You must have felt great when your doctor had announced that your condition had improved enough to let you off your beta-blockers until you were aware of its withdrawal symptoms.
The stressful period of experiencing the withdrawal symptoms is something that terrifies many.
So, do you need to know more about feeling normal again after getting off beta blockers?
Most people take time to feel normal after discontinuing beta-blockers. Beta-blockers can cause several withdrawal symptoms including, arrhythmia, hypertension, anxiety, etc. The symptoms depend on several factors, such as daily dosage, time length of drug intake, drug type, and body metabolism rate.
Read along this article to get a clearer perception of each of them.
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Feeling Normal Again After Getting Off Beta Blockers
Every medicine has withdrawal effects. And so do Beta-Blockers. So, you will need some time to get normal. And also you might face some withdrawal effects.
After this affects subside you will be able to go back to your normal form.
So, now it’s important for you to have a brief idea on the withdrawal effects. Let’s move on.
Withdrawal Symptoms of Beta-Blocker
Getting off beta-blockers comes with a series of uncomfortable symptoms too. This could hamper the everyday lifestyles of many patients.
Stopping the use of beta-blockers can cause the recurrence of heart problems such as supraventricular tachycardia and arrhythmia-related problems. It can further cause high blood pressure, chest pain, angina attacks, and increased chances of heart attacks.
Beta-blockers can be used to treat patients with angina. Angina is a heart condition where the heart does not get enough blood flow. Angina can be caused by the narrowing of the blood vessels in the heart due to the deposition of cholesterol in the blood vessels.
Sudden withdrawal of beta-blockers can put excess strain on the heart.
It further increases the risks of heart attack for patients with heart defects and increases the risk of a second heart attack in some patients.
High Blood Pressure
The blood pressure can begin to rise after stopping to take beta-blockers. Prolonged high blood pressure can be deleterious to the body. It damages the heart as well the other major organs of the body such as kidneys and brain.
Other symptoms of beta-blocker withdrawal include-
- Profuse sweating
- Shortness of breath
- Feeling cold at all times
- Inability to do simple tasks such as talking on the phone
Factors Influencing Withdrawal Symptoms
Different patients suffer from different withdrawal symptoms.
It depends on factors like the patients’ dosage of the drug, how long the patient has been on the drug, the type of the drug, and the patient’s overall metabolic activity rate.
There are different types of beta-blockers. Atenolol, betaxolol hydrochloride, bisoprolol fumarate, esmolol hydrochloride, metoprolol are a few to mention. Patients are prescribed different dosages of this medication based on their conditions.
It has been observed that individuals who have been on a higher dosage of the medicine have more severe withdrawal symptoms than individuals who were prescribed a lower dosage.
This is not the case for all individuals since the dosage is not the only factor that determines the withdrawal symptom period.
Time Length of Drug Intake
Beta-blockers work by preventing the binding of the adrenergic hormones to the beta receptors.
However, prolonged use of the beta-blockers is also associated with increasing the sensitivity of the beta receptors.
Therefore as soon as you stop taking beta-blockers, the stress hormones are allowed to bind to the more sensitive receptors.
Hence, it can lead to enhanced effects of the adrenergic hormones. Individuals, in some cases, suffer from a higher resting heart rate during the withdrawal period than before they started taking beta- blockers.
Long-time use of beta-blockers, therefore, can cause more pronounced effects on heart functioning compared to previous conditions.
Type of The Drug
Short-acting beta-blockers often cause a longer duration of withdrawal symptoms. In contrast, long-acting beta blockers cause a shorter withdrawal symptoms duration.
Short-acting drugs are drugs that act over a short period of time in a quick manner. Short-acting drugs do not stay in a system for much time. They have shorter half-lives. Propranolol is one example of a short-acting drug.
On the other hand, long-acting beta- blockers have longer half-lives and work in a slow manner. Nadolol is an example of long-acting beta-blockers.
Metabolic Activity Rate
Different individuals have different metabolic rates. Some individuals process drugs faster than other individuals.
People with higher metabolic activity can clear out the drugs from their system quicker than people with a slower metabolism.
As a result, it varies from individual to individual depending on how severe your withdrawal symptoms will be or whether you will go through the withdrawal symptoms for a month or several.
Beta-Blockers: A Brief Discussion
To help you understand the topic a little better, let us know how beta-blockers help you alleviate your health problems.
Beta-blockers are medicinal drugs used to treat different types of heart diseases, high blood pressure, severe stress or anxiety-related conditions, and glaucoma. Beta-blockers are also known as beta-adrenergic blocking agents.
Beta-blockers are not the only medication for anxiety. Other anti-anxiety drugs include Paxil, Xanax, benzodiazepines, etc. Only your doctor can suggest which medication will work best for you.
Beta-blockers work by competing with the adrenergic hormones for binding with the beta receptors, which are adrenergic receptors present on the cells of our body organs.
Hormones like epinephrine and norepinephrine can function by binding to these receptors. Epinephrine is a hormone secreted by our adrenal glands, mostly in times of stress.
Epinephrine is more commonly known as adrenaline. It increases our heart rate, increases blood sugar levels, increases blood pressure, dilates the airways, etc.
The beta-blockers work by decreasing the effects of these stress hormones on different organs of our body, mainly the heart. As a result, it helps patients suffering from abnormal heart rates by keeping their heart rates under control. This further decreases the chances of hypertension, angina attack, or heart failure.
- Inform your medical personnel of the other medications or supplements you take before starting to use beta-blockers
- People suffering from additional health issues such as diabetes and hyperthyroidism should inform their doctors before starting or stopping beta-blocker intake.
- Inform your doctor of any non-medicinal drugs you have been on before taking beta- blockers such as cocaine
- Do not stop using beta-blockers without medical supervision
- Gradually taper off the use of beta-blockers
- Consult with your doctor before following any intense workout plans
- Seek out ways to manage your stress levels
- Limit alcohol intake
Can I take my beta-blockers every alternative day?
Taking beta-blockers every alternative day is not recommended by most medical professionals. Instead, it is advisable to follow the schedule provided by your doctor.
Are beta-blockers safe to use?
It is safe to use beta-blockers as long as your physician allows you to do so. Beta-blockers are medicines that can be dangerous to your health if taken without medical guidance.
Is it okay to feel good the first day after getting off beta-blockers?
Many patients instead of experiencing the horrible withdrawal effects, feel way better than while they were on beta-blockers. This happens if the beta-blockers you were on did not suit you and had been causing side effects.
Can you be off and on beta-blockers?
No, this can cause undesirable effects on the body as well as massively damage your heart.
Patients start feeling normal again after getting off beta-blockers, depending on different factors.This factors can determine how long the patient will experience withdrawal symptoms or how severe a patient’s withdrawal symptoms will be.
Beta-blockers are medicines that work on significant organs of our body.
Therefore, doctors carefully assess the patient’s existing and previous medical conditions before administering beta-blockers. Following the protocols given by your medical professional will help you to get back to a healthy state faster.