Channel blockers and swollen lymph nodes

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Hi. I have recently been prescribed Diltiazem XR, 130 mg to treat tachycardia and panic attacks. I have been taking the medication for one month as of today. I was prescribed the medication after a two day hospital stay, during which a twenty-four hour urine test was taken, results normal, and several blood panels were drawn, the results of which were normal except for mild anemia (something that's been fairly persistent for several years), and slightly raised thyroid level, an 8 I believe. I have also been previously diagnosed with GERD, tachycardia and probable IBS-C. The side effects I noticed immediately after staring the diltiazem were constipation, though that's also the nature of my IBS, and cough, though I often struggle with coughdue to GERD. I am managing both of those. Otherwise I've done very well on the medication. However, last week I noticed swelling and tenderness on my neck beneath my jaw, between the jaw bone and submandibular gland, which has also been swollen. It went away and now has returned again. It is less swollen in the mornings before I take the diltiazem, and seems to grow more swollen and tender as the day goes on. I was quite concerned about this but read that one of the common side effects can be swelling and tenderness in the neck. However, now I've found lymph nodes in my armpits as well that seem slightly swollen and it's freaking me out a bit. The information I read only mentioned swelling int he neck. Three months ago my GD checked my lymph nodes during a routine exam, no swelling. I saw her again two weeks ago as a follow up and hadn't noticed any swelling then either. I have a cardiologist followup in two weeks, and was going to mention the swelling at that time if it doesn't resolve itself first. However, I have to admit that after finding the nodes in my armpits, I'm a little freaked out about it and am nervous about waiting in case its something much more serious. I don't have any other symptoms to suggest I've got a cold or other infection, and I'm wondering if anyone else who takes diltiazem has experienced generalized lymphadenopathy as a side effect? If so, has it gone away after a time or persisted?

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  • Posted

    sorry cant help on the main issue, but if, by 8, you mean your TSH was 8, why are you not on medication for hypothyroid disease? at 8 TSH many people will be having all sorts of hypothyroid symptoms, do you have raised autoantibodies?

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    • Posted

      I'm not sure about autoantibodies. As for my thyroid levels, the problem is that each time tests were run, it was when I was being seen during a panic attack or just after. During, it was quite high, and then several days after was dramatically lowered. At other times however the tests were in the normal range. The doctor told me that raised TSH can be a cause of anxiety attacks, or anxiety attacks the cause of raised TSH. She prescribed the diltiazem, I was told, as it promised to be the easiest solution to my frequent anxiety attacks, since I also have tachycardia, with the fewest side effects. However if the diltiazem didn't work for me then we might try some sort of thyroid medication instead. There is another possibility which is sjogren's syndrome. The gene runs in my family and I have a brother and a sister that have been diagnosed, and my sister has been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and my brother with lupus. I have not been tested, though its under consideration as a possibility.

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  • Posted

    I'm sure this is all beyond me, but when you talk to the doctor, it might be that a smaller dose could be discussed.

    I've only used amlodipine, the other kind of calcium channel blocker, which supposedly has fewer side-effects but still has plenty. I'm not sure I like the whole idea of blocking a calcium channel!

    Have you previously tried beta blockers, would seem to be another way to go on this, if needed.

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    • Posted

      I was previously diagnosed metroprolol, but had terrible side effects. It was the lowest dose possible and yet by the second day I felt so sedated I could barely hold my head up and I was slurring my words. Hoping that would resolve, I kept at it for two more days. The second day I started having terrible gastrointestinal problems and the third, I was having hair fall out. The doctor chose the diltiazem because she was hoping I'd tolerate it better, though she tells me its the lowest dose possible. I plan to talk to the cardiologist when I see him, at least about the swollen glands and nodes.

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    • Posted

      @susan47037, for what it's worth I take 1/4 of the lowest dose of atenolol, and that works pretty well for me! Yes, the full dose made me feel like zombie.

      I guess some people are just a lot more sensitive to it.

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    • Posted

      jx41870..Atenolol & Metropolol are two different beta blockers. One is water soluable, while the other is fat soluable. Metropolol falls into the latter category.

      A few years ago, I was taking Metropolol, & it gave me such bad headaches, it was frightening. I'd take the tablet at 7.30am, then by 11.am

      the headache was in full bloom. You could set your watch by it. After complaining to the Dr., I was taken off the Metropolol. Then about 2 1/2 yrs ago, I was prescribed Atenolol. At first I was a little reluctant because of the headaches caused by Metropolol, but a Pharmacist friend of mine explained to me, the difference between the two medicines. I have not had any trouble with the Atenolol. I take just 50mg 1x/day.

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  • Posted

    susan47037...by all means get back to your doctor if you are very concerned about the swelling in your lower jaws & armpits. It's probably nothing to worry about, but the Dr. is the best person to see/speak with about the situation. If you have a concern, you have every right to consult a medical professional.

    There can be mild infections in the body that don't necessarily manifest themselves, but can show slightly in bloodwork. About 1 yr ago, my white cell count was a little elevated, & the Nurse Practitioner said I likely had a slight infection. I wasn't aware of anything...no sneezing, coughing, fever, etc. About a month or so later, the white count level was back to normal.

    Again, please see your doctor, & let us know how you get on.

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