The People's Perspective on Medicine

Back Pedaling on Beta Blockers (Atenolol, Metoprolol, Propranolol) for Hypertension

Although beta blockers have long been prescribed for high blood pressure, cardiologists caution that they should rarely be the first choice.
White coat hypertension

For decades, American physicians prescribed beta blockers as a primary treatment for high blood pressure. When we checked a few years ago, we discovered that 115 million prescriptions were dispensed for such medications annually. Assuming 30 tablets per prescription (a month’s supply), that totaled 3,450,000,000 pills. That’s over three billion pills! Now we are being told this might have been a big oops.

Guidelines on Beta Blockers:

Guidelines published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA, Dec. 18, 2013) for the treatment of hypertension have relegated beta blockers to the back of the line. That’s because the evidence for their effectiveness in treating high blood pressure has been disappointing and there is even some suggestion of harm.

Beta blockers such as atenolol, bisoprolol, labetalol, metoprolol, nadolol,  and propranolol are prescribed for other conditions beside hypertension. Doctors have been using such drugs for decades to treat irregular heart rhythms, angina, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and even migraine headaches. But the overwhelming majority of the prescriptions that have been written for beta blockers over the last 40 years were to lower blood pressure.

It’s Hard to Teach Old Docs New Tricks:

For over a decade cardiologists in the know have been encouraging their colleagues to back off beta blockers as first-line treatment for hypertension. One of the world’s most renowned hypertension experts, Franz Messerli, MD, and his colleagues wrote an article titled “Beta-Blockers in Hypertension–The Emperor Has No Clothes.” Here was their conclusion:

“We systematically analyzed all available outcome studies and found no evidence that beta-blocker based therapy, despite lowering blood pressure, reduced the risk of heart attacks or strokes. Despite the inefficacy of beta-blockers, the incidence of adverse effects is substantial. In the MRC [Medical Research Council] study, for every heart attack or stroke prevented, three patients withdrew from atenolol because of impotence, and another seven withdrew because of fatigue. Thus the risk/benefit ratio of beta-blockers is characterized by lack of efficacy and multiple adverse effects.” F. H. Messerli et al., American Journal of Hypertension, Oct., 2003

Dr. Messerli was ignored for a very long time. A study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA, Oct. 3, 2012) showing no meaningful benefit from beta blockers in high-risk heart patients (who had experienced heart attacks or were diagnosed with coronary artery disease). Over 44,000 such people were followed for almost four years. At the end of the study there was no evidence that beta blockers prevented second heart attacks, strokes or death due to cardiovascular causes.

Are Beta Blockers Counterproductive for High BP?

There is even some data to suggest that one of the most popular beta blockers, atenolol, might actually increase the risk of stroke compared to other kinds of blood pressure medications.

A Danish epidemiological study compared 14,644 patients taking beta blockers for hypertension with 40,676 people taking different kinds of blood pressure medicine. The researchers asked an important question. If these patients had to undergo noncardiac surgery for any reason, was there a difference in major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE)? Answer: people on beta blockers fared worse. Older people (those over 70) seemed especially susceptible to beta blocker-associated complications (Jorgensen et al, JAMA Internal Medicine, Dec. 2015).

Playing Catch Up:

It has taken the American medical establishment a very long time to realize that beta blockers should not be prescribed as first-line treatment for high blood pressure. Thank goodness we have finally caught up with European cardiologists. They issued guidlines to this many years ago.

We have discussed this and other medical misadventures in our book, Top Screwups Doctors Make and How to Avoid Them. If you would like to get a better understanding of the problems with beta blockers and what better alternatives might be available you can check out our publications.

NEVER Stop Beta Blockers Suddenly!

No one must ever stop a beta blocker suddenly. Doing so could trigger chest pain, irregular heart rhythms or even a heart attack. We hope that the new guidelines will not create withdrawal symptoms or complications for millions of patients who have been taking beta blockers for years or even decades. Because there are no clear guidelines on how to phase off such drugs, doctors will need to be very cautious about this process.  No patient should ever discontinue a beta blocker without careful consultation with the prescriber.

Here are some side effects to be aware of regarding beta blockers and some stories from visitors to this website:

Beta Blocker Side Effects:

  • Fatigue, tiredness, depression
, drowsiness
  • Dizziness, lightheadedness
, vertigo
  • Itchy skin rash
  • Difficulty breathing, asthma
, wheezing
  • Slow heart rate
, palpitations
  • Cold hands or feet
, Raynaud’s syndrome, peripheral edema (swelling)
  • Sensitivity to sunlight, sunburn
  • Heart block (a problem with the rhythm)
  • Blood disorders
  • Memory problems, confusion
  • Nightmares, insomnia, anxiety
  • Digestive upset, diarrhea, nausea, constipation, flatulence
  • Arthritis, joint pain

 Stories from Visitors to This Website:

A number of readers have had relevant experience with beta blocker medications.

ER developed a rash:

“One side effect of beta blockers was not mentioned. A few years ago, when I was taking a beta blocker, I developed a red, very itchy rash on my scalp. The first question the dermatologist asked was ‘Are you taking a beta blocker?’ It turned out to be psorasis, and she had seen it before.

“The itching is terrible, and there is really nothing to do for it. I have tried all manner of things. Turmeric helped for a little while.”

S in Washington has advice on stopping:

“Seriously….DO NOT STOP TAKING METOPROLOL COLD TURKEY!!!

“You must wean off of it VERY GRADUALLY to lessen the effects. We did it 1/4 dose at a time for 2 weeks each step. There were still reactions at each stage; slightly elevated pulse, anxiety for no reason…but staying calm and deep breathing helps. It took about 2 months to get off completely and there were still mild spells for about another month.

“Unknown to most people is that beta blockers dampen your bodies response to adrenalin so your poor system has to re-learn how to handle it when you stop taking them. That’s what triggers the anxiety and rapid pulse.”

EAG has had trouble wth several beta blocker side effects:

“I have been on metoprolol for years and before that it was Toprol. I have searched from doctor to doctor for reasons for all my problems: coughing, palpitations, fatigue, depression, dizziness, difficult breathing, cold feet and hands, light headedness, poor coordination, and many other problems. I have asked a number of doctors to change my high blood pressure medicine but they all seem to just laugh it off. Am I wrong in wanting to change?”

MB’s husband has vivid dreams that disturb her sleep:

“My husband was prescribed atenolol after a heart attack. I now sleep in a different bedroom because of his dreams. I’ve been punched and kicked because of his vivid dreams/nightmares to the point of bruises being left!

“It isn’t every night but at least 1-2 nights per week. We didn’t know what was causing them until we started investigating the side effects of his medications since it had really started just after he started atenolol.”

Martha is concerned about hair loss:

“Since being on beta blockers for two years my hair has gotten very thin. At first I attributed this to aging, but the hair loss is substantial. It never dawned on me it could be a side effect from metoprolol.”

Julie R offers advice from the perspective of a health care practitioner:

“I am a nurse practitioner and have often treated people with hypertension. Beta blockers (end in -lol) are NOT first line medications for hypertension unless you are taking them after a heart attack or because of another health condition (such as migraines). These guidelines for hypertension are brand new and will be soon published in the JNC-8.

“First line treatment is always lifestyle changes such as weight loss, exercise, smoking cessation, limited alcohol intake and decrease in added salt. Second line are medications for hypertension in the ACE (-pril), ARB (-sartan) and diuretic classes. If a provider gives you a beta blocker right out of the gate, you should be asking some questions.”

Share your own beta blocker story below. And should you wish to learn more about drugs (and non-drug approaches) for high blood pressure, check out our Guide to Blood Pressure Treatment. You may be surprised to learn that we predicted the end of beta blockers as first-line blood pressure medication more than seven years ago.

Revised 8/24/17

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About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.” .
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Hi,
I have been taking propranolol for 3 years now but lately, after having a subacute thyroiditis, started feeling high blood pressure every time after I take it. It still happens and is unbearable. I was prescribed propranolol for anxiety extrasystoles. Now I have reduced the dose to 10 mg but I need that 10 in my system. If I don’t take it my bp will go high and heart beat fast, which I can’t stand. Anyone ever had an experience like this pls let me know.

Interesting that the list of side effects doesn’t include impotence whereas the Messerli commentary above speciifcally notes this outcome. My experience with metoprolol would be similar..

My advice, use beta blockers as choice of last resort for HBP. Works well for cardiac arrhythmias (PVCs), but the side effects are really very problematic. It is tough getting old, even tougher staying alive. All drugs have side effects, no side effects, no activity. Take as few as possible. Poly pharmacy is rampant. Don’t just accept continuation or refills on anything. Ask why. It is your body.

My 22 year-old daughter was put on a beta blocker for rapid pulse. 3 months later her blood sugar was high. She doesn’t have any other diabetes symptoms other than high sugar. Anyone who has experienced this: once you went off the drug, did your sugar go down? She was also on a steroid, cough medicine with codeine, metoprolol, and a antibiotic. I have taken her off everything, and her sugar has come down. Anyone else have this happen?

I started on Metoprolol 25mg for heart palpitations, PVCs, etc. I have been on it for several months, and my exercise tolerance is down; I can eat nothing and still not lose weight; sex drive is next to nothing; and I am tired a lot. Going back to the doctor today, but I think I am going to have to find a more holistic doctor. I can’t keep doing this.

I have massive anxiety problems and on a few meds for that. I am scared to stop taking it for fear my heart will act up even more. I tapered off of it before, years ago with very good success, but they have to figure out why I have these PVCs before I want to switch anything. I get attacks of them for hours or even upon waking in the middle of the night and when I am trying to go to sleep. I recently quit alcohol and cut way back on caffeine, but am still terrified of these bumps in my chest every twenty seconds or so.

My 22 year-old daughter has been on metoprolol for about 3 months. She’s has never had high blood sugar before and none of the thirst or frequent urination problems. But her sugar is sky high. Is anyone experiencing this problem and was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes because of this medication? Once she comes off this medication will blood sugars go down?

Propranolol has caused me to have drug-induced arthritis in my fingers, toes, feet, and diffuse joint pain. Just finished weaning off it, and am PRAYING that the arthritis resolves!

This drug also caused me to have borderline diabetes and high cholesterol! It also RAISED my BP! My BP has returned to normal. I took it for palpitations, not high BP. Before taking this drug my BP was always LOW!

Not a single doctor told me this drug could cause all those things. The arthritis came out of nowhere. I am only 39 with no family history. All arthritis tests were negative. I think the doctors should have realized it was drug-induced arthritis! Do your own research!

I WOULD NEVER TAKE THIS HORRIBLE DRUG AGAIN! I am now on ZERO medication.

I have taken Atenolol for about 20-25 years. I always have swollen lymph nodes, and they haven’t found a cause for them. I even had a biopsy, and it came out fine. I found out one of the side effects of Atenolol is lymphadenopathy (swollen lymph nodes). I also get lightheaded, feel like I’m not getting enough oxygen (even though I’ve been to the pulmonologist, and they say everything is fine), have palpitations, and many other problems. I’m taking four other pills so it may be that all the pills combined give me many different symptoms. The cardiologist told me to just stop taking the Atenolol but I know that I can’t stop cold turkey, that it has to be over time. I’m concerned with the lack of knowledge by many doctors.

I’ve been on Atenolol for about 15 years. I got diagnosed with Diabetes, so I went onto a mostly-Keto diet. I’m not strictly following Keto, but most of the recipes I’ve been making have been Keto. I’m losing weight very, very slowly. I’ve had quite a few normal blood glucose readings and I’m not taking any meds for the Diabetes. I chose to try and control it with diet, before I tried any meds. But I’ve noticed that my blood pressure has gone very low too. I’ve been getting pulse rates of between 55 and 61. I’m not sure if I should still be on the Atenolol. I’m only taking half a pill as it is. But the idea of getting off of it seems to be quite scary.

My Dr. put me on Atenolol (Tenormin) for elevated blood pressure at age 47. My average blood pressure in the Drs. office was 140/90 I’m now age 78. I decided I needed to get off this medication. My Dr. agreed and started me on Lorsartan as well as weaning me off the Atenolol. I finally got to the point where I took my last Atenolol & the Dr. increased my Lorsartan to 75mg daily.

Two days off the Atenolol I started experiencing a fast heart rate and anxiety. Called my Dr., and she started me back on Atenolol 25mg daily or every other day. I feel like I’m never going to be able to stop taking Atenolol I’m having a really difficult time getting off of it. The period of time the Dr. gave me to stop taking the Atenolol was 3 weeks, each week the dose of Atenolol was decreased. Any comments or input would be appreciated.

I was put on propranolol 20 years ago while waiting for a liver transplant due to portal hypertension. 80 mg a day. Within months weight gain happened. Extreme tiredness. Even more than I was with end stage liver disease. 5 years ago on Christmas I received my transplant, and afterwards my blood pressure got high due to the immunosuppresives. I was still on propranolol but now it was increased because no one really knew which blood pressure drug to put me on.

It wasn’t enough alone so they tried 4 other kinds. Eventually ended up on 160 mg of inderal and 10 mg lisinopril. To me propranolol didn’t decrease my blood pressure much but lisinopril lowered it right away. I’m so exhausted, and I shouldn’t be so tired after getting a new liver. I have to lower or go off propranolol but am scared to. Not one doctor seems to want to get involved with switching me to something else. I want to be me again. I know inderal (propranolol) put this weight on and makes it nearly impossible to exercise to the rate I need to to lose weight. The doctors all ask me “Why are you on propranolol?.” I feel stuck and don’t want a heart attack by going off it. Don’t go on it. There is definitely something else.

I take 25 mg atenolol in the morning for migraine prophylaxis. I started it in June of 2017 with very healthy kidney values. As of last month my serum creatinine was increased, my BUN is high, my GFR is low, and my potassium is high. My urine has begun to look foamy in the toilet. I’m convinced atenolol is the common of this decline in kidney health. Started a slow taper yesterday.

My Doctor put me on Atenolol years ago 25 mg and then increased to 50 mg.
my weight ballooned over the years. Same Doctor told me to lose weight, hum easier said than done. My metabolism appears non existent despite going to gym. All I need to do is look at food I am sure.

Cit down to 1/3 of 50 mg tablet but it’s going to be hard.

I have been on Bystolic for seven years. First it is very expensive. Second, three years ago my legs started swelling each day from ankle to knees. Doctor just laughed it off when I mentioned it. Two years ago I started with digestive problems as well.

Now all my joints hurt, and I have been diagnosed with arthritis. Also have trouble sleeping. Guess I will insist on a change in medication.

I took metoprolol for 2 years along with my blood pressure medication, and it didn’t seem to make that much difference. I noticed, though, that over these last 2 years that I have gained over 20 pounds, my hair was thinning, and I was tired all the time. THEN I discovered those are all side effects of this drug!!! I have been trying to ween off the drug slowly, and I am down to 1/4 pill every day, but I can’t make the final step. If I go 2 days without it I feel sick, seems my heart is beating out of my chest, and am light headed. Not sure how to get completely off it but it has to happen. Already at 1/4 dose I have energy. I go to the gym like I used to and have seen weight reduction already. Ticked off at my primary doctor for putting me on it.

Bryan, I’m curious how your weaning off metroprolol has gone? I’m attempting to go off it after 17 yrs! I originally was given it after having several tachycardia episodes that required a trip to the ER for adenosine to get my heart rate back to normal. I take 25mg a day of metroprolol succinate ER. The interesting thing is that I’ve still had tachycardia episodes with ER visits over the years while on this drug! After dealing with tachycardia for so long I’ve learned how to control it, and even learned many techniques to stop my episodes.

My metroprolol side effects have just gotten worse and worse, all the usual: tired, dull depressed feeling, weight gain, poor libido, etc. My blood pressure was always normal to low even before taking the drug. In the past 6 weeks I’ve switched to a plant-based diet, no sugar, oil or salt diet, (I’ve been off alcohol and caffeine for years) as well as ramped up my workouts. I’ve lost 10 lbs, and this, in turn, has naturally dropped my BP and HR. I believe the metroprolol is exasperating the HR drop. I wake up groggy with my HR in the 40s, then throughout the day, getting out of the 50s/60s is tough. My energy has been completely depleted.

Sorry for the back story but I’m ready to be drug free. It’s the only thing I take and am ready to start cutting it back. Luckily my dosage is already small, but the ER tablets are slow release and can only be cut once, along the center score mark. So that’s the plan, to cut my dosage in half for several weeks and see how that goes. I’m just very nervous about taking the step after reading so many warnings, and other people’s stories. Just looking for info from others on how their detox went. Thanks

I’ve been a steady strick Leto diet for over 2 months and haven’t been able to lose very much weight . I truly believe that medaprolol is the cause in my very slow weight loss . Other side effect have been a dry cough that never seems to go away , Tiredness, joint pain, anger, and always seems like I don’t feel.

To good in general. I was given this med for high blood pressure and to honest it hasn’t helped at all. I want to stop taking this drug because if I could just lose the weight I want to I won’t need it.

Funny I felt great 2 years ago before I started this junk and the high blood pressure never slowed me down. I am done with this crap, I’m going to cut the dose and wean myself off, I hate pharmaceuticals.

I was on Metoprolol for ~5 years for high blood pressure. I fixed my diet and weight, and my blood pressure normalized. After getting off Metoprolol I started having panic attacks, and over a year after being off of it, I have a terrible anxiety problem with panic attacks. I had mild anxiety before taking Metoprolol. Never take this junk unless your life depends on it.

I so agree with you. I have found Dr. Bergman recently – and he is a wealth of information. I will never again take information from the medical field the same way. I to suggest to all to give his videos on YouTube a viewing, if for nothing else to see another perspective.

I’m a congenital cardiac patient and have been on metoprolol for a couple years (since my second open heart surgery)to help take the load off my heart. I actually did a search on Metoprolol side effects bc I got stuck over Labor Day weekend without my medication. I felt weak and spacey/anxious the first day. After that, my body felt pretty normal but I’ve noticed a distinct increase in anxiety (specifically OCD). It dawned on me it could be linked to the abrupt discontinuation of the drug. Now reading these experiences, it makes me even more curious as to other’s experiences, specifically, as it is linked to mental anxiety.

I have taken 120 mg daily propranolol for most of my adult life for anxiety. I am trying to go off it because I feel it is dragging me down. I did okay with a very gradual titration until I got to the point of taking none. I am about 3 days into that and am now experiencing high pulse and blood pressure. Could this be withdrawal effects even after doing it so very gradually? I am guessing the propranolol must have masked high blood pressure. So does that probably mean my body is better off with at least a small dose? I do exercise regularly and eat a fairly clean plant-based diet. Oddly, a year ago, I was experiencing episodes of orthostatic hypotension. It seems that nothing is ever clearcut as to cause and effect.

i have been on atenolol for 4 yrs…im 41 and also take lisinopril….i take atenolol in the morning 25 mg and can feel when it kicks in…it makes me dizzy and hr goes up…but after about an hour it is normal…i take 2.5 mg of lisinopril and it makes my bp too low sometimes..140/70…others 114/66…i feel horrible all the time….i am going to get off atenolol very slowly and maybe my bp will not be so jacked up

Beta Blockers amongst most medications are as detrimental to our health as they are good. Big Pharma holds all the cards!

I am 53, female. I’ve been on Atenolol (Tenormin) for 23 years, almost continuously! I was prescribed it for mitral valve prolapse. It did help my palpitations and dizziness, greatly. I began on 50mg. per day but now take 25 mg. daily. I did wean off it totally at one point, for a brief period in my 30’s. I now want to wean off it again, mostly just because I do not want to be on any drugs. I developed benign positional vertigo just a few years ago. Having vertigo has been quite restrictive for me, affecting every area of life. I wonder if it the vertigo is possibly related to being on Atenolol long term. My plan is to try to wean off very gradually, using lots of “beta blocking” foods in my diet. If anyone has any other ideas, do tell. And please don’t tell me to ask my doctor for ideas, they rarely if ever have any natural ideas, they deal only in pills and surgery, sadly. Thanks.

Once you’re HOOKED on beta blockers, it’s a life sentence of depression, anxiety, fatigue, and a complete loss of quality of life. We’re at the mercy of Big Pharma and doctors that know very little about the pharmacology of “drugs” – legal drug dealers.

Watch Dr. Bergman, the guy is brilliant. You can find him on You Tube. I was on high blood pressure meds. I did not have the terrible side effects, but I changed to a whole food plant based diet and the blood pressure is down. Dr. Bergman really taught me some great info and I feel so much more educated now. I will never look at doctors the same way again. I am 52 and on NO MEDS. I don’t go to the doctor and am doing just fine. Diet is everything. My 74 year old mom was on Metoprolol , and she recently has gotten off. She had her doctor help her ween off, but she is going through terrible withdrawl. She took it for about 2 years and has been off the meds for a month but is still dizzy, incredibly anxious, tired, depressed and overall not the same mom I knew years ago.

I was on atenolol before my ablation, my afib is gone now (2/1/2 years, weaned myself off (it was murder ) had an episode where my heart rate was 166, that was a month and a half ago, they put me on metropolol, turns out it wasn’t afib, it was my potassium levels, my doctor wants me to say on the beta blocker just in case the afib comes back, I’m not comfortable with that, I’ve only taken 41 pills, I want to wean myself off again ( I was taking 100mg/per day) but just from Feb. 17, till March 20, how should I proceed

Can someone give me a input please

I was on labetelol for like 7 months during pregnancy and continued wen I was off now I’m having side effects like depression confusement tired and anxiety my new pcp told me to stop takin it so it’s beem like 4 days n I’m still havin side effects but my bp been normal or just a lil elevated I went to urgent care center she told me to drink plenty of water to flush it out my system do anyone know how long da side effects would last I wanna feel normal again

I feel like I’m losing my mind. In March 2017 I had to go to the er with the flu that turned into pneumonia, even tho I had, had the shots. I then had to have open heart surgery the same day.The Dr. said he could not get to the blockage because of the two stents I had10 years ago. He still did a partial bypass. I told them I was allergic to beta blockers, I was put on beta blockers years ago for what the Dr said was glaucoma, which turned out not to be.

That’s when a Dr. of Ophthalmology said I didn’t have glaucoma and that I was allergic to the meds. Well now I’m on Metoprolol and all this last year I’ve been in Er’s for my nerves. and it’s getting worse. My husband passed six years ago and my sister last year and then my house and furnisher was lost in the Houston flood. I’m having thoughts of ending it all.If I can’t get off of this terrible beta blocker I don’t think I ‘ll make. And I told I was allergic to it, all I do is cry.

I feel like I’m losing my mind. In March 2017 I had to go to the ER with the flu that turned into pneumonia, even tho I had the shots. I then had to have open heart surgery the same day. The Dr. said he could not get to the blockage because of the two stents I had 10 years ago. He still did a partial bypass. I told them I was allergic to beta blockers. I was put on beta blockers years ago for what the Dr said was glaucoma, which turned out not to be. That’s when a Dr. of Ophthalmology said I didn’t have glaucoma and that I was allergic to the meds.

Well, now I’m on Metoprolol, and all this last year I’ve been in ERs for my nerves, and it’s getting worse. My husband passed six years ago and my sister last year, and then my house and furniture were lost in the Houston flood. I’m having thoughts of ending it all. If I can’t get off of this terrible beta blocker I don’t think I ‘ll make. And I was told I was allergic to it. All I do is cry.

I have been on a beta blocker for two months and I feel terrible. Between that and Lipitor I am so tired, all I want to do is sleep. My body aches constantly and I am so depressed (I was before but not it’s worse). I went to the dr. who prescribed the beta blocker and was told just to stop taking it, cold turkey.

Thanks to everyone who has contributed to this site–I’m glad I found it.

I am 74, a woman, and had my first heart attack 4 years ago (stent). Four months ago I had another, lesser one and got two more stents. Also was put on clopidogrel and metoprolol–neither very nice. The side effects of the metoprolol especially have knocked me flat. On 25 MG/day I was confused, terribly anxious, had musculoskeletal pain severe enough to wake me. My thinking was so muddled that I considered such intelligent moves as committing suicide, or cutting one of my children out of my will because he hurt my feelings. Finally I realized I was consumed by stress; I literally couldn’t keep my diaphragm from clenching up for more than a couple of minutes. I went online to see what was wrong. That’s when I read about both drugs, but especially metoprolol. There were so many side effects listed, problems that I was having, that I wanted to get off of it as soon as possible.

By phone the cardiac nurse said I could drop it. She added, “You were taking such a small amount that there won’t be any danger in stopping completely.” If she had my screen in front of her, she’d have seen that I take SSRI antidepressants; I have for 40 years. Depression runs in my family. The FDA warnings about metoprolol say prominently that SSRI antidepressants can increase the strength of metoprolol. I believe the increase was by a factor of 4.

But I went ahead and stopped the meto. cold as directed–and felt relief from the stress for 3-4 days. However, the last few days I’ve been registering BP that keeps going up: from 143/87, to 153/74, to the reading tonight,164/84.

I feel like I’m caught by something that’s dangerous if you take it and dangerous if you don’t. Of course I’ll call the cardio dept again tomorrow and wait for a call back. But I’m not looking forward to that either.

Typically whoever I reach there seems to have trouble crediting what I say. Perhaps that’s a typical reaction to a senior, or maybe to an older woman. The responses I get often seem like ‘oh, dear, don’t you worry; try taking a walk’ ; or direct disbelief ; or “We will take you off that drug, but the doctor wants to put you on a statin”…or a diuretic.. or something else.

I had breast cancer 17 years ago and my experience with the diagnosis and treatment was reassuring. Every aspect of them was clear and professional–and courteous. I’m a long-time survivor.

But the metoprolol experience makes me question several things:
1. Didn’t the nurse notice I was on substantial antidepressants (a listed interaction)? Interactions seem to be something they don’t want to be bothered with.
2. How can a patient on multiple drugs tell anything about side effects if one medication is removed & another added at the same time?
3. It seems astonishing that metoprolol got FDA clearance and that it is still used, especially in someone over 60 (seniors have different chemistry and react differently than younger patients). I mistrust the whole FDA clearance process now–it is too cozy with the industry.
4. It seems the way cardiology is practiced is slipshod. As far as drugs, is there any weighing of benefit/risk?
5. For a long time the public was told that a patient should participate in their own medical decisions and care. But that seems to be just a saying, not a reality.

I’d be very interested in comments, especially from older people and people who take antidepressants. Thanks much.

And to the drug company that is undoubtedly sponsoring this site in order to monitor public opinion–I have a lot more respect for the drug clearances in Britain, Australia, and New Zealand, where the top goal is not profit.

Hi i have been on metoprolol for around 15 years and have realized that I have short-term memory loss only about 2 months ago. I have since researched and have found memory loss to be a key side effect of this drug. I was put on it as a preventive drug, since I had high blood pressure after having my 3rd child who is now 27. I then suffered from palpitations years later and am not sure if the metoprolol caused those as well. But I will be weaning myself off them asap with the doctors guidance, as I am changing my lifestyle with healthy eating (no sugar, no carbs, and exercise). I have since dropped 6 kg, learned that gut health is the most important thing for your health, and processed foods can certainly add to unhealthy mind and anxiety. My anxiety has lessened simply by being shown how to breathe properly and eat right.

I had a heart attack six weeks ago, and amongst other medications am on metoprolol 49.5mg once daily. My BP is 90/50, and life sucks. But doctors and nurses think that’s OK. I am going to go down to 24.5mg without consulting them. I have never had high blood pressure. I am nervous and agitated. One nurse said “You should be more relaxed.” Has she not read all the information out there? I take my meds in the morning. When I wake up I feel really good, until about half an hour after I take my meds. Then I start to feel terrible. Will I have another heart attack? They have really got me over a barrel.

I am a migraine sufferer. Approximately 18 mos ago I was put on beta blocker Metoprolol (25 mg twice a day) as a preventative to reduce headache frequency and severity. I had no problems with the medication, other than slight lethargy and a few pounds gained. About 6 weeks ago, however, my pharmacy advised they had switched to a different manufacturer, and things went quickly downhill.

My bp, which is usually steady and in the good range of 120/67 started going all over the place from lows to highs, with accompanying rapid heart beats of as much as 90 – 118, other than my normal of 62 – 68. I felt lousy, going from being extremely cold, especially in my lower legs and feet, to breaking out in a sweat at the smallest task such as getting dressed.

I had rapid weight gain (10 lbs in two weeks), several anxiety attacks (which I had never suffered), swelling in my ankles, blurred vision, dizziness, a dull headache which lasted for days and fatigue so bad I could hardly get out of bed. My brain felt as if it were in a total fog, and I couldn’t remember something I had done five minutes earlier. At first, I thought the issues were caused by seasonal allergies and a sinus infection, but after the infection cleared, the symptoms grew worse to the point I could hardly get out of bed. Not taking the drug one evening resulted in my feeling much better upon waking, but as I started moving around, my bp hit 146/86 with pulse of 92, and knowing that beta blockers should not be stopped abruptly, I took the dose, which caused things to get even worse and I quickly ended up in my doctors office with a bp of 170/100 and a pulse of 118. After blood work, urinalysis, EKG, my physician and I both believed the culprit to be the new manufacturer.

In the past three years, I have had allergic reactions to three generic drugs, two of which I had taken regularly without previous issue , but each issue coincided with a “new” manufacturer who provided higher profits to the pharmacy or the pharmacy wholesaler. One reaction was anaphylactic, with my throat closing, my tongue swelling and rapid heart beat. As reports of allergies and side effects increasing with generic drugs, and knowing my sensitivity to many unknown inert contents of generic drugs coming from offshore manufacturing facilities, I now carry an Epi Pen with me at doctor’s suggestion.

As a former manufacturer of generic OTC drugs, and pioneer in the generic industry, I feel I am qualified to comment on the problems now created by the off shore manufacturing of these drugs, which have little (if any) FDA oversight, no knowledge of the inert ingredients which are being used nor proper oversight to insure that Good Manufacturing Procedures are being followed. Shocking reports of unacceptable ingredients and manufacturing practices being used in some formulations are escaping the once watchful eye of the FDA regularly.

When I, and my colleagues, first began manufacturing generic drugs to provide alternative low cost pharmaceuticals to public, the FDA guidelines were clear, and the “main ingredient” of the compound was strictly overseen and variances in effectiveness or compound contamination was almost non existent. The drugs mimicked the branded (patented) compound, and the only difference allowed was a small variance in the effectiveness of generic drugs compared to branded products. This was measured by the rate of dissolution of the main drug compound upon ingestion. Generics were highly effective with few problems, and a blessing for consumers who could not afford the high cost of many medications.

As manufacturers moved offshore in search of greater profits (and no doubt, lack of oversight by the FDA) and more and more start up companies entered the market to grab a share of the huge profits being generated by generic manufacturing. The quality of the main compounds began to falter, and the inert ingredients began to include questionable content, which was overlooked or unknown by the governing agencies.

Today’s imported generic pharmaceuticals studies have shown that the difference in bioavailability (effectiveness) can be as much as 40% in imported generic medications, and the inert ingredients unknown and often dangerous. Today with the number of manufacturing facilities in India alone totally between 5,000 and 11,000, it is impossible for a handful of FDA regulators to properly oversee such a large number of manufacturing facilities.

Some reports say as few as 19 FDA inspectors oversee these 5,000 FDA facilities in India. Like many other government agencies, the FDA seems to be employing greater numbers of personnel who are either inept, or indifferent, but even if 100% of the personnel were top notch qualified, it simply boils down to not enough inspectors to properly oversee the number of manufacturing facilities. Side effects from either the inert ingredients, or the huge variance in effectiveness of the compound means continued illness, or side effects, which often mean hospitalizations or visits to ER’s or physicians and a battery of tests to determine the cause of complaint.

As a huge proponent of generics and a pioneer in the industry, I am concerned about the quality and safety of generics. As more and more companies began manufacturing off shore, and more start up companies are created to grab lucrative profits, problems continue to arise. Where once any drugs coming into the US had to meet strict guidelines and testing, including unannounced FDA inspections of manufacturing facilities and the finished product, problems such as these were almost nonexistant. As generic pharmaceuticals began to be more desired by consumers, the number of offshore manufacturing facilities rapidly increased.

In an attempt to make a statement and encourage companies to have GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) the Justice Department, a few years ago, fined a dozen or so pharmaceutical giants who were manufacturing in India and China under less than desirable conditions, causing them to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in fines for their misdeeds. The companies gladly paid the fine, but continued to manufacture with few, if any, changes, based upon the huge profits available in the generic industry.

Chain pharmacies and distribution companies have enjoyed huge profits by encouraging consumers to buy generics, to use mail order prescription services and via other programs initiated for profit. Recently pharmaceutical giants like CVS have decided to enter into the manufacturing arena, grabbing more of the profits, and will eventually put them into a monopoly situation in an industry which is already enjoying huge profits with less and less benefit to consumers. Several top pharmacy chains were recently hit by a lawsuit for overcharging consumers who bought certain generic drugs with their insurance coverage, while the proceeds (co-pays) were kicked back to third party pharmacy benefits managers!

Consumers would have been better off paying cash, which often resulted in less out of pocket costs to them than the co-pay on purchases through their insurance. In addition to these kinds of tactics, we have no idea of the effectiveness of the main compound, nor do we know what additional ingredients are being used in generic manufacturing, or what kind of sloppy manufacturing practices may be involved. We have no option to sue if things go badly, as offshore generic companies have repeatedly been deemed to not be responsible for side effects in generic drugs since they are “copying the original formulation of the original drug” and the original drug and the generic drug have been approved by the FDA. That does not address, of course, the manufacturing process, which can vary from the original formulation via unacceptable practices of the manufacturer and which may be overlooked or unnoticed by the FDA. Many ingredients have been shown to be unacceptable by regulations, and by consumers who have become extremely aware of what they ingest.

The initial intent of generics was to provide lower costs medicines to the public, thereby reducing health care costs not only for the consumer, but for the many agencies who face astronomical health care costs. For people without insurance coverage, or with coverage which did not cover prescription costs, generics were a blessing. Now, the generic medications are working in reverse, increasing side effects or reducing effectiveness, which often results in hospitalizations, increased doctor visits, and the requirement of more medications. This of course, has the opposite effect of the original intent. In typical style, the government is stepping over dollars to grab for pennies, while concerns continue to fall on deaf ears of those in charge, with cost savings becoming a distant memory. Doctors hands are tied, based upon Medicare/Medicaid and big insurance companies requirements that generic drugs be the first choice and sometimes, only option. In many cases, if the patient or his doctor chooses a branded product, the consumer pays a penalty to his insurance company which can be as much as $100 per month, or the patient must pay out of his own pocket for the branded drug, which costs can be as much as $400 to $1000 for branded product versus a 90% reduction in cost if they accept a generic. It becomes a choice based solely on the dollars, but is this wise?

In my case, another generic beta blocker was prescribed and seems to be working without issue. Had I not the background in generic pharmaceuticals, I most likely would not have been able to pinpoint the basis of my symptoms which could have resulted in a diagnosis calling for yet more drugs to be prescribed, or if left unattended, could have resulted in some major event such as heart attack or stroke.

All drugs are not created equal, sadly, and consumers must arm themselves with as much knowledge as possible, and we must fight back against the tide of low quality and dangerous generics. I still believe in the concept of generic pharmaceuticals, but recognize that the lack of integrity in manufacturing, oversight and regulation leaves much to be desired, and questioned, in today’s generic world.

In 2012 I had a heart attack. Right off, stent went in, then the meds were prescribed. Metoprolol-25mg twice daily. Didn’t know diddly about anything. All I knew was I was scared as hell and did what they told me to do. I had side effects right off, (one of which my heart continued to hurt) but when I talked to the narcissistic cardiologist who prescribed all the meds, he laughed and said I was going to have pain, I had a heart attack.

Never did the regular check-ups, liver tests, ect. I found out they are suppose to do. 5 years later? I have gained weight (counter productive when you have heart disease) my hair has thinned, I have silent reflux which has done damage to my esophagus now. I can not SLEEP straight through the night, I toss and turn and wake up for no reason. I have heart palpitations, skips beats and races at times. I do not and never have had high blood pressure, but suffer low blood pressure and every doctor I have talked to since my heart attack tells me I will have to remain on Metop for the rest of my life because I have a stent in my heart?!?!?!?!

I am slowly dying and suffer every day and they have me afraid to go off of it or I will surely have a fatal heart attack and die. Which is worst? To be crippled and sick on the meds and worry and fear dying if I go off of it, or just do it and die and get it over with! Doctors just do not give a damn anymore and I am sick of them getting richer and making people sicker.

I “ulcerated” my “circumflex artery.” Which was very interesting for me because I thought they removed my heart in law school, but I digress…

Cardiologist put me on “Effient,” “baby-aspirin,” Simvistatin, and metoprolol. For 10 weeks I suffered rashes, lethargy, sleep issues, could not think straight, and then I said “no more.”

I stopped taking the 25 mg Met. cold turkey, which I know you should NOT do, but I did it, and for the last two weeks, I’m still on this side of the grass.

I’m an active person, and I am slowly getting the Met. out of my system. I hope it does not take months like has happened to you, Allie.

Be well.

Hi Allie, your story IS my story. Heart attack in 2014, 2 stents, months later hair started thinning and falling out, weight gain, reflux, all of a sudden I have high BP Dr says. The stress of the weight gain and hair loss is so high. I no longer want to do anything cause I look like crap and not myself anymore. My dr said I am on metoprolol losartan forever if I want to live. This sucks.

Trying to wean off metoprolol er… was prescribed 100mg so I cut the scored pill in half a few days ago and taking 50mg.. here’s the problem, in a few weeks how do I decrease the 50mg doseage as you can only cut the pill once.. and thoughts and experiences? Thanks all…

Metoprolol can be prescribed in doses of 25mg or even 12.5 mg. However, I experienced strong withdrawal symptoms even from a low dose.

Do get a pill splitter, they cost about $3.00. Place it inside like it was whole and cut, to 1/4. I was also on a beta-blocker, for several years I asked my Dr. To switch it. he told the Pharmacist,”she’s been on this for years, were not changing”. I changed Dr.’s and withdrew on a new Rx over a period of 3 weeks. Good Luck. I argue and refuse certain prescriptions that I’ve researched. Years ago, I was a ‘pharmacy technician’ in Hospitals, but that isn’t necessary, realizing that Dr.’s are talked into these ‘ by the ‘Pharmacy Rep.’ who is a ‘salesperson’ for the Pharmaceutical Companies! Doctor’s are too busy and controlled by Insurance Co. to study side effects. This is sad, but true. We must be our own advocates!

I have been on metoprolol (12.5mg twice a day) to treat non-sustained ventricular tachycardia. This beta-blocker, (as well as bisoprolol, propanolol, and atenolol) have played havoc with my digestive tract. My irritable bowel with constipation along with my non-ulcer dyspepsia and GERD have been exacerbated to a level I have never experienced before.

My most recent abdominal xray revealed for the first time ever a mild fatty liver, (I am 62, thin, and a non-drinker). I am awaiting results of my liver enzymes. The last eight months have been a real nightmare for me as I try to manouver through our Canadian healthcare system, (be careful about what you wish for. e.g. an 8 month wait to see a gastroenterologist,but I digress). Anyway, I may have no choice but to have an ablation.

My g.i. symptoms have worsened over this eight month period. Also, my blood pressure tends to be on the lower side and recent ECGs have shown significant bradycardia. I can’t believe how my life has been turned upside down since I started swallowing this tiny white pill.

Well, Susan…I must say you’re having quite the time of things. My GP made a statement to me about 6 mos. ago when he & I discussed the generic vs. the name brand meds. I said to him…”The pharmacy says the generic medicines have the same ingredients as they brand-names”. The Dr. rather laughed a little, & said..”oh no they don’t”. IF I were to have the brand-name meds, my insurance very likely wouldn’t pay for them because the generic drugs are available. I do wonder about this & will call my insurance company. The pharmacy automatically switched my Doxazosin to a different manufacturer, & it’s a very tiny pill. The “Novo” brand is bigger & my Dr. says if that’s what I want, that’s what he’ll prescribe. No problem with the Insurance, but we didn’t go from generic to brand. I’ve heard a lot of people say the brand name & generics do differ. There may be a lot of fillers in the generics which have an adverse reaction on people.

You’re right on another count. Our Canadian healthcare system is failing badly. Waiting 8 months or more to see a specialist (Gastro in your case) is not acceptable. People can die waiting for specialist treatment. Small example..I was sent to a Respirologist for a Sprigometry test. I passed that test, no problem…consulted with the Dr. & he wants to do yet another test which is considered the ‘gold standard’ test to confirm or rule out Asthma. Well, the test itself was available sooner, but because the Dr. was not, I have to wait a total of FIVE MONTHS just to have that test. Once I have that test..I must see the Dr. for consult. This same Dr. referred me to a Gastro because I have uncontrolled GERD (I do take pills)..& guess what? I was referred at the end of Jan./2018 & have an appt. to see him April 3/2018. I couldn’t believe it. IF this Dr. wants to do a scope, I don’t know how long I’d have to wait. I was floored to get an appt. so soon.

Hang in there…there’s not a thing we can do about things. Our Gov’t does care what goes on, although they ‘claim’ they are looking into the long wait times.

Mary, August, 28, 2017

Problem solved. My husband has been taking Atenolol almost 20 years, as he has had three stents put in arteries to his heart. For the last ten or more years he has had nightmares, punching, and causing me to cover my head with a pillow so I won’t be punched. This has been getting worse the last two years. He has even fallen out out of bed to where we put a small gate on his side of the bed. We have done this in the last two months. Now I see where Atenolol causes these symptoms. Now the next step to convince his cardiologist that this is causing his problem.

I have been on Metoprolol for about ten years for ocular migraines. Helped some and I put up with it. A year ago my husbands cardiologist said I have AFIB and I started on Eliquis. At the same time my GP said I had COPD and started me on an inhaler. I stopped it after two weeks as I have osteoporosis and it could affect my bones. Ever since then I have had a heavy cough, wheezing, and hoarseness.

The GP said there is no correlation. I have been to a lung specialist, gastroenterologist, and both said I am ok. When the cardiologist asked why I was on Metoprolol, I told him because of the migraines. He just shrugged his shoulders and said to keep on taking them.

the promise of propranolol to address A-Fib, panic-anxiety, and essential tremors was disappointing for me and my cardiologist. that 80mg pill just messed up my GI track, made me dizzy and lazy. I’m back on cardizem for A-Fib management. good riddance propranolol!!! *still it was worth a try

When taking metropolol, after about a year I developed PVCs (pre-ventricular contractions), which were quite alarming. Very “heavy” heartbeats that could last from 5 minutes to over an hour, and often woudl repeat for no reason. Cardiologist was unable to confirm it was PVCs and suggested taking an additional 1/2 tablet when they occurred. Was finally able to capture the heartbeats on an EKG, and confirmed diagnosis. Switched b/p meds, and I have never again had the PVCs.

One of my biggest frustrations with doctors is that they dodge questions they don’t want to answer. I have suffered for a number of years with hair loss. My hair was always thick and healthy until I started taking a lot of prescribed drugs. The loss was slow at first but accelerated over the years to the point that I have about 1/3 the hair I had prior to taking so many rx’s. I have asked my primary physician several times over the years why he thinks this happened.

He always dodges the question. I’m sure he’s known all along what was causing the hair loss but he doesn’t want me to resist taking the meds so he changes the subject. I’ve also asked my dermatologist about this issue but she also side steps, probably not wanting to bruise my PCP’s ego. I also feel like my concerns are dismissed because I’m a senior citizen and physicians have the attitude that I’m too old to be concerned about what they see as a cosmetic issue. Seniors have enough health obstacles to deal with in their golden years and hair loss for anyone is depressing and especially humiliating for women. There might not be any easy answers if there are no similar drugs to prescribe to control the patient’s primary condition without producing the same side effects. Even if that is the case, physicians need to be honest and not dismiss their patients’ concerns with no reason. Most people, young or old, are much more intelligent and capable of understanding physician explanations than docs seem to think.

AMEN!!!

My 86 year old mother was put on beta blockers for high blood pressure. They made her so confused and forgetful, people thought she was in the beginning stages of dementia. She’s normally very sharp and the symptoms started soon after starting the beta blockers. The doctor agreed it was the beta blockers affecting her. Weaning her off them was terrible. She had terrible panic attacks and anxiety. She’d shake all over and cry uncontrollably. She became very depressed. Finally, she had to take xanax for months until the worst of it subsided. Beta blockers should only be taken as a last resort.

Could you please indicate what this new study suggests for treating high BP and also what does it suggest to be a normal number for those of us over 65?

Am having abnormal heartbeat. I went to see a doctor and was given propranolol, one tablet a day. I have taken them for three weeks now with no change. Please advise.

I am 43 and I had a heart attack 2 years ago due to a full blockage in one of my arteries. One stent was placed. I don’t have high blood pressure and never did and yet they have me on bisoprolol and clopidogrel. I am normal weight, exercise 200 minutes a week, no smoking or drinking. I’m not into medications long-term and wonder how they could be hurting my body over the long term.

I want to get off of them…including the 81 milligrams of aspirin. I want to be completely medication free like I was before the heart attack…and rely solely on my good diet and exercise habits to keep my CAD from progressing….is it possible for me to be healthy without all these meds? It used to be that you took medications until you got well. Now they want you on meds for life! It’s crazy.

Does someone like me who has made some amazing lifestyle changes and maintains them, really need any of these meds at this point? Just because you had a heart attack…does that mean you automatically must take medications for life or you will most certainly die young if you don’t? Please shed some light for me. Thanks.

I’m hoping to do the same, how are you going with yours?

I too had an MI at 40, 98% blockage of circumflex while all other arteries were good. High cholesterol was only risk factor at the time, and I was on 40 mg of Lipitor. Post MI, I was put on Atenolol, Ramipril, and Aspirin along with max dosage of Lipitor. 15 years later I had a cardio CT which discovered mild build-up was still occurring. Went on a plant-based, whole food diet with no oils and lost 45 lbs in 2 months. Blood work showed my BP dropped 20 points(90/60), although pretty close to perfect before, and my LDLs dropped 20 points to low 60s. Working to get off the Atenolol now, as I feel I don’t need it.

This is the USA. Only profits count, not the people.

Watch the documentary called The WidowMaker. These are cardiologists that talk about how other Cardiologists continue to keep people whom have suffered heart attacks, SICK. They don’t die, but are never well because of the medications they prescribe us. The body is an amazing thing and God made it so that it will heal it’s self with life changes, healthy foods, exercise. INCLUDING THE HEART! Your story is similar to mine and I want off the Metropolol and aspirin as they have created new health issues, such as silent reflux, which has caused damage to my esophagus. I am afraid to go off of it because they have scared the hell out of me if I attempt to do so.

I had mild heart attack in September 2016. I say due to stress…family issues…my BP has been rising but I was never told this. It was usually low to normal. My cholesterol on the day of attack in the ER was 212. I had no EKG changes but they determined my troponin level was too high. They did a cath and I had no major blockages but 2-3 vessels with 30% blockages which they said is typical for age 61. So, on meds: metoprolol 25 mg/day, aspirin 81/day, plavix 75/day..nature thyroid 97.5 mcg/day, atorvastatin 20/day. The plavix has me bruising for every little thing. I was told I needed it for 1 year and that the BP and cholesterol drugs will be stopped if they are normal range. I’ve noticed palpitations since the attack (more frequently than before), tired and blah (was unsure if thyroid related or menopause issues)…hot flashes…I want off! I have been reading the dangers of side effects and now stopping I’m horrified! Bp has been dropping too low, been feeling it…and when now the diastolic is a little high! Yeeash! Reading undoctored! Not continuing these meds after September! As for hormonal issues, try bioidentical hormone replacement therapy because it goes through the skin not liver and contains all hormones.

Have only been on atenolol for 4 weeks, in that time BP is all over the charts, so tired I can hardly make it thru a short trip to grocery store, but worst thing is debilitating headaches head feels like it will explode, BP goes to 196/98 with pulse rate of 45, and 203/105. These BP reading scared me almost as bad as headache. So am tapering off 1/4 of dose for 3 days at a time, from 50mg cut in half for 2x day as original dose. This drug should not be on market. This site helped to decide that I DID have to get off this drug.

I’ve been on propanonol for four weeks, My bp’s near normal, but I feel tired & a bit anxious…. I’ll go & see my gp if this continues, there are loads of drugs for blood pressure

Hi. You wrote this over a year and a half ago. I hope you’re still on here. My cardio put me on Atenolol 100 mg a day. It’s only been 2 wks but already my base of skull headaches are bad. I’m on Advil and Aleve and I have dry mouth. My BP too is all over the place. Starts at over 200/90 and with deep breathing it goes down after 3 readings. I need to wean off already. He has me on clonidine too 0.1 mg twice a day. I read that is an interaction. Why would he do that? I need to wean. I’m also lightheaded. I need help.

My husband has been on Metoprolol after an aortic dissection. He has lost his sex drive. Dr finally changed to Lisinopril but after a month no change. Any suggestions?

I was diagnosed 6 years ago with a bicuspid aortic valve. My blood pressure was elevated and my doctor tried me on meds to lower it. I tried various drugs including an Ace inhibitor, Beta blocker, a Calcium Channel blocker and then 2 years ago an ARB – Losartan. The side effects of all these drugs were in my opinion worse than the disease. However my BP climbed – 164/105 – so I increased the Losartan to 100mg but the breathlessness and chest pain stopped me exercising.

I started Citrulline 4-6gms per day which was very helpful. I prefer Losartan to the others because it doesn’t affect my sex drive. So the doc has now given me an Alpha blocker, Doxazosin 2mg, additionally, which had an instant impact, BP down to 132/87. A Blockers are also used for BPH (prostate problems) so it has had a positive effect on my sex life. I hope your husband regains his strength.

I have been taking nadlol since I was 16 and now I’m 22 I take 20 mg twice a day. And now for a couple of months I’ve been not feeling good and I go to different doctors and hospitals and they all say. I have anxiety or depression. But I went to the e.r last night and he told me a lot of your symptoms are side affects from nadlol he said he thinks I should stop taking it and get reevaluated. Any suggestions?

You’re very young to have high blood pressure. Have you ever been tested for primary hyperaldosteronism?

I have palpitations here and there. I am on Ativan generic name Lorazepam, 3 times a day. i also take Losartan for blood pressure 100 mg, Amlodipine 2.5 mg, Levothyroxine 100 MCG, Vitamin D3, Paxil 5 mg, Lamotrigine 25mg, Trazodone 50mg, and Metformin 500mg twice a day.

I was taking only 5 mg of Propanol my doctor wanted me to take 10mg twice a day, but i have a lot of reactions with meds so i only took 5mg of the propanol in the morning. i started feeling depressed not wanting to get out of bed, sick to my stomach with diarrhea, so i stooped the 5mg the other day on Thursday, i was not on it long only a week or maybe half a week and i felt worse taking that propanol i had no energy, i was crying all the time and i did not feel like myself taking only 5 mg of propanol
I do not trust Propanol and the way it made me feel for the last week that is why i stopped it.

I am in menopause and i am wondering if i only need the estrogen to stop the palpitations i do have estrogen that my Gyno ordered for me please i need some advise here please

You might look into progesterone instead of estrogen. Do some research on it online. If you are open to naturopathic treatment, research that, too. Progesterone can be found in natural creams and made the whole difference for me when I started early menopause in my late 30’s and was put on estrogen. It helped but i had to keep increasing the dose and it was awful. I went through menopause about 5 years ago, now in mid 50’s.

Susan, we don’t know if the estrogen would stop your palpitations. That is undoubtedly what the doctor intended with the propranolol. Since you can’t tolerate it, you must get in touch with the doctor who prescribed it and let him/her know you’ll need another approach.

I have lost more than half of the hair on my head. I have coughed and wheezed now for the ten years I have been on Metroprolol. Today I cut the tablet in half. Next week I will take only a quarter. Then I hope I’m done. I’m so sad. I also have diabetes two. I have been told and I’ve read that Metopolol is the culprit!!!! I’m angry.
GB….Florida

I to got Diabetes 2 from Metroprolol. My Dr said I can’t go off it, his exact words were:
They are both hypertension medications. They each work slightly differently. Losartan works with your kidneys to keep your BP low. It also has some positive effects on heart muscle. The Metoprolol is a beta blocker. It slows down and relaxes the heart a little. Both are proven to increase long term survival in people who have had an MI. There really isn’t a “different” medicine for you.

I lost about 70% of my hair, hair that was once long, thick and healthy, not even a split end and now my hair is so thin, I can barely tell I have any. The weight I gain is insane. I hate
that Dr’s would rather grow their bank account then to actually help people. I hate what this has done to me all cause I had a heart attack and 2 stents. I can’t get a Dr to listen to me or give me a solution.

I am a 75 year old female. In my early 40’s I began having skipped heartbeats. Numerous drs. dismissed it as just skipped heartbeats. Not until one dr. listened to me and tried to use estrogen, believing my problem was due to early menopause. Sure enough, one good injection of estrogen got rid of year long skipped heartbeat. So I went on HRT. Discontinued that with the big scare about estrogen, but then my skipped heartbeats returned. I do have a dr. (female) who gives me enough tablets of Premarin to ward off any skipped heartbeats. However, my primary dr. does not believe my facts, and put me on Metoprolol, to stop the skipped heartbeats. Needless to say, the Met. did nothing to stop my problem. Using my estrogen does stop the problem. I am presently attempting to ween myself off, and shall check with my primary dr. when he returns to his office (in two weeks). Sad that we are not trusted even with something that has been proven to be true in our lives for 35 years.

I had a cerebral hemorrhage (stroke) at age 57, and was then prescribed Lopressor afterwards ‘in case’ it was cause by high blood pressure. After 7 years of taking Lopressor and feeling extremely tired and mildly depressed the whole time: I decided to gradually wean myself off of it (for a month). That was 3 years ago and I feel SO much better now. I now take no medications and my blood pressure is in the 135/80 range. I am glad to be off the ‘pharma’ treadmill.

Hello M.H. I have been weaning off 60 mg. of Propranolol and am suffering with atrocious belly pain a bloating. Belching is the only thing that relieves it a bit. My blood-pressure had dropped to 70/50 and hung there several days. It is still nice an low. 100/75-ish. It will spike once or twice a day. I truly cannot go back on it. Drops my pressure down way too low. How was your stomach managed as you weaned off your Lopressor? Any encouragement would be appreciated. Scared, but determined to get off.

Lobetalol, having chest pain ever since i took it for five days, now I am on lisinipril and am still having chest pain.

I’ve taken Propranolol for 25 years (20mg/2x daily) for familial tremor and related anxiety/panic attacks. The drug has worked very well for those conditions. However, I believe it has affected my memory and concentration, my circulation became poor (cold hands and feet), lowered energy, and gained weight. Also, there have been a few instances over the years where I have run out and was not able to get more for a day or two. At those times I was scared to death because of the racing heart and shakiness that would not let me get comfortable, let alone sleep. I began to hate the drug because I felt I would never be able to rid myself of it and it’s side effects.

I did try 2 or 3 times over the years to wean myself off. I even got to where I quit taking it for about 2 months at one point but the shakiness and panic were worse than before I ever started taking Propranolol. So I got back on and relegated myself to taking this med forever.

About a month ago, I heard about the benefits of Magnesium supplementation. I started taking a 250mg Magnesium Oxide tablet every day. I felt an immediate sense of calmness and well being, and since have not had any racing heart or feeling of impending doom that might otherwise remind me to take more Propranolol.

Last week, I started having an anaphylactic reaction. At first, I thought it must be a food allergy (which I’ve never had), so I tried ruling things out. I would have good days and bad, 12 hrs with no reaction and then I’d start puffing up again. I was living on Benadryl. But I couldn’t rule out any foods because sometimes I started swelling and sometimes not. I finally realized the reaction was due to Propranolol. After 25 years of taking this stuff!

So last night I only took half my dose and I took Magnesium. This morning I did not take my Propranolol and I took Magnesium again. Tonight I am about 24 hrs from taking a med that I took twice daily for 25 years and I feel fine. Usually I’d be going crazy by now. I still feel slightly swollen, but I chalk that up to withdrawls from the Benadryl, which I have also stopped. I’m definitely more alert and a little shaky, but my resting heart rate is in the low 60s and I have no flutter. I feel like I’ll sleep well tonight.

I will keep you posted on the longer term results, but I wanted to share my positive experience with Magnesium supplementation right away. I hope this helps others.

I’ve been taking Atenolol for thirteen years. It works great.

I started taking 50 mg. of Metoprolol about 2 months ago. It helps a little with my heart rhythm, which skips a beat then refills. Last night at 3:00 in the morning, my husband rushed me to the ER. He thought I was having a brain seizure. He could not wake me up. My eyes were open, and my arms were glued to my chest. I could not remember anything when I finally woke up, not the year, not the month, not who the President is. Nothing. I finally came out of it after they did a CT scan of my brain and I had been in the ER for awhile. I couldn’t remember what drugs I was taking! They said I had a panic attack. I’ve never had a panic attack in my 69 years! I’m not depressed. I have a little heart rhythm problem. The only thing different here is this drug. I stopped taking it suddenly. I have been having little brain “incidents” where I will have a deja-vu about something evil, then the bodily responses: heart palps, sweating, loss of memory, extreme fear. Horrible! Dr. did not mention any of this happening! Very bummed that I managed to get off Benzos and then be on this crap. Looking for a new doc. Alternative medicine this time. I’ve had enough.

I’ve been on this pill for 15 years. My doctor will not let me go off it…I do have aortic regurtatation, but a colleague also has it and she isn’t on Metoprolol. I’ve never been the same person I was before taking this medication. Cold feet, my hands go numb while driving, if I miss a pill, I can’t function because I’m dizzy and shaking…I feel sorry for the 29 year old who is on this pill. There must be a better way! I eat a good diet~organic food. We are just 2 blocks from Whole Foods and have a Sprouts and a Clark’s Nutrition in town. I walk, garden, and am outdoors as much as I can be. I WILL ask my doctor for a newer and alternative drug.

Just living in California will do this to you

I have tried Metoprolol 3 times now due to SVT. I also get migraines but additionally i have Fibromyalgia. I saw a Cardiologist to begin with who said i should take 50mg at night, started at 25 then went to 50, awful side effects so stopped them. Then he said to try again but this time take 25mg at night and 25mg in the morning. That was also terrible so stopped them and decided i would live with SVT instead. However, the Neurologist said i should take them for migraines which would also fix the SVT and to titrate up from 12.5mg to 50mg over a 4 week period. Well i got as far as the 25mg at night and upon having to increase to 32.5 mg i decided to stop. I also take 15mg avanza for anxiety and Metoprolol over rides Avanza.

On Metoprolol i had a terrible lethargy that would not dissipate and a confusion in my brain that was not there before taking Metoprolol. I also had the most worst vivid dreams/nightmares every night, all night that would wake me up constantly. Although i have vivid dreams taking Avanza (which i started taking about 6weeks before Metoprolol), i know it is the Metoprolol doing this. It is also causing me to feel incredibly depressed which i did not feel before taking it. I don’t want to feel depressed anymore.

I stopped it last night and so far no real problems except my HR is elevated or has gone back to what it was which was always above 100 per minute at rest. The only other side effect from stopping it is i have a cough that was not there before. Other times i have stopped it, i have had some rebound but i rested through it and took extra care of myself. It does pass. I am still tired today but it is a very hot day here.

I would rather have SVT than take this medication. And i would rather have migraines as well. This medication takes away my quality of life. I am going to give the CoQ 10 supplement a go for migraines. As for the SVT maybe i will try something else. I’m not sure

I had gallbladder surgery with a very rough recovery. Went to see my Dr because I was not feeling well. She said my bp was 178/117. Immediately I was put on toprol xl 25 mg once daily. The first day I felt weird. The second day, in the morning, I felt like I was on speed, the third day I felt like a zombie, nauseous, couldn’t even laugh, felt terribly depressed. While taking this medication, my bottom number stays in the 90s. Before I take it in the mornings, my bp is fine. 128/84. Within 40 minutes of taking med, it is 130s/upper 90s. I cannot continue on this path.

Went to my cardiologist today and he said I could reduce the metoprolol from 25mg to 12.5mg once a day, which I am very pleased about.

I asked if I should do this gradually, he said no. After reading up on it here and other sites, I will definitely lessen the dosage gradually at least over the next two – three weeks. He stated to be very aware of my heart rate, as I am on it for atrial flutter, and if it starts beating fast to take the other 12.5 of the dosage. A year and 1/2 ago when I reduced from 50mg to 25mg, two weeks later my heartbeat was 120bpm for 10 days before I was able to have a cardioversion to shock it back to normal rhythm.

Planning to call him tomorrow to ask again about reducing the dosage slowly. Is there a downside to reducing slowly?

I was on 25mg once a day for about 2 years. My dr put me on it to perfect the heart as he said. Did not know anything about the drug, just trusted my dr. Well, I went for a stress test and everything was good so he said I did not need it anymore so he told me to take one every other day so I did for a little over two weeks.

My blood preasure went up for a few days but when I finally stopped it. I felt ok then things were happening. I started having chest pains and water retention in my legs. I went to the drs and he did a EKG. Failed that so now I have to go see a cardiology and my dr had the nerve to tell me it was not from the metoprolol.

Well, I am sorry I started taking it and that was 25mg. I agree this is not a good med.

I was on metoprolol and developed severe itching and burning that even 2 weeks after stopping the drug I cannot get the sensations to stop. I don’t know what to do. It began with itching on my face but the Dr. would not take me off the medicine and it spread. It now itched all over my body and burns so bad I can’t sleep. I had to switch Dr’s to get off this med. I am looking for others who have had this and gotten some relief.

All very old medications being discussed in this thread. New beta blockers have been introduced in the last 7 years with more favorable outcomes and tolerance profiles. Talk to you doctor about new drugs and get off the old garbage.

I have been on metoprolol for about 10 years. Before that it was atenolol. Why I was changed I do not recall. I had been taking 50mg metoprolol for most of the 10 years and started noticing that my BP was starting to measure higher. From a typical 130/70 to 140/90. My internist upped me to 50mg twice a day. My BP came back down to the 130/70 range. Now I’ve notice my BP is elevated again and my Dr is thinking about adding a medication. I have had minimal side effects with the metoprolol since I’ve been taking it. No bedroom issues or nightmares. Some mild drowsiness on occasions. Cold hands and feet definitely. I basically tolerated the med well and recently passed a stress test. I think my issue may be related to poor generic quality medication more than anything as i’ve noticed the brand names change from my pharmacy periodically.

Mike, instead of just looking at medications, how about looking at your age. Blood pressure rises with age naturally…

Just successfully withdrew from nebivolol (Bystolic) after five years at 5mg; a month at 2.5mg, two weeks at 1.25mg; one week at 0.625; and finally quit. Suffered thinning hair, inability to lose weight or lower blood sugar level, memory problems, and bp was dropping too low. Metabolism is now normalizing, bp stabilizing at recommended levels. Overall, feeling years younger, revitalized. I regret not getting a second opinion when original provider prescribed it; I’ve since ditched him!

I was on propranolol for sinus tachycardia my doctor told me I could just stop it at any time after bout two years I stopped it a few weeks ago. Rapid heart rate came back at bout 109-111 I now have high blood pressure which I never had my entire life even when I smoked I had a healthy blood pressure. Only reason why I stopped it was because I was way to dizzy it had made me less active now I stopped it dizziness went away but now my blood pressure is high. Even tho it works on anxiety rapid heart please don’t take it also would make my BP 60/40 at times…

I have been on metoprolol for 9 months for high blood pressure. I also have rheumatoid arthritis. Within a month after starting the metoprolol the fingers on my right hand started swelling. I was pretty sure it was due to the rheumatoid arthritis. I had never had problems like this with my hands but I had with an ankle. However, that went away after a while. I had had problems with my shoulders too, but that would go away. (I try to watch my diet closely). For at least 8 months now, the pain has just gotten worse. This being in my right hand, it’s very hard to do anything. I asked my Dr. if it could be the metoprolol. Of course she said it was the R A. I have been controlling it with my diet for 10 years until now. Has anyone else had a simular problem or know someone who has.

I have taking Metoprolol Succer for a # of years. I recently started have side effects that have been described. I talked w/ my Cardiologists(whom I trust). My dose is 100mg. He suggested; half in Am, half in PM. I still was uncomfortable. Then he suggested; half at night. Still not feeling that well. I excercise religously every day: cardio, weights etc. I am 82 yrs young, I work a part-time job, I enjoy my beautiful family(grand-children, great gnd-chld). I drink red wine with my dinner every night, (2 glasses-sometimes more w/company which I truly enjoy). Nobody gets out of here a live, and I don’t intend to either. I will give up the medication with all these side effects, before I give up my beautiful life. Your thoughts. Thank you.

I am on this medication but also take Losartan for my blood pressure issues, what I dont get if these medications are so dangerous why do doctors even place you one them, if they are going to cause people even more problems seems like common sense would tell them they do no need to place people on these medications, I am needing an allergy test done and thanks to this medication I cant get it done right off hand I have to wait for 2 weeks before having it done because I cant have any beta blockers in my system. I am very unhappy with being placed on a medication that can cause such bad side effects

I have been on metoprolol for over five years. I was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation and a distended heart. My cardiologist prescribed Coumadin and metoprolol. The Coumadin treats the a fib while the metoprolol put my heart back to normal shape. Side effects for the Coumadin were long bouts of bleeding when I cut myself and bruising. The main side effect was from metoprolol. Loss of sexual ability. I could not maintain an erection. YUCH.

Be super careful while taking this medication! I was prescribed Metoprolol 25mg twice a day for high blood pressure at 22 years old (I didn’t know about all the problems surrounding taking this medication). I have finally convinced my doctor to take me off and try me on something else. Getting off of this medication is scary. The side effects I experienced while taking it seem to have gotten worse at times (anxiety, chest discomfort, fatigue and dizziness). Needless to say this med wasn’t for me. So be careful AND DO NOT STOP COLD TURKEY!!! VERY DANGEROUS!

I developed high blood pressure while working at a juvenile prison that suddenly lost a supportive administration. I worked there for over 9 years. The last 2 or 3 years was when I developed the high BP. I don’t work there anymore and my BP is lower. My doctor is tapering me off the metropolol at my request. On day 3 my BP is fine but my heart is beating at 100 (up from 70). After reading other people’s experiences I’ll be tapering off metropolol more slowly.

I am 62 years old and have been on the beta blocker Corgard (nadolol) for hypertension since I was 29 years old, (32 years). I began on a 20 MG dose at 29 yrs. old and that was increased to a 40 MG dose about 15 years later and I have been on the 40 MG dose up until this week. My health care provider had taken me off this beta blocker about one week ago with out a weaning off period. With in 48 hours I was transported to the emergency room by ambulance with a resting pulse rate of 148 beats per minute. It was a very unsettling situation. Fortunately the fire fighters had me take one of the pills that I had left and the ER Doctor told me it was a good idea. The ER Doctor told me no one should ever stop a beta blocker suddenly.

I have had the following side effects: tiredness, slow heart rate, cold feet and hands, anxiety, bed room problems. And the palpitations when stopping the beta blocker.

As of today my health care provider is going to try to wean me off the beta blocker Corgard by having me take 20 MG for two weeks and then 10 MG for two weeks and follow me for my heart rate and blood pressure during this period. My main concern at this time is that the ER Doctor told me that there are some patients who after having been on a beta blocker for a very long time may not ever be able to come completely off the drug. So I am hoping for the best. I do not want another trip to the ER because of this.

The ER doctor was right: going off a beta-blocker suddenly can be dangerous. Always ask the prescriber to help you taper the dose gradually.

Can anyone tell me if they have gained a lot of weight while taking bisoprolol 1.25 a day ?

Yes! I have been prescribed 2.5mg & have been taking it for nearly 5 months. I’ve put on half a stone, despite a healthy lifestyle! I’m careful what I eat, walk an hour a day with my dogs, gym 3 times a week. It’s still sat there, mostly on my stomach! I was prescribed it after having a pace maker fitted for heart block. I do not have high blood pressure. I hate the side effects & am seeing my gp to tell her I’m coming off it!

I was taking metoprolol for about a month. I started having trouble breathing and vivid dreams and could not focus. I stopped taking it and now i feel like im having withdraws like weak and panicky. I wish id never touched the stuff.

I was taking metoprolol for about a month. I started having trouble breathing and vivid dreams and could not focus. I stopped taking it and now i feel like im having withdraws like weak and panicky. I wish id never touched the stuff.

I have been on Metoprolol 50mg twice a day for 8years. Now Dr. wants to change to Atenolol 50 mg twice a day. Can I just switch without warning off Metoporol since they are both Beta blockers?

I am a 63 year old caucasian male. I have always been fit and healthy, and in spite of the fact that I have no real precursors to heart disease (no high blood pressure, obesity, smoking, poor diet, etc), I had a 95% blockage of the left anterior artery (the widow maker) in 2009. My physicians all agree that my problem is genetic since there is a history of it in the family. Fortunately, I was quick to the hospital, did not have a heart attack and incurred no heart muscle damage, but was stented at the time. I was put on a beta blocker (unsure which one at this point), was released and felt fine.

However, I made a trip from California to Colorado a few days after my hospital release, and went to visit friends in the Rockies who lived at 9000 ft above sea level. Because of the sudden and dramatic change of elevation, I felt I couldn’t breathe and was suffocating. This turned out to be because I have (and have always had) abnormally low blood pressure and a very slow heart rate even without the beta blockers. A call to my doctor and I was told to stop the BB. A day later I was fine. Fast forward to 2015 in Colorado where I now live. Another blockage below the first stent of 99% and another stent.

Five months later, I was still not feeling well. More tests (CT and UltraSound) found an aortic aneurysm and a faulty valve. Surgery to replace the aorta and valve (biological) was followed two days later by two episodes of atrial fibrillation (common in post-op recovery with valve replacements). As a result I was put on Warfarin, Amiodarone and Metropolol. Two months later when it was clear the a-fib was not chronic, I was taken off the Warfarin and Amiodarone but was told to stay on Metropolol. However, I was still symptomatic from the Metropolol – dizziness and feeling faint when standing up being the worst of many symptoms.

After reading about Metropolol, it’s main purpose of lowering blood pressure and slowing the heart rate, and often used post surgery for a limited period, I had to point out to my physician that I was not like 90 percent of patients with heart disease who also have high blood pressure, some also with chronic a-fib. It simply didn’t make sense to make me suffer the side effects of this drug for a benefit that studies show probably didn’t exist. It was a heated discussion, but in the end, my physician agreed to let me stop it. Two weeks on and I have had no further symptoms, no ill effects from stopping the drug, and am back to a rigorous exercise regimen, just 11 weeks after surgery.

My conclusion is that you must be your own advocate in these health issues. I agree, don’t make any changes without your physician’s approval. But don’t be afraid to educate yourself about the drugs you are prescribed, and don’t be afraid to challenge your doctor if you feel he/she is in error for whatever reason. Every year, there are many health related deaths with people under care due to medical error. Trust your doctor, but don’t be afraid to question their treatment choices.

I have been weaning off of metoprolol. I was on 50mg a day of Metoprolol Succinate for idk, maybe 8 months tops. My Dr put me on them after my blood pressure was high for a few months consecutively. He was like, hmmm, your blood pressure was good until June? Wonder why, take this! Then after another couple of months, I finally convinced him to run blood work to check my thyroid, as my levels were low a few years ago, And hyperthyroidism explained all my symptoms. Well it turned out, I was right. My thyroid lvls were 0.02. So he put me on methimazole. So of coarse as my thyroid started straightening out my blood pressure was getting too low. So he finally cut the dose to 25mg. Which I took for about a month and a half. And then when I went to see the ENT for a thyroid nodule, he told me to break the metoprolol in half. I took a half tab for 10 days. In this time, something happened and my doctor was out of the office for over a month. So I have seen a different doctor every time I go in. Another doctor told me that I had about 6 halves left and to take them every other day and to quit after that. But I took the last of them Sunday or Monday. And today is wensday and I am feeling pretty bad. And on top of that, they screwed up my pain meds so I am without those too. So a LOT of the symptoms to watch for, could be either med that I am going off of. Any advice? Did they stop me too fast?

I am on day two of being switched from Metoprolol to Amlodipine. It is exhausting. I feel like I’m floating, eyes feel like lead, heart races from time to time, edgy, no energy. Yikes…several weeks of this?

Have you called and talked to your DR about this? You may still be experiencing the side effects for a week or so. Call your DR. You obviously complained and he switched you but you still have some to get out of your body

I suffered severe debilitating effects from Propranolol after being prescribed for anxiety/depression. I was prescribed them at the end of a heartbreaking separation so was already very sad and my decision making was poor (I normally look up side effects) It had a paradoxical effect, my BP went from 120/80 all the way to 110/180, I had sinus tachycardia for over a week (125bpm resting) Severe insomnia (2hrs sleep a night for over a month and ZERO sleep for 5 days while taking the drug).

I have to confess that I was drinking alcohol and smoking cannabis at the time which is probably why it had such a bad effect on me (I have previously smoked cannabis for over 20 years with no ill-effects).

I was an athlete prior to this with a resting heart rate of 60bpm and never a single health issue in my life apart from sciatica from a minor back injury. I’m still recovering but honestly don’t feel like “myself” anymore.

I’m not discouraging use but I think there are are newer and safer beta-blockers out there so if your doc prescribes propranolol, respectfully ask them for a second opinion and if you’re a cannabis user DO NOT mix them. (there’s a reason of for this, they are both highly lipid soluble and compete with each-other, getting a bit technical but there’s literature out there should you wish to research why it’s not a good idea to combine lipid soluble medications)

All these dire warnings about stopping Metoprolol cold turkey – you’ll have a heart attack and die, etc. Why, then, did my cardiologist tell me yesterday to stop taking it because I didn’t need it anymore? So I did. I can tell my heart rate is up a little today but that’s it. No other side effects. I’m wondering who you can believe ?

A lot depends on the dosage and length of time you are in it. This blog describes side effects to a lot of people but you should never stop a drug without DR OK which you got. I can imagian large doses can stick with you. Just remember that this just tells you to be in tune with the side effects and if a problem–talk to your doc. Just like you did. I suspect that you did not have very many side effects. My Doc also removed me but I did have lingering side effects for a week. However I really reacted to it.

That may be your experience, but certainly not recommended.
If I skip my Atenelol for a day my heart starts to beat irregularly, and after missing 2 days, it was so bad that my heart would actually not beat for a few seconds, then beat really fast, then stop for a few seconds again, and I was feeling terrible. I felt like I was going to die.
If you stop beta blockers cold turkey, yes you can have a heart attack and die.

If anyone can be of help, I’d appreciate it.

My husband is on Amlo/Val/HCTZ 10/320/25, Clonidine 0.1 mg (split in half to take one half in am one half in pm), and Metoprolol 50 mg. (as well as a few other drugs that are irrelevant)

He’s been taking 25 mg Metoprolol for 5 and a half years now, he had a triple bypass.

He’s been dealing with high blood pressure for a few months now, and we’ve been trying to work with his cardiologist to get it under control. He had to visit the ER with unmeasurable blood pressure (the BP measurer in the ER couldn’t even get his numbers until 30 minutes after they pumped him full of IV meds, and then it was 270/130), and since then, we’ve been trying various meds to lower it.

Week before last, we got it down to around 125/75-135/80 or so.

Then last week, a doctor who has never seen him and never talked to him before jumped in the mix (he was substituting for his regular cardiologist), and told him to start taking 50 mg Metoprolol (extended release, once a day).
Initially we refused, but they told us they’d “write us up for refusing to comply with advice”, so he started taking it.

It’s been 1 week. ONE WEEK ONLY. He has been feeling progressively worse, shortness of breath, dizziness, cramps (one woke him up nearly screaming), heart rate at 46-48 while sleeping, and worst of all, his blood pressure has increased from around 125/75-135/85, to 165/95 as per last measurements. Please let me repeat that, all within ONE WEEK.

We have to get him off this medicine, it’s been doing nothing but horrible things to him. He does not want to take another full 50 mg dose.

We are thinking of giving him the 25 mg plus half of a 25 mg tomorrow morning, and see how his body responds. Then keep that up for a few days if all is okay and see what happens. If everything is still okay, we’ll go down to 25 mg. Wait and see what happens there.
Does this sound like a good plan?

I hope because he has only been taking the increased dosage for a single week, it won’t be so hard to wean him off it. But he cannot continue to live like this, with all the terrible side effects with NOTHING positive to show for it.

This drug is absolutely HORRIBLE.

Update: He’s back to 25 mg and already is feeling MUCH better. The difference is amazing. Hopefully he can get off this drug completely.

Don’t have him stop the metoprolol suddenly. As strongly as he reacted to it, that could be dangerous. Do get in touch with his doctor for a plan to wean him off it!

I was given/taking 50 mg metoprolol for extreme palpitations and dizziness. They got worse and over time my dosage went up to 200 mg which seemed to have lessened them. Side affects may have been : unstable weight , digestive issues (pre-existing but also amplified by the metoprolol) hair loss (but I had a craniotomy (for ruptured brain aneurysm) and was loosing hair prior to taking it . I also have clinical depression/bipolar and I am not sure but I felt that this medicine was amplifying mood/emotions.
I recently and abruptly stopped taking the metoprolol and have not yet to my knowledge experienced any ill withdrawal symptoms. The palpitations and dizzy spells are back, but I would rather deal with these nuances than the extreme depression….funny thing, I still feel crappy and am depressed just as much if not more.

I was prescribed attenolol for borderline high blood pressure about 20 years ago.I never had any side effects whatsoever for that entire time.Three years ago my new physician advised me to come off attenolol after the new information came out.I have been taking olmetec for 10 days and have digestion problems,a constant cough,horrible fatigue, and am miserable.

I have been on Metoprolol for awhile now, but also take 3 other scripts — all say “may cause drowsiness”. I feel like I’m sleep walking 24/7. But the cough is the worst of it. My coughing is so bad that in the last 3 years I’ve had 5 opinions for it, including athsma tests, 3 allergy tests, sinus MRI, a trip to Mayo and also the U of MN. Final diagnosis is that I have no allergies but my body acts like I do. Non-allergic rhinitis is the DX. But I am still suffering with a cough that wracks my body, causes nose bleeds, throwing up, you name it. Has anyone had horrendous coughing from taking Metoprolol?

I have taken both atenolol and lisinopril and atenolol won’t cause coughing but lisinopril WILL. I nearly died from coughing! And, despite having medical consultation during that time, it was NEVER suggested to discontinue the lisinopril. I just happened to run into the information online that it DOES cause intense coughing in a lot of people. After I found out about it myself, then they finally admitted it could cause coughing. Check to see if lisinopril is one that you are taking, and if it is, ask your doctor to replace it with something else. Generic Losartan – Cozaar works for me.

Talk to your prescribing doctor. I didn’t know but They both can cause a cough, only lisinopril is worse than metoprolol so they say?? !! I would deifinetly change meds. I had SUPER low BP on Metoprolol and had to change to coreg and a lower dose which seems to be okay so far.

Metoprolol in higher dosages can affect beta-2 receptors, which are in the lungs. This can cause shortness of breath and coughing. You didn’t say your metoprolol dosage, but I know for a fact that only 50 mg 1x a day can already cause shortness of breath. If you take a higher dose than that, then it is possible your cough is caused by metoprolol.

Hi Patty. Any chance you are taking lisinapril (sp). If so, it is known that causes coughing. Talk to Doc but I think that you can sub for another that will not cause the coughing

I am weaning off carvedilol 50 mg after realizing that all my problems were due to magnesium deficiency. Problems were bp spikes, anxiety, tremor, tingly hands and feet, no appetite, fatigue. For the past 5 months, seen many doctors and none discussed the role of magnesium, instead they just kept prescribing more BP meds. I tried magnesium on my own, stopped the diuretic, and started feeling better quickly. It’s been a week, and all my symptoms are gone. Now to get off this carvedilol and get my health back!

Currently on 3 drugs; 1) Apo-Bisoprolol 5mg, 2)Apo-Clopidogrel 75mg, & 3) Ran-Atorvastatin 80mg.
I’ve developed such a scalp itch at the back of my head, I’ve been putting antibiotic cream on back of my head before night time. I had 9 Stents put in my heart October 14, 2015. I’m not afraid to die cause I know God has everything in control. Sometimes my right arm palpitates when i hold it too long, my psyiatic nerve acts up in the cold, especially in the mornings & my arthritis affects my left knee when my nerve acts up. My glasses don’t seem to be as strong as they use to & my skin is dry. My teeth are falling out yet I can’t see a Dentist till April & this won’t happen till my cardioligist is present. My jaw pain is more from my teeth sometimes I wonder which will kill me first.

It really might just have been the diuretics too. I felt so sleepy and horrible and finally came off that and lowered my dose of lisinopril. But all beta react differently with each person. Coreg seems to work okay for me.

Just wanted to ask how long did it take to finally feel normal after stopping beta blockers . It seems like i have one good day and then 2 bad. I really need some advice . Seen a kindey doctor , endocrinologist, multiple hospital trips and everything ok but havent been normal yet . And anxiety is horrible.

I was prescribed 25 mg Metoprolol XR 4 months ago for high blood pressure. It did not lower my numbers significantly, and the side effects were terrible: lethargy, numbness in hands, lack of emotion (felt “blah”), cognitive/memory impairment, lightheadedness, etc. In short, many of the symptoms others have reported.

Last week, my doctor told me to stop it cold turkey. Well, the withdrawal was even worse! Within several days I experienced terrible anxiety, skyrocketing BP, upset stomach, and my cognitive function was diminished even further. Worst of all, I felt as if my heart was going to beat right out of my chest! I took the Metropolol pill and felt better the next day.

My pharmacist has suggested weaning off by cutting non-XR Metropolol into smaller doses. My doctor prescribed it, and last night I took 3/4 of the pill. By this morning, the withdrawal symptoms are back full force. I’m trying to control anxiety and heart palpitations with Chamomile tea, magnesium, deep breathing, and over-the-counter anti-anxiety (5 flower ingredient) drops. They’re helping a little bit. I am wondering if it’s possible to slowly wean off without the withdrawal side effects. Does anyone have any suggestions? My doctor seems to be clueless. Thank you

Hi, I have been taking atenolol for a couple of years for a-fib, kincardine was taking 100mg per day, I had an ablation in november, it was very successful, my doctor decreased my dosage from 100mg to 50mg for a week and then discontinue, it had been 5 days now and I have experienced a spike in my BP and hr, never have I had such numbers in my bp, I don’t have high bp, ever, but these withdrawals are terrible, how long do they last, will I die from a stroke in the mean time, I don’t ever want to go back on atenolol, I think I should have been weaned off more slowly, but I don’t ever want to take it again

I was put on simvastin, lostatan and metoprolol 4 years ago and I the last year I was having muscle pain and no energy and felt poisoned
My cardiologist told me to stop simvastin 2 months ago and the pain has stopped, but 3 weeks ago ever time I eat my skin burns and I felt light headed with in minutes after eating. I went back to my cardiologist 2 weeks ago and I’ve told me stop everything and now after I eat my skin burns and my feet feel like there on fire and I get vertigo! No one has answers and it sucks!!

I’m on the 24hr release of 50g of Metoprolol, and 5mg a day of Amlodipine, and after learning so much about the adverse side effects, especially the lethargy and anxiety, I want to get off of these drugs.

How slow should I ask my Dr. to take me down on these? Can I quit both at the same time (albeit slowly)? I’m also on Clonazepam 2mg 3x a day, and Lexapro 20mg once per day for anxiety. I stopped taking all my anxiety meds for about two months, and it ended up with me taking four trips to the ER within a month, psych eval, and back on the meds… I don’t know what to do here…

I quit taking metroplol about 2 months ago still don’t feel normal. I am currently looking in to have my thryoids checked due to possible hyperthyroidism. I was quit cold turkey but Dr said it was ok when I was taking 150 mg a day. This has been the hardest thing I have gone through.

Most folks are right on with the advice and espicually metropohol. However I did read where one Dr stopped the metropohol all at once. I can see a primary Dr not knowing but not a Cardiologist. If you don’t have one, get a Cardiologist on your team

I was on Metoprolol Tartrate and was moved to Metoprolol Succinate which was much better and easier on my body.
I’m currently weaning myself off of Metoprolol using a Micrometer.
Do Not, make drastic cutbacks from Metoprolol with or without your doctors approval. Gradually cut back and you’ll make it easier on yourself with little side affects. To date, I’m no longer lethargic, dizzy, exhausted, and I’m enjoying life again. Sex is back on the menu and I feel almost 100% normal again. Log your cutbacks and do them methodically and gradually. If you go too fast, you may kill yourself or cause your body to revert back to the same problems that caused you to start taking M in the first place. Your body needs time to adapt to less M. If you don’t give it time, your body will revolt.

I was on Losartan for blood pressure for over a year, and then I developed a possible delayed drug-related skin reaction. I went off all meds for two months and then was prescribed Metoprolol. I immediately developed severe constipation and excruciating fissure as a result. After four months the doctor advised I try the original med once more, but I was not advised to taper off Metoprolol. I ended up in the ER with arrhythmia and a heart rate of 270. Now I was put back on metoprolol to prevent arrhythmia although it does little for my high BP. The cement-hard stools and fissure have returned and I am miserable. I’d rather receive no treatment for the BP. There has never been any pill or treatment that has worked for me, not weight loss, not exercise, not a combo of pills.

65 year old male/Propranolol for 6 years/Prescribed for HBP and Essential Tremor

Am discontinuing/Extensive research online has convinced me that this medication is responsible for drug induced psoriasis.

Mike – Am 54 am stepping down off propranylol. Have been put on it twice in last four years. Inherited essential tremor from father. Also have hypoglycemia, like Dad. Propranyol causing drug-induced skin issues, I think, as you mentioned. Thank you for your post – essential tremor not well treated by the medical industry. Best of luck to you. Plus, I’ve become confused and concerned by skin eruptions. Thanks again.

To help with the constant migraines, feeling like a cap on the top of my head for a year, I’ve been put on PROPRANOLOL ER 80mg–1 capsule, twice a day. It has mostly stopped the headaches, but I am tired and have no zest for anything. It is very hard to explain to a toddler why mommy doesn’t feel good, again and again.

I’ve rarely ever had issues sleeping, but now I wake up often in the night for no apparent reason, and often cannot get back to sleep. I’m tired all the time, but have trouble taking a nap on the weekends. Sometimes I “crash out” with a 3-hour nap, and nothing in the world will wake me until I’m ready to be up, then groggy and out of it for the evening.

A few weeks ago, I had a respiratory infection that turned into bronchitis and discovered that the beta blocker was decreasing the ability of the antibiotic to do its job. So I cut back to once a day. Now I take one every other day. If all goes well, I plan to take one every 2 days next week.

I want to get off of this med. I don’t like the depressive lack of zest and no energy that I am feeling. And that is all that I am feeling. Normal feelings seem to be hiding or over-intense for no reason. A close friend just passed, and I am sad, but not overwhelmingly so, which is kind of a good thing. But my emotions are numb and distant. And the mood swings: I think that my hubby thinks I’m losing my marbles! It sure does feel like it.

I am now taking multi-vitamins, B-complex, vitamin D3 and Magnesium too. We eat mostly organic and drink lots of water. I hope with lifestyle changes that the migraines will go away. The MRI, ear tests, CT scan, Stress test, ECG all showed no cause for the vertigo or headaches. The regular triggers don’t seem to be activating headaches, so it’s time to start over.

Hi! I am very late to reply, I know. I am wondering if your migraines ever got better? I have been seeing a neurologist for daily headaches. She seems to think they are migraines and has put me on metoprolol. Even with increased doses every 4 days my headaches are still going strong.

I am also taking supplements. Vitamin B2 and C daily and vitamin D3-50,000 units twice a week due to a severe vitamin D deficiency they found in my blood work. I am hoping the vitamins will work better than the metoprolol. Hate taking meds all the time.

I was on it for a year, for migraines, but a much lower dose. I took 20 x2 times a day. I honestly felt the tingles all over my body and then ended up with a SCAD heart attack a week after stopping it cold turkey(not really sure they are related but maybe). My daughter says there are much better meds to try for migraines, Imitrex works well for her. I am now on a ton of heart meds and a new Beta blocker , but so far no headaches. Sigh, who knows , but I hate it all and want to know did I do this to myself, by stopping my meds?

Try CoQ10, along with Magnesium. It works great for me for Migraine headaches.

The severe anxiety, (leading to irritable and angry behavior) and heart fluttering skips I experience 24 hours after taking my 100mg of Metoprolol have been getting worse as I approach 50. These Side effects snuck up a few years ago causing me to mention them and be RX’d all sorts of antidepressants, causing all sorts of other problems trying to figure out why I am going mentally downhill. Once I realized the withdrawal effect of Metoprolol like you are all here, I self stepped down off all the antidepressants and am more than half way to normal, as I did not need them. BUT, I am finding another doctor to deal with the switch off Metoprolol as my doctor did not catch that the withdrawal is the cause of this distress any of the years I have complained to him. I have kept track, the anxiety, the heart weirdness, the low initiative and all that is right on schedule 20 hours after whenever my last dose the night before. (depending on diet..good food gives me a little more time.) Hope this and the other posts here help someone else sooner than the multiple years it took me to figure this out. PS…Never quit this med cold turkey or without supervision, no matter how tough you are, this med is a snake that will get a part or all of you.

I am a 62 year old male, and I was put on metoprolol 8 years ago for lone a-fib, 100mg 1x daily. The metoprolol made me feel terrible: low energy and lethargic. After a work week, it took all weekend to get my strength back up for the next week. I fell asleep in my chair nearly every day. My wits were dulled, and I stopped dreaming altogether. My a-fib got worse and worse over the years until I could no longer exercise. I gained nearly 40 pounds. My heart rate on the metoprolol was in the low 60s or high 50s resting when I wasn’t having a-fib, but my blood pressure, oddly, was just the same as it had been before I started on the metoprolol. I was having 2-3 short episodes of a -ib nearly every day; between 20 mins and 2 hours in duration.

I had a catheter ablation in July. I haven’t had an episode since: 3 months a-fib free. I reduced my metoprolol for the first month post surgery to 50mg 1x, then to 25mg 1x for the next month, and finally to 12.5 1x for two weeks. During this weaning process, I was walking 6-9 miles every other day; sometimes more. My resting heart rate was a little over normal, low 80s, and my BP was slightly elevated. But even on the 12.5, everything was running like a clock.

Then I stopped the metoprolol. My BP went through the roof and my heart rate went to mid 90s resting, and to very high levels when walking. My balance became a little off, and I began dreaming all night every night like I never did before. Vivid, extensive dreams. I was extremely high-strung and agitated. I continued walking, took valerian at night and drank a ton of water (3-4 liters a day), supplementing it with magnesium (2x daily) and hawthorne (2x daily). That was ten days ago. My BP is now down to below normal levels most of the time, except it still spikes from time to time. My heart rate, however, continues to stay high; low 90s resting. I resisted the impulse to go back on the 12.5 dose of metoprolol.

I want this to be over and free of it forever. I will give it two months to completely normalize, but I’ve been very hopeful in seeing how my body has responded in just a week. Definitely wean yourself off it slowly, and be prepared for the rebound. It’s a very potent drug. Good luck.

Hi, Brian. Just wondering how things are going for you without Metoprolol these past few months. I cut my Metoprolol because for months it had been low, sometimes 90/60 and a month ago, I cut it in half again to 12.5 mg. with my doctor’s okay. All was well until 48 hours ago where it spiked to 150/96 and it has been around 135/94 since. I have increased to 12.5 twice a day instead of just once.

One would ask where your Dr. is on this? I tend to agree with all you say including the slow get off. Certainly you told your DR. of the result of stopping?? You did not mention that.

We hope that you checked with your doctor before reducing your metoprolol dose. We don’t suggest anyone stop a medicine like this without consulting with the doctor.

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