Worried and Anxious about Beta Blockers Side effects, especially Running

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Hi, I suffer from health anxiety and also high blood pressure (160/110) and my GP has recommended beta blockers for both. However, I'm also a keen runner and have heard bad stories about its effects on performance and enjoyment of running (its my life!), as well as erectile problems & fatigue. I'm 60 this week, but am fit and exercise every day. I also have a perfect BMI, don't smoke, drink and have a heathy diet - no processed foods etc, as well as low cholesterol. This means i have nowhere to go other than BP medication. i also have a family history of MI (my dad died infront of me when he was 38), and i also have Polymyalgia Rheumatica and are on steroids - raising my QRISK yet again. I therefore already have a high QRISK factror through no fault of my own. Understandably, I'm terrified of suffering the same fate as my dad, but also hate medication side effects ( the steroids gave me osteopena ). help

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  • Edited

    I dare say the vast majority of people don't have their lives completely ruined by this awful drug, its the risk you have to decide, how I wished I had been forewarned before I took it, been off three years now so I think the damage it has done is permanent. The breathlessness seems to be a very common side effect, it made my blood oxygen go very low. Click on the blue "Bisoprolol" tab above which will take you to a list of threads, the fifth one down entitled "Beta blocker/Bisoprolol withdrawal and breathlessness" has a lot of peoples experiences for you to consider, as does " Bisoprolol buddies" a little further down.

    Something else our drug pusher doctors don't warn you about, I had a DNA test where it was discovered I have genes that make me a "slow metaboliser" of certain drugs including beta blockers, this means my liver fails to clear my body of the previous days dosage before I took the next, which resulted in a gradual overdose that I ended up in A & E for and might explain why some of the side effects you will read of in my case out now permanent. I have had to be medically retired due to this drug, my cardiologist initially tried to blame my resultant condition on completely unrelated things until he found another of his patients who happen to also be here, who had the same long term damage as a result of this drug that effects a very important and delicate neurological system, the Autonomic Nervous System. Try looking up Dysautonomia and Autonomic Neuropathy where you might stumble across things your GP will not have such specialised knowledge of such as quote:

    " Causes of autonomic neuropathy may be related to numerous diseases/conditions, medications used to treat other diseases or procedures (such as surgery): "

    Medications-medications used therapeutically to treat other disorders may affect the ANS.

    The following are some examples:Drugs that increase sympathetic activity (sympathomimetics): amphetamines, monoamine oxidase inhibitors (antidepressants), beta adrenergic stimulants

    Drugs that decrease sympathetic activity (sympatholytics): alpha and beta blockers (i.e. metoprolol), barbiturates, anesthetics

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  • Edited

    tonchee, I will turn 60 this year. I have no heart issues or family history of heart disease, however I have been on a beta blocker ( metoprolol) for 30 years with no side effects at all. My problem was stopping cold turkey, per Dr's orders. This resulted in severe withdrawal which still dealing with now. good luck!

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    I am on bisoprolol 2.5mgs a day only taking them for palpitations but they have ruined my life. I was only on them for 3 months before I started to withdraw them and I have have been through some bad things in my life but this is far the worse. I am withdrawing very slowly and will not be off this dreadful tablet until August this year and then I have been told to expect rebound symptoms. I cannot plan anything as some days are so bad and other days only slightly better and I have now been withdrawing for 51 days. Not everyone has side effects though we have a friend who was on them and came off them with no side eff3cts at all but cannot believe what I am going through.

    Look on Health Unlocked and search Bisoprolol withdrawals and that will give you some idea what people go through.

    I am sure there are other blood pressure medications the doctor can give you. My husband takes b/p tablets and they are not betablockers. Betablockers will also reduce you heart rate, mine went from the high 70's to low 60's so if you already have a low hear rate with being fit it may reduce it even more. Bisoprolol has also left me very breathless.

    Good Luck

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  • Edited

    Hi Tonchee,

    It its all personal choice, I would never touch them after seeing the damage they did to my hubby but, I try go natural whenever possible and at 63 I hope I am pretty healthy.

    Running should help your blood pressure anyway, there are ways of taking blood pressure and I have noticed the medical profession do not seem to follow the basics e.g patient sitting still and not talking, the doctor kept asking questions when taking mine, taking it on bare arms, they take it over clothes, if you relax and deep breath you tend to get a better reading also, do you drink a decent amount of water, patients at the hospital I volunteer at are told to drink plain water as it lowers blood pressure. Do you take your own BP at home as it varies over the day, what you have eaten or been doing, of course doctors surgeries are generally the worst place to have BP taken due to the white coat syndrome.

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    Thanks everyone for taking the time and trouble to reply. It's pretty clear that i should not touch them even with a barge pole - can't understand why GP even mentioned them as he's a runner too and he knows i am too? He is in a different club though, so reckon he was trying to hobble the competition! 😃

    I'm going through a very anxious time at the moment as m daughter is awaiting results of a biopsy, so hopefully can reduce anxiety naturally afterwards (assuming its good news, if not then this stupid drug will be the least of my worries)

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