Horrible palpitations after quitting Propranolol - did it go away for you?

Posted , 2 users are following.

Hey guys,

I had some serious headaches for a couple of weeks and was prescribed Propranolol as preventative treatment. My blood pressure and heart rate had always been normal - around 110/70 with a HR of 70.

I started on 10mg a day and worked my way up to 40mg over the space of 2 weeks (I was on 35mg for 3 days and only got to 40mg for a day), but felt depressed and really tired, experienced trouble sleeping and occasionally had chest pains. Since it did nothing for my headaches, I told my doctor, who told me to stop taking it. So over the course of a week I reduced it from 35mg back down and took my final dose on the 22nd of January.

Since stopping, I have had a lot of chest pain, dizziness, trouble breathing and a pounding heart any time I stand up or engage in strenuous activity. It's better than it was last week, but my heart pounding any time I move really worries me. I've had ECGs and bloodwork done and the results have always been normal.

I read a few posts on here with many people saying they have had palpitations or difficulty doing simple things immediately after coming off, but wondered if it got better for you over time? I hadn't been on it long, and the dose wasn't very high, but I guess I just need some reassurance that this will go away as it's causing me a lot of distress. My heart even seems to race when I change positions in bed, so it really is worrying.

I plan to go back to my doctor soon about all of this, but would really feel better hearing from your experiences too, as doctor's have a tendency to brush off this sort of thing.

Thanks in advance!

0 likes, 7 replies

7 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi! I think since Propranolol cuts off your adrenaline - it is like getting a sudden shot of epinephrine - an adrenaline booster. Your system needs to regulate getting adrenaline back. It is as though you are suddenly working out even though you may be sitting still.

    For me, I only take a 20 mg Propranolol during a bad panic attack to cut the adrenaline that

    is feeding the palpitations. I take a second if I get scared. But for maintenance there are totally different meds available that buffer how hard your heart beats. I use Cartia - one a night (but I forget often), and have personally had zero bad effects from that. I also take an SSRI, which takes about 10-14 days to start working, but it combats anxiety/PTSS/panic/depression, to the point where unless I start missing a few days, I won't get the attacks. Now, I have chronic, acute, stage 5 (most severe) PTSS (PTSD), with the

    acute anxiety. I have had SVT (supra ventricular tachycardia), and I do have extra fibers on my heart that create extra impulses - electric currents. I am medication sensitive and very anemic. (By the way ANEMIA and ANXIETY have TONS of the same symptoms - always have blood checked for anemia) Oh - also anemia can cause all the primary heart disturbances that anxiety can. I have both - so I get iron IV infusions for MY type of anemia....anyway... I found what works for me - and alone with my dog (pets settle your heart/system - change your chemistry and theirs), and my faith, I am doing ok - we are all in this together. Hope this helps - Justine

    • Posted

      Hey, thanks for your response - I appreciate your time. I don't actually take the medication for anxiety, and have never had issues with anxiety before - it was just for the headaches, but stopping them has started to cause palpitations. From your experience with the drug, does the pounding eventually go away?

    • Posted

      YES. The pounding does go away...UNLESS you have thickening of the heart muscles (around your heart).

      Ask about a simple buffer medication like Cartia (Cardizem)

      It may help transition you.

      To be on the safe side - and esp. if it is unrelated - I would

      seek out a good cardiologist.

      Your neuropathy shifts, and it will probably self-resolve

      unless there is an actual heart issue that may need treatment.

      Sometimes what happens is the way our nerves and synapses fire off gets out of sync. If it is that - other things can help.

      You need a neurologist for that - and there are tons of wonderful non-invasive treatments - even brand new ones - out there for that.

      If you rule out the heart, then you go that route, but if your heart has changed and is not popping off signals the same way, well, you need to rule that out. Just my 2 cents. 😃 😃 - Justine

    • Posted

      I feel I was not clear.

      I am saying that two distinct things may be happening - one involving your actual nerves misfiring - a brain situation that is quite similar to having anxiety - or, electrical impulses in your heart misfiring because of thickening walls now.

      If it was me, personally - and you can do it - I would, personally, get a brain scan. I would see a neurologist to analyse that. I would get a heart monitor scan - and see a cardiologist to analyse that. (They do both on site usually, although brain can take longer)


    • Posted

      Oh - one thing I forgot to mention - research breathing exercises. I know it sounds poo poo, but you can actually make yourself back in tune, slow your heart, etc. Doing this with bilateral/binaural tapping helps reset the brain. It actually works preventatively quite well.

      Youtube this type of meditative - brainwave change - internal chemichal change Tapping. I may have some ones saved - if I can find them - I will post it here. - J.

    • Posted

      Thank you so much for all your responses Justine!

      I'm only 25, so I hope the chances of thickening of the heart is slim, but my doctor has ordered a 24 hour heart monitor to see if there are any issues. I'm in the UK so it's quite difficult to go and see specialists like that, and takes a long time to arrange unfortunately, but I had a normal brain MRI months ago.

      From your personal experience, how many days did it take you to adjust to not taking propranolol? I'm on day 9 now and it's not as awful as day 1, but still noticable and worrying.

      Thanks for the video recommendations, I'll go and look now!

      All the best

    • Posted

      It took 14 days - a full two weeks. But, there are some exceptional binaural beats you can put in your headphones overnight that will help until then, Also - not kidding - research tapping. Great to hear you had a brain scan already! Any info. you can get - get it - all your records. If you want me to tell you what stuff means (esp. with regard to blood tests) perhaps I can help. You sound positive. You can get through this. It is only a matter of time. Write whenever you want or need to - Best, Justine

      I can be found on FB easily - Justine van Spyk

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