Bad propranolol withdrawals - British Heart Fou...

British Heart Foundation
15,091 members9,825 posts

Bad propranolol withdrawals

Kdev97
Kdev97
40 Replies

Hi all. I was put on propranolol 40mg 2x a day for anxiety to work alongside my sertraline. Bad choice! I had a bad turn on them after 5 days I had to stop under advice from my doctor. Since I have stopped them (4 days ago)I've been getting dizzy, heart rates been all over the place. Been short of breath, have been getting headaches like there's a band around my head. Palpitations lack of energy. Was just wandering if this was the standard for proranolol withdrawal or whether I should seek medical advice. The only reason I havnt called 111 is because I have called them so much in the past and I feel like I'm wasting their time. I'm 21 and apart from severe anxiety, no health problems. Thanks

40 Replies
oldestnewest
Kaitee

I am afraid I can’t give you any medical advice however please get checked out. Call 111 it’s what they are there for. Of course anxiety can cause all sorts of problems - which I know you’ll be aware of - but ring 111 and go from there. Good luck!

Reply
Kdev97
Kdev97
in reply to Kaitee

Thank you :)

Reply
Kaitee

I hope someone else can give you more advice.

1 like
Reply
Peachy19pink

I agree to see your doc. I also have health anxiety and it's sounds like your panicking about your symptoms and maybe increasing anxiety. I do this all the time. It makes me worse. I take propranaol every morning for my panic attacks for years. Just guess everyone is different. Hooe you feel better soon. X

1 like
Reply
Kdev97
Kdev97
in reply to Peachy19pink

Thank you, I'm 99% sure that it's just my anxiety blowing all the symtoms out of proportion but for peace of mind I'll go to the doctors in the morning, I have a few hours when I feel bad and a few hours when I feel great x

1 like
Reply
Peachy19pink
Peachy19pink
in reply to Kdev97

That's exactly what happens to me. I know that it's anxiety and panic but I still want to take myself to A&E to get checked. Anxiety is awful , I wouldn't wish it on anyone. X

1 like
Reply
Kdev97
Kdev97
in reply to Peachy19pink

Anxiety really is awful I agree, I'll pop an update on when I've been to the doctors tomorrow, already know now it's anxiety lol 😂 x

1 like
Reply
Mollypet

I have had this and it's hell.

I was on propanalol for a month 10mg, for tachycardia. After a month my gp stopped it- tapered me off. I got palpitations and high heart rate and blood pressure. Felt like head was exploding. Gp put me back in it but I still have palpitations and now chest pain. I think it's a filthy drug that your body gets highly reliant on and stopping it causes problems. I think I need to see a gp in the next day or two and explain what's happened. They can also request on ecg. That's if you don't go to A and E. I don't know why these tablets are used today.

1 like
Reply
Kdev97
Kdev97
in reply to Mollypet

This has been really helpful thank you. I had awful side effects when on them wasn't able to do anything even go to work. I wasn't properly explained these tablets when I was put on them and I only found out how bad they can make people when I took my first dose and decided to Google them. These have put me off tablets for life. I'm only going to the doctors tomorrow to make sure my heart and body are okay. I'm never taking another propranolol in my life, wish I never took them in the first place.

Reply
Mollypet

Exactly how I feel. It might be that a dr puts you on a different beta blocker with a longer 'half life'. It was explained to me that the problem is propanalol doesn't stay in ur system very long and ur body gets used to it. A slow release beta blocker might give you a lower pulse without the awfulness of this drug. Your body can get a rebound effect after stopping it where ur pulse and blood pressure go high as u are hyper sensitive. Also it works on the beta receptors in ur lungs so can effect breathing. However, long term I think you are best off beta blockers. It's amazing how much you learn when u suffer side effects of these horrible drugs. These drugs should be off the market.

1 like
Reply
Kdev97
Kdev97
in reply to Mollypet

Completely agree people shouldn't have to suffer these tablets unless it's absolutely nessesary, thanks for all your help, wish you all the best x

1 like
Reply
OliveRSutton

Like many many meds, it depends upon each patient and circumstances. Low dose, occasional use he!ps IMMENSELY and if I don't take it for days, weeks, or months, I have no problem YET. I'm sorry to see so many scary, negative side effects and withdrawal experienc es. Doctors should be OBLIGATED to disclose this first!

Reply
dunestar

I don't have any experience of propranolol but I did have a hard time coming off bisoprolol. Heart banging very loudly in my ears and couldn't sleep. Of course this makes you anxious and you can get quite quickly into some nasty feedback loops. Eventually things calmed down. I vowed never to take beta blockers again and think it's much better to try other ways to deal with anxiety, tai chi, breathing exercises or whatever helps you.

Reply
No_fixed_abode

I stopped them after nearly 2 moths of usage where they had no useful affect. They barely lowered my BP, and they did nothing for the possible physical symptoms of anxiety I was having. However, they did just about stop me taking any form of exercise where I might exert myself, that was awful...

I stopped taking them in the first week of February, it is only on April the 1st that my resting heart rate returned to normal, almost 2 months! During that time for the most part my heart rate was a lot higher (up to 20BPM) than I would expect, and it would rise very quickly for a minimal amount of exercise. (Tracked with a Fitbit)

Bob

2 likes
Reply
Kdev97

I've notice the same increase in my heart rate. I have a doctors appointment in half an hour and I want to talk through everything with the doctor as I am doing a half marathon in October so want to make sure I'll be okay to start training in the next month

Reply
No_fixed_abode

Wow! Good job you are off them then! Well, because of something that happened when I ramped up the exercise not long after coming off them, I am now scheduled for an angiogram tomorrow. I suspect it will prove to be fine and it was the withdrawal process that has caused the issue.

1 like
Reply
Kdev97

I'm hoping that as I was only taking them for 5 days It will be fairly quick for me to get back to normal. It really has been the worse week thanks to these awful tablets

Reply
GymmyNZL

Having the same issue, was on prppanalol for a month, 40mg a day, then I stopped it, Holly sh*t what a night mare, sinus tacky at 120, if I stood up it went up to 150, on day 4 now on veraprilmil and Digoxin for rate control until it settles down.

Does anyone know how long this withdrawal lasts ?

Thanks

Reply
Fran1989
Fran1989
in reply to GymmyNZL

Hi how long did it take you to recover?

Reply
GymmyNZL
GymmyNZL
in reply to Fran1989

Well, never just stop a beta blocker !! So I ended up with beta block rebound syndrome. Nasty!! The first 2 weeks were hell, after that things started to settle down. It's a long road, propanalol is a lipid soluble beta blocker which means it can cross into the brain quite easily, this can cause issues in people like me (I have anxiety) , atenalol is water soluble and is less likely to cause depression. Everyone is different, I became super paranoid when ever my heart rate increased, this caused panic attacks etc. The issue is, is that when Ur on a beta blocker your body starts to compensate by increasing the number of adrenaline receptors, but since the beta blocker stops adrenaline from binding you don't notice, when you all of a sudden stop the beta blocker your body has all the adrenaline sites it's can now bind to which means you get all these very real exaggerated symptoms.

It's taken me 4 months to truely get back to "normal " but that's because I gave Anxiety and OCD,

The upside is, it comes right , just don't every just stop taking a beta blocker !

Reply
Fran1989
Fran1989
in reply to GymmyNZL

I stopped taking it cold turkey my doctor advised me to due to my blood pressure being lowered to much....... I do notice a difference in my anxiety from when I first stopped but still get shaky and anxiety mostly in the mornings my hunger has returned since I was eating as soon as I stopped...... I have anxiety but it’s manageable but right now I feel a little more worse then normally....

Reply
Jules20202
Jules20202
in reply to GymmyNZL

Hi, I am going through this mess with propranolol withdrawal. Glad to hear some success stories and you are doing better. Wondering did you have to be switched to another beta blocker to get things under control for a while? The fast heart rate and anxiety are a nightmare. Thanks:)

Reply
GymmyNZL
GymmyNZL
in reply to Jules20202

Yeah they are a nightmare, no I just took it very slowly, but you could ween off if you can, Why did you stop ?

Reply
Jules20202
Jules20202
in reply to GymmyNZL

Thanks for replying. It was for migraine prevention. The side effects were awful and kept me feeling sick for 3 weeks. Never imagined what an ordeal it would be to stop taking it. Maybe this works for some but it is like poison to others. Looking forward to putting it behind me.

Reply
GymmyNZL
GymmyNZL
in reply to Jules20202

What dosage were you on ? You will find due to the 1/2 life you can cut right down to a small dose like 10mg every 2nd day and the horrid withdrawals go away, stay on that and the keep cutting down slowly eg monthly not weekly. I was put on isoptin so I couldnt take any beta blockers. If it's still messing with you, ask to try atenalol it might be better as it doesn't screw with your head so much. I think people need to remember that beta blocker do work, they are a very important drug post MI and extremely effective for high BP but propanalol is not a cardio selective beta blocker hence why it's used for migraines. Not all beta blockers are alike .

Reply
Jules20202
Jules20202
in reply to GymmyNZL

It was 10mg three twice a day. Thanks for sharing the info I will try that:)

Reply
GymmyNZL
GymmyNZL
in reply to Jules20202

I was on 40mg 2x a day for 2months, so not long, but enough to cause issues.

It really is very un-nerving, night time was the worse for me, then it moved to afternoons lol, the anxiety feeds this so try and keep calm , but the first 2 weeks are the worst, I'm only now feeling more normal, it all started at the end of August for me, baby steps, and of course everyone is different ! ;)

Reply
Fran1989
Fran1989
in reply to Jules20202

You were on it for 3 weeks? how long as it been since you stopped it and what are you feeling?

Reply
Jules20202
Jules20202
in reply to Fran1989

Hello, I stopped it for 4 days with consequence. Had tachycardia 145 bpm & HBP 150/105 from the withdrawal. Had to go to the hospital they changed to metoprolol tartrate (another beta blocker) to bring heart rate down. I started new prescription of it and now it is causing same symptoms. shortness of breath, nausea, HR jumps if I walk across house, shaking all over and in chest. Of course anxiety too. I did not have any of that before taking beta blockers. I am 45 yr old otherwise healthy woman no history of heart or blood pressure problems. This started as to help for migraine prevention. I have taken a leave from my job. Drs dont seem to acknowledge this process in body it has triggered. I cant find help with it and know how it will ever be better. Has been a nightmare.

Reply
Kristy75

Let us know what the doctor says. I too was on propranolol for PVCs but it never worked. With what you all are saying I wonder if it wasn’t the cause of making them worse.

Reply
Kdev97
Kdev97
in reply to Kristy75

Hi kristy went to the doctors today. Had a good chat with him. He said that only a couple of the withdrawal side effects I was experiencing are from the propranolol the rest is Purley my anxiety making everything worse as per usual. Listened to my heart and everything sounded good, but for good measure I'm booked in to have an ecg done in two weeks as well as blood work

Reply
Kristy75

That’s good news! I have terrible anxiety as well. Do you find the sertraline works well?

Reply
Kdev97
Kdev97
in reply to Kristy75

I've been on sertraline before and it was really good, however this time around especially after the propranolol, I've decided to stop making medication and try getting some counselling and making lifestyle changed like quitting smoking, excercise and getting into some hobbies. I just don't want to be relyant on tablets

Reply
Glasgowgirl1947

My husband was put on Propranolol because of what the GP said was a benign tremor and it wasn't Parkinson's because he could stop the tremor if we touched his arm. After about 3-4 months he collapsed in the bathroom and was wedged between the toilet and the radiator after a struggle I managed to get him to his feet but he slipped right through my arms and was unconscious on the floor. I dialled 999 but the call handler wasn't sure if they would send an ambulance! He suddenly came too and said he urgently needed the loo. I got him up and once he'd gone I thought I would try to get him into bed which we managed. He was as white as a sheet, even his freckles had gone! Just then there was a bang on the door and 3 paramedics came in. One did all the test, another took all the results down and the other girl spoke to me. After a lot of tests, they said he was improving but said if they took him to the hospital he would be hours on a trolly in the corridor to have the same tests. They phoned our GP and got an appointment with him for the afternoon. They suggested we insist on a referral to a consultant neurologist as they believed he did have Parkinson's. Big dos and little dos and 6 months wait we got a private appointment and a DAT scan which confirmed he had Parkinson's!! He was told to stop the Propranol by the GP after his collapse, he didn't cut down just stopped dead. I don't think he had side effects but we were so worried about Parkinson's that it might have been possible and we just didn't notice. Sorry to go on but this is his experience of the drug, I will never forget the fright I got when I heard the first fall!!

Reply
Mollypet

How awful for you. Hope u manage the diagnosis well.

1 like
Reply
Glasgowgirl1947

Thank you for this x

Reply
Kdev97

I can't even begin to imagine what that must have been like. But I'm glad he is now able to get the help now that they know what is wrong, all the best x

1 like
Reply
OliveRSutton

GPS are just general (non specific) practitioners (practicing). They don't know jackshit about medication negatives. I don't trust a GP strictly on anything

Reply
GymmyNZL

Hi Kdev

I was on prppanalol for a month 80mg, I cut down to 40mg once a day and then stopped... Holly shit ! My heart went crazy, terrible sinus tachy and andrenaline releases tachy lasting days up to 147bpm, all sinus . Had an echo and ETT so all is ok there but prppanalol has ground my life to a halt at the moment ! I'm on day 4 of withdrawals, on isoptin and Digoxin to keep my rate down, add to that GAD and it's a recipe for a hell time :( no Dr or ED care if its all sinus... How long did your with drawals last ?

Thanks

Reply
Oryall

I was put on it for my blood pressure and also anxiety.. it kept me awake and made me feel worse than I already did . My new dr put me on a different one that seems to work

Reply

You may also like...