A New Decade of ME Research: The 11th Invest in ME International ME Conference 2016
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Calmness & increased functionality from Propranolol

Discussion in 'General Treatment' started by AlmostEasy, Jan 7, 2017.

  1. AlmostEasy


    So for a presentation I had to give I got a prescription of propranolol to keep calm during the event as my fight or flight is already racing almost all of the time anyways and when I first took it I discovered that I felt substantially better while on it and that I could read things again and actually think without my body stressing out so much that I just overload and blank out and end up not even being able to read questions on practice tests etc from just the amount of stress it generates.

    My Dr then suggested that we try daily propranolol and I agreed. It has been quite wonderful and life changing to a certain extent. I re-planned everything I wanted to do with my life as usually just attempting to plan a new activity in my head is overwhelming, let alone actually going out and doing it. I felt a lot more calm and my perception (brain fog) decreased substantially. I was falling asleep at appropriate times (midnight instead of 4 am) and I was waking up feeling refreshed.

    Of course with all things that I try and succeed with it seems that it is starting to fade in effectiveness and will probably completely bunk out soon here. I started on 60 mg ER 2 x daily and then we moved to 80 mg ER 2 x daily and now I have 160 mg instant release tabs to divvy up how I see fit and they're kind of just not cutting it. I can still feel it but the pattern is that it's taking more to feel the same and that the positive cognitive effects are dwindling. I haven't monitored my vitals over the course of this.

    My question is, what might this mean for me? At the moment I'm looking at potentially Lyme disease as my diagnosis but we're not really sure yet. I wonder if my CNS is so infected that it's 75% fight or flight all the time anyway and doing simple things like trying to think ramps it up even higher. I just shut down physically under stress at times, it's scary. I've almost run to the ER on a few occasions.

    Does anyone have suggestions for other things that I could take to mimic these effects? Or even what might be going on here?
    ash0787 likes this.
  2. Sushi

    Sushi Moderation Resource Albuquerque

    Sounds quite possible that the sympathetic branch of your ANS is in overdrive. That is pretty common in patients and propranolol would reduce the adrenaline surges. But you are taking a pretty high dose which may (no expert here) make one more apt to get tolerance. I take 5 mg of propranolol twice per day and have to watch the effect on BP and HR.
    You might find this thread interesting when looking for alternatives: http://forums.phoenixrising.me/inde...se-acetylcholine-at-low-cost-naturally.46037/
  3. Murph

    Murph :)

    I take propranolol and monitor my heart rate. I can easily see the difference it makes. It seems to have effects over a couple of time ranges: one measured in hours and one over a week or so. (If I miss a dose, my HR will be higher in subsequent hours. If I move to a lower dose, a higher resting HR takes a few days to arrive.)

    I was recommended it for POTS. I failed a few standing tests and the doc said it would be a good way to keep my HR down. I was prescribed 10mg twice a day, which the pharmacist said was very low. I've played with the dose a bit and seem to get good results on a variety of doses. right now I'm on 5mg twice a day.

    Some physicians say beta blockers for dysautonomia are a bad idea because they lower blood pressure, and low blood volume is already a problem. My feeling is the upside of lower HR spikes is worth it. I sometimes increase the dose if I have to do a lot of things and I'm worried about how high my heart rate might go.

    Propranolol can also hide the symptoms of stress and anxiety. If you have an underlying anxiety disorder, treating that directly might be a good idea. I have no idea if you do, but the description above would possibly be consistent with one. I changed my job a while back to reduce stress and that has been very useful for me.

    One last point: propranolol is a beta blocker and I've read on this site that it might be useful in CFS not for any of the normal reasons but because it may block beta-autoantibodies. If CFS turns out to be autoimmune, it could explain their usefulness.
    actup likes this.
  4. AlmostEasy


    I think I'm definitely onto something here. In reply to @Murph I've gotten progressively worse over the years, I've always had SOME anxiety but this is such profound stress that just sitting in my room makes me almost useless at times. I'll check out the beta-autoantibodies though that is interesting..

    I've been dealing with erectile dysfunction for a few years now, it comes and goes and I've noticed that it comes on a lot when I'm stressed, and it turns out:

    Norepinephrine is a potent vasoconstrictor.

    When taking these beta blockers (when they were really working) I had the strongest, most normal erections that I can ever remember having, I would've thought it'd go in the other direction. NE may be the causative agent here.

    To further back this up, I recall when I trialed hydrocortisone as I thought my cortisol was off, this completely eliminated my erectile dysfunction as well. It turns out HC is one of the more potent dampeners of NE out there. Interesting.

    Here's a good rundown of it as well:


    So to me that definitely makes it seem like I have some serious norepinephrine issues. Prazosin looks like it works much more directly on the alpha-1 receptors, to directly block norepinephrine itself. I may trial this once I give my Dr some space, I just requested this stuff in a few different variations.

    @Sushi Thanks for the links, I've taken a lot of choline's before and I did enjoy them, but can't attest to them being that effective overall. It seems they may be talking about having a complete system in place though I'll read into it more soon here.
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2017
  5. ash0787

    ash0787 Senior Member

    160mg seems very high, the ones I'm taking say don't take more than 120mg in a day, I usually do fine on 40 to 60mg. First time I took the drug I was falling asleep halfway through the day and I felt like I couldn't even control it
    which somewhat scared me and made me not want to take it again, and that was only a 40mg tablet, they are quite powerful. I'm not sure why the effectiveness would be decreasing for you though :(

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