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Atenolol (beta-blocker) Need info ASAP

Discussion in 'General Treatment' started by SOC, Jun 19, 2012.

  1. SOC

    SOC Moderator and Senior Member

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    Doctor just prescribed Atenolol for my 20 yo daughter because "he didn't like the results of her EKG". Wish he would be more informative. :rolleyes:

    I did the quicky Wiki search, but it's not helping me much. Can you folks share with me any info about beta-blockers and ME/CFS?
  2. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    I have not researched this much SOC, but atenolol was a problem drug for me. In addition in an old survey of treatment side effects beta-blockers were the number one problem drug. Be cautious is probably the best advice, but personally I am also aware of some who have claimed good responses to beta blockers. This is a cautionary tale not a claim that it should not be used. It also depends on doses. In many cases really low doses are used, in others high doses. I certainly would not suggest it for anyone with any sign of insulin resistance.
  3. SOC

    SOC Moderator and Senior Member

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    alex3619 -- was it a problem for you in any way that I should be concerned about with my daughter? She's living alone out of town this summer, so I want her to be aware herself of problems she may encounter.
  4. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    Hi SOC, it was alarming but not dangerous. My feet swelled to huge size - each was larger than a football. This happened almost overnight, which was the alarming part. That was fluid accumulation in the feet. I also didn't feel quite right but it was so long ago I can't say more than that, I forget the detalis. Bye, Alex
  5. Sushi

    Sushi Moderator and Senior Member Albuquerque

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    Can you get more out of him about why, what, & how? Seems like he owes you that.

    My autonomic specialist found that for POTS (don't know if she has it) beta blockers were only helpful in a small percentage.

    Hope you can pry more out of him soon!

    Sushi
  6. OverTheHills

    OverTheHills

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    [
    I have found a low dose of beta blocker (originally prescribed to control racing heart during thyroiditis) very helpful with what I now assume is OI/POTS comorbid with my ME (tilt table test to confirm in a couple of months). I have had no side effects from it.
    This is not to say that anyone else will find it helpful, or be side-effect free but just to provide an example of the upside. I take 20mg propanolol twice a day.

    OTH
  7. SOC

    SOC Moderator and Senior Member

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    He's definitely old-fashioned in the "I tell you what to do and you do it" school of medicine. I'm thrilled that he has got my daughter back into remission. I'll be forever grateful for that. It's time now, though, to move on to someone who is more communicative and experienced with managing illness long-term. Unfortunately, she can't get in to see Dr Rey until late September, so we're trying to follow the current doc's recommendations.

    She had some OI in the past, but not in more than a year. She does have a high heart rate, which might be what he's trying to manage with the Atenolol, but that's not new. I'll try to find out what in particular he didn't like about the EKG yesterday. **sigh** Sometimes doctors can be so difficult.
  8. SOC

    SOC Moderator and Senior Member

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    Tx, Alex. We'll know not to panic if her feet start to swell. :D
  9. jstefl

    jstefl Senior Member

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    Back in 2002, my doctor at the time put me on Atenolol for my headaches. It worked great at first, but the longer I took it, the more my blood pressure dropped. My doctor wasn't monitoring my BP, so I wasn't aware of the pproblem until it became very severe.

    John
  10. Ema

    Ema Senior Member

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    Beta blockers inhibit peripheral conversion of thyroid hormones from T4 to the active form, T3. I would make sure to monitor levels of thyroid if taking a beta blocker especially if on a T4 thyroid replacement already.
  11. adreno

    adreno 3% neanderthal

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    If possible, I would go for an angiotensin II receptor antagonist instead, as they provide more benefits with less side effects, compared to beta blockers.
  12. urbantravels

    urbantravels disjecta membra

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    I haven't had any side effects from Atelenol. I have been taking it about 14 months, since my tilt table test showed severe POTS. For me it helps quite a bit with the most distressing POTS symptoms - my heart rate no longer goes from 90 to 130 bpm every time I stand up. I also think that for me it helps cut down on the "wired but tired" feeling, since it slows down your heart rate. Not a wonder drug for ME/CFS symptoms across the board, but it helped me a lot. There are definitely contraindications for some people, and if you have a side effect profile that's really bothering you, it's possible some other beta-blocker or other drug could be used instead.

    Every time I've demanded an explanation of something on my EKG I haven't understood a word of it - I'm pretty well-versed in a lot of medical stuff, but my brain has never handled physics very well. POTS certainly doesn't show up on an EKG: I had several EKGs before I ever got to the tilt table, and none showed anything concerning; all I ever got told was that there was a "little weirdness" here and there but not much out of line with normal human variation. I have a whacking great case of POTS that lit up the monitors like a pinball machine when I had my tilt table test, but apparently it doesn't make anything exciting appear on an EKG.

    My totally uninformed guess is that your daughter's EKG showed some sort of arrhythmia and that's what the beta-blocker is intended for.
  13. BEG

    BEG Senior Member

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    I remember something about T-waves being "off" for CFS patients as seen on an EKG. I wouldn't know the treatment for that nor do I remember much about it (or anything else these days.) My EKG is always normal.

    Now on to atenolol. I love it!! Life changing medication. My heart palpitations are gone. My chest pain is gone. I can stand up. My legs are getting stronger and that in turn helps me to stand up longer. I can walk in those great big strides again. My stamina is improved. However, understand that I started recliner/bed bound. I couldn't handle my daily activities without a crash. I still can't walk far without breathlessness and muscle weakness, but I can commando shop again. I can move fast again. I can get out to dinner more often. And, get this, I can shower more.

    I take 1/4 tablet (or less) of the 25 mg. daily. I watch my caffeine intake. When I am experiencing PEM, my heart rate is low -- 50-52 -- BPM. (But I discovered that years ago working with Staci Stevens of the Pacific Lab.) Blood pressure has not dropped since starting the atenolol.

    Good luck to your daughter, SOC.
  14. SOC

    SOC Moderator and Senior Member

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    Thanks, all. I guess we're going to try it with some reservations. She does have a high heart rate, but that's nothing new. I'm guessing at some arrhythmia showed up on her EKG. She has been complaining about occasional trouble getting a deep breath lately, so that could be arrhythmia, I suppose. o_O

    Based on what you all have said, this could be a good med for her as long as it doesn't give her any side effect trouble. Her BP runs low, so we'll have to watch for that. And her thyroid test results are okay, but marginal, so we'll have to keep an eye on that, too.

    She's been in remission for about 10 months now -- that is, she has been able to live a normal life without PENE, or meds for ME/CFS symptoms (until now). But she's working full-time (as opposed to being a student) this summer, which is a different challenge to the body. To me, she's a good case for the idea that we can significantly improve our condition with this illness, but we can't cure it (yet, anyway). She looks, acts, and feels fine, but there's still some weirdities going on in the background.

    Thanks again, everybody! :hug:
  15. Questus

    Questus Senior Member

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    Dr. Klimas prescribed a low dose of Atenolol after she diagnosed me with a POTS. (HR goes as high as 165 standing.)

    Have always had low BP, and Atenolol made it lower. After being on 5.5 of Atenolol 2 times daily for several months, my bp was measured in a doctors office at 80-something over 40-something.

    I discontinued at that point. It never made me 'feel better'.

    I try and get by with as few meds as possible regardless of what's prescribed. Am extremely sensitive to all medications, and have to start at micro doses.

    Good luck!
  16. Hi SOC ....
    I was put on Atenolol for atrial fibrillation. The side effects were worse than the problem. My energy levels, both physical & mental were reduced to almost zero, and I literally dragged myself around for the three months that I was on it... but that said.... I tend to get side effects from most drugs related to blood pressure & afib. I have recently been trying a natural amino acid - taurine - which has brought my blood pressure under control and can help overcome heart rythm irregularity and the added bonus is that it has increased my energy levels. ... worth checking out. From my experience over many years.. the more you can avoid the drug approach & adopt natural supplements that don't disrupt the body's normal functioning processes, the less problems you will have from unwanted side effects. Good luck with your daughter.
  17. BEG

    BEG Senior Member

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    Wobbler --

    I'm curious as to what dosage you were taking?
  18. Sallysblooms

    Sallysblooms P.O.T.S. now SO MUCH BETTER!

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    I tried it and I coughed constantly. I think that is a side effect for some. I got right off and got on Benadryl for my high bp with POTS. Thankfully I am soon going to be totally off. BP has slowly gone down over three years.

    I hope it works fine for your daughter. Everyone is different.
  19. Sherlock

    Sherlock bicarb for exercise recovery and taming candida

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    Reducing heart rate in hypertension is harmful—or is it just atenolol? 2008

    http://www.theheart.org/article/913561.do

    "Slowing the heart rate with beta blockers in people with hypertension is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular events and death, a new systematic review shows..."

    That article stuck in my mind over the years. In you read the article, researcher Cockroft's inclination is that there might be something special (and bad) about atenolol - so maybe another beta blocker might be a better choice. There is also another type of drug called ivabradine which provides pure rate control, used in Europe but not yet approved in the US.
  20. Marg

    Marg Senior Member

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    Hi SOC,

    Dr. Klimas started me with Atenolol but it made me feel sick and terrible. She then changed to a 1 mg Clonidine Patch and I do not know I have it. Change it once a week. I have always felt terrible with any beta blocker I tried but the patch is great.

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