Beta blockers and health concerns

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SAL27

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Beta blockers and health concerns
« on: June 27, 2018, 11:16:51 AM »
Hello everyone,

I'd love some advice...

Basically I have terrible anxiety which means that often in public or social situations my hands are shaking uncontrollably, my heart is pounding, and my vision goes black. Doing anything outside my home is so exhausting and takes it out of me! In a practical sense, this meant that I couldnít get a job that involved being around other people. But then I discovered propranolol/ beta blockers.

And they stop me from shaking, which is so wonderful! I can't tell you how many times my main fear entering a social situation is that I'll shake. Now I can know for a fact that I won't, because I physically can't, and it makes it soooo much easier. Iíve tried anti-depressants in the past and I hated them. I've tried so many supplements, homeopathy etc with no results, so the beta blockers are a perfect solution. They donít help the internal anxiet,y but at least I can actually do more things.

Therefore, recently I got a part time job in a pub as I need a bit more income, and I can do a shift without having a panic attack. But it does mean now that I have to take beta blockers three times a week, or more if I have other things going on. Iím concerned about the long term health implications of using something which impacts your heart rate and blood pressure.

What didnít help was that the doctors Iíve seen about it have been useless: one doctor told me that they would give me seizures and would probably kill me (-thanks, really good grasp on how to handle patients with crippling life-long anxiety-) , another told me I can take literally ten times the dose every day and Iíll be absolutely fine. Another one told me they are not ideal as long term could give me low blood pressure.

So Iíd love the opinion of anyone who has been on them long term. How often do other people here take them? Being an anxious person obviously means that if Iím taking something I think is bad for me then Iím going to fixate on whether my blood pressure is too low etc (even though I know Iím young and healthy, and have never had any issues). Although they have genuinely been a blessing, maybe I shouldn't get too used to them if I'm going to make myself ill...

Much love

xx

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Eyessoblue

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Re: Beta blockers and health concerns
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2018, 01:38:45 PM »
Hi, I was put on these a few months ago as well as taking an antidepressant and like you, the shakiness stopped almost instantly which was great, I was told to take up to 6 a day as and when I needed them, the most I took was 4 which made me feel a bit zombiefied. What they did do tho was give me really bad heart palpitations to the point where it felt like my heart was about to jump out of my body, so I cut down but still suffered, I ended up taking myself off them completely and my heart palpitations stopped, I was told I needed an ecg after 6 months, but as I have taken myself off of them I wonít now bother. My dr told me they are for short term use and shouldnít be used for a long time.

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Kizzie

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Re: Beta blockers and health concerns
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2018, 05:51:20 PM »
Hey SAL, everyone is so different with respect to medication and we're not doctors or psychiatrists so please be cautious with any advice/feedback you get.  I know you've seen a few doctors about this but it may be necessary to see additional medical professionals to get an informed picture of whether or not this med is right for you.  You may want to try a psychiatrist since they have extensive training in both the medical and psychological arenas. 

Another professional you might speak to is a pharmacist.  When I was having difficulty with cancer meds I spoke to my pharmacist and got lots of great info and guidance. In one case she went to bat for me with my oncology team to switch out an anti-nausea med that wasn't doing much for me.  They did and I was so much better.   

And of course there are lots of credible sites online now like WebMD that you can use to research this med.

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ellachimera

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Re: Beta blockers and health concerns
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2019, 09:33:53 AM »
Late to the party, I am sorry if this is not needed anymore.

I got the same prescription but, as well as with benzos, I was told to use them only in case of dire need.

That need arises usually when I drink too much caffeine, which, depending on the day, can mean one cup of coffee or just a single cup of cola, or more. I should stop drinking caffeinated products altogether as I am not sure what is too much and all, but I feel sometimes I can't function without it.

I rarely use the betablockers now, and bezos I use even more rarely. The fact that I managed to realize the connection between my crippling anxiety and the amount of caffeine I had in me (and my sensitivity to it) helped me become way more balanced and react to pressure much better. I am actually enjoying it now, at least at work.

Still startled by sounds and abrupt movement though, but that's a completely different story.

I hope this helps, some people I spoke to about it realized they were sensitive to caffeine as well and their anxiety-related symptoms improved to no end by controlling the amounts of caffeine they used in their daily life, so I thought it might be useful to someone who reads this as well.

The science about the correlation between caffeine and anxiety is there, my GP tells me, but no one takes it as seriously as they should, especially not mh professionals. My pdoc was also aware of the research, but had never seen someone make that exact connection in their life before, and he had never reccommended people to lower their caffeine intake, he said. That's a pity, but I hope this will change in time, as these research papers I am told about become more popular or are taken more seriously.

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cynditk

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Re: Beta blockers and health concerns
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2019, 05:36:34 PM »

I just started using one- Clonidine- on the advice of my Nurse Practitioner. Been on for a week and so far so good, helping a lot! She did not tell me that it was a short term thing, I will have to ask about long term effects.

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Perplex

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Re: Beta blockers and health concerns
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2019, 11:42:48 AM »
This is an old thread but I can't help myself.
My GP gave me beta blockers as a way to calm my hyper-activeness down with my anxiety. I like to describe them as literal chill pills. They have been very helpful, just to take the edge off things. The thoughts are still present but at least my body stops freaking out.

However after talking to a psychiatrist, he has recommended I stop taking them. Naturally now I seem to be at an impasse.
I think that a lot of doctors are going to have their own opinions about these sorts of meds. But I think one would be wise to follow the rule of having everything in moderation. The best thing about beta blockers is that you can take them as you see fit, and I try to respect that and only take them when I need them.

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MoonBeam

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Re: Beta blockers and health concerns
« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2019, 12:17:45 AM »
Hi Perplex and welcome to OOTS. I too have a scrip for beta-blockers and have found them incredibly helpful in easing physical symptoms--shaking uncontrollably, heart pounding, trouble breathing. I don't take them every day, but when I need one, I am grateful I have them.
I've heard conflicting thoughts on beta-blockers as well and spoke to my ND regarding. She thinks they are a good fit for me--to use as needed. I didn't want to go on a 24-7 kind of med if I didn't absolutely have to. Do you mind my asking if the psychiatrist you spoke with said why they didn't recommend you continue taking them?

Thanks for posting.

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Perplex

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Re: Beta blockers and health concerns
« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2019, 01:26:13 AM »
Hi Perplex and welcome to OOTS. I too have a scrip for beta-blockers and have found them incredibly helpful in easing physical symptoms--shaking uncontrollably, heart pounding, trouble breathing. I don't take them every day, but when I need one, I am grateful I have them.
I've heard conflicting thoughts on beta-blockers as well and spoke to my ND regarding. She thinks they are a good fit for me--to use as needed. I didn't want to go on a 24-7 kind of med if I didn't absolutely have to. Do you mind my asking if the psychiatrist you spoke with said why they didn't recommend you continue taking them?

Thanks for posting.
Thanks MoonBeam,

To be honest I think the psychiatrist just didn't understand what I'm using them for. He mentioned that beta-blockers aren't a cure for anything, and I understood that and told him so. But he seemed to be under the impression that it's what I was relying on, which is not the case at all. Beta blockers definitely aren't there to 'make everything better'. I use them because I don't like unnaturally sweating in front of people, or because I need to concentrate on my work and can't have the shaking get in the way. I use them because despite me telling myself it's okay, my body still says otherwise. So yeah... I get where my psych was coming from but I think he misunderstood me.

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MoonBeam

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Re: Beta blockers and health concerns
« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2019, 10:11:17 PM »
I use them because despite me telling myself it's okay, my body still says otherwise. So yeah... I get where my psych was coming from but I think he misunderstood me.

That makes sense Perplex. I totally agree.