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Are Beta Blockers Only Helpful For Comfort?


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My question is: In cases where the only symptom helped by beta blockers is tachycardia, do beta blockers actually help the body, or are they mostly helpful in that they make the person with POTS more comfortable? I thought I would ask here before I looked for research on the topic. I have read about how a tachycardic heart is less efficient than one that is not.

The only symptom the beta blocker relieving, as far as I can tell, is the discomfort of tachycardia. I rarely have resting tachycardia anymore and the heart rate I jump to when I stand is not quite as high; usually 105-130 depending on the type of day. The frequency of pre-syncope/syncope is not any different than before I began taking Propanolol 2 years ago. I take 10mg 2-3x/day. I do think it makes me more tired and effects my libido.

I am considering just dealing with the tachycardia. I may not do this if my heart is more efficient on a beta blocker. Alpha blockers are not a good fit for me. I wish this thought had struck me before my cardio electrophysiologist appointment last week!

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I did have control of my tachycardia on beta blockers (and now on a calcium channel blocker) but did not have relief from any of my debilitating symptoms. My POTS neuro told me early on when we discussed this that there are some old studies in POTS patients that showed that there is not a direct correlation between reducing the tachy and resolution of the other symptoms. But he said there is value in reducing the heart rate so as to reduce the constant stress on the heart.

I feel like the more I learn about POTS, EDS, MCAS, and my own weird inflammatory illness that we have yet to clearly identify as a specific known disease, the more I believe that the tachycardia is only something that can be used to identify this syndrome but is not what's causing the worst of my symptoms. I'm glad we are able to protect my heart by regulating my heart rate but it's definitely not the answer for getting me well.

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My whole body got a boost after going on a beta blocker. Not only does it alleviate the tachycardia, but by slowing down your heart rate, you're giving the muscle a break. If your heart is constantly racing, your fatigue is going to be worse because it's like your body is running a marathon all the time.

I don't think it can resolve other symptoms, but given that fatigue is such a huge symptom of mine, it's definitely worth it for the relief i get from tachycardia.

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But he said there is value in reducing the heart rate so as to reduce the constant stress on the heart.

This is exactly the type of thing I was curious about. I feel the fatigue I get from tachycardia is not as severe as the fatigue I get from beta blockers, but if I am helping out my heart, I can continue to deal with it. I would love to try out Ivabradine since alpha blockers are a no go for me.

If anyone has good articles saved on the benefits of controlling tachycardia, aside from comfort, I'd appreciate the time it would save me on PubMed. :)

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A friend of mine has SVT and opted for an ablation because they told her bouts of tachycardia put her at risk for heart failure in the long term. I'm not sure if this is true for POTS associated tachy. Mayo clinic website has some scary complications of tachycardia but they're referring to the type that originates from electrical signals.

I look beta blockers as a 'better safe than sorry' option. The do help my comfort as well as my laundry situation because they seem to keep the sweating/hot flash like symptoms under control.

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I just started my beta blocker because just sitting and laying down my heart has a tendency to spike to the 140s and higher, but the side effects of the libido and exhaustion are horrible. My cardio also put me on it, because he though I had more high blood pressure, but when I asked about just reducing my midodrine or Florinef to control that better without dropping it too much, he just kinda stared at me, I'm being referred to another ep to look into a pacemaker to kinda slow my heart down when it needs it (they mentioned another ablation, and I'm like nooooooo!), because I have such a hard time on meds as it is. When they added the zebeta, my dizziness took off and I also have vertigo on top of my usual dizzy, which makes this horrible. And even with taking it, I'm still spiking my hr doing little things Iike laying in bed sleeping.

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This will sound weird but, I have bradycardia and a pacemaker (slow heart rate) - I am on beta blockers for the paradoxical effect - in other words, the propranolol (inderal) does not slow my heart rate down but, actually keeps it steady and strengthens the muscle contractions (heartbeat) -

Beta blockers are also used for performers who have "stage fright" and who sweat too much - for example, a piano player who has sweaty hands....

I am a pianist and used to perform quite a bit - while I never had classic stage fright, I noticed I was much calmer during performances and I don't think it is a coincidence that I had begun taking inderal......

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There is something called tachycardia induced cardiomyopathy. Basically the heart becomes enlarged because it's constantly working too hard. From what I understand, POTS alone wouldn't cause cardiomyopathy but like Robin said, SVT and other electrical problems can cause it. I also had an ablation and take a beta blocker for SVT in addition to the POTS and inappropriate sinus tach. My doctor was also afraid I would develop cardiomyopathy/ heart failure because of the combined effect of SVT and sinus tach. Since having the ablation and being on the beta blocker, my ejection has actually improved by 10%.

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There was mention of propranolol affecting the libido but no detail which way. I assume it was making it worse. I have had a different side affect of it, at least I think it's coming from the propranolol but may just come from being hyperadrenic. My libido has gone through the roof making me hypersexual. Maybe the difference is because I am male, not sure? Anyone else experience this?

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Yeah, my doctor asked me about my libido one time, and I just about spit water... Yeah, what's that, I don't remember having one... They sound fun, ha ha.

A friend of mine made me laugh when he asked in a roundabout way if I could go have a sex life, but then he quickly correctd himself by answering the question out loud with "I guess you don't have to be conscious for it, but I think it's more fun if you are..." I threw.a plastic bowl at his head.

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Propranolol made me feel just...blah. A boneless lump on the couch.

Metoprolol xl (toprol) worked much better for me. I can't remember which doctor said this to me, but I'm pretty sure it was one of the more competent ones. When I mentioned that propranolol made me feel awful but metoprolol was ok, they said they weren't surprised at all. Something to do with propranolol being non-cardiospecific where metoprolol is, and how both drugs cross the BBB, but propranolol does it at a higher concentration.

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Propranolol made me feel just...blah. A boneless lump on the couch.

Metoprolol xl (toprol) worked much better for me. I can't remember which doctor said this to me, but I'm pretty sure it was one of the more competent ones. When I mentioned that propranolol made me feel awful but metoprolol was ok, they said they weren't surprised at all. Something to do with propranolol being non-cardiospecific where metoprolol is, and how both drugs cross the BBB, but propranolol does it at a higher concentration.

Thanks for this info!

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