You blood pressure increase would seem to me to be insignificant. I would imagine that this much variance is possible if a person took their blood pressure twice in a row even without any other problems going on.
Adrenaline is a powerful stimulant for your heart. Depending on your reaction to specific things, especially anything you are unduly afraid of (believe me, when it comes to the arrhythmia issue, I am more sensitive to changes in my heart rate than I am relatively dangerous things that routinely occur at work), a person can have a remarkable reaction to an otherwise simple thing. I have been in traffic altercations where I thought my heart was going to burst out of my chest, adrenaline is to blame (as well as my poor coping abilities for traffic annoyances ;-)
If you have the episodes every day, or nearly every day, try asking your Doctor for a small dose of a tranquilizer to see of this helps to reduce or eliminate the symptoms of the episodes. You may not need to continue to use tranquilizers, best if you do not, but as a diagnostic aid it may be of use.
How well did the low dose of Atenolol help? Actually, Atenolol is a Selective Beta Blocker, and not supposed to effect breathing at such a low dose. My wife works for the Cardiologist that I see, she says that they will not put asthmatics on Atenolol, so this basically supports your finding.
There is another class of medications that also slow the Heart Rate, these are the Calcium Channel Blockers, perhaps they are more suited for people with Asthma.
Best of health.
I agree with everything Artaud said, except for one thing. I know that both atenolol and metoprolol are Beta 1 selective. That being said, when I started taking my beta blocker I noticed after a couple days I was kinda wheezy and having a hard time taking in a deep breath. After doing some research and asking a doctor I found that people actually can have breathing issues as well as exacerbated asthma symptoms while on a Beta 1 selective blocker. Just thought I'd throw in my 2 cents ;-)
I tried to cover the issue of Beta Selectiveness by mentioning my wife's comments about the Cardiologist she works for not prescribing Beta Blockers to patients with asthma.
Myself, I have a touch of asthma, or perhaps mild restriction may be the more correct way to put it. With 75mg Atenolol per day, I have no problems at all. With 40 mg per day of Nadolol, I can feel the additional effort required to breathe manifested as a slight raspiness.
To quote from Wikipedia, in part "Adverse effects associated with β2-adrenergic receptor antagonist activity (bronchospasm, peripheral vasoconstriction, alteration of glucose and lipid metabolism) are less common with β1-selective (often termed "cardioselective") agents, however receptor selectivity diminishes at higher doses". This is characteristic of information that I have read elsewhere, just more easy to access.
I am sure that some (perhaps many) people may be negatively (respiratory wise) affected by Cardioselective Beta Blockers at smaller doses, but certainly more people will exhibit symptoms characteristic of Non-Selective Beta Blockers as the dosage is increased.
The forum serves as a learning experience for all, and I appreciate your comments.
I have actually been diagnosed with panic disorder, but I'm just not sure if this is panic related or not, but I have a feeling it might be. I am actually on lexapro for the panic and also take lorazepam (the tranquilizer) as needed, which is usually before I go to school (go to U of I, kind of a big place) and I am pretty much in constant tachycardia all day at school, but when I come home and relax, my heart rate is amazing and usually sits in the 70s, low 80s, but sometimes goes down to the 60s. I'm just a little worried about taking blockers because they decrease the heart rate and blood pressure, since my heart rate can drop pretty low and my blood pressure is usually borderline below normal, so I'm concerned that if I was to start taking those, that I might have some more problems, especially passing out, which truly is something I could live without right now since I do have panic disorder. And about the atenlol, I do know that it is supposed to not affect breathing at all, but there still is a slight risk that it can, and I have terrible luck because I usually only get lucky and have the odds in my favor when it's for something bad :) I guess I kind of minimized my asthma though and just thought it was mild, but looking back, it's not, since I've had many instances where I had to go on steriods and breathing treatments and the such because it can flare up so bad, and I used to be on advair, but it gave me too many trembles and muslce twitches I stopped it, but I still take singulair and I know if I miss a dose of it, I usually need to go back on steriods.
But I am going to have a follow up with my cardiologist sometime this week or next week, and I will ask him about the calcium blockers. Do you think it would be a good idea to ask for an ultrasound and stress test? Can I just ask to have these done?
thanks for your answers!!