Propranolol - withdrawals and side affects! Please help! Anxiety is through the roof!!

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Hi,

I started a new job 6 weeks ago in the NHS, 2 weeks later we went in to lockdown and my children went to live with my sister so I could continue to work. I have always had some anxiety and panic attacks so with everything going on called my GP for some help.

GP prescribed Propranolol at 40mg up to twice a day. For the first couple weeks I took one a day which seemed to help, I felt I was coping really well just a little tired which was to be expected. Around Easter I started struggling, work got quiet due to the lack of routine appointments and I was missing my kids something awful so I upped the dose some days to 40mg in the morning and 40mg at night as prescribed.

That's when the side affects started, low blood pressure making me feel faint, lost all appetite to the point where I just didn't eat, dizzy spells, bad stomach, not sleeping and a dull constant headache. Got sent home from work with migraine on Tuesday and decided to stop taking Propranolol there and then.

Since then, my stomach issues have eased slightly but everything else is worse, I had an awful panic attack last night, my heart races at the most simple of tasks, I can't sleep. I can have a couple hours of feeling ok but then I feel absolutely rubbish and shakey. I'm guessing it's a mix of anxiety and withdrawals but is there anyone out there who I can talk too that knows how I feel?

Anyone who has withdrawn and had these withdrawals who now feels ok? I could do with some positive stories right now. Any advice or guidance helpful.

I should note I'm day 3 withdrawal and haven't been able to get through to my GP yet - hoping to do that today as with Covid around it's been tricky.

please anyone help!

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  • Edited

    Hi

    ive been on propranalol fir 30+ years and have ranged in doses from 30-120mg a day. Ive been told its one of the most safe beta blockers on the market. I will say that I can only tollerate one particular brand though. Like you I suffer anxiety, feeling faint and just not myself if Im given a different brand. You should never stop them all of a sudden but come off them gradually if this is what you think you need to do. There are different beta blockers out there but is trial and error getting one that suits. I tried Atenolol once but my BP went through my boots so much so that my GP came out to check me 3 times in one day! I would suggest you dont take Bisopropol because its side effects and withdrawal symptoms are horrendous. Deep breathing will slow your hr but a trip or phone discussion with your GP would be adviseable

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    • Posted

      hi,

      Thank you for your reply. I had a long convo with the GP today and she didn't think it was withdrawals but anxiety with current situations. She's suggested dropping the dose to 10 or 20mg as and when needed so going to give that a go and see how we get on. I've not been too bad today, only heart rate racing at any movement which is manageable but last night was so awful I'm dreading the nights. x

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  • Edited

    Can you not take a lower dose but just when you get the panic attacks? I think taking a high dose straight away is going to make you feel terrible, I am surprised your doctor prescribed that dose for anxiety, I would ask to change doctors. Try taking 10 mg but just when you are feeling anxious. That is how I used to use it. Then if you need to, you can take a bit more, but keep in mind how low blood pressure effects you. Look up breathing exercises and yoga for anxiety, these can really help. You need to set some time for yourself and just try and be relaxed with your own company. Medication should only ever be short term and when you are getting your withdrawal symptoms, really try some breathing techniques, if one type doesn't work look for another. The internet is full of relaxation techniques.

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    • Posted

      Hi,

      Thank you for your reply, I found it really helpful. During my panic attack last night I did try spraying some Lavender pillow spray (I have some oil on order) I also did lots of breathing exercises and listened to a podcast for meditation for anxiety and I do think it helped a little at least. Dreading tonight though, hoping it doesn't happen again.

      I did have a long chat with my GP today who doesn't think it's withdrawals but my anxiety no longer being managed, she thought maybe the 40-80mg dose was just too high for me hence side affects so we've agreed to try 10-20mg as and when needed so I'm really hoping that helps. It was really reassuring to know that's what you've done so thank you.

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