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Author Topic: Beta blockers - afraid to take  (Read 259 times)

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Offline Bubbleburst

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Beta blockers - afraid to take
« on: June 04, 2014, 07:45:33 AM »
My doc prescribed beta blockers to try and help with the physical side effects - blushing, racing heart, startling- sweaty hands and feets - to name but a few lol! The problem is that I'm afraid to take them - say if my heart slows right down???? Is this possible ? And how long would it last . Driving me crazy thinking about it. Should be easy enough to put a tablet in your mouth but not for me :(
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Online ShawnW

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Re: Beta blockers - afraid to take
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2014, 08:40:19 AM »
Not sure I can pin point your fear.  Heart slowing down?  Well, yes it's a beta blocker meaning it will slow down your heart rate, that's often a good thing.  It will lower your blood pressure and help with the physical symptoms of anxiety.  While it doesn't directly help with the mental, it can by decreasing symptoms you obsess over.

What is it that you fear about this drug...specifically?
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My insight, thoughts, experiences or advice that may be posted in this forum are not meant as a substitution for the advice of your physician.

Want to know how to address your anxiety?
http://www.anxietyzone.com/index.php/topic,93402.msg521266.html#msg521266

Offline Never-Quit

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Re: Beta blockers - afraid to take
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2014, 11:03:39 AM »
I have taken beta blockers for high blood pressure for years and is a very effective medication in protecting the heart.  And found it useful in helping anxiety (racing of the heart - Anxiety)...

The most common beta blocker is TENORMIN or Atenolol tablets- it protects the heart from excessive wear tear by limiting how fast your heart rate.  It is also used to combat mild anxiety such as "stage fright" or "Job Interviews" etc.

It has proven to be very safe, and your heart will not stop beating... I had this same concern, it just shields it from Excessive 'racing of the heart'  - especially when we get upset or have anxiety.

What is the name of your beta blocker and what is dosage?

Wishing you the best!   :yes:
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Offline Andrew90

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Re: Beta blockers - afraid to take
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2014, 08:56:26 PM »
I was recently prescribed 10 mg propranolol tablets for an "as needed" basis, mainly before exercise in my case (since I have been getting panicky during workouts). FWIW, my experience was that it was extremely subtle, but I did feel a bit more relaxed about an hour after taking it. I'm also on another anti-hypertensive, guanfacine, which I take for ADD & Anxiety...I do not have hypertension, so I'm not taking these meds for that condition. Rather, my anxiety stems from the physiological activity that occurs when anxious moments arise.

So far I've found that the mix of propranolol and xanax is the gold standard for treating panicogenic situations. I usually end up taking either 0.5 mg or 1 mg of xanax, and 10 -20 mg of propranolol. Again, in my case these are "as needed" agents, and from what I can tell you they both work very well for that.
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Offline Never-Quit

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Re: Beta blockers - afraid to take
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2014, 10:49:16 AM »
mainly before exercise in my case (since I have been getting panicky during workouts).



Hi Andrew, interesting you found the Lactic Acid + Exercise connection = Panic Attacks in some individuals.  Many years ago I would love to workout but found myself in ER, when I would exercise vigorously... After the ER got tired of seeing my face, I went to a neurologist (in 1979) to later find out that the Lactic Acid being produced naturally by my body was triggering massive panic attacks.

Today, we now know the direct connection through studies and research.

I found the following link helpful interesting: 

http://www.thechurchesofgod.com/HOW%20TO%20STOP%20PANIC%20ATTACKS%20FOREVER.htm

Apparently, others are coming around to the dehydration aspect.  This is a quick article I wrote on ***** to a girl who was having terrible anxiety.  Of all the responses she got, she voted this one the best.  Best Answer - Chosen by Asker
Here is the quote of what I told her.  It received five stars because it is so simple and so doable.

"I used to have panic attacks and really bad anxiety. I found a simple solution by accident. If I felt extreme anxiety or a panic attack coming on, I would drink 1 or 2 glasses of water straight down, and it stopped it every time. In about 2 minutes I would feel a calm come over me. It has never failed me yet. I found that eating foods high in sodium can trigger anxiety, or just being dehydrated can trigger anxiety and even full blown panic attacks. Come to find out, dehydration is a major cause of fearful feeling, hyperventilation and anxiety. I try to drink more all day long now, and I have no anxiety or panic attacks anymore. Good luck! "

 


So far I've found that the mix of propranolol and xanax is the gold standard for treating panicogenic situations. I usually end up taking either 0.5 mg or 1 mg of xanax, and 10 -20 mg of propranolol. Again, in my case these are "as needed" agents, and from what I can tell you they both work very well for that.

I am glad you found the same solution that I finally came to when exercising - a beta-blocker for long term anti-anxiety agent, and of course Xanax (which will prevent and quickly put the brakes on a panic attack) especially when exercising.

I would take 5mg Valium before workouts in the past and the Exercise Induced Panic Attacks were a thing of the past, it was that simple for me.  The beta blocker would help prevent any "racing-heart" or anxiety later throughout the day, after I would leave the gym.

Good information Andrew!   :grinning-smiley-003:
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Offline Andrew90

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Re: Beta blockers - afraid to take
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2014, 06:55:51 PM »
Fascinating article, there is so much insightful information about the lactic acid connection with panic attacks...I had never heard or read about this. I realize that quite often I am a shallow breather, and I don't hydrate myself as much as I know I should. I also live in south Florida, and dehydration is pretty much immediate once you step outside during the spring/summer. Instead of my body producing enough ATP, it is producing lactic acid instead.

When I go to the gym, without taking my beta blocker/benzo cocktail, I hyperventilate a lot as my cardio training increases in intensity. This hyperventilation is what I bet leads to the panic attacks, because it creates all that excess lactic acid, in addition to low carbon dioxide levels in the bloodstream. Moreover, I wonder if this lactic acid is connected to body aches/mild chest pains that I occasionally get (I've gotten the barrage of tests from doctors and have been cleared of any health abnormalities, plus I'm 24).

Anyway, going back to the topic of this thread, I do indeed find that a beta blocker is helpful for keeping panic away, particularly in moments that one anticipates will be stressful or anxiogenic. They are very safe, and at low doses have virtually no side effects!

Thanks for this information Never-Quit! 
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Offline london23

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Re: Beta blockers - afraid to take
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2014, 08:03:03 PM »
i took betablockers only when i felt i couldent cope with my anxiety when it was really bad, and i have to say it does calm u down and get rid of all your nerves..but i didnt like it..i felt kinda sluggish and lazy and i didnt feel as fresh as i did in my normal state..i also got bad headaches when the effects started wearing off...but it did help me alot in those harsh times.
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Offline poppadr3w

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Re: Beta blockers - afraid to take
« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2014, 09:20:04 AM »
I'm on Propranolol 10mg 3x per day (Well, I aim for 3x per day. It's hard to remember to take a medicine that many times). At first I was afraid, but the beta blockers at such a low amount don't do THAT much. You may feel sleepy as you get used to it, but it is a valuable tool that I've definitely noticed makes a difference while I get used to the Prozac I was prescribed. My Psychiatrist said that it helps the body deal with the physical manifestations of the anxiety.

I did try exercising on it, but I couldn't exercise as efficiently since your heart rate can't climb to where it wants to. I got a bit dizzy. So now I take it a bit after my workout and before bed, as well as as soon as I wake up.

I also take other supplements that are heart healthy, such as Fish Oil and L-Arginine (Helps with blood flow), as well as vitamins.
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Offline Andrew90

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Re: Beta blockers - afraid to take
« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2014, 06:37:24 PM »
I'm wondering how long it would take for a person to become dependent on 10 mg of propranolol per day...OR if at such a low dose, dependency isn't a concern. I was prescribed 30 of the 10 mg pills for the month, with 1 refill, so I'm wondering if it would be ok for me to take it everyday and not deal with any adverse effects in between doses.
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Offline Never-Quit

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Re: Beta blockers - afraid to take
« Reply #9 on: June 09, 2014, 08:06:27 PM »
I'm wondering how long it would take for a person to become dependent on 10 mg of propranolol per day...OR if at such a low dose, dependency isn't a concern. I was prescribed 30 of the 10 mg pills for the month, with 1 refill, so I'm wondering if it would be ok for me to take it everyday and not deal with any adverse effects in between doses.

There is no worry for beta-blockers, they are considered safe and they have no addictive properties in these type of medications that I am aware and I have taken them for long periods of time to control my high blood pressure under my Dr's supervision.

You might get a little fatigued and Lethargic which are normal.... I use B-12 supplements to help offset this side effect with very good results. 

No need to fear  :grinning-smiley-003:
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Re: Beta blockers - afraid to take
« Reply #10 on: June 09, 2014, 08:48:48 PM »
I'm wondering how long it would take for a person to become dependent on 10 mg of propranolol per day...OR if at such a low dose, dependency isn't a concern.

Beta-blockers do not produce dependence as such. They do very little in the brain, indeed some cannot even penetrate the blood-brain barrier, though propranolol does. However, you may still need to wean off them because the body adapts to their presence and a sudden discontinuation may trigger a spike in blood pressure. If you wish to taken propranolol daily then I suggest you discuss this with your doctor first if this is not how it was prescribed to be taken.

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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