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Old 08-27-08, 01:40 PM   #1
5kdad
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Anyone Taking Atenolol for High Blood Pressure?

For years, I've taken atenolol for high blood pressure. Was visiting with my dr yesterday, and brought up a question.
I've never been a good hill climber, and it certainly not because of where I live. .the hilly Ozarks. Do fairly well on stamina, but the hills are killer. Dr told me, atenolol slows down your heart, and prevents it from beating as fast as it would otherwise. So, when I'm hill climbing, my heart won't beat as fast as my body would like, so I can't climb as well as I should.
For the first time in my life, I'm really exercising and loosing weight, so hopefully before long, I can get off the stuff.
Anyone else experience this?
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Old 08-27-08, 07:43 PM   #2
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I take the same stuff and use a heart rate monitor and if i take the med before i ride my heart rate usually runs around 30 beats a minute slower. Usually cant get above 130 if i take the med before i ride. I wanted to get a stress test at the first of this year and they told me they couldnt give me one because of the test not being accurate due to the med, but they did say the med was well worth taking.
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Old 08-27-08, 07:45 PM   #3
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I have taken it in the past and it killed my cycling stamina, felt like I was pedaling through wet cement.
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Old 08-27-08, 07:57 PM   #4
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I take the same stuff and use a heart rate monitor and if i take the med before i ride my heart rate usually runs around 30 beats a minute slower. Usually cant get above 130 if i take the med before i ride. I wanted to get a stress test at the first of this year and they told me they couldnt give me one because of the test not being accurate due to the med, but they did say the med was well worth taking.
So what do you do? Take the meds after you ride? Or just live with it?
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Old 08-27-08, 07:58 PM   #5
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I have taken it in the past and it killed my cycling stamina, felt like I was pedaling through wet cement.
What was your solution? Live with it, or change meds?
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Old 08-27-08, 08:14 PM   #6
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It slows your heart. But your heart is just a muscle...I think it slows all your other muscles, too. I'd say just live with it. If you try to defeat it for your other muscles, won't you also be defeating its benefits for your heart?

I get a triple whammy: In addition to the beta blocker, I also take an ACE inhibitor and a calcium channel blocker...I'm really lousy on hills, and very slow even on the flats.

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Old 08-27-08, 08:18 PM   #7
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I would find a doctor that understands cycling, exercise, and medication. You have lots of choices of medication.
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Old 08-28-08, 09:06 AM   #8
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I've never taken atenolol, but I have taken other beta blockers. Exercise intolerance is apparently a common side effect.
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Old 08-28-08, 03:09 PM   #9
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I take metropolol, which is very similar. I also take the ace inhibitor Lisinipril.

I take the smallest dosages there are for both. 25mg and 2.5mg. I don't do well on hills, but I did get up one that had been giving me problems. I wear a HRM and I can get my HR up to about 168 and keep it there, on that hill, in granny gear. It is very difficult though, and there are times I have trouble getting out of the 130's and I just feel sluggish.

I will be seeing my doctor soon and I plan on discussing this with him. I'd like to see improvement in hills, but I'd like to stay healthy too..

BTW, I don't take them for high blood pressure, the beta blocker is for angina symptoms and the ace inhibitor is specifically related to that as well. I had a heart attack back in April and these were prescribed then. I wasn't given any restrictions when I saw the doctor last, he knows about my riding too, so hopefully I can get off them at some point.
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Old 08-28-08, 07:49 PM   #10
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I have taken it in the past and it killed my cycling stamina, felt like I was pedaling through wet cement.
I had the same feeling, but I finally lost 50lbs and my heart rate dropped significantly and they let me get off of it.
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Old 08-28-08, 08:06 PM   #11
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I've lost close to 40 pounds, need to loose about another 35 or so more. Hoping that will solve my problem. Thanks everyone for your comments.
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Old 08-28-08, 08:12 PM   #12
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BTW, I don't take them for high blood pressure, the beta blocker is for angina symptoms and the ace inhibitor is specifically related to that as well. I had a heart attack back in April and these were prescribed then. I wasn't given any restrictions when I saw the doctor last, he knows about my riding too, so hopefully I can get off them at some point.
In your case you probably won't be able to come off of them. Besides lowering your blood pressure, those medications also block specific hormones that lead to structural changes in your heart. Since you've had a heart attack, you will be at a high risk of developing heart failure. Heart failure is where your heart beats with less efficiency, usually due to some sort of damage such as cardiac muscle death after a heart attack. As the heart struggles to keep output up, changes in shape, muscle fibrosis, and other changes take place. These are mainly induced through increases in norepinephrine (blocked by metoprolol) and angiotensin II (blocked by lisinopril) These medications will slow or halt the progression of that condition by blocking the responsible hormones.

Those of you who are taking it simply for blood pressure should talk to your doctors about other options. Don't just stop taking it as the sudden increase in cardiac oxygen demand can actually induce a heart attack.

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Old 08-28-08, 08:16 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5kdad View Post
For years, I've taken atenolol for high blood pressure. Was visiting with my dr yesterday, and brought up a question.
I've never been a good hill climber, and it certainly not because of where I live. .the hilly Ozarks. Do fairly well on stamina, but the hills are killer. Dr told me, atenolol slows down your heart, and prevents it from beating as fast as it would otherwise. So, when I'm hill climbing, my heart won't beat as fast as my body would like, so I can't climb as well as I should.
For the first time in my life, I'm really exercising and loosing weight, so hopefully before long, I can get off the stuff.
Anyone else experience this?
I quit taking it when my Resting Heart Rate went down to 31 bpm.
Even after cutting the dose to 1/2 size.
What is you Resting Heart rate?
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Old 08-29-08, 07:03 AM   #14
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I quit taking it when my Resting Heart Rate went down to 31 bpm.
Even after cutting the dose to 1/2 size.
What is you Resting Heart rate?
Me too. My HR was 41 but the DR took me off slowly and monitored the progress. Now my Resting HR is about 65.
Isn't cycling wonderful?
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Old 08-29-08, 07:36 AM   #15
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I've always had a fast heart rate, I think it may have ran in the family. My aunt, a nurse, told me my grandfather had a fast heart rate, he was never over weight, live into his 80's..
I've never really set down and determined my resting heart rate, but I know before I stated atenolol years ago, most times it would be in the upper 80's to low 90's. Now most time, it's upper 60's to low 70's.
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Old 08-29-08, 07:42 AM   #16
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I've been on all kinds of blood pressure meds, atenolol among them. Atenolol, and similar drugs like metoprolol, slow the heart rate. If it was just that, it would be Ok, but for me, when I exercised on my bike, it felt like someone had put a governor on me to slow my engine down. It's definitely not the best choice of BP med for a cyclist. Unless you have to be on a beta blocker specifically for some other reason, you should ask your doctor about whether you could try something else. There are other types of BP meds which don't affect your ability to exercise. Sometimes even the cheapest, oldest like a simple diuretic is best.
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Old 08-29-08, 09:28 AM   #17
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I've been taking Atenolol for about six months now.

I need to take this drug. My resting heartrate was around 120, which is way too high for "at rest".

I am also taking Zetia (10mg) for my tri-glycerides, which was 300 and has dropped to 260.

Twenty years ago, my heartrate was 45 beats per minute.
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Old 08-29-08, 09:33 PM   #18
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What was your solution? Live with it, or change meds?
I changed my diet and lost 60 pounds, brought my cholesterol down to a decent level. I was lucky in that I was still rather young (35) when I was taking it so my weight and cholesterol were bad but I didn't have any other major health issues.
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Old 10-28-08, 04:57 PM   #19
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A late 2 cents...

Just received an article which might be good input to consider re beta blockers and Atenolol in particular titled "Reducing Heart Rate in Hypertension Is Harmful -- or Is It Just Atenolol?"

Of particular note are the two summary statements:
"Pearls for Practice
  • Heart rate lowering with beta-blockers in patients with hypertension is associated with a greater risk for cardiovascular and all-cause mortality.
  • Heart rate lowering with beta-blockers is associated with an increased risk for heart failure, nonfatal MI, and stroke, with a linear inverse relationship."
Read the whole thing at the link above and print it for your doctor.
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Old 10-28-08, 07:15 PM   #20
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Wow, great info. Yes, I'll print this for my doctor.
Thanks.
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Old 10-28-08, 07:55 PM   #21
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I'm taking half a tablet of Hydrochlorothiazide. I've lost 85 lbs over the last 1-1/2 years. Down to 215 lbs, my Dr. says I've got about 10 to 15 lbs to go before I may get off of the pill. Wait a minute that's what women are suppose to be doing.
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Old 10-29-08, 02:52 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5kdad View Post
I've always had a fast heart rate, I think it may have ran in the family. My aunt, a nurse, told me my grandfather had a fast heart rate, he was never over weight, live into his 80's..
I've never really set down and determined my resting heart rate, but I know before I stated atenolol years ago, most times it would be in the upper 80's to low 90's. Now most time, it's upper 60's to low 70's.
There is a history of heart problems withing my family- Or used to be as most of them are now dead. I was lucky and got a bypass in time- but atenolol nearly finished bike riding for me. A previous Max HR of 165 was down to 130 when on BB's and it felt as though I was at 170. Legs like lead and lungs bursting. And that was only at 130---So I rode at 120 to keep the fitness going.

3 months after the bypass- I had a change of routine. Instead of taking the BB in the morning- I took it the night before. I did a 40 miler just on 3 months and managed up one hill to get the hr up to 165- but that was only because I knew the Ambulance was at the top of the hill. Took a long time to get the HR down to normal- but no problems. Then imediately after the ride- I took another BB. After that- I started to decrease the BB dose (With direction from the doctor).

Now on resting HR- I can, if I sit and relax long enough, Get the HR down to 65. but get up and walk about doing nothing and I will be 80 to 90. Some of us will just have naturally higher heart rates. Doesn't stop us from exercising though.
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Old 11-05-08, 03:05 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by wmodavis View Post
A late 2 cents...

Just received an article which might be good input to consider re beta blockers and Atenolol in particular titled "Reducing Heart Rate in Hypertension Is Harmful -- or Is It Just Atenolol?"

Of particular note are the two summary statements:
"Pearls for Practice
  • Heart rate lowering with beta-blockers in patients with hypertension is associated with a greater risk for cardiovascular and all-cause mortality.
  • Heart rate lowering with beta-blockers is associated with an increased risk for heart failure, nonfatal MI, and stroke, with a linear inverse relationship."
Read the whole thing at the link above and print it for your doctor.
I visted with my dr today, he's give me a new BP medication, Lisinopril.
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Old 11-05-08, 04:07 PM   #24
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I visted with my dr today, he's give me a new BP medication, Lisinopril.
I'll talk to my Doctor.

However, my *resting* heartrate was over 100 bpm, before I started taking Atenolol.

Now it's back down to an acceptable level.

Lisinopril... I'll give it a try
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Old 11-05-08, 04:32 PM   #25
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Please, please, please don't ask your Dr. for a BP medication just because someone mentioned it on a message board.

Please.
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