Beta blocker – proper protocol to cut back

    • Anonymous
      July 8, 2007 at 2:44 pm

      I did not have high blood pressure until the Fall when the GBS hit – then it went wild. My doctor put me on 50 mg of Atenolol twice a day – one didn’t work enough. Now that I am 10 months into recovery, I have been taking my BP and tried leaving off the morning pill and the BP is fine. The literature says not to stop cold or you could get chest pain or a heart attack. I asked one pharmacist the proper protocol and she actually told me that no one gets off of blood pressure medicine!!! I asked another pharmacist and he said to keep taking it if it is working. I like to find out what the medical people agree on – I had too many wrong suggestions by doctors. My doctor’s physican’s asst was wrong several times and not a pleasant person to deal with.

      My mother was on eye drops for her glaucoma and I asked the eye doctor how we knew it was working. I suggested putting drops in one eye and not the other for a month. He said let’s stop it in both eyes and then check in a month. There was no difference. So he stopped it. I wonder if many aren’t on medications that we assume are working and aren’t.

      I have done a lot of reading on BP medications and many times they cause major problems. So if I don’t need it, why put that stuff into my body. Anyone know the proper protocol for going off of it?I take my BP several times a day as I am considering this. Does anyone know WHY you can have a heart attack from going off of it?

    • Anonymous
      July 8, 2007 at 3:29 pm


      I wish you the best of luck finding the answers to your questions. Ben, my fiance, is on a trillion different meds for his residuals, and I’m constantly asking questions to doctors and pharmacists, as well as reading everything I can online. I don’t know anything about beta blockers because his BP is one of the few things behaving properly in his body, but I know some of his meds say don’t take them with beta blockers.

      Best wishes,


    • Anonymous
      July 9, 2007 at 12:37 am

      I had to chart the effects of stuff on my body personally. And I have to argue with tthe doctor. But guess what, Im usually doing better now and have a more independant life.

    • July 9, 2007 at 5:09 pm

      Im on blood pressure med and I have been told that I cant go off that .. this is somthing you have for live time. Sorry but as I know best this is just live.. live is a ***** :rolleyes:

    • Anonymous
      July 9, 2007 at 7:07 pm

      This is something you definitely need to talk to your doctor about. Atenolol can be taken for other things besides blood pressure. It depends why you needed to take the medication in the first place. If the condition was transitory, then there is a possibility to go off of it. [SIZE=”5″]This is something you need to do under medical direction. [/SIZE]
      Atenolol is a beta-blocker. It decreases the action of certain chemicals on the heart and blood vessels. This makes the heart beat more slowly and with less force. It also widens blood vessels.


      [FONT=”Comic Sans MS”][COLOR=”Blue”]Your doctor should slowly lower your dose over several weeks if you need to stop taking it. This should be done even if you only take Atenolol for high blood pressure.[/COLOR][/FONT]

    • Anonymous
      July 9, 2007 at 11:27 pm

      I talked with another pharmacist today and got another answer. My condition is transitory – GBS. Your explanation was better than the three pharmacists. Getting to my doctor is not that easy – he is out of state and hard to get to call back. His physician’s asst is mean and yells. I tried to get a doctor in hometown where I am temporarily living and cannot get a doctor up here. I called more than 10 and they are either not taking new patients or they won’t take me because they do not take my insurance. I said I would pay out of pocket and they argue that if they need to run tests, it will get expensive. I have good coverage with Humana but the closest doctor is 100 miles away and I am in no condition to drive that distance. My Tampa doctor wants me to come down there – 22 hours away. They have no idea how devastating GBS is.
      Since physicians/hospitals are the second leading cause of death in the US, I am wary of the medical profession. I had shingles and a leading dermatologist said it was fleas and gave me a prescription for flea powder. This is only one of my many experiences.

    • Anonymous
      July 10, 2007 at 12:38 am

      Carolyn, I’m so sorry you have had such a bad experience with doctors. Keep looking. There are good ones out there and the best way to find one is by personal referrals. I was worried about your sudden discontinuation of atenolol so I had to pipe in. Stopping suddenly can cause rebound hypertension(sudden increases in BP). This does not mean you have to stay on the atenolol forever if you don’t need it. It has to be tapered down over a couple of weeks. (ie 25 twice a day for a week , then 25 a day for a week and then stop). But, I strongly recommending doing this with you dr permision. He would have your complete history and the benefit of a exam to advise you properly. Hopefully you BP problem is transient from the GBS autonomic dysfunction. But get a dr’s help. Best wishes and don’t give up on finding a good doctor. Dr. Shawn

    • Anonymous
      July 10, 2007 at 2:36 pm

      Thanks, Dr. Shawn, for the good advice. I am a 22 hour drive away from my doctor and my right foot is numb. So seeing him is out of the question at this time. I tried getting a doctor up here and no one will take me as a patient. Not even for cash. My Humana is not accepted except for emergencies in an ER or hospital admittance. So I am on my own for now. The hypertension started with the GBS both times I had it. I have had twenty years of normal blood pressure between the first and second GBS. I did have one excellent doctor and his nurse will not let me make an appt because I am a “new” patient since I wasn’t in to see him in 7 years (taking care of my mom in FL,) Yet he said I could have phone conferences with him if I ran into trouble. Suzanne Sommers writes about him in her book. I even wrote him a letter – no response. I know he remembers me. Oh well….wasn’t meant to be.
      Thanks again for your input. Yours makes sense.

    • Anonymous
      July 13, 2007 at 12:40 am

      Carolyn, And I thought we had a health care crises in AR. We take Humana at our office. We are a rural health clinic and get special goverment funding to take care of medicare and medicaid. So we accept these insurances. I practice in an underserved area and my patients in general are very appeciative to have me in their small town. If there are no MD’s that will take humana in your area you might change to another medicare plan. Call the local offices and ask what they do take. Hang in there and keep looking and travel if you have to – it is worth getting a good md(especially if you save money by using your ins). Call Humana and ask who is the closest provider who accepts Humana is another approach. Dr. Shawn

    • Anonymous
      July 13, 2007 at 10:04 am

      When I first got hit with CIDP, so suddenly that for the first 6 weeks I was dx with GBS, my blood pressure was all over the place. While at Mayo I was finally put on Lopressor to lower it. But once I got home & my blood pressure was actually low, my GP took me off of it. It has been normal for over five years now, I was only on Lopressor for about 2-3 months.

      My husband has been on Atenenol for about 17 years now for PVCs, or irregular hearbeat. He is now 56 & we both wonder if he really needs it. But since he has no side effects from it, & it is the only med he is on, he just stays on it. I think the GBS probably caused your high blood pressure to begin with, & as it lowers, you probably will get off of Atenenol in time.

    • Anonymous
      July 13, 2007 at 2:27 pm

      Dr. Shawn.
      I am not old enough for Medicare and the closest Humana doctor is in PHilly which is 100 miles away. Or my primary care doctor is in Tampa which is a 20-22 hour drive. My feet are still numb and the right especially so driving is not smart at this time. I contacted 27 doctors’ offices on the phone and only one would take me but I have to wait a month and that is too late for my form for the school district. (He is going on vacation.) I left a message a week ago for a doctor I know and he hasn’t returned my call. I faxed him on Tuesday since he is busy and on call this week. I explained my situation so he could read it when he had a free minute or two. He is my last hope. I really fear going to Tampa for a five minute appt to get my form signed. It is so routine a thing yet I can’t get a doctor. Once I get one, I wonder if they will sign it. This is a little coal-mining town that John O’Hara wrote about in his novels. Overloaded with doctors – water water everywhere and not a drop to drink. I called the neurologist and he wants a referral which I cannot get because of the technicalities. Had the ER doctor, and I use that term loosely, admitted me which I begged for, I could have gotten a referral. I think the Universe is telling me to practice what I preach – wholistic. I think it was a blessing that I skipped the Lumbar puncture and the IVIG. I seem to have recovered better with my supplements. Wish I had a pill for loneliness – since all of my close friends deserted like rats off a sinking ship when I got GBS. Perhaps the lesson in all of this was theirs.
      I choose not to push it by traveling to Tampa. Only those of us who have been through it, know that we don’t want to do anything to have it return. So if worse comes to worse, I shall be forced to retire early and buy health insurance up here with a $750 deductible. Michael Moore is right about our health care.
      Pam, I read that beta blockers can cause irregular heart beat. I hope to get off of them and go wholistic. Garlic and adrenal extract will keep it down. Maybe some chelation down the road. That really works but the AMA does not use it for cleaning out the arteries. I had my mom get some chelation and it improved her circulation. Thanks for your comments.

    • Anonymous
      July 14, 2007 at 10:18 pm

      Caroloyn, I’m so sorry about your “friends”. This is a lonely disease since most people really don’t understand. The forum helps. If any friendships are worth salvaging try to give them some educational info on GBS. Otherwise forget them and make new friends that are real and can accept you as you are. Isn’t this what we all want. Church is a great support. I will be thinking about you. Shawn