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Two Weeks On Atenolol And My B/p Last Night Was Low


Rene S.
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Hi. I've been on atenolol 12.5 mg for two weeks. I hate the way it makes me feel, but it's dramatically improved the high b/p. Now the weirdest thing has happened. Saturday was exactly two weeks since I started and my b/p was around 90/47. HR was resting around 72. Last night, I got flushed felt sweaty as can be and I took my b/p and it was 70/40! I got scared, called a friend who suggested salty foods and lots of water. I did get it back up to 90/57 and felt ok just exhausted. I called the idiot cardiologist who said that 12.5 mg could not affect my b/p that way, that it was strictly the dysautonomia! Grrrr.

I usually take the Atenolol at around 6pm. It does relax me, but I've found that in the last two weeks that my depression is worse my eyes are dry and my head burns constantly not to mention the fatigue and lack of energy.

Now here's my query - I know you just can't stop a beta and I'm supposed to have a cardiac cath on Thurs. and they want me on a beta. However, tonight I took my b/p and once again my diastolic number was around 47. Resting. Got up, moved around and ate some salty nuts and brought it back up to 60.

I need to take my dose but was wondering if I should just cut it down to 6.25 and see what happens. I'm terrified of crashing and I'm alone and no one would know.

Still can't figure this out since two weeks ago I was at 196/90 for 12 hours.

Can the heat do this or is this just typical awful dysautonomia?

I dare not call the cardio because he already said that I would do what I want. Would it be ok to take it down 1/4 tonight? Would it lower my b/p too drastically?

Thank you so much!

Rene

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I'm on atenolol also. For the first month, I was only able to take 6.25 and than slowly moved up to about 10. and than after about two months was able to tolerate 12.5 which is what I'm still taking. If you do taper down, make sure you let them know this before your cath lab so they are aware of it. Hope it all works out for you. Just takes our bodies longer to tolerate medications that most people can just jump into taking.

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Rene,

I'm on Propranlolol and it lowers my BP down so that it is usually 110ish/60-70 when I am UPRIGHT. Put me down and watch it drop to 80-90/40-50). My HR is also slow (40's) when I am supine(unmedicated) so the docs stopped my nightime dose of BB. You may want to continue with your meds, but back them up so that you take them in the morning.

Jennifer

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I'm on atenolol also. For the first month, I was only able to take 6.25 and than slowly moved up to about 10. and than after about two months was able to tolerate 12.5 which is what I'm still taking. If you do taper down, make sure you let them know this before your cath lab so they are aware of it. Hope it all works out for you. Just takes our bodies longer to tolerate medications that most people can just jump into taking.

Thanks, Tammy. I too take baby doses of everything. I did last night finally decide around 11 to bite the bullet and take the 6.25 mg. (I had been on that dosage in the past with a different cardioligist). This one doesn't get dysautonomia. He says it's something that will pass! Ha! I should direct him to the boards and let him see for himself what really goes on with us.

You sound like you are familiar with caths. Have you had one? Know anything about them? I'm so scared. Especially being allergic to the contrast dye and having to premedicate with prednisone and pepcid. My anxiety has excalated and it's two more days to go. I feel like just running away and not looking back.

No one gets that our bodies are so sensitive to stimuli and medications. Especially male drs!

Rene

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Rene,

I'm on Propranlolol and it lowers my BP down so that it is usually 110ish/60-70 when I am UPRIGHT. Put me down and watch it drop to 80-90/40-50). My HR is also slow (40's) when I am supine(unmedicated) so the docs stopped my nightime dose of BB. You may want to continue with your meds, but back them up so that you take them in the morning.

Jennifer

Thanks, Jenn. The only good thing about the atenolol is that if I take it around dinner it helps me sleep but I don't want my pressure plunging so low that I don't get up!

Hope things are well with your grandfather.

Take care!

Rene

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can i ask why they want to cath you? i had it done last summer. the anxiety was worse than the procedure. if you can take something for anxiety between now and then, I would. i also had to premedicate with steroids. i did develop a nasty hematoma at the puncture site that took a while to resolve, but as complications go, that was minor. i guess i'm glad it was done--because it was clear it was going to happen, with my ongoing chest pain and (false) positive stress test. we now know my arteries are clear. so now we can focus a little better on other things..

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can i ask why they want to cath you? i had it done last summer. the anxiety was worse than the procedure. if you can take something for anxiety between now and then, I would. i also had to premedicate with steroids. i did develop a nasty hematoma at the puncture site that took a while to resolve, but as complications go, that was minor. i guess i'm glad it was done--because it was clear it was going to happen, with my ongoing chest pain and (false) positive stress test. we now know my arteries are clear. so now we can focus a little better on other things..

You must be reading my mind! I was just coming to the boards to ask if anyone had been cathed and pre-medicated due to a contrast dye allergy. Thank you for posting! They want to cath me because 3 weeks ago I had a sustained b/p of 195/90 along with horrid chest pains and very intense palpitations. I waited them out through till morning and I wound up calling 911. Unfortunately, my first set of cardiac enzymes were slightly elevated, followed by two normal readings. The cardio felt perhaps I had had a coronary spasm due to the elevated b/p (prior to being on a beta) or perhaps some cellular damage. I get chest pains alot and I guess they want to get to the root of the problem. All other heart tests have been normal and I've had all of the noninvasive procedures done. I have a strong family history of heart disease so I guess they want to rule everything out. Just wish there was another way to do it.

I'm so sorry that you had to go through this. Yes my anxiety is already through the roof just from the sheer anticipation. May I ask if you are on a beta blocker and were you at the time of the cath? I'm so so terrified because the one and only time I had contrast dye was when I was 22 and went into anaphalactic shock. It was horrible.

Do you remember how your prep went? I'm supposed to do 40mg of prednisone at 2pm (tomorrow) along with a 20mg pepcid, then again at 10pm and then the morning of the procedure, Thursday.

I'm in sheer terror and can't get my mind off of it.

Did you have any reactions to the pre-med prep or the dye? The whole thing just terrifies me.

I would love to hear your story since I don't know anyone firsthand who has been through this and also needed to be pre-medicated.

I'm glad yours turned out well.

Feel free to either post here or PM me.

Thank you so much again.

Rene

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If you search thru the archives, I posted a lot about this last summer as it was happening--last June esp.

I certainly don't want to contradict anything, but I'd be a little concerned about beta blockers if there is a fear of anaphylaxis. Beta blockers block the effect of epinephrine. We had an allergist weigh in. I was not and am no on bbs. to be safe and really cover everything, I got a double allergy prep--80 mgs of solumedrol three times, spaced eight hours apart. that was A LOT of steroids. and I took benadryl before and after. It ended up okay. I would urge the docs to talk to an allergist. they really helped reassure everyone about how to proceed most safely.

I took klonopin before the test--which I really needed, as all those steroids made me WIRED. And during the procedure they gave me versed and dilaudid. I still remember everything. except for one insensitive nurse, everyone was really nice. for them, it is a totally routine, standardized procedure. the allergy stuff adds some trickiness, which is why an allergist should be consulted, esp. if you're on a betablocker.

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If you search thru the archives, I posted a lot about this last summer as it was happening--last June esp.

I certainly don't want to contradict anything, but I'd be a little concerned about beta blockers if there is a fear of anaphylaxis. Beta blockers block the effect of epinephrine. We had an allergist weigh in. I was not and am no on bbs. to be safe and really cover everything, I got a double allergy prep--80 mgs of solumedrol three times, spaced eight hours apart. that was A LOT of steroids. and I took benadryl before and after. It ended up okay. I would urge the docs to talk to an allergist. they really helped reassure everyone about how to proceed most safely.

I took klonopin before the test--which I really needed, as all those steroids made me WIRED. And during the procedure they gave me versed and dilaudid. I still remember everything. except for one insensitive nurse, everyone was really nice. for them, it is a totally routine, standardized procedure. the allergy stuff adds some trickiness, which is why an allergist should be consulted, esp. if you're on a betablocker.

I'm grateful that you have informed me about the beta. I've read about it as well, and questioned the cardio but he brushed it off and it's been one of my biggest fears. I just emailed my allergist (a friend as well) and hopefully I can get this settled by 2pm since that's when I need to start premedicating. I'm so terrified that I can't see straight and just swallowed a klonopin!

Did you do the prep at home or in hospital? I'm only to take 40mg of prednisone 2 twice (at 2pm and 10m with the pepcid) and then again tomorrow morning when I awake. I dread the wiring of the steroids as I'm already as wired as can be. Yes, I do believe that versed an another drug will be pushed through the iv to relax me as if that's going to happen!

Please tell me how I go through the archives so I can read your posting.

Thank you again for this most important piece of information.

Rene

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If you search thru the archives, I posted a lot about this last summer as it was happening--last June esp.

I certainly don't want to contradict anything, but I'd be a little concerned about beta blockers if there is a fear of anaphylaxis. Beta blockers block the effect of epinephrine. We had an allergist weigh in. I was not and am no on bbs. to be safe and really cover everything, I got a double allergy prep--80 mgs of solumedrol three times, spaced eight hours apart. that was A LOT of steroids. and I took benadryl before and after. It ended up okay. I would urge the docs to talk to an allergist. they really helped reassure everyone about how to proceed most safely.

I took klonopin before the test--which I really needed, as all those steroids made me WIRED. And during the procedure they gave me versed and dilaudid. I still remember everything. except for one insensitive nurse, everyone was really nice. for them, it is a totally routine, standardized procedure. the allergy stuff adds some trickiness, which is why an allergist should be consulted, esp. if you're on a betablocker.

HI. Sorry to bother you again. The email I had for my allergist was invalid and he won't be in until later. I have questioned my cardio many times this week and I do believe he's frustated with me but this is my life at stake. He told me to stay on the beta but I'd like a second opinion. I just don't know what I should be doing at this moment. Fear has taken over and I'm paralized with it.

I was told that since I had the reaction to the day (over 25 years ago) that since then the dyes have changed and have less iodine however that does not make me feel better knowing that it almost killed me.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Best,

Rene

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It's your life, body, and safety. I'm sure it would be good to get it over with, but I think it's reasonable to make sure an allergist is on board with this before you proceed--even if that means postponing the procedure a couple days. I would want to talk to the allergy folks and get them to talk to the cardiologist, to make sure everyone is all on the same page. If there is a way to convey to the allergist's office that this is URGENT. I know it's important not to alienate your cardiologist, but if there were a problem, everyone would regret it. I think a lot of non-allergy docs don't appreciate the beta blocker- severe allergy treatment connection.

One concern with me is that I have previously premedicated with steroids and still had breakthrough reactions. I've been sent home from tests on multiple occasions, after high dose steroids, when I still started reacting. I may be extreme. I also do better with methylprednisolone/solumedrol than prednisone, for some reason. It could be that for most people the standard steroid prep is sufficient. That is why they gave me DOUBLE the normal dose. (and long story short, we did it two days in a row, as the first day my iv had infiltrated and they weren't sure I'd gotten the full dose. so we repeated the whole steroid thing two days running.) Have you ever done a steroid prep for any other procedure and did it work?

I was in the hospital for the prep, because I'd been admitted for unrelenting chest pain when they decided to do the cath. Since my vitals were stable, I was transferred to a better hospital. The allergists and the cardiologists worked together closely to make sure I was safe. The allergy folks talked to me at length to determine the full extent of previous allergic reactions to assess the risks. I wasn't on bbs at the time, but they thought that at least the morning of the procedure, I shouldn't take bbs. That way your body's own adrenaline as well as any epinephrine will work better. They said it would be fine to resume any bbs next day. I remember my nose itching a bit during the test, and getting a little extra benadryl, but it all worked out.

But it was very reassuring to know that the allergists and cardiologists were all in synch about the plan and any backup plans. And that let me relax a little bit more. Assuming everything is actually normal, the whole procedure was done in about thirty minutes for me.

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