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Hello! New to this site and this is my first post on here.
There's some backstory to this, so bear with me on this.
I'm a twenty-one-year-old female and I was prescribed atenolol back in 2019 because my doctor noticed my unusually high heart rate, which was mostly due to my really bad anxiety. So, I've been on it for roughly about two years.
I have had no issues with it up until recently. (I think it's the cause of my issues, at least. I won't know for sure until I talk to my GP tomorrow.)
Out of absolutely no where about a week ago, I started to get pains in my chest. I'm honestly pretty used to chest pains, though, because of my anxiety, so I didn't really think too much of it.
But then the pains started gradually getting worse.
And they started spreading - spreading to my shoulders, up my neck, along my jaw, down my arms, and I'd even get an occasional pain/twitching in the calf of my leg. This is when I started freaking out. (I forgot to mention that the same time I got these pains, my anxiety was evidently worse. I couldn't relax at all - always fidgeting.) So, you can imagine how much suffering I've been through this past week. (And no, I'm not pitying myself or searching for any sympathy. This has truly been one of the most traumatic experiences of my life.)
I was admitted to the hospital for the first time ever in my life the day before yesterday because the chest pains were becoming so unbearable. I felt like I couldn't get a full breath in, there was so much pressure on my chest.
So, after some of the folks at the hospital drew some blood, ran an EKG, and took a chest x-ray, I was told that there was nothing wrong with my heart.
I was baffled. And I was so lost and ready to burst into tears because it HAD to be my heart. What else could possibly cause these symptoms? Then she asked me how long I'd been on the atenolol, which I thought was pretty irrelevant, but I told her.
Then she told me that the atenolol could be the source of the problem. I thought that was a stretch considering the fact that I'd been on the medicine for two years and it had worked just fine, but apparently you can get side effects from medicine even after years of taking it! Who knew? Not me.
Anyway, I was discharged and left with that information. She had told me to discuss it with my GP, but I couldn't see her until Tuesday.
So, I go back home. Still unsure of what to do because I'm still having these chest pains.
I endure it until 3 AM when the same horrible pains come back. I go back to the hospital.
They do the same old tests and tell me my heart is fine, but then I'm told to stop taking the atenolol. Oh? I was immediately weary of that because I am a horrible hypochondriac who looks up everything, and I saw quite a few people that said that quitting a beta-blocker cold turkey is not a good idea at all. So, I tell the lady my concerns and she tells me that I shouldn't worry because it takes a week of you being off of it for the withdrawal symptoms to kick in.
That was a lie in my book, because when I got home, still early in the morning and doped up on ativan and some kind of painkiller, I slept.
Then I woke up and actually felt pretty good! No chest pains – nothing too out of the ordinary at all. (Could've been the meds from earlier still in my system.) Now, I don't know what caused me to test my heart rate in that moment, but I did, and it was 110 BPM... That was my RESTING heart rate.
So, of course, I started freaking out yet again. And I literally added my doctor on Facebook to message her out of business hours what I should do. Pretty embarrassing.
She told me to half the atenolol and take it. And so, I did. Still having pains in random areas. Right now I have a pretty constant pain in between my armpit and shoulder.
That brings us to now, though. Me typing this at 3:12 AM the day of my doctor's appointment.
I didn't mean to make this into a horror story, and I still encourage anyone to try atenolol, because it really did work for me for the past two years! The issues just came up now after a really long time. (Again, I THINK. I still have to see what my GP thinks, so take everything I'm saying about this med with a grain of salt.)
So, just in case I'm actually going to be tapered off of it, does anyone have any advice on how to make the process more bearable? I saw a lot of people on here talking about how the withdrawal symptoms while getting off of atenolol are pretty bad, so I want to he prepared.
And maybe share some of your stories with atenolol that relate to mine as well? Because honestly, I have felt so crazy and alone in this and it would be nice to hear about people who have had similar experiences to me.
Also, I've been curious as to WHAT is causing these pains if it is the atenolol. Like, what is the atenolol doing that causes these awful pains? Someone let me know, because I'm really curious. Doctors in the hospital don't want to stay to answer questions, so I guess I'll ask the internet.
Alright, wish me luck in finding out and solving whatever this problem is! I gotta get better. 😃
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