Misunderstanding beta blockers??

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So I have an appointment with my GP on tuesday. Were just checking up on my new dose of buspar and how it's working. She said last time she could give me a beta blocker to slow my HR which would make my anxiety lower. I declined because I'm not interested in altering my heartrate at the age of 26. I just dont feel comfortable with it. She said I would be on the absolute lowest dose possible. My HR (when I'm not on anxiety meds) averaged at about an 87. Highest during excersise was 167, lowest it got was 57..

I decided to research it a bit today as I noticed a ton of you are on a beta blocker, which is prescribed to many of you for anxiety purposes.. But I was reading and it says it's meant to prevent heart attacks and that it isn't approved to be prescribed for anxiety..

Is this true? Why do so many doctors prescribe it if it isn't labeled as a purpose? Now the anxiety in me is telling me she was doing it because she's actually scared I might have a heart attack. (even though she flat out told me she promises I won't have a heart attack and encouraged me to get out and excersise more).

I also heard you don't physically get addicted, but emotionally you become dependent on them. I'm just so confused on this medicine.

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  • Posted

    Beta blockers are meant to decrease the amount of cardiac arrythmias. Like pvcs, pacs, a fib, atrial flutter, non sustained v tach and so on. I never really heard of any other doctor prescribing their patients beta blockers for anxiety alone... Thats only if their anxiety could be causing pvcs and pacs which are benign extra heart beats that almost EVERYONE experiences from time to time so dont freak out.

    Beta blockers prescribed to patients who dont really need it could mess with their heart rythym and can in fact make the heart palps worse. A lot of patients who take beta blockers often complain about how the beta blockers can make their arrythmias worse so they end up taking magnesium supplements instead.. Which are very good for those.

    My question is ... Do you experience pvcs? Pacs? Do you get heart palpitations? If so do they worsen with excersise or rest?

    Im not a doctor.. So i cant really explain why " a lot " of doctors have been prescribing patients propanolol for just anxiety all by itself... But i guess they think that must be a solution and they did go to med school.. But i guess they can also decrease heart rate since it reduces the production of adrenaline from the adrenal system. If you dont agree with your doctors treatment plan.. Try to talk to them about how you feel about the beta blockers..

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    • Posted

      Well my main issue has been heart palps and fast HR.. But they ended up doing an echo, totally clear and a holter which they saw only one ectopic and that I have a faster HR. My anxiety is based around my heart so my anxiety gives me an increased HR instantly. She said she could give me something that would slow my anxiety because it would calm my HR But she said I in no way actually needed it if I didnt want to.

      I also thought for not being on anxiety meds, 87 was pretty good. (just some insight on that, I panicked the same amount both times at the doctors pretty much. Off meds my HR was at 116 sitting in the office.. On meds for 4 weeks and it was 92 sitting in the office)

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    • Posted

      Anxiety can definitely increase the amount of pvcs.. And good thing you went to get an echo done lol. I get heart palpitations too but i never wore a holter monitor or was put on beta blockers. My doctors told me to just ignore them although its hard .. For they are just a nuisance. I have heart anxiety too
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  • Posted

    A lot of people with anxiety benefit from using beta blockers because it makes your heart rate more "normal." I took atenolol (lowest dose) for 2 days at the advice of my cardiologist and I hated it. It was nice not to have palpitations but it made my hands and feet super cold and stiff and I felt crazy. If I wasn't in school I might have kept taking them to see if my symptoms improved, but I cant risk an emotional breakdown during the semester lol. It's not about age or anything either. If you're being put on a beta blocker solely for heart rate purposes there's no need to worry because you can always have you're doctor take you off of it since you won't be dependent unlike someone who has high BP or has had a heart attack and needs a beta blocker or something bad could happen. Totally your choice but I have heard it helps with people's anxiety. Just didnt help with mine lol

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