Taking A Beta Blocker
How often you take a beta blocker depends on the medication. Some are once-a-day, extended-release pills others must be taken in the morning and in the evening. As with every medication and supplement you take, talk with your doctor or nurse if you have questions.
Starting a beta blocker isn’t like starting aspirin or many other drugs, with everyone taking the same dose. It’s important to start at a low dose and gradually work your way upward. Starting with too large a dose right off the bat could lower your heart rate and your blood pressure into dangerous territory.
You need to be just as careful stopping a beta blocker as starting one. Quitting suddenly can cause what is known as “rebound angina.” It can also, though very rarely, trigger a heart attack, stroke, or erratic heart rhythm. Gradually decreasing the dosage can help prevent these problems.
How Beta Blockers Affect Your Target Heart Rate
If you have high blood pressure, treatment often requires medication with a beta blocker, a common type of blood pressure medication that lowers your resting heart rate. Exercising regularly, another important component of managing high blood pressure, also lowers your resting heart rate. Hence, if you take a beta blocker, you will need to make some adjustments when calculating your target heart rate while doing aerobic exercise.
Using A System Of Perceived Activity
If you prefer, you can also use a system of perceived activity to help determine your target exercise level. This system essentially works by having you rate, on a scale from six to 20 , how tired you feel during a given activity. If youre exercising, how difficult does it feel? The more tired you feel, the higher the rating. It will take some experimenting to develop your personal rating scale. Once you have a rough scale in place, your target range corresponds to a rating of about 12 to 14.
Are They Safe For Pregnant Women Kids And Older People
Calcium channel blockers can be used during pregnancy to manage high blood pressure and preeclampsia. However, you should always consult with your doctor before taking calcium channel blockers during pregnancy.
These drugs may pass into breast milk, but no adverse effect on breastfed infants has been found. Discuss the risks and benefits of using calcium channel blockers while breastfeeding with your doctor.
The safety of calcium channel blockers in children has not been established however, no problems have been found to date. Discuss the risks and benefits of giving your child calcium channel blockers with your childs doctor.
Older adults have more side effects from calcium channel blockers than younger people. Doctors usually prescribe lower doses.
Can You Drink Alcohol While Taking Beta
Its best to avoid drinking alcohol if you take beta-blockers.
Both beta-blockers and alcohol can lower your blood pressure. Combining the two could cause your blood pressure to drop too quickly. This could leave you feeling weak, dizzy, or lightheaded. You might even faint if you stand up too fast.
Of course, these side effects depend on both your prescribed dose of beta-blockers and how much you drink. While theres no completely safe combination, having an occasional alcoholic drink may be less risky. But its best to check with your doctor first.
You should also talk with your doctor if avoiding alcohol is difficult for you. Other medications may be available.
Beta-blockers arent for everyone. They may pose a greater risk to people with the following conditions:
- asthma, COPD, and other lung diseases
Talking to your doctor about your health and any medical conditions may help you avoid negative side effects.
- Let your doctor know if youre pregnant, trying to get pregnant, or breastfeeding.
- To prevent drug interactions, provide your doctor with a list of all the medications and supplements you take.
- Be honest about your alcohol, tobacco, and drug use. These substances can interact with beta-blockers.
Don’t Miss: Can Ibs Cause Heart Palpitations
Can I Take A Beta Blocker If I Have Asthma Or Chronic Lung Disease
Beta blockers are generally not used in people with asthma. A beta blocker can cause asthma attacks.
Sometimes people with a chronic lung disease such as emphysema or bronchitis can take beta blockers. If you have lung disease and are taking a beta blocker, call your doctor right away if you start having breathing problems.
While Pregnant Or Breastfeeding
Beta-blockers may affect a growing baby by slowing its heart rate and lowering its blood sugar level and blood pressure. These drugs can also pass to an infant through breast milk, causing low blood pressure, trouble breathing, and a slow heart rate.
Also Check: Does Ibs Cause Heart Palpitations
Concerns About Exercising While On Beta Blockers
Its important to remember that your heart rate is being slowed, and to adjust accordingly if before you took these drugs you monitored your exercise using heart rate, said Dr. Fletcher, who is also a volunteer with the American Heart Association.
Dont overdo it trying to get your heart rate up to previous levels, he said.
There are a couple of ways to monitor your exercise intensity.
Exercise hard to the point of being tired but not excessively hard, Dr. Fletcher said. If you reach a point where it is hard to talk, that is probably too much.
How Much Does Beta Blocker Lower Heart Rate
you will need to make soMechanism of actionFor every heart rate reduction of 5 beats/min with beta-blocker treatment, the patients who received one-fourth of the recommended dose of medicine had up to a 20 to Beta-blockers slow the electrical signals in your heart and slow down your heart rate and its ability to pump blood, I think my heart rate is about 10 beats per minute lower on the medication, Exercising regularly, contact your doctor, and will not drop your heart rate or BP to dangerously low levels, And it, I was hoping someone could tell me their experience on beta blockers and how much their resting heart rate
|Whats Your Heart rate? (for those who dont take heart|
See more resultsBeta-blockers slow the electrical signals in your heart and slow down your heart rate and its ability to pump blood, On average, On average, Those awful tachycardia episodes of elevated heart rate, Some beta blockers are selective, Hence, so its important to follow your doctors instructions carefully.This causes my heart to beat slower, or even better rates, so its important to follow your doctors instructions carefully.
What Drugs Interact With Beta Blockers And Calcium Channel Blockers
- Combining propranolol or pindolol with thioridazine or chlorpromazine may result in low blood pressure and abnormal heart rhythms because the drugs interfere with each others elimination and result in increased levels of the drugs.
- Dangerous elevations in blood pressure may occur when clonidine is combined with a beta blocker, or when clonidine or beta blocker is discontinued after their concurrent use. Blood pressure should be closely monitored after initiation or discontinuation of clonidine or a beta blocker when they have been used together.
- Phenobarbital and similar agents may increase the breakdown and reduce blood levels of propanolol or metoprolol . This may reduce effectiveness of the beta blocker.
- Aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may counteract the blood pressure reducing effects of beta blockers by reducing the effects of prostaglandins, which play a role in control of blood pressure.
- Beta blockers may prolong hypoglycemia and mask symptoms of hypoglycemia in diabetics who are taking insulin or other diabetic medications.
Calcium Channel Blockers
Grapefruit juice may elevate blood concentrations of felodipine , verapamil , nisoldipine , nifedipine , nicardipine , and possibly amlodipine . Grapefruit juice should not be consumed within 2 hours before or 4 hours after administration of affected calcium channel blockers.
Can I Take A Beta Blocker If I Have Diabetes
Yes, you can take a beta blocker if you have diabetes. But a beta blocker may hide some of the warning signs of low blood sugar. For example, when you take a beta blocker, your heart rate may not increase in response to a low blood sugar level. You will need to check your blood sugar levels carefully after you start taking a beta blocker. If you have low blood sugar often, your doctor may want to change the dosages of your diabetes medicines.
Recommended Reading: Can Ibs Cause Heart Palpitations
Overviews Of The Classes Of Blood Pressure Medications
Summaries of some of the major types of commonly prescribed cardiovascular medications are provided here.
- For your information and reference, we have included generic names as well as major trade names to help you identify what you may be taking. However, this information does not signify a recommendation or endorsement from the American Heart Association.
- If your prescription medication isnt on this list, remember that your healthcare provider and pharmacist are your best sources of information.
- Its important to discuss all of the drugs you take with your doctor and understand their desired effects and possible side effects.
- Never stop taking a medication and never change your dose or frequency without first consulting your doctor.
Can You Take Beta Blockers And Exercise
High blood pressure is known as the silent killer. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , nearly half of adults in the U.S. have the condition. Still, many arent aware of it because there are no apparent symptoms until a heart attack or stroke happens.
Beta blockers, also called beta-adrenergic blocking agents, are widely-prescribed medications to decrease high blood pressure and prevent heart disease. While exercise can lower your blood pressure, overexertion can be dangerous. This guide will help people with hypertension learn how to safely mix beta blockers and exercise.
Recommended Reading: Can Ibs Cause Heart Palpitations
Cautions With Other Medicines
There are some medicines that may interfere with the way that beta blockers, including beta blocker eyedrops, work.
Tell your doctor if you’re taking:
- other medicines for high blood pressure. The combination with beta blockers can sometimes lower your blood pressure too much. This may make you feel dizzy or faint
- other medicines for an irregular heartbeat such as amiodarone or flecainide
- other medicines that can lower your blood pressure. These include some antidepressants, nitrates , baclofen , medicines for an enlarged prostate gland like tamsulosin, or Parkinson’s disease medicines such as levodopa
- medicines for asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- medicines for diabetes, particularly insulin beta blockers may make it more difficult to recognise the warning signs of low blood sugar
- medicines to treat nose or sinus congestion, or other cold remedies
- medicines for allergies, such as ephedrine, noradrenaline or adrenaline
- non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines , such as ibuprofen. These medicines may increase your blood pressure, so it’s best to keep them to a minimum
A Bunch Of Beta Blockers
You can tell a beta blocker by its generic name they all end in “lol.” Each has its own particular way of blocking beta receptors. This accounts for their different actions and side effects.
More than a dozen beta blockers have been approved for use in the United States . They fall into three main groups.
Nonselective. The earliest beta blockers, like propranolol, affect both beta-1 and beta-2 receptors. Nonselective beta blockers should be used with caution, if at all, in smokers or people with asthma or other lung conditions.
Cardioselective. A number of beta blockers, including atenolol and metoprolol , were designed to block only beta-1 receptors in heart cells. Since they don’t affect beta-2 receptors in blood vessels and the lungs, cardioselective beta blockers are safer for people with lung disorders.
Third-generation. Some beta blockers do more than block beta receptors. Labetalol blocks alpha receptors, too. This further helps relax blood vessels. Nebivolol stimulates the inner lining of blood vessels to generate nitric oxide, which helps the vessels relax. Carvedilol does both.
Recommended Reading: Does Benadryl Lower Heart Rate
Do Not Suddenly Stop Taking Your Beta
Do not suddenly stop taking your beta-blocker without talking to your doctor first. This can be dangerous and make you feel unwell. You may get the feeling of changes in your heartbeat , an increase in blood pressure and a return of chest pains. If you do need to stop taking a beta-blocker then your doctor may advise a slow reduction in dose.
Calculating Your Target Heart Rate
Your maximum heart ratethe upper limit of what your cardiovascular system can handle during physical activitycan be estimated by subtracting your age from 220. So, if you’re 35 years old, your estimated maximum heart rate is around 185 beats per minute .
It is recommended that you exercise within 55 percent to 85 percent of your maximum heart rate for at least 20 to 30 minutes to get the best results from aerobic exercise. In the example of the 35-year-old above, the target heart rate zone would be from 102 to 157 bpm.
Beta blockers can slow down your heart rate, but its effect is different for everyone . To use your resting heart rate as your guide, figure out the decrease in your heart rate as a result of the beta blocker. You will need to know what your resting heart rate was before you started taking the beta blocker.
For example, if your resting heart rate is 70 bpm without a beta blocker and 50 bpm with a beta blocker, thats a difference of 20. When calculating your target heart rate, subtract this number from the result. Thats your beta blocked target heart rate and is equivalent to what your target heart rate would be without the beta blocker. Again using the 35-year-old as an example, in this case the target heart rate zone would be reduced to between 82 and 137 bpm.
Also Check: Can Antihistamines Cause Heart Palpitations
How Other Factors Affect Heart Rate
- Air temperature: When temperatures soar, the heart pumps a little more blood, so your pulse rate may increase, but usually no more than five to 10 beats a minute.
- Body position: Resting, sitting or standing, your pulse is usually the same. Sometimes as you stand for the first 15 to 20 seconds, your pulse may go up a little bit, but after a couple of minutes it should settle down.
- Emotions: If youre stressed, anxious or extraordinarily happy or sad your emotions can raise your pulse.
- Body size: Body size usually doesnt change pulse. If youre very obese, you might see a higher resting pulse than normal, but usually not more than 100.
- Medication use: Meds that block your adrenaline tend to slow your pulse, while too much thyroid medication or too high of a dosage will raise it.
The No 1 Reason People Stop Taking Beta
The top reason patients stop using beta-blockers is admission to the hospital for various conditions, not just heart failure, Dr. Tang says. However, most people should not stop, even if they are hospitalized, unless the doctors decided that it is more harm than good.
Research shows that patients fare better when they continue taking beta-blockers while in the hospital, even with acute heart failure.
An inability to tolerate beta-blockers indicates a worsening heart condition, says Dr. Tang. Other testing may be necessary to determine if the heart is too weak for beta-blockers.
This may even apply for patients whose heart function has recovered to the normal range. Recent clinical studies have shown that, even in those with full recovery of their heart structure and function, stopping drugs like beta-blockers can reverse the recovery course and can be detrimental, he adds.
Read Also: Heart Palpitations Prednisone
Vo2max Increases With Lower Heart Rate Under Medication
- 0CloggyAbroadover 2 years agoThe VO2max algorithm somehow compares HR against pace. It doesn’t know you’re on medication. If this medication has the effect of lowering your HR your 935 is going to think you are fitter.Besides I often get the best VO2max numbers after slow runs with low HR anyway. The two combined probably explain the ‘improved’ VO2max.May I assume you cleared the running with the physician who prescribed the beta blockers? If your HR doesn’t pick up enough for the activity you are doing you might end up with dizzy spells or other nasties so be careful.
- 0mcalistaover 2 years agoI agree with Cloggy – VO2Max compares HR against pace. External factors that influence HR will lead to inaccurate predictions of VO2Max.I’m not sure how long you will be on these – if only short term, perhaps use the Trail Run app rather than Running – as this doesn’t calculate a VO2Max.In the longer term, one possible solution might be to re-assess your maxHR with beta blockers, so that your HR as a % of maxHR is aligned again. Although you should probably be talking to your doctor about this before doing a maximal test to find your new maxHR.
Who Can Take Beta Blockers
Beta blockers are not suitable for everyone. To make sure they are safe for you, tell your doctor before starting a beta blocker if you have:
- had an allergic reaction to a beta blocker or any other medicine in the past
- low blood pressure or a slow heart rate
- serious blood circulation problems in your limbs
- metabolic acidosis when there’s too much acid in your blood
- lung disease or asthma
Tell your doctor if you’re trying to get pregnant, are already pregnant or breastfeeding.
It’s important not to stop taking beta blockers without seeking your doctor’s advice. In some cases suddenly stopping the medicine may make your health condition worse.
You May Like: Does Tylenol Increase Heart Rate