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Terrified of atenolol.

I was recently diagnosed with PSVT and my doctor prescribed me 25 mg of atenolol 1 x daily. I know this medication is supposed to lower your heart rate & blood pressure. My normal BP is anywhere from 105/59 to 133/80 it just varies & my normal resting HR is about 75 without the medication. I'm just extremely worried about this medicine causing it to go too low! Last night I took 1/4 of the pill it didn't have any effect on my PSVT but I didn't feel the pounding & it made me calm & sleepy & I did notice at night my resting HR was 68. It's never been that low before & it freaked me out so I didn't take the medication & I woke up with a HR of 120. I really don't know what to do anymore. I don't want the PSVT but I don't want to take this scary medication & I'm not really getting a good answer from my cardiologist. Im TERRIFIED!

11 Replies

  • simoneg

    My husband's resting heart rate is about 56 and there's nothing wrong with him.

    PSVT is apparently quite common. I should trust your cardiologist who studies hearts all day every day rather than asking people on Google who may only have hearsay to go on. Feeling terrified also makes your heart rate rocket but slow deep breathing brings it back again quite quickly. Its easy to confuse the fear response with the PSVT  so try to relax and stay calm

    I have friends who have been taking Atenolol for ages with no problems at all if that's any comfort.

    • sue42907

      The thing is I believe I have POTS more so than PSVT. I need to set up a tilt table test with a neurologist because when I stand up my heart rate shoots up but as soon as I sit down it lowers back to normal. My blood pressure does not change it stays the same. I'm just worried about it dropping my BP and HR too low even though it's the smallest dose. I'm really iffy about taking medication and I'm all new to this. I took 12.5 mg yesterday morning after I got to work. I figured I would feel better taking it around people rather than when I'm home alone with my 3 year old. Everything was okay I just had brain fog. And my vision was a little blurry. But when I woke up this morning my heart was racing out of control. I'm thinking that I should take half in the morning and the other half before I go to bed.

  • simoneg

    I know why you're scared! I was given bisoprolol,rampril and aspirin 6 yrs ago for A fib! It took 4 yrs until I found a new GP who would change the biso for an alternative...he gave me atenolol..100 mgs. If you've read my earlier posts you will know how I suffered with the side effects of bisop and neither cardio doc or 3 of my gps would accept my side effects! 

     As for the atenolol...I cut it to 25 mgs ..just last year to 25 mgs. I've now weaned myself off the atenolol..but the withdrawal was so bad. It's taken 6 months plus to get rid of the withdrawal.

      However,the rotten side effects from this med have all but gone! I could make you a list of them if it would help.

     I'm no doc but my BP is never over 140 but the bottom can be 95.pulse is erratic and can be as high as 118 bpm.

    ive read so much stuff on here and I'm now trying to lose weight and then give up the rampril..2.5 mgs. I also take rivaroxiban.

    read up atenolol,it's the cheapest BP med but like all meds can affect us in different ways. You may be one of the lucky ones. It's a no for me. 

    Read the drjohnm article. It will help you I'm sure. Take care. I'm with you on this one! 

    • Just read sues reply. I wish that I had faith in my cardiologist and GP's. I've had 6 years of trusting them. I'm not one for rocking the boat or being demanding. However,my experience has left me so angry...mostly with myself for not pushing for answers! 

        Ok,I know that you can read all sorts of stuff on the net....especially worrying when you don't have the knowledge. However, the beta blockers..both of them have caused me so much trouble...I know now how different I feel since I stopped taking them.

      My sister has been on atenolol for years...with no side effects....but I had big trouble. One of the biggest eyesight...I can see distances now without my glasses,I can walk,stand without feeling I'm falling over, don't fall asleep every afternoon,more energy, can think...brain not as foggy, no swollen ankles, no nightmare dreams,hair not falling out. Well there's some of benefits of stopping the betablocker. 

        Please be careful if you do decide to change anything.ask your doc. Insist on some listening to your fears and some dialogue. Don't waste 6 years being fobbed off. 

    • elizabeth 12

      I took 12.5 mg yesterday morning after I got to work. I figured I would feel better about it if I were to take it around other people rather than when I'm home alone with my 3 year old. I felt fine besides some brain fog and my vision was a bit blurred but I still and look at 2 computer screens all day... but I did notice some effect. My heart rate didn't jump up as crazy as before but I did notice that when I woke up this morning my heart rate was all over the place so maybe I need to take the other half before bed?

  • simoneg

    I take a low dose of bisoprolol and often feel my legs are weak but this is less scary than ATF. I was taking Amlodipine at one time but it made mylegs swell. When I told the doc he said "Oh, we're poisoning you, it can do that, stop taking it..."

    One of my relatives was on the team that developed beta blockers - it amused us when he had to take them himself and didn't like it....

    I didn't know there were withdrawal symptoms - what were they please?

    • sue42907

      Hi Sue. Withdrawal was awful. I felt the Palps more,anxious, fuzzy thick head and dizzy. After 1 month off the atenolol I was so dizzy that my husband had to hold on to me to take me to the loo. I was also having what I can only describe as adrenalin spikes...all very scary. However I'd read that coming off beta blockers can give you the same side effects as when you're on them! 

       I'm off them now...and so much more me! I've got to sort out the rampril still. I'm now losing weight..1 stone. Recent research shows that the heart can re model itself reducing the a fib if you lose 10% body weight. Also it will reduce blood pressure and cholesterol and less likelihood of diabetes. I sound like a doc! Just check it through. It's new research,but the problem is that not all docs will be aware even the cardio docs. 

      I just wish that there was a consensus of opinion. Hope this makes sense. 

  • simoneg

    That's not very nice. And they don't warn you about it either...

    I came off Ramipril because it gave me a really tickly sharp cough which I couldn't control. Not the best thing when you sing in a choir....

    You will have an excuse for a mega shop if you lose all that weight! I would have to lose almost a stone to do that and my trousers would fall down...I do hope it will work for you - it would be great to manage without any meds at all.

  • simoneg

    Atenolol is probably one of the safest, oldest and least expensive beta-blockers on the market.  I have been taking it regularly for more than ten years ... one 50 mg tab daily. I would not be terrified of it.  Nor would I be terrified of having a heart rate of 68 bpm.  I would, instead, be quite terrified of a heart rate of 120 bpm.  A "resting" heart rate of 60 to 100 bpm is considered normal.  Anything below 60 or above 100 bpm ... might be of greater concern.

  • simoneg

    My husband,s resting pulse is between 56 and 60. while he was doing athletics it was 52 and he was and is perfectly healthy. A resting pulse of 68 is perfectly normal and nothing to worry about. A much faster one would be more of a concern to tell you the truth. Your doctor knows what your normal BP is and would be most unlikely to advise a medicine that would endanger you. If you are worried you should go back straight awyand discuss it with him as he is much more qualified to advise you than people on the forum who don't know your medical history.  Incidentally being terrified will greatly affect both your heart rate and your BP so you won't get a representative reading..

    I have two friend who have been on Atenolol for years and are quite well and happy with it.

    If you do ever panic you can always ring 111 where a friendly nurse will advise you over the phone.

    Just noticed I said exavtly the same thing to you two years ago - did you go back and ask again and explain just how worried you are?  Incidentally I tried bisoprolol and had to come off it as I was so very tired all the time.

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