dr said it is like getting off cocaine"- I do have experience with this and there is no comparison. Totally different drugs and experiences on and off.
"your body has become used to it so it needs time to adjust. " I really really believe that and I'm giving my body as much time as it needs although I'm shooting for 1/4 dose down each month. Faster than that would be way to fast for my body But I have to say this. Even with the small change I've made I'm happier, my feet and hands are warmer, I have fewer memory loss experiences, I'm sharper thinking.My feet and face aren't swelling as often, I've lost 9 lbs, which may have been water weight, I am definitely less depressed. I am anxious but I've always had low grade anxiety and my family is going through some really rough stuff right now.Forgetfulness is getting better. I used to call my sister to tell her something and had to call back because I totally forgot.
That's my good news. After 3 weeks my heart isn't racing. It stopped or slowed down the first week but I had to keep myself calm and out of stressful situations.
Now I've read your comment and just want to thank you so much for your research and helpful advice. A friend of mine and I are what I can "body sensitive" which means we re more aware of small changes in our bodies. I think that's why I'm going so slow. I don't want to feel all the extreme things that happen when you start to wean yourself. I want to be as high functioning as possible as I go through this and for me one week at a time is very unrealistic. The heart beating harder when I exercised even getting up from bed to go o the BR. The headaches which were located all over but especially behind my eyes. The wave of anxiety no a panic attack but just a mild and noticeable wave.
What has help so much is the positive changes. I thought my feet and legs were cold because of diabetes. My feet are not like icicles now and my lower legs which were cold aren't anymore. That's big. My feet are still cold but are 1/2 way warmer than before. Mostly I like having me back. I have more energy, don't need to sleep as long. I have had SAD in winter but never ongoing depression. I treat SAD with Vitamin D3 specifically from Wellness Pharmacy in Alabama - I tried other D3's that didn't have the effectiveness of this pharmaceutical grade D3. I treat angina successfully with omega 3 fish oil and vitamin E with mixed tocopherols. When I'm off this I'll only be on Armour Thyroid!!! Not bad for a 61 year old. I'll probably also be on a pill for my diabetes but I'm hoping weight loss will address that problem.
Let us know in January when you start and we'll be there for you. I'll let you know when I end which should be in late January or early February.
This is a very interesting question I've pondered myself. I finally just said I'm sick and tired of feeling "sick" not able to function, so I started researching about the effects of going off my meds and decided to try it to see how I felt.
When my dr doubled my bb and upped my med for NCS/OI - I gained weight, felt miserable and almost to the point of non functioning I couldn't stand it. I've only been on meds since August 09, so maybe it was a bit easier for me, but I feel about 75% better already. The first few days were rough to say the least, but I'm learning to cope with the way I feel at certain times and doing deconditioning for my NCS/OI problems.
I don't know if this would work for everyone, but for me it is working and I have my meds in the cabinet if I feel worse. I go back Dec 1st to my EP for another checkup and can't wait to see if he thinks I'm ok without meds.
I really think a lot of modern medicines are wonderful for people who really need them but in my case giving me Toprol for such light problems was over kill (excuse the expression).
New development. Last night when I went to take my 3/4 pill, I didn't have any cut that size so I took 1/2. Had very mild noticeable heart beats 1x and mild but noticeable anxiety raction but no headaches or other signs of weaning so I've decided to start the weaning at the 1/2 pill level now rather than wait a week or so. I looked back on my calendar and I officiall started the 3/4 on Nov 4 so 3 weeks ago. I plan on staying on 1/2 dose until New Years day but my change in 3 weeks.
Lisa let us know what your doc said. I'm so glad you're feeling better. I see my cardiologist Dec 23. I am taking fish oil, drinking tension tamer tea and trying to stay away from stress as much as possible. I'm taking this whole transition very carefully because I don't want to go back on Topril
Hi!! Good luck in your weaning process. For me the withdrawal effects got worse day 3-5 days after cutting back doseage. Then after 1 1/2 weeks got I felt better again. Hang tough.... it is so hard to do. I manage my symptoms with natural meds such as l-theanine and passion flower flower liquid extract.
And I too believe these are good meds and really help some people. The atenolol really helped me when I could not get my SVT under control with all other methods and meds, it was the thing that worked and gave me back my life/sanity. If I had to use it again I would if I felt is was absolutely necessary for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Do be careful in weaning til you consult your dr . I know you are eager to get off of it if possible- I have been there too. But it is always best to consult your dr so he is on board with your plan and you can work together. I wish you all the best!!
Please all keep us posted on your good news!! Can not wait to hear we start 2010 without or very small doses of betablockers and feel SO much better!!!!!!!!!!
because of being on betablockers for longtime you have probably become more sensitive to the effect of adrenalin on your heartrate,
thus little amounts of anxiety affect your heartrate more than normal people... which might cause you to become more anxious and eventually panic.
i am very sensitive to caffeine, betablockers and my own bodies adrenalin so little amounts of adrenalin make my heartrate skyrocket.
for this reason i must always remain reallllllyyyyyy caallmmm.
vippassana meditation helps me do this.
i recommend everyone with anxiety or depression to look into it
I am pretty sure my dr is going to not agree with me on meds; but I really question medication methods and have really never taken anything for very long.
It makes no sense to me that 1 med makes my BP/HR lower and I have to have another to raise them - all to feel miserable and not even be able to function. I made sure I went off them while my husband is on vacation in case anything happened or it made me feel bad.
Has anyone done alternative medication for heart or nervous system problems? I would love to hear if you have so I can talk to my dr Tuesday and see what he thinks.
I've been reading some interesting research on the effects of Acupuncture [sp] and other methods for helping ANS disorders.
This is actually for all responses. I am on my second day at 1/2 dose and the headaches behind my eyes have begun but they are way less painful than when I started going down from full dose of 25mg/d. The heart palpitations and the anxiety reaction are also much easier at this point so slow wean is the way for me to go.
I have been into natural medicine since the early 1970's and used to cure headaches with foot massage way before massage was as popular as it is today but I lost track of that way of treatment for many years and am just getting back to it. I want to be on as few pills as possible even if that means I live a shorter period of time when I'm say 80.
My nurse practitioner is just learning about natural medicine but she is watching me as I wean myself. My cardiologist wanted me to lose more weight first but he's watching me as I take Niacin for cholesterol and is even watching me re chelation if I go that way.
One thing at a time. I'll start Niacin next month. My sister's cholesterol really responded to it at the 1500 dose which she slowly worked up to . I'm taking 300 now which is a drop in the bucket but I will be going up to 500 soon. After Niacin I'll look into chelation next year.
Thanks for support. I'm writing here because I know how much it helped me when I first looked into weaning myself to read what other people had gone through.
Just another update. I think I am on day 3 at 1/2 dose of 12.5 mg. What I noticed is that I was under extreme stress yesterday...my nephew may be going to jail for violating a no contact order. I live a good a peaceful life but he doesn't and I have been in the past very codependent with him and with his mother but 3 years ago I started recovery and I'm working hard to not carry his choices and his consequences. Anyway the heart did beat hard a times but by repeating to my self How's my Life? and being able to answer pretty good, I kept heart and mind in perspective. Of course I prayed a lot too. But the physical inside was I have had very dry skin for several years. After washing with this special soap that drys it further - I put on a face cream to help with dryness. Yesterday before going to Thanksgiving with my family, I didn't have to put the cream on. My hands are less dry, I had pistachios before bed - a lot of them - and no dry mouth during the night. Shortly after I became diabetic or at least was diagnosed as such, I got dry mouth and so attributed it to diabetes. I very well could be because of Toprol. This is getting interesting. I hope this is helping someone besides me.
Well I was wrong about the dry skin. The dry forehead is back to day. I went through a very stressful Friday and Saturday and I could really tell the good effects of toprol were missing. My stress levels were way over the top and my heart was beating a lot, my anxiety was way up to the place where I was jumping at sounds. My sleep was affected with racing worried thoughts. I think my blood pressure was up as well. However, even though Toprol can add years to your life I still want off. I'm at 1/2 dose which is probably still helping but I must find natural solutions when I have excess stress. I am not normally a stressed out person pretty mild but family problems spiked and I am a co dependant but not willing to give my life as an ineffective codependant.
Hi! Wow I hesitated to write but it seems, we are on similar paths of life.... I cut back to 1/4 of pill and was feeling really good. But like yourself I am very stressed about my parents health issues and of my pet who has termnal lymphoma ( yes, its silly but he is one of my children too).
Between staying awake thinking so many thoughts and then getting up several times a night for the dog... whewww....
Also I am not sure what your age is but I am perimenopausal and have all those hormones ( or power surges, adrenalin rushes).I also need to have a minor outpatient surgery which I have been trying to avoid at all costs but it looks like I will finally consent to having it done mid Dec.
As for the betablocker adding years to your life I have not read that, but I know there are times in your life when you do need certain meds and they greatly help you.
. I however really , really, want to be as "drug free" as possible or use the natural meds God gave us.
And the dry skin, have you had your thryoid checked??? I am also hypthryoid ( another med- synthyroid!!)
I wish you the best, please keep me updated, I care... even if you stay on the meds or go off. It is comforting to have someone else in "your shoes" although I really hate to knowing someone else is going thru the same thing... poor dear!!
Good luck, God bless.
I sympathize with both of you. Long story short- I 've had a-fib for 12 yrs and pac's, pvc's. I'm on the verge of having an ablation. As a last ditch effort, 2 mo ago I weaned myself off my heart med and down to 12.5 mg once a day of my topralXL. I feel so much better, almost no a-fib and with the help of a daily EPA-DHA 300mg fish oil capsule, no more pvc's or pac's. Also my skin is not dry anymore either. I think my med (rhythmol) was creating a pro-arrythmia effect. My motto is the less meds, the better. I 've been having dry-mouth lately, but I think its from too much sodium. I take a little synthroid also. Sleep is another story altogether.
ptadvoc8...Thanks so much for the informative post, especially the part about how people who also take a benzo I take half of a .5 mg. tablet of clonazepam at bedtime, and even though I'm trtying to taper down some, my doctor says it's really hard to get off it. He thinks I should stay on the low dose, because the withdrawal effects can be nasty. (And it does help with stress, which is a problem for me.) I have several friends who are in the same position. They weren't told that clonazepam (Klonipin (klonopin)) and Xanax are really hard for some people to get off of, and they just keep taking a small dose at bedtime. Wish we had known what doctors know now...that you can take clonazapam or Xanax for a few days, then stop for a few weeks, and you won't become addicted. It seems to work for people with anxiety or panic issues. Mine began with menopause, and even a small amount of clonazepam has helped quite a bit. I usually get a good night's sleep,and can function okay without more clonazepam during the day.
I was advised to take a beta blocker (Metoprolol) by my family doctor, but my EP said I didn't need it if the 8000+ PVCs didn't cause me too much discomfort. (My echocardiogram was fine.) I never started the BB, and if it's true that metoprolol and clonazepam work synergistally, and that it would likely be harder to stop taking metoprolol later on, I'm probably better off without it. Again, thank you!
grrr...just when I think I'm going to kick this thing and be able to stay off meds, I get a brick wall...I've been in vtach since yesterday...HR staying above 120 and bp with no meds 130/90 even resting; plus my monitor shows I'm having pvc's; luckily not as often as before surgery, but quite a bit.
I'm going to my EP in a bit, so I'm going to talk to him about this - maybe he'll have me try other meds that won't have the same effect as Zebata & ProAmitine.
You've run into the same conundrum so m-a-n-y of us have! Benzos actually do help suppress arrhythmias (as well as anxiety!) in many people (although they can also be pro-arrhythmic in other patients and "irregular heartbeat" is one of the listed side effects) so they can be a real help, but the extraordinary propensity of this class of drugs to cause addiction and troubling withdrawal symptoms makes it a double edged sword.
I have taken BBs on a regular basis, and occasionally taken Benzos, for 20 years because I found they helped me when I had tachycardia. I was very careful NOT to take Benzos on a regular basis, but still found that, after my ablation when I was prescribed regular doses of Benzos for a few weeks for a rare complication I developed, I had a surprisingly tough time when the complication began to improve and I quit the Benzos cold turkey. I ended up going to a great site called Benzo Buddies on-line where they provide a lot of info on slow tapering off the Benzos as well as a lot of support to those who need it while they are doing the taper. Since my experience with regular Benzo use was only a few weeks, my taper was of short duration and I had my local doctor's support, so it was not a big deal, but I DID have to taper off -- after only 3 weeks of regular use -- and believe, me with all the information I had gathered over the years about these drugs, I was very surprised to find I had developed a dependency -- as was my doc!
For those who want to get off Benzos, it certainly can be done and it does not have to be as horrible as all the stories you hear about, but paradoxically, arrhythmia and palpitations are very common side effects of Benzo w/d -- even in those who have no history of arrhythmia. For those who derive benefits from Benzos, feel okay about using them and have good communication with their docs, Benzos certainly can be helpful at times -- as can BBs, which are actually life saving in many, many cases.
The synergism of BBs and Benzos appears to be focused mainly on effects like dizziness, fogginess, depression and lethargy. If you are only taking the Benzo at night, you might not run into problems from synergistic effects if you did take a BB -- but here, again, each individual is different. Metoprolol might improve your PVCs, which if you are having 8,000+ a day, would certainly be nice, but, then again, it might not -- it is really difficult to know what will work for each patient until they try it. I think knowing ALL about a drug's benefits, mechanism of action, side effects and potential problems is crucial to making a decision about what to take, what not to take and what to try and what not to try, and I personally think too many patients don't get all the info they really need from their docs to make fully informed decisions -- and sometimes docs may not know everything they should since there are so MANY meds available now. I highly recommend finding a good pharmacist who is willing and able to answer your questions and work on maintaining a good relationship with him/her!
I just find it really interesting that BBs and Benzos have some parallel uses and some similar actions in the body -- especially when it comes to both arrhythmia and anxiety -- even though they are very different classes of drugs. I think the difficult part for both patients and docs is to evaluate each individual situation and try to determine when these drugs are helpful, necessary and have real therapeutic value and when they may not be the most appropriate or efficacious choice...just another case of medicine being as much an art as a science and of the importance of both patient and doctor participating in the patient's treatment.
yeah! my EP took me off Zebata, but is keeping me on Midodrine [as needed] and told me to keep up with tilt training [de-conditioning] for my ANS problems.
He prescribed Inderal since I was having pvc's again and told me when I feel them to take 1 tablet as needed. I have to have a 30 day monitor because he thinks I have another place starting that I'll have to have another ablation in the next few months grrr
Madge, he did say not all ablations require antibiotics - my first one didn't but if I have to have one again I'll need them because of my PM/ICD
Lisa, I feel for you, you have been going through so much! I know you've probably tried the fish oil omega-3 capsules for the pvc's. That really helped mine. My a-fib med was causing pro-arrythmia effects. I stopped the only sleeping med that actually allowed me to get a decent night's sleep (ambien) because I realized it was supressing my central nervous system. I'm still looking into a connection with the Vagus nerve. I read this, and now I can't remember where but its a pretty powerful statement. "The Vagus nerve controls heart rate and acid production--when its over-stimulated, it throws extra electricity out the path of 'least resistance'--TO THE HEART!" Do you know if your vagus nerve was injured when you had your ablation? You do have a pacemaker and IED?
Linda, I have a pacemaker/icd [implantable cardioverter defibrillator] so I can't take fish oil or really anything OTC; there was something about fish oil that causes pm/icd's to malfunction or something [I wish my brain would work lol]
My ep confirmed my cardiologists suspicions, I have ARVD, so I may keep having pvc areas they have to ablate as the disease progresses and my EF and cardiomyopathy worsens; or at least that's what I got of the conversation - my head's still swimming :)
I put alot of info in my journal on ARVD in case anyone had questions; it's easy to miss symptoms and extremely tough to diagnose, I just have to be "different" and can't have run of the mill pvc's :P
I can't tell you how much I'm getting off this blog. My doctor just put me on clonazepam I had been on diazapan - very light use. 30 5 mg tabs would last me 6 mo or more but I took it for muscle spasms and to help with sleep if I was stressed out. Since my family problems got bad i've been taking 1/2 to 1 chonazepam 1mg for about a week. Just last night I thought I could go off it as the stress has lessened. I'm so glad to read about it's dangers. I am hypothroid and taking Armour Thyroid for it. It seems to be keeping in a good range but I dan't blame the Metoprolol although my hands and elbows are less dry and my feet are actually close to normal in terms of warmness now. So negatives about doing off Metoprolol is heart beats more noticeable when under stress, the headaches have gone away not - turns out I was'nt getting enough moisture through my sleep apnea machine causing sinus dryness and headaches and I think under stress my blood pressure does go up but normally it's low. And of course I feel stress and anxiety way more than before. So I'm on my 7th day weaning from Metoprolol and doing pretty well. It's had to determine what I'd be like if my family wasn't falling apart right now -my nephew and his wife broke up and it looks like he's going to jail. This hasn't happend in my family since my grandfather's generation - also an alcoholic. For awhile I was way too emotionally involved but for health reasons I'm trying to focus only on my own little family and pray and let go and let God with the rest.
Doesn't anyone use a wrist blood pressure cuff they like?
This has been a very informative and thought provoking thread. Thanks to everyone who has been participating -- I have learned a lot -- and I really appreciate you taking the time to share.
LindaTX - I'm so fascinated to hear your arrhythmia improved when you cut back on your meds. I have had a couple of cardios tell me any med that can stop arrhythmia can also potentially cause it, so you just never know. I have also read a couple of posts by medical people "on the fringes" who maintain that in a large percentage of the population it is indeed the vagus nerve, and NOT the heart that causes much of the arrhythmia problems. I have never seen any hard research studies that support this, but I have certainly seen enough about the vagus nerve and whole vagal system to suspect that it may well be responsible for more of the symptoms we experience than is now generally accepted. I'm delighted to hear about your positive experience with fish oil. If you feel comfortable answering, I would be curious to know now that you are feeling better, if you are still considering ablation?
Hi! Just an update for me..... I have been down to 1/4 tablet of atenolol for 2 -3 weeks taken PM. The last several days my heart rate has steadily climbed and is 100+ more- resting. I feel somewhat anxious, heart fluttering, and I am very fatigued ( I think from high heart rate all day).
I too am stressed lately, family health issues, very sick dear pet, ect...
I also feel that this goes along with my menstrual cycle- I am perimenopausal and having some health issues there
I may have to increase dose back to 1/4 pm, 1/4 am of atenolol which I hate to do, but tired of feeling this way... will give it another day.
I agree with the post on the vagus nerve and tachycardia. I have found if I eat before bed my heart palps /racing always happens... so no food after 7pm unless I plan to stay up late.
Hey, how are you doing?? You started this post and we have not heard if you made it off the betablockers?? Or are you still on and on a low dose?? Please let us know if you are still watching these posts!! And good luck, thanks for starting great discussion here!
sick and tired 47 " The last several days my heart rate has steadily climbed and is 100+ more- resting"
I found this also, I have a home monitor and my HR's been above 125 even resting with no meds, which I find interesting. I had to wait an hour to see my EP Tuesday and during his exam he said it was 125 also and cautioned me in case I felt it go higher; gave me inderal so my ICD doesn't shock me if it keeps rising.
I would much rather be off the meds and live with "maybe" being shocked than to feel as miserable as I did on Zebata & midodrine all the time.
Please refresh our memories? What is your condition and why are you on meds?? You are very brave to rather be shocked than take meds.Me, I avoid pain at all costs.. ha ha!!
But really, aren't you fatigued with your heart rate so high for most of the day?? And did you ask your dr to switch meds??? There are SO many meds out there and if you need to be on them ask to try some other combos.
My condition ( PSVT) is not serious but my EP cardio said if my heart rates stays high all the time I have a greater chance of eventually having serious heart issues such as congestive heart failure.
I see you are in that close to perimenopause age... which is when it sometimes gets worse and then I pray better after menopause, PLEASE Lord!!!Good luck, keep us posted.
I used to have "nothing" wrong with me lol until I fell and broke my toes in July and went to see my pcp. I found out I was having 54,000+ pvc's daily, my ep suggested an EPS.
I had an ablation in August and during it they found polymorphic malignant runs of VT that sustained and went into v-fib 3 times. They did a tilt table test to find out why I was fainting [NCS & OI] then I had an heart MRI, cardiac cath & they decided to implant a pacemaker/icd for SCD because they suspected ARVD. They said I developed non-ischemic cardiomyopathy and I also have some valve issues; although there was no clogs, clots or plaque [yea!]
My EP put me on Bisoprolol and Midodrine for heart rhythm & ANS failure after surgery. Before I went off of meds, my HR would stay about 60 because my PM would pace me to that, which on top of the meds made me so tired I could barely function. I tried Toprol 1 time prior to surgery and ended up in the ER due to my bp and hr tanking and they could only sustain it at 70/40 and hr 41 for 11 hours.
The higher HR makes me short of breath, but I feel so much better I'll deal with that. My EP prescribed Inderal for when I feel them since it's short duration med, which suites me fine.
Right now, I'm having a few pvc's but nothing like I was - I'm probably only in the mildest range. That's how it began before - the occassional blip in my pulse; that a couple of dr's told me was "nothing" about 5-7 years ago.
I don't know who was more shocked, the dr or me that with my problems I am doing so well with no meds. I think it has to do with interaction of meds too, plus I have a very sensitive system.
Wow Lisa, you had some serious stuff!! I am SO happy you are doing well. What an inspiration to all of us. I wish you all the best, but do be careful and follow drs advice.
I understand being sensitive, I think I am the most reactive person around. I can have "issues" with some antibiotics, caffine,ect..not fun at all. I also am menopausal age and I believe hormones have a MAJOR part of my health issues ( was always very healthy til now),
Good luck again.
Sick and tired 47; luckily I have a great dr and he listens to my grumblings :P I agree about hormones; they play such a vital role in our bodies, I seem to have more pain & palpatations around my cycles.
He agreed that part of my problem might have been my sensitive nervous system & problems that were worsened by the different meds. He also believes in alternative medicine and said tilt training and de-conditioning for nervous system has helped alot of patients function, and encouraged accupuncture [sp] to see if it will help with my other problems.
I must be a freak; really...It seems every med I take throws me for a loop and makes me sick. He prescribed Inderal and said it was a fast acting med and wouldn't last long like the other BB's I've tried. I had to take one this morning and ended up with alot of symptoms I had with Bisoprolol & Toprol - severe fatigue, nausea, etc and the only thing that relieved it was sleeping an hour or so this afternoon.
This is really to everyone, too.
I'm getting so much out of this thread.Thank you all for your wisdom and research and graciousness in sharing.
I'm 61, obese, have diabetes, angina, sleep apnea, arthritis but am in otherwise good condtion!! Actually although I am not feeling well now, I think 2010 is going to be a good year. My overall health has improved steadily since 2004 as I've been working on not doing some things and doing others. I've lost 50 lb, I haven't done transfats since 2004, I cut out high frutose corn syrup in 2005, Most chemical foods transfering to organic last year (not perfect but on a track that is improving), more fresh local fruits and vegetables although in winter we're struggling with that a bit.
I haven't been here recently because I have been very very tired. I think I was taking too much vitamin D but am trying to narrow down other reasons. Lack of O2 to the heart just might be one of them, not eating right could be another.Having trouble sleeping.......
I'm still on 12.5 mg of the Metoprolol as I don't think I'm ready for the 1/4 tab yet. My angina has increased, my anxiety as increased, my temper is shorter than it's been in years. I thought I was pretty laid back but I'm jumping at loud noises.
I take fish oil for angina but have had to add baby aspirin with food. I should be taking vitamin e as well but don't think mine is fresh enough so will be buying some soon. I'm researching natural treatment for angina right now. So what I'm saying is that although I'm determined to get off the beta blocker it certainly is effective with anxiety and angina.
And, can you believe it, my doc put me on clonazepam the last time I saw her. That stuff is way addicting.She gave it to me on 11/12 and I started it that night I think. It was in the beginning of my nephew's legal and marital problems and my stress was greater than it'd been in at least 15 years. The perscription was for 30 l mg tabs with one refill. I took a total of 12 tabs or 1/2 tabs and found although I slept well and I functioned better in terms of feeling anxiety in my chest or having racing thoughts, I didn't like the dreams or the feeling that I liked the pill way too much.Getting off them started over a week ago and it hasn't been easy. I feel like after having been on them I feel everything 10 fold more than I did before I was on them...s Clonazepam virgin so to speak.
So I'm benefitting from going off the Metoprolol - feel more energy, more like myself , less depression, feet not like popcycles(so greatly improved it's unbelieveable), skin not as dry, complexion getting better. But also acknowledging all the benefits and wondering if the negative things I'm feeling, chest burning, anxiety, feeling heart beat. irregular heatbeats when under stress will go away with more distance from the product. If I had more serious heart problems I don't think I'd go off this but I'm on it through both medical error and medical wisdom.
I don't want to add to anyone's anxiety but if times get hard and people on Metoprolol can't get their prescriptions, I'd hate to go off this suddenly.
There's a part of me that is a squirrel with medication, thinking I'll keep this med just in case I or someone I know needs it in the future. I'm tempted to do that with the Metoprolol just in case but not with the clonazepam. That stuff works but it's nasty. Thanks for listening to my rambling. I'm out here doing bad in some ways, good in others. Glad I'm seeing my doctor next week. I need a more natural doctor - anyone know of anyone good in Iowa? Become my friend so we can email. Oh, my old quote meds made by manufacturing giants treat you but feel like sledge hammers, vitamins feel like feathers (armour thyroid fits in this too) and homeopathic feels like air.
It is ALWAYS BETTER TO WEAN OFF OF A BETA BLOCKER EVEN AS SMALL AS A DOSE AS 6.25. IT CAN CAUSE IRREGULAR HEAT BEATS AND TACHY ARRHYTHMIAS! JUST ANOTHER THING THEY DONT WANT YOU KNOW!!!!!!! YOU KNOW DONT QUESTION TOO MUCH ESPECIALLY SINCE THE GOVERMENT OF THE UNITED STATES DEMANDS IT BE GIVEN IN THEIR "CORE MEASURES"! YOU KNOW THE PHARMACUETICALS RUNNING THE HEALTHCARE! GEE HAVE YOU NOTICE ANYONE EVER GETTING BETTER WITH ALL THESE STANDARDS? JUST CURIOUS! I WAS JUST SAYING COULD YOU JUST IMAGINE IF WE FORCED MEDICINE TO PROVE IT WITH OUTCOMES? LOL!
So glad I found this forum. My BF had a major MI last March. Typical type A personality. He lost his business he built after. Creditors were calling 15 times a day. He was smoking like a chimmeny, BP spiked. To make a long story short as possible he coded four times. Major block. He has no other significant blocks in his heart but the one he had was in the main artery and it was 100% blocked. He survived. No other medical problems. He quit smoking and is doing 1.5 hours of cardio exercise three times a week. One by one he had to get off the meds he was put on. I work with the elderly and when I watched him furniture walk I knew it was not from the MI but from the drugs. The first to go was the statin. By the way he did not have high cholestrol. Then he had to go off the plavix. Started showing signs of TTP. I can't remember all of the drugs but there was six of them. All contratindicated to be prescribed with one and another. I just want to say that anyone that goes to a main stream MD and thinks they know the side effects of the drugs they prescribe needs to do some real research. They will, and do Dx the side effects as another disease and then prescibe another. He is now only on 162mg of aspirin, and 25mg metoprolol twice a day. Actually we cut to 12.5 at night and 25mg in the am. What are his side effect from the Metoprolol? Excessive sweating. It is winter and he keeps turning the thermostat down to 60 and we are all freezing. I don't now if anyone knows this but aspirin interfers with the absorbtion of Metoprolol. When we reduced his aspirin he started to have more side effects from the metoprolol. Now he is complaining that his nipples are stinging. I think its because metoprolol slows the heart from pumping blood to the samll blood vessles. He also gained about 6 pounds in a week. Its not in his ankles its in his middle and in his face. Also developed red blotches on his stomache. Face gets beat red on any exhertion. This all started when we reduced the aspirin. He is exhausted all the time. Has been having weird dreams. His blood pressure is fluctuating like crazy. goes from 127/75 to 157/90. He called the cardiologist and was told that these symtoms (symptoms) are not the BB. Sorry for my language but that is ********. Are you ready for this. He wanted to raise the metoprolol dose. BF said he has been reading about side effects and these are side effects. MD's assistant said stop reading the blogs. BF was pretty upset and asked for me to call this MD assistant. I did and asked him if he ever read the drug side effects that people have because the ones my BF are having are the most common. I told him he needs to get him off this drug. I felt his BP is going up becasue of fluid retention and the nipple sensitivity is from blood not getting to the blood vessels. I asked him to explain why they want people to go to Cardio exercise to work the heart muscle when they prescibe drugs that stop the heart from pumping. This makes no sense to me. By the way he is on fish oils, Niacin for cholestrol, ubiqinol which is coQ10, astaxanthin, which is an anti inflammatory, D3, and B complex. My plan is to get him off the aspirin and on to Vit E. He jsut had a lot of Blod work done and my guess is they will try to increase the metoprolol, or add a diuretic. I want to wean him off the metoprolol and see if his BP drops. I am worried now about cutting back 12.5 mg at a time. He did not seem to have any symtptoms from the first cut but after reading these post I'm having second thoughts.
I did not know that Metorpolol crossed the blood brain barrier and acts like a benzo. Its no wonder people coming off this drug have severe anxiety, and heart palps. I think it is criminal what doc DON"T know about the drugs they prescribe.
Hi, I'm sorry to hear re the panic attacks. I know it's not the accepted thing but I take with a grain of salt anything Docs tell me if they have not had personal experience with beta blockers or in my case Metopolol. Every time I go to the next lower level, and I'm at 12.5 daily right now, I make sure there is nothing in my life that is anxiety causing or stressful because I have already benefitted from cutting the pill to here and don't want to go through the effects of lowering it if my life isn't in a good place.
Before taking this drug I handled stress pretty well. I'm 5 years older now and have gone through menipause so maybe that's it but I think ours body really absorb the part of the med that helps with anxiety and one of the first things I noticed as I've gone down from 25 mg a day to 12.5 is an otherwise unexplained increase in panic attacks. Prior to taking Metopolol I really didn't have panic attacks, now I do. So bottom line, breath deep, do what you have to to take care of yourself. You really do know what you need. You may be going through that period right after lowering the dose that shows an increase in panic, increase in heart palpitations, and other symptoms no matter what the PA said. And you know that if you're patient and stay the course, this too will pass. I'm ready to go to 6.25 a day but am waiting until after some stresses in my life go away, winter ends (I have a bit of SAD although the pharmacutical D3 I take really helps (Wellness Pharmacy in Alabama has the best D3 - others don't seem to help me at all). So don't say it's all in your head as that's a way you put yourself down. Say I'm body sensitive and I've just made 2 changes, meds and exercise. The combination may have triggered some reactions in my b/p and panic. That's Ok, I'll monitor this until my body adjusts to it. Protect yourself as much as you can from stress while you accomplish these positive changes.
"Sorry, I am beginning my beta blocker medication on Monday. Why are people eager to reduce or stop their beta blocker medication? Do they cause bothersome side effects? "
Andrew docs give out beta blockers to people who don't really need them as well as to people who really do. Those of us who were given them willinilly in my case due to an error in my medical record that said that I had a history of high blood pressure when I actually had a history of low blood pressure want to get off them as slowly as possible as they are really very serious drugs. Research what they do, if you can find a "teaching" doctor, one who will really educate you before handing you pills, talk with him or her re what these pills do. If you need them take them but if you are on the borderline, consider whether there might be other things you can do.
I found out I was diabetic, had angina all at the some time. So I thought my feet being like icycles and other signs of poor circulation was related to the diabetes. When I first cut my does to 18.75 one of the first things that happened (other than the discomfort of going off the pill which is another subject) is my feet started getting warmer, my hair fell out less, I had more energy, felt more like myself, less depressed and my skin became less dry. I posted here some of my symptoms and wha happened during the early part of getting off the med. So really research this med before you take it. Docs do give this out too often to people who don't need it but there are people who really benefit from it so find out who you are. I do believe Iife lived without drugs of any kind is better (if shorter) then life lived with drugs. But that's a personal decision. I'm also working very hard and spending time and money finding natural alternatives to meds. I live in a state where natural doctors are outlawed so I'm way behind where I would be if I lived in CA or NC or other states where complimentary medicine docs or alternative docs can practice.
Do you live in a state or near a state that allows natural doctors to practice. In particular do you live near or in North Carolina, Mass., or CA or AZ or WA? We're light weights here just trying to get off stuff safely. If he has 100% blockage in his left main (could be due to long term use of trans fats) he may need surgery. Going of Beta Blockers is not easy although some have had no problems, I have had problems each time I make the next cut. He sounds miserable and if you can get him to a good natural doc who knows what's up I'd do it. Don't be tempted to make too many even good changes without additional help.
lisa i couldn't agree with you more about the vagus nerve? Do you think there is anything out there to specifically work on that? I am so hyper sensitive to all stimulants, am trying to wean off my atenolol as I write this but still having mega pvc's and pac's daily, they were never this bad, don't know why the sudden change.
Gosh I am SOOO sorry. I haven't been on this thread in so long I am just now getting a chance to respond. Yes, I have been off my beta blockers, metoprolol (sp?) since I guess it would be Feb. of last year! I still get heart palps during my hormone changes and of course they still give me the blues, but they are NOTHING like they were a couple of years ago. I still get nervous when I get that dropped feeling and have to remind myself that I AM okay. But I still come on the forum to read other post and that always helps me. I hope you and everyone else are haning in there. Thanks!!
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