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exercising and beta blockers
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exercising and beta blockers

I was wondering if anyone gets tired or dizzy after exercising at a moderate pace while being on beta blockers?  I am trying to get back into exercising and I walked yesterday for about 30  minutes, and I haven't done that it months, well I felt a little dizzy at the end of my workout.  Now I have walked 10, 15, even 20 minutes at a moderate pace and been fine, but yesterday It was a noticeable difference.  I don't know if it's all in my head or if it's the medication.  I didn't have any palps during or afterward thank the good Lord, but I don't like feeling dizzy either.  Also I read on the "ask a doctor forum" that it's no big deal if you have skips during exercise, but if you have them after that COULD mean that you MAY have cardiac issue down the line????  I have never heard of that before.  I swear, if it's not one thing it's another.  Okay, sorry for the rambling.

I am going to mention this to my cardio on Wednesday as I am going to request he lessen my dosage  to 12.5 mg and then eventually wean me off.  I have just been too tired lately.  If anyone has any suggestions I would greatly appreciate it.
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110220_tn?1309310461
I was on Lopressor 25mg twice a day and I just couldn't exercise.  It made me a zombie...not much energy at all.   I was on a very low dose and over 6 months I put on 10 pounds.  I know that beta blockers are meant to slow your heart rate and lower your blood pressure....exercise increases your heart rate...they work against each other.

One interested point that I realized, I was always told never ever to stop the beta blockers immediatedly, it can cause a heart attack.   I recently had a cardiac ablation and was instructed to stop my beta blocker 5 days prior to the procedure...no problem whatsoever.  After the ablation I no longer needed to take them...so in essence, I did stop cold turkey.  Maybe I was on such a low dosage.

Why are you on beta blockers?  

Hope this helps.

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257552_tn?1404606154
Hi,

I think we are all quick to look for easy answers to why we have problems. Indeed, Beta Blockers will produce tiredness, slow the heart, make exercise more difficult, but it is usually dose dependent. My wife, working for the Cardiologist that I see, mentioned the case of a little old woman that was on more Atenolol that I would ever imagine I could tolerate, she was indeed very tired. The Cardiologist reduced her dosage because he knew her conditions, and felt that it was justified to reduce it. I am sure she is OK now, but she is still on 50 mg or more of Atenolol per day.

When we get to these low doses and still have problems, and we have been on the Beta Blocker for several months, it's not likely the Beta Blocker is to blame for the tiredness. My buddy at work, obsessing about how tired Atenolol made him, stopped taking his medication. Two things happened. He was still every bit as tired as before he stopped, yet never made the association since he now has nothing to blame the tiredness on, and most astonishingly, he ended up at the Emergency Room one night due to a pounding heart. Imagine that, a man in his mid 50's, out of shape, high blood pressure, and he has a pounding heart late in the evening. After being in the ER for some time, and nothing was seen on the EKG or in the tests that they conducted, he told the Doctor that he recently stopped taking his Atenolol, and felt that, if he took it again, the pounding would cease. The Doctor told him that was probably the case. The Doctor released him from the ER, my buddy took the Atenolol again, and Viola!, the pounding stopped.

Imagine that!

I seriously do not believe that very low doses of Beta Blockers have the effects that most people wish to attribute to them. I have taken 240 mg of Inderal every day and was still wide awake, able to exercise, etc. I am now on 75 mg of Atenolol every day, still the same, 5 hours of sleep a night, wide awake until bed time. Same with 100 mg Atenolol, just when I started, and for about 2 to 3 weeks, I was indeed more tired than usual, but your body adjusts.

Oh, and the blood pressure angle, high blood pressure usually has no symptoms. There is no real incentive to treat it. It's not like the arrhythmias are for many of us, we can feel them and we don't like it. But high blood pressure insidiously damages your organs, such as your Kidneys, Eyes, etc. Not taking the medication (if it is warranted) may help you feel fine otherwise, but the price you pay in the long run may not have been worth it. As others on this forum have pointed out though, if high blood pressure is a problem, there are other medications beside Beta Blockers that you can try.

Be well.
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110220_tn?1309310461
I must disagree with the above post, beta blockers are given at different dosages for many reasons, tolerance, condition,etc.  I personally was unable to take a larger dosage of beta blockers due to my blood pressure concern.  I generally have a normal/low blood pressure and a larger dosage would bring my pressure to a dangerous low level.  I was taking Lopressor to slow my heart rate down for the SVT condition that I had.  

Regarding exercise, I have spoke directly to 2 cardiologist who indicated that while they do always recommend daily exercise, that beta blockers can/do make it more difficult for the reasons I stated in my post.  You can also check the side effects listed on the beta blocker website of the manufacture of your brand.

I have been off of the beta blockers now for 4 weeks and I can tell you that I am more active now than I have been in the past while on beta blockers...I actually feel like exercising, no more crazy  violent nightmares( which are all symptoms of beta blockers).

Everyone reacts different to medications, but to say that the problems that you are experiencing may not be related to beta blockers is simply not true.  Recall how you felt before taking them and now.  You are the best judge of that. If there are other things going on or other meds that you are taking, you may need to consider/pinpoint them as well and read up on the side effects.

This site is to give our personal accounts and experience only and they will all be different.  I'm sure that if 100 people posted there experience, while they would be different in someways, I bet that you'd have many that would have experienced a side effect related to feeling tired and some have difficulting with exercise.

Take care!
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks for the comments.  I appreciate your respone Artaud, but I'm not sure I agree.  Some people are very sensitive to meds and I am one of those people.  Not everyone can take 50, 100 or even 25 mg, it wipes them out.   Since I take beta blockers for PVC's and not high blood pressure I think it is lowering my blood pressure where it's making me dizzy, lethargic, tired, etc.  My blood pressure has ALWAYS been 120/80 but the last couple of times I have been to the doctor it was 110/70.  I know that  may not seem low to a lot of people, but I was feeling really weak that day and I attributed it to the low blood pressure.  Am I positive that the beta blockers are the problem?  Nope, not at all, but I never used to get dizzy when I exercised, and while I have always been the type of person who likes to sleep, I didn't usually feel dizzy or lethargic.  Could it be in my head?  It could be, I haven't ruled that out yet.    I am on 25 mg of the medicine and when I took the 50 mg for two weeks I could not function at all.  I guess my doctor will let me know what he thinks.  I am not looking for easy answers, just answers and I know sometimes there aren't any.  I'm just not sure if your post was relative to my situation but I certainly appreciate it nontheless.

To rosetoes, I do believe that most people who are on beta blockers for anxiety, PVCs, tacychardia, etc. are not so much at risk for having a heart attack as they are for having a relapse, as Artraud mentioned above about his friends herat pounding.  Now people who are taking beta blockers for high blood pressure or angina definately can not stop cold turkey or it can cause a stroke or heat attack like you said; but I am not planning on stopping cold turkey anwway.  I would never do that.

Rosetoes, how long did it take you to fully wean off of the beta blockers?  I see that you mentioned above that you have been off of them for 4 weeks, but in that time were you weaning or did it take longer to wean...am I making sense :-)??
I just don't like feeling like this is all and I am the type of person who needs to have answers to all of life's mysteries :-)  I know.....it doesn't work like that.

Please artraud if you have any other advice I would like to hear it, I never mind advice :-)
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110220_tn?1309310461
I didn't ween off of them, I stopped cold turkey.  True, I was taking them for SVT and not for angina or because I had a prior heart attack.  I had been taking 25mg twice a day for over 6 months.  Five days before my cardiac ablation, my EP/Cardio doctor instructed me to stop taking them!  I asked if I was at any risk of any heart problems and he said no.  So since Feb 5th I have been off of beta blockers.  I  can tell such a big difference in my energy level.  

People respond differently to medicine, you may want to call your doctor and ask him/her on how best to get off of them.  

Best wishes,
Rose
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Avatar_f_tn
Sorry, you did say that in your previous email about the ablation and going cold turkey on the beta blockers.  I have been on 25 mg for 9 months and I think if I drop down to 12.5-cutting the pill in half, that will help my energy level.  My palps have gotten much better over the past few months, even though every now and then I get an "ugly" one and I feel like that's it for me.  I am just not a person who likes medicine to be honest with you, but when I first started getting these skipped beats I was was BEGGING for medication.  I am now praying that I can be weaned however slow it may be, off.

I agree wholeheartedly about people and meds.  My Mom can take almost anything and she's fine but if I take the same thing it makes me sick and my system seems to be very sensitive to meds.  Anway, I appreciate your reponse.  Ummmm, what doese SVT feel like?  I think I have asked that question a few times but I still haven't received a clear answer from anyone.  Is it a form of PVC or it is a form of a-fib?
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110220_tn?1309310461
SVT is a disorder where without any ryhme or reason, your heart starts beating from 180 -250+ beats per minute.  I had an extra curcuit where it would sometimes loops and the rapid beat would start.  Some people are able to bare down (like having a bowel movement) or splash cold water on your fact and break the SVT, unforunately I could not ever do that, I would end up at the emergency room where they would start an IV and give me adenosine to stop the SVT.

My SVT was only a fast regular beat, but scary as hell.  Imagine sitting down relaxing or even out at an event with your family and all the sudden your heart starts racing...you are looking for the nearest emergency room fast.  But I was blessed to have a very easy form of SVT that was curable by having an cardiac ablation.  The procedure requires an EP/Cardio doctor going into your heart through the artery by your groin and "burn" the extra pathway...It sounds much worse than it was.  I was home the same day and felt wonderful.

I do suffer from PVC's but I had them for over 30 years and they are mild....since I am SVT free, I promised myself I would not complain about anything lol.

Take care,
Rose
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Avatar_m_tn
Rosetoes,

Minor correction just for the sake of anyone planning to have an ablation.  Although some ablations do require entering the arterial system, most use a vein in the leg because the ablations are most often performed in the right side of the heart and even if they have to go to the left side they often do so via a transeptal puncture from the right side of the heart. This is unlike a Cardiac Catheterization, where they most always enter the arterial system.

L
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