I just read an earlier message about not discontinuing atenolol abruptly.
I have breathing trouble and chest pain, the cause of which has yet to be
diagnosed. I was put on atenolol when I complained that my heart rate seemed
to go up when I would stand up (I have "reduced cardiovagal function"). The atenolol helped that. However, the
breathing problem and chest pain continue. Well, I have a new pulmonary
doctor and he suggested stopping the atenolol. He said that can sometimes
cause make breathing worse. Also, he has retested me to see if I have reactive
airways, which now it seems I do test positive for. Now I'm taking meds for
that for a few weeks to see if it helps at all. I was taking atenolol 50 mg
once a day. The pulm. told me to take 1/2 pill for a few days and then stop.
He told me if I start feeling bad to start taking it again. I took 1/2 pill
for 3 days, then stopped. Began to feel aware of the heartbeat again.
It's faster, too. I guess I was excited about the thought that I'd get rid
of the atenolol (I always wondered whether I really needed it all all -
I can endure a fast, pounding heart as long as I know it's not dangerous.
No one ever suggested it was dangerous.) I'm thinking that without the atenolol,
maybe the airways meds will have a chance to work better. But have I perhaps
discontinued the atenolol too abruptly? Should I talk to my internal medicine
doctor about it? Should I be monitored in any way, now that I'm not taking the
atenolol? I've just moved to a new city and have a new round of doctors, with
whom I am very pleased so far. I've been trying to get a diagnosis for my
breathing problem for so long now, and finally I'm getting a truly fresh look,
starting from scratch. So, I don't want to ruffle feathers by asking one doctor
about the other doctor's instructions about the atenolol, unless I truly need to.
If I do ask, how should I approach it? You can probably gather that I tend to
walk on eggshells around my new doctors as my naturally assertive manner has not
enamored too many of my former doctors to me!! But if I shouldn't let these
questions slide and this is important to be following up on, I won't be doing
anyone a favor by being quiet.
In case it's important to know, I also take Norvasc for hypertension 10 mg/day.
Thank you for any suggestions,
Topic Area: Heart Disease
There is no exact science to stopping beta blockers (such as atenolol). Stopping them abruptly can cause "rebound tachycardia" that is a increase in the heart rate. For most people this rise in heart rate is not dangerous. I think that the method your doctor gave you for stopping the medication is fine. If you want to extend it you could take a quarter table for an additional 3 days. Don
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