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Thread: Propranolol/Beta Blocker Long Term Side Effects for Anxiety?

  1. #1
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    Apr 2013
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    Propranolol/Beta Blocker Long Term Side Effects for Anxiety?

    Hi, just kinda of wanted to ask about Beta Blockers or Propranolol and anyone who takes it or was prescribed it for anxiety if theirs any side effects with how long they’ve been on it?

    Ive been on Half Beta Prograne 80mg slow release for about 2 years now, before that I was down to 10mg for a while, and before that I was on the 80mg slow release for a couple years previously. My doctor prescribed it to me couple years back because my anxiety was getting really bad again and I was having a high heart rate and blood pressure because of the anxiety.

    Anyway, I had a rough night last night trying to get to sleep, my heart rate went very low, down to the low 50s, and I was fine until I started having my PVCs, which I am aware of and usually don’t bother me now but when my heart rate was so low it felt like the PVC was more prolonged or my heart stopped longer. It freaked me out and made it hard to fall asleep without panicking somewhat. It seems to be worse when I’m colder, maybe that’s because I also have Hypothyroidism, but I’m on 50mcg of Eltroxin for that and a couple months back I had extensive blood works and everything was fine. A couple months back I had a 24hour heart monitor from the hospital and that came back normal too.

    I’m just concerned because of being on this long term for anxiety, will it cause any harm or side effects? I know it’s usually prescribed for blood pressure and other stuff so wondering if anyone has any experience with this medication and how long they’ve taken it. This is my 2nd time being on this dose in the past 5 years, and although it does help most of the time and I have no real symptoms related to using it, and the past year I’ve had intense panic and anxiety episodes where the PVCs were intense and frightening, and also had viruses and bacterial infections about 3 or 4 times as well which didn’t help. So probably helped with a lot of the stress. I think I’m worrying because I’m getting older, and being on them too long for anxiety if they have an adverse effect.

    Like last night, when my heart rate was down in the 50s, and I felt the odd PVC, it was so loud and felt like my throat was tight. I know it’s also psychological as well, and once I warmed up a little, it eased too.

    Don’t worry, I’m not stopping them or anything and my doctor has not said anything or given any hint that I should come off them, I’ve not asked about it but I have thought about going on a lower dose maybe. I think subconsciously I worry my heart rate will go too low or something and I go into fight or flight in response.

    yeah, just wanted to ask advice on this. I’m 36 yrs old female btw. Also, I am exercising more now, not intensely but lightly as I’ve been getting to a healthy weight over the last year. Not sure if that counts just thought I’d add it.

    p.s. I have an appointment to see my doctor on Monday to discuss about going on a lower dose and what they think.
    Last edited by mischamoonlight; 13-06-24 at 15:36.

  2. #2
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    Re: Propranolol/Beta Blocker Long Term Side Effects for Anxiety?

    Also wanted to ask, if anyone suffers from symptomatic PVCs and is on beta blockers, or your heart rate slows, does it feel like the pvc is longer or is that normal? I’m feeling it when I have the beta blocker/propranolol, maybe the slow release or maybe it’s just me being more hyper aware? I’m just worried about the side effects.

  3. #3
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    Re: Propranolol/Beta Blocker Long Term Side Effects for Anxiety?

    I've been taking 80mg slow release for a year now, both for anxiety and migraine prevention. Definitely my PVCs feel like they're longer, but that's because my heart rate went from in the 90s to in the 60s.
    It's normal that if your heart is beating a lot slower, for your PVCs to also feel slower.

    Propranolol is one of the oldest medications in existence, and has no known long term side effects. My colleague had a stress related heart attack 20 years ago and was put on Propranolol, and her doctor said to her that she was less likely to have a heart attack than him!
    So really, there are no ill side effects from taking Propranolol long term. Aside from maybe more fatigue.

  4. #4
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    Re: Propranolol/Beta Blocker Long Term Side Effects for Anxiety?

    @Sparkling_Fairy Hi! Yeah, maybe it’s just more noticeable at night when I’m settling in bed, my heart rate goes way down and I feel the length in between one of my PVCs makes it feel like the beta blocker is making it too slow. But I’ve seen my heart rate go down into the 50s at night, sometimes it freaks me out and I jolt up and then I notice my heart rate go back up again. Frustrating to myself more than anything, and yeah, bit more tired but that’s it.

    I’ve been on it for 2 years now, was on it before but then went down to a low dose after tapering. Went back on after my anxiety got really severe so I should be use to it by now really but sometimes I get episodes where it freaks me out when my heart rate goes low, and I panic. Im seeing my doctor on Monday anyway, so I’ll talk to her about it was well and see what she thinks too.

    I probably worry thinking it’ll make my heart rate go too low or something ya know, then I make myself more anxious and then have more PVCs, and cycle of worry and anxiety goes on. Thanks for replying, it’s always nice talking to people on here.

  5. #5
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    Re: Propranolol/Beta Blocker Long Term Side Effects for Anxiety?

    Had a really bad night. I don’t think the heat is helping, especially with the house, it’s very well insulated but doesn’t have any air conditioning to break the humidity. Felt my PVCs really hard last night, made it difficult falling asleep, started panicking and feeling like my throat had a lump in it. Felt the same this morning too, heart rate is normal, going from 60-70s when relaxing. Maybe I’m just noticing my PVCs thinking their feeling longer because my heart rate isn’t raised.

    I’ve a really sore shoulder blade that is aching, which is not helping me rest or feel calm. Getting that lump feeling more after I eat so suspecting it’s a bit of indigestion as well. The disturbed sleep isn’t helping though, because yesterday when I woke up I felt better because I’d slept for 9 hours mostly without disturbance but last night as barely 4 hours before I woke up, like I was jolted awake with panic, afraid my heart was stopping or something.

  6. #6
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    Re: Propranolol/Beta Blocker Long Term Side Effects for Anxiety?

    This made my heart race really fast and palpitations so I had to stop it,was disappointed really because apart from the palpitations I felt a lot better while taking it .

  7. #7
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    Re: Propranolol/Beta Blocker Long Term Side Effects for Anxiety?

    @jackieann3 Hi, do you mean the half beta Prograne slow release that I’m taking? 80mg? I’ve never known it to cause a racing heart rate, as it is suppose to help block the adrenaline, which is why it’s given for anxiety and stuff. My heart rate just goes really slow at night, I take it around half 6 in the evening. What does are you on? Or is it a different kind of medication? Sorry, just wanted to ask.

  8. #8
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    Re: Propranolol/Beta Blocker Long Term Side Effects for Anxiety?

    Meant to ask anyone - if you have PVCs and your heart is at a relaxed, slow rate, does it feel like the pvc or skipped beat feels longer or is that just me? It feels like it takes my breath away for a split second and then beats normally again and then goes back down. It can be quite frightening.

  9. #9
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    Re: Propranolol/Beta Blocker Long Term Side Effects for Anxiety?

    I dont think it was the same I can't be sure all I remember is the name propranolol and it was only 10g ,I'm not very good with any medication for anxiety as this was the first time I had been prescribed with anything, but it gave me really bad fast palpitations even at that small dose which is strange being as it was supposed to have slowed them down,yes very frightening and yes I get them at rest even when relaxed and change rhythm with longer gaps in between and makes me breathless then like magic goes back to normal,I think it's just how it goes .

  10. #10
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    Re: Propranolol/Beta Blocker Long Term Side Effects for Anxiety?

    @jackieann3 Ah I see, well if it was only 10mg of propranolol, it’s a very low dose, I’ve been on that before. It’s not slow release, you can only get 80mg and above slow release of beta blocker/propranolol I’m pretty sure. 10mg last for a few hours and wears off but it probably won’t help if you have intense palpitations and anxiety, it’s another reason I was put back on the 80mg because it releases slowly over 24hrs. And if you want to come off a slow release propranolol, it’s better to do it by tapering e.g. 60 to 40 to 20 etc, with your doctor of course.

    id maybe talk to your doctor about going on a slow release propranolol if you have bad palpitations and anxiety, or maybe upping the dose slightly and seeing if it helps that way. But always check with your doctor with your medication, the half beta Prograne 80mg slow release does help immensely with the intense anxiety I get from time to time but it works mainly in reducing the adrenaline, which in turn helps with the anxiety and blood pressure or people who have migraines etc.

    Theirs also other anxiety medications you could ask your doctor if you don’t want to use a beta blocker or propranolol of any kind. Not sure what option is there are but I’m sure theirs many available that may help. Sometimes with the very low dose, it’s the feeling of it wearing off and then becoming hyper aware of every sensation you feel. It’s awful I know, and when you suffer with intense anxiety, you can feel every beat of your heart so loudly and then you become fixated on listening for any change in the rhythm as well. I know, it’s a long battle for me all the time.

    I am sorry you’re going through this, but the people here are wonderful when you need to talk to someone or ask questions and voice your fears without judgment.

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