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Feel as if my brain has been damaged.

I was put on Bisopolol on Boxing day, I only took half the dosage so 1.25mg as they made me feel so bad. One of the syptoms was they made me feel like a drunk Zombie.

Middle of March, and I was put on Sotalol instead, I only took this for a couple of weeks as I developed a bad cough so my GP told me to come off. So I have been free of medication for two or three weeks now, but my brain feels so very very foggy, I feel on the versge of catatonia and will find it quite difficult to do anything other then sit completely still staring at nothing with no thoughts in my head. Up until February 9th, I had always been in full time work, now I feel as if I have some sort of demintia, my concentration is gone and my reactions have become very slow.

Could this be a result of the Beta-Blockers?, will the syptoms fail with time?

Only other explaination is that I am getting much better sleep now that I no longer have to go to work, a regular eight hours and at the same time rather than the shifts I used to do.

The other thing, could it be depression?, I have always lived alone but now that I no longer see people at work, my life is almost complete isolation, but yesterday for instance, I saw a friend I havnt seen for a few years, but my brain still stayed very dull indeed.

16 Replies

  • peter01729

    I do exactly the same thing and i don,t know if its depression now or the drug Bisoprolol 1.25.   Unlike you i don,t sleep, my family do not appreciate i have some health problems now, svt and aches in my joints, they still want me to dog sit, pick them up etc     I cannot say n.     I hve always been quick in everything i do and my brain is sharp, i feel like a zombie , maybe its what the drug does to us.   You should be improving now you have come off it, i,m sure it takes time. 

  • peter01729

    Hello Peter, Here is some food for thought..  yes beta blockers slow us down and make us feel zombie like as it slows down the heart.  I have read countless complaints on many forums and without a doubt people do not like the side effects of hypertension drugs in general.  Now here is a thought.. I truly believe half the problem with hypertension lies with FEAR.. what passes from the medical profesionals today is a far cry from yesterday.  When we are dismissed due to a complant or even fought with by the professional it raises our blood pressure..Your  case  is not unique..  Ask questions as to why you are on a beta blocker and do some research.. do not follow blindly.. After all you know your body more than someone who sees you for ten minutes and makes an assumption about your condition...Good health to you Peter..

  • Strangely today, for no parlicular reason, I have had very bad SVT for about four hours now, certainly I will be getting a phone call tommorrow  from a cardiologist when they see the 12 particular episodes I have told my Reveal Linq to notify them of. But the strange thing is that during this time, I havnt had the brain fog.

    Its as if the previous taking of beta-blockers has kept my body in a state of in-action, and that for whatever reason today, my body has deci9ded to produce some adrenalin or whatever, that not only has woken my brain up, but also my heart to the very thing the beta-blockers would have protected it from.  

    • peter01729

      Hi, Peter, hopefully you have spoken to a doctor by now. These medications are very powerful. I had so many problems on a very low dose betablocker that i was given permission to stop. I tapered carefully, got all sorts of symptoms, and still had the fatigue and corpse like feeling/not able to breathe,  then after a week or two things changed . Blood pressure up, pulse up, and such a 'high' i was almost in another world, with totally abnormal reactions to  the least stress, this got worse and worse before it settled after months, won't go into details here, but very strange time, take great care

  • Thanks to all you Ann's.

    And Annie, your comment about it taking months gives me hope, as its about one month now since I stopped the Sotalol, and a couple of months re the Bisoprolol.

    Anyway, on the day of my initial comment, my issue with my heart turned out to be Ventricular Tachycardio, I know this because this episode didnt stop once I went to bed, it got so bad that after 12 hours of it, I called 111 who sent a doctor in a car who then called a priority 1 ambualnce to take me to St Georges who kept me in for five days then performed an abulation.

    I then went home to find my mother who I have not seen for 16 years and  who has recently taken to contacting me since I asked her if there was a family history of heart desease, well, she must think she can make up for abusing and neglecting me as a child by showing concern now when she couldnt contact me by getting the Police to smash my front door in.

    Maybe it was the drunk dream lkike state I still find myself in that then caused me to attempt suicide, so right away another four days in hospital.

    Feeling almost like losing conciousness now, but I dare say the lack of sleep one gets in hospital doesnt help along with my oxygen content which should be between 94 and 100, was always keeping the bedside alarm sounding at 91, sometimes as low as 87. No wonder I discribe beta-blockers as making it feel as if my lungs are not working.

    I notice on my hospital discharge letter that I am now described as being allergic to Bisoprolol, and the stated side effect for me was anapolactic shock which rather surprised me.

    My life is now totally ruined of course and everybdoy now considers me a mental case, will lose my job, but you might get to see me on the Channel 4 show "24 hours in A & E" as they attached a microphone to me and said they would be in touch.  

    • peter01729

      Hi, Peter, I am very sorry to hear what has happened. I am not a scientist or doctor, but,  as far as i so far understand, from talking to a pharmacist, and reading, is that  beta blockers  block your beta adrenergic receptors so the stress hormones cannot be activated. Different bbs have different properties, some are cardiac selective, some are not, some are lipophilic (getting into the central nervous system) and some are not.  But all of them block these beta adrenergic receptors, which are all over the body,  to a greater or lesser extent. And as a result,  the body tries to  get back to equilibrium and makes more receptors.  Often, the medication then works less well, so the patient has to up dose.  So when one stops medication, hopefully very very slowly, one may still have a lot more receptors than one would ever have had.  So, when any type of stress comes along,  the stress hormones have more receptors to lock onto, and one has to deal with these supra-normal levels, and bam!!  one is in a very strange world, sort of unreal, even stepping through the looking glass if the stress is large enough, into a sort of dream world.  For me, as a type one diabetic who had problems with low blood sugars many years ago  (the body responds to a low sugar by throwing out a lot of stress hormones ) this was at least sort of familiar, but still it took lots of research to sort out what was happening. Still had some very weird times. The good news is that over time the body has to remodel everything to some degree of normality, and some people just take longer to do this, nearly 6 months in my case. Maybe this could explain how you acted as you did when you had  high stress - suddenly you were flooded with supra supra normal stress hormones.......i had to try to just sit it out, keep brain quiet, listen to music, look at spring, things did improve. Obviously sometimes these drugs are needed - i should have researched first and started at an even smaller dose than i did.  Best wishes 

    • annie78444

      Wow thanks Annie that is very usefull information indeed and explains a lot. My withdrawal from both Bisoprolol and Solatol on the instuctions of my cardiologist and GP was to just stop taking them. I have already been discribing myself as being in a dream that I hope so desperately to suddenly wake up from.  

    • peter01729

      Hi, Peter, in case you have not read it, the thread Betablocker/Bisoprenol Withdrawal and Breathlessness, has lots of info, esp from bob52204. Was surprised to see so many had problems, and very different regarding recovery times. i am mostly recovered, tho pulse more up and down still, Take care

  • So I went to see my original Cardiologist at Guys Hospital today in response to the alarming call I received that he needed to see me urgently.

    Turns out that this is a late response to the 12 hour Ventricular Tachycardia incident that saw an ambulance take me to St Georges for five days, even though the Cardiologist at St Georges is a personal friend of the one at Guys and spoke to him on the phone in front of me, seems to have not registered. The woman who downloaded the data from my chest device told me they had been repeatedly ringing me the next day, when I wasn't there to answer, as I was in hospital by then.

    Still, not a complete waste of a day as I got to ask the Doctor some questions, turned out to be an under-study who I got to speak to, he was very defensive of the Beta-Blockers claiming they have a half-life of a few days so cannot possibly still be affecting me, even when I said all my symptoms started as soon as I started the Beta-Blockers and that there are dozens of people on the "Patient-info" forum who are suffering from exactly the same symptoms as me when they started Beta-blockers!. He does agree breathing problems are a side effect of Bisoprolol , but didn't want to consider they could have a more permanent effect, but when I suggested is it possible that if somebody has a border-line condition such as Asthma that they are unaware of, can the Bisoprolol trigger it and make it worst, he then said yes! Regarding my permanent cough now and constricted asthma feeling, he told me to go to my GP.

    I told him since the Ablation I am getting worst and worst heart pains as if its being squeezed or poked with a sharp stick, painful enough to make me wince, he said that wont be anything to do with your heart, must be a co-incidence then that may heart started getting these pains after it was subject to causation then!

    I also told him I was still getting the trigger but that at least it would only do it the once rather than triggering a run of tachycardia, feels like my breath is being snatched away and an expanding hollow feeling starts in my chest, I was getting these every few minutes on the train journey in. Once again he said its nothing to do with your heart, must be something else, until that is they downloaded and checked the data from my implantable device, every time I got this feeling last night, I marked it with my key-fob thing, the ECG graph showed a Ventricular Ectopic beat on every mark, so it is still my heart beating wrong whenever I get that feeling. Though its quite an alarming occurrence, at least the Ablation stops it starting a long run of Ventricular Tachycardia, just leaves the single ectopic jumps which are not dangerous. It does show the propensity of NHS doctors to try and reduce their workload and responsibility with whatever they can get away with. So many people on that forum have had exactly the same experience where the doctors deny the meds they proscribed can have further adverse effects!

    So, seems the Arrhythmia Cardiologists feel there is nothing more that they can do for me, though they still want me to mark incidences on my implantable device thing, lets see what the Heart Failure Cardiologist has to say on 9th June, turns out he is concerned about the scar tissue that was discovered when I had the MRI scan, though it cannot be from a heart attack as today's doctor told me I have no blockage at all in my arteries so a heart attack wasn't possible.

    • peter01729

      I have a feeling in my lungs like cotton wool, i find it difficult to walk at the pace i used to before taking this beta blocker, i have got used to the drug now but get light headed when i get up from sitting.   I will continue taking the 1.25 of bisoprolol because they have given me a release from the majority of svt and missed heartbeats so far that i have suffered with badly. My specialist said take another one during the day if i need but i don,t want to do that if i am ok on this dose.  Hope all goes well for you Peter.


    • peter01729

      Hi, Peter, the problem, as i see it, is that we all are put on betablockers for different reasons, and we all have differerent sensitivities.  Maybe look at your patient info leaflet for the 2 you were on, and read over again, i saw more as i read later, as i was not really up to detail when i first was using my bbs.  i was on different bb , so without doing research i do not know re side effects re yours, but you will find that the side effects are many, though some people are more sensitive than others.  Also, if you google 'beta blocker rebound phenomenon' eg., you will find lots of info, much of the research was done some years ago, but it found the phenomenon was real, but that most users had not many problems, but some had a lot. Some of the studies found that there were different problems with different b-bs, though of course there were less available at that time. One study  showed that some healthy young volunteers had 'mental discomfort' for up to 3 weeks after stopping metoprolol, a lipophilic bb, this interested me, as the bb i used was a lipophilic one. Other studies have found all sorts of changes in hormones etc, including temporary changes in thyroid hormones. A review study in 2011,  has a good summary, including that for some individuals too fast a withdrawal could be dangerous  Maybe you, and others on this site, are in the more sensitive minority group? P.S. remember, i have found withdrawal takes time, approx 6 and a half months since stopping, to be back to where i was, has the dream like feeling you mentioned gone now? Best of luck

  • Latest update is that it is now 11 months since they took me off beta blockers, my cognitive impairment is substantially worst, the first hour or two in the morning I am not to bad, just a bit fuzzy in the head, but by mid-day I find it rather difficult to walk in a straight line. 

    The NHS has fobbed me off all this time claiming I got "anxiety" the same day they put me on beta blockers, but I got a nice cardiologist to listen to logic in December, and he agrees there is a possibility beta blockers permanently disrupted my Autonomic Nervous System, so I actually have my first appointment to see a Neurologist next Tuesday, hope its not going to be a money saving sort! 

  • Forgot to update you on the results on my visit to an Autonomic Neurologist.

    Before I even saw the Neurologist, I had an Autonomic Blood Pressure test that any GP could have done, take blood pressure sitting down, stand up and take again after three minutes, it should be about the same once a correctly functioning Autonomic Nervous System adjusts things, mine blood pressure went down enough to qualify me for Orthostatic Hypotension.

    Saw the Neurologist who confirmed what I had been trying to tell my GPs and cardiologists for months, I have Autonomic Instability.

    She informed me of a whole host of tests I will have, that was back in February, it is now half way through July, when I rang up I learned there is a 5 month waiting list for tests, hope I get them soon as I am deteriorating still and my GPs will only allow me one investigation at a time.


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