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Author Topic: Propranolol and Exercise (And Supplements)  (Read 331 times)

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Offline poppadr3w

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Propranolol and Exercise (And Supplements)
« on: April 28, 2014, 10:31:37 PM »
Hey all,

I was wondering about Propranolol. I know that it's truly made for heart conditions such as hypertension, but my Psychiatrist prescribed it to me for anxiety as well. I had been getting physical manifestations of anxiety that would snowball into bigger anxiety attacks. I've read that it is pretty effective. He gave me a low dose of 10mg 3x per day, scattered throughout. I also take Fluoxetine HCL 10mg (3 tabs, 30mg total) at night.

He said exercise is safe, but I want hear experiences from others as well. It seems counter intuitive to me to exercise to increase heart rate when when you have a medicine limiting it. I know exercise has many other benefits as well, but I don't want to hurt myself.

I primarily lift weights and/or do circuit training with the weights. For example, I did a SMALL workout today with kettlebell swings and pull-ups (5 sets each).

I also take some supplements. He says they are safe as well, but I like to hear personally from people with experiences and/or second hand experiences they've heard from others.

The supplements that I take are:
*Fish Oil - I figure this is pretty safe overall. I heard it even helps with depression and anxiety.
*Maca Root - I was told that this was good for energy. I don't drink coffee or anything. Also... I've heard that it helps with the SSRI induced sexual dysfunction.
*Protein Powder - Post workout and for snack.
*BCAA Powder - Intra workout drink that is merely Branched Chain Amino Acids and a Vitamin B Complex.

I also take Melatonin at night sometimes to help me sleep. He also suggested L-Arginine for the sexual dysfunction. I'm not 100% useless down there (I am a guy, by the way), but it's not, as Chevrolet would say, "like a rock." It is harder to get me physically in the mood and hard to keep me in the mood, even though psychologically I could be craving it like a fiend. My girlfriend has been very supportive.

That's all.

Thanks in advance!
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Offline insights

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Re: Propranolol and Exercise (And Supplements)
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2014, 12:43:45 AM »
He said exercise is safe, but I want hear experiences from others as well. It seems counter intuitive to me to exercise to increase heart rate when when you have a medicine limiting it. I know exercise has many other benefits as well, but I don't want to hurt myself.

Beta blockers like propranolol reduce the effects of epinephrine, aka adrenaline, (and norepinephrine) by preventing it from binding to one of its receptors. One of the consequences of this is that bp is reduced. However, this does not mean that you can't exercise while taking it. Indeed, heart attack survivors are encouraged to exercise while also being prescribed propranolol.

Exercise can also be an effective anxiety and depression treatment which works by encouraging neurogenesis in the hippocampal areas of the brain, just as antidepressants do, though it isn't as powerful. Moderate exercise is usually sufficient. You don't have to run a marathon every day. A 30 minute walk 4-5 times a day if usually sufficient.

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I also take some supplements. He says they are safe as well, but I like to hear personally from people with experiences and/or second hand experiences they've heard from others.

The supplements that I take are:
*Fish Oil - I figure this is pretty safe overall. I heard it even helps with depression and anxiety.
*Maca Root - I was told that this was good for energy. I don't drink coffee or anything. Also... I've heard that it helps with the SSRI induced sexual dysfunction.
*Protein Powder - Post workout and for snack.
*BCAA Powder - Intra workout drink that is merely Branched Chain Amino Acids and a Vitamin B Complex.

The only one with good evidence for its effectiveness is the fish oil. As with exercise and antidepressants it enhances hippocampal neurogenesis.

Quote
I also take Melatonin at night sometimes to help me sleep. He also suggested L-Arginine for the sexual dysfunction. I'm not 100% useless down there (I am a guy, by the way), but it's not, as Chevrolet would say, "like a rock."

Unfortunately, most antidepressants cause sexual dysfunction. The ones that usually don't are Wellbutrin (bupropion) which is often far to stimulating for those with anxiety disorders, Remeron (mirtizapine) the antidepressant most likely to stop working, and Desyrel (trazodone), which often enhances the libido at therapeutic doses (225+mg/day). However, there are ways of limiting the antidepressant impact on the libido.

Ian
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NOTE: I'm not a doctor, and particularly not yours, so there may be factors I'm unaware of. Therefore all advice is of a general nature and you should consult your doctor before following any of it, especially before changing med doses.

Offline poppadr3w

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Re: Propranolol and Exercise (And Supplements)
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2014, 08:15:11 AM »
As always, thank you, insights, for your informative response.

What are the best ways of mitigating the side effects of sexual dysfunction from SSRIs? I've read that some people take drug holidays and such, but I don't feel like that'd be a good idea for me. I like to stay regimented. My psychiatrist also prescribed me 100mg Viagra to try (He said to break it in half to 50mg doses since insurance only pays for a maximum of 6 pills). It's expensive, though (My co-pay for the 6 pills was $15). I haven't tried it yet, but being 25 and having such issues is depressing, especially since my sex drive is still relatively high.

As for exercise, I lift weights and stay within anaerobic limitations, generally. I just find it more relaxing and rewarding. I hate aerobic activity... Although I should practice it a bit. I'm a terrible runner. Being on the Propranolol scares me a bit. I don't want to be doing squats or something and pass out. I'm a bit of a hypochondriac.

Thanks again for the help, insights.
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Offline insights

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Re: Propranolol and Exercise (And Supplements)
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2014, 09:00:09 AM »
What are the best ways of mitigating the side effects of sexual dysfunction from SSRIs? I've read that some people take drug holidays and such, but I don't feel like that'd be a good idea for me. I like to stay regimented.

There is no best way, but one may be for you. I can only suggest you work your way through the list until you find something that works. Buspar (buspirone) would be a good starting point as it may also help with anxiety.

As for the 'drug holidays' these can work, but for some it becomes a fine balancing act between delaying the med long enough to get the desired result and the onset of withdrawal symptoms which tend to pole-axe the libido. Plus you need to plan in advance which kills the spontaneity and adds to the pressure to get it right on the night. Frankly, it all seems a bit to much trouble, and too mechanical to me. But then I might have a different view if I was your age, i.e. ~40 years younger.

Quote
My psychiatrist also prescribed me 100mg Viagra to try (He said to break it in half to 50mg doses since insurance only pays for a maximum of 6 pills).

The blue pills are worth a shot, but anecdotally the results are mixed.

Quote
Being on the Propranolol scares me a bit. I don't want to be doing squats or something and pass out.

This is unlikely to happen. Probably the only effect you'll notice is tiredness setting in a little sooner than normal when exercising. It might also be problematic on the libido front so give it a miss on those days. The half-life is only 4-5 hours so a 12 hour gap should be enough to negate its effects.

Ian
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NOTE: I'm not a doctor, and particularly not yours, so there may be factors I'm unaware of. Therefore all advice is of a general nature and you should consult your doctor before following any of it, especially before changing med doses.

Offline AncientMelody

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Re: Propranolol and Exercise (And Supplements)
« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2014, 09:39:43 AM »
I take propranolol 15 mg. I wake up in the morning with adrenaline surges frequently and I find if I take propranolol at bedtime, and again when I wake up in the morning, this has smoothed out those symptoms greatly.  I have ativan also, but I 1)Don't want to take Ativan on a daily basis and 2) find that the symptoms of this morning episode are overwhelmingly physical so the propranolol just does a better job.

I will say it has affected my exercise on a couple of occasions. light exercise like stretching or yoga poses no problem. but if  I'm going to be swimming or kickboxing that day, I skip my morning dose. I just can't exercise intensely with that in my system. It balances out fine because usually the exercise will burn off the excess adrenaline anyway.
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Offline poppadr3w

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Re: Propranolol and Exercise (And Supplements)
« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2014, 11:46:44 AM »
Today has been rough overall. I took the Propranolol this morning and I've felt like garbage ever since this morning, even prior to taking it.

My chest has been hurting for the past month (My heart is ok, it was checked last year through a battery of tests). It seems muscular in nature, since if I stretch I can feel the tension. But I've had a larger volume of shooting pain that goes from my chest to my stomach on the left side only, and a bit on my back. I took the Propranolol and it seems a lot better overall in that sense... I am a little sore on my left pectoral, but I am so fatigued and feel out of it. I talked to the Nurse Practitioner at my psychiatrist's office and she said that seems normal. My Mom also researched a bit and she said that it can take my body time to get used to the Propranolol since I am taking it strictly now. I was taking it on and off at 10mg. It's prescribed as 3x per day.

I also haven't taken much Xanax lately, which is new. I've been trying my hardest not to take it since I don't want to harbor an addiction of any kind. I usually take .25mg a day in the morning or another .25mg before a potential event.

I want to thank you both for your input thus far.

The Nurse Practitioner also said that the Viagra can cause cardiac issues in some people. Since I am having anxiety and chest pains already, I don't want to get over nervous taking the Viarga now. I'd LOVE to take it, and I am pretty sure I'll be OK, but I get nervous when taking medicine in general for some reason. Now hearing that I think I'd have a panic attack taking it.

I am just so tired of feeling achey and scatter brained. These physical manifestations are killing my quality of life tremendously. I hope that the Prozac kicks in full force soon... I've been at my top dose for 22 days now (I take it at night). Days have been hit or miss, but these muscle aches in my chest make me not want to exercise much, so I can't release my stress that way.

I also asked about Fibromyalgia (I probably butchered that spelling). The Nurse Practitioner said that it doesn't sound like I have it since FM patients generally have pain in many areas of the body, not just a few localized spots. I'm just looking for answers at this point...

Any ideas?
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Offline insights

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Re: Propranolol and Exercise (And Supplements)
« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2014, 06:14:59 PM »
Any ideas?

The symptoms you describe can be manifestations of stress. They may be of other things to, but given your mental state, plus the Prozac dose increase which is probably amplifying your anxiety levels, anxiety/stress is the most likely suspect.

Ian
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NOTE: I'm not a doctor, and particularly not yours, so there may be factors I'm unaware of. Therefore all advice is of a general nature and you should consult your doctor before following any of it, especially before changing med doses.

Offline AncientMelody

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Re: Propranolol and Exercise (And Supplements)
« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2014, 07:51:15 PM »
I agree with Ian, muscle tension is no joke and can really affect your quality of life/most of your body. Also, check on the quality of your shoes/pillow/mattress. If these are old or generally in poor shape, it can really make your body uncomfortable.

Consider too, investing in a session or two of acupuncture or massage therapy. They may not alleviate the underlying anxiety, but certainly can give you a lift to your day and relieve some of the muscle tension. Both have been beneficial for me before.
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Offline poppadr3w

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Re: Propranolol and Exercise (And Supplements)
« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2014, 07:59:08 AM »
Thank you both for your insightful posts. I was getting a bit worried. The symptoms have calmed down a bit. I still am getting shooting pain in my chest and stomach from time to time, but yesterday I felt like my muscles were locking up a bit. They felt so stiff and tight that all I wanted to do was put my head down on my desk and breathe. But today I feel, well... Not 100%, but not as bad as yesterday.

As for acupuncture and massage therapy, I do them both! They're fantastic and seem very beneficial initially, but after a few days that tension comes back. I do acupuncture every other Thursday. The thing is that there is a co-pay, and all of these co-pays adding up is taking away from what I can be saving, so I am trying to balance everything. Massage Therapy I do every other Thursday (Opposite of the Acupuncture), or whenever I can. There is no co-pay for that, which is awesome. I also do Chiropractics once a week.

I've been going to Physical Therapy for a couple of months for my lower back and upper left shoulder area. So I talked to the Physical Therapist and he stretched my chest out a bit yesterday. He said it seems tight overall and to maybe alter my training schedule a bit, which I am doing. I'll be workout out 3-4 times a week, 3 of those days being full body compound movements, the fourth day being a day for smaller muscles and touch-ups (Like arms and calves, for example). He also said I should be careful with the Propranolol and working out. He said some people do become dizzy since the blood cannot pump to the brain fast enough to compensate for working out. So I think my workouts will be a bit shorter and I'll have slightly longer rest periods between sets.

It's scary that all of these manifestations can come from something as "simple" as anxiety and stress. The thing is also is that these manifestations make me even *MORE* stressed, snowballing the stress and making it all worse.

Hopefully this Prozac works soon. I've been on the 30mg for... Over three weeks now. The psychiatrist says it can take 4-8 weeks for it to "fully" kick in, so 6 weeks on average. Will I feel incrementally better, or will one day I wake up and I'll be bright-eyed and bushy tailed? lol. I just want to get my life back on track.

But I do want to thank you both for your helpful words. It's wonderful that other people actually care enough to post, help and support others they don't even know, especially given how sensitive of a situation it is for me.
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Offline insights

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Re: Propranolol and Exercise (And Supplements)
« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2014, 08:24:30 AM »
It's scary that all of these manifestations can come from something as "simple" as anxiety and stress.

There is nothing "simple" about anxiety/stress, it is one of the most complicated of disorders, and the most deadly as it can setup the 'perfect' conditions for many of the diseases that have us dropping off our perches prematurely including heart disease, immune system disorders and cancer.

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Will I feel incrementally better, or will one day I wake up and I'll be bright-eyed and bushy tailed

It can go either way. Some see a gradual improvement, albeit often with the occasional setback, for others it happens overnight. There is no way of predicting how you will fare.

Ian
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NOTE: I'm not a doctor, and particularly not yours, so there may be factors I'm unaware of. Therefore all advice is of a general nature and you should consult your doctor before following any of it, especially before changing med doses.

Offline poppadr3w

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Re: Propranolol and Exercise (And Supplements)
« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2014, 09:03:18 AM »
Thanks insights.

One more question... For now! If you don't mind me picking your brain, of course.

The Propranolol (10mg 3x/day) seems to make me a bit sleepy and dizzy. Sleepy I can understand since, well... You're lowering your heart rate. Will my body get used to this medication overall and these side effects kind of clear up? I drive a lot for my job, so I want to be safe, but I also want to take care of myself by following my Psychiatrist's instructions.

Do people generally stay on Propranolol for long for anxiety, or is it used to transition into the SSRI and then it is weened off or discontinued?

And any other advice since you seem to be completely knowledgeable in this field? Any supplements aside from Fish Oil to take? Any other side effects I should possibly be aware of?

I also have Xanax... I think I mentioned this in an earlier post. 0.25 mg taken as needed. I had to take one yesterday my anxiety got so bad. I fear that taking Xanax and Propranolol will put me in a comatose-like sleep state when I need to be awake.
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Offline insights

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Re: Propranolol and Exercise (And Supplements)
« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2014, 09:28:48 AM »
Will my body get used to this medication overall and these side effects kind of clear up?

Maybe. It all depends on your individual biology. It is much less likely to affect your driving than Xanax.

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Do people generally stay on Propranolol for long for anxiety, or is it used to transition into the SSRI and then it is weened off or discontinued?

That depends on how effective it and the fluoxetine are. 

Quote
Any supplements aside from Fish Oil to take?

Nope. Most of those promoted online are a waste of time, or cause more problems than they solve.

Quote
I fear that taking Xanax and Propranolol will put me in a comatose-like sleep state when I need to be awake.

That is unlikely to happen. What was the response when you took the Xanax yesterday?

Ian





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NOTE: I'm not a doctor, and particularly not yours, so there may be factors I'm unaware of. Therefore all advice is of a general nature and you should consult your doctor before following any of it, especially before changing med doses.

Offline poppadr3w

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Re: Propranolol and Exercise (And Supplements)
« Reply #12 on: April 30, 2014, 09:36:58 AM »
I took the Xanax around 3:15 on my way home from work since my muscles felt so tight and I got that lump in my throat. I felt out of it when I went to the supermarket, but I guess the Xanax didn't take effect yet since that was only 20-30 minutes later.

After I had Physical Therapy, which went fine. I felt alright by then, actually. My chest was a bit sore, but my anxiety had diminished by the most part by then.

The Propranolol makes me much more sleepy than Xanax, but I want to take the Propranolol since that's what my Psychiatrist prescribed. I just am wary when it comes to taking too many medications. It scares me since you hear people dying from pharmaceuticals every day. You hear these astronomical numbers and then when I get these side effects and/or don't feel well, I get worried.  :/

My Psychiatrist said it's ok to drink on the Prozac, generally. He said to not go crazy, but a couple of drinks are tolerable. He said drinking on the Xanax is bad since it truly amplifies the effects of alcohol. I guess it is safe to assume that it's ok to drink with the Propranolol since he prescibred that as well, right? I don't drink often anymore. Not even close. I've had less than 10 drinks this whole year.

We need to set you up a donation PayPal account or something, insights!

Anyway, I am hoping to feel better relatively soon. I want to get back to the Fire Department. I miss it.
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Offline insights

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Re: Propranolol and Exercise (And Supplements)
« Reply #13 on: April 30, 2014, 06:12:09 PM »
He said drinking on the Xanax is bad since it truly amplifies the effects of alcohol. I guess it is safe to assume that it's ok to drink with the Propranolol since he prescibred that as well, right?

Alcohol may increase the BP lowering effects of the propranolol so you would need to be cautious. Do not drive or engage in potentially dangerous activity until you work out how the combination affects you. OTOH, multivitamins may reduce the effectiveness of propranolol.

Quote
We need to set you up a donation PayPal account or something, insights!

What and drive me into a higher tax bracket?  :winking0008:  Thanks for the thought, but I don't need the money. Donate to your favourite charity instead if you wish.

Ian
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NOTE: I'm not a doctor, and particularly not yours, so there may be factors I'm unaware of. Therefore all advice is of a general nature and you should consult your doctor before following any of it, especially before changing med doses.

 

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