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Doctors' Answers to "Frequently Asked Questions" - Beta Blockers
Answer: Beta blockers are useful for prevention of migraine headaches. So, are worth a try , what are the "new and old treatments" that you have tried? Beta blockers are usually one of the first and one of the older treatments.
Answer: Not really, you might try a calcium channel blocker instead. Often works without the fatigue.
Beta Blockers & Sexual Dysfunction [posted 10/30/98]
Answer: Beta blockers may decrease sexual drive and erectile force, Tapazole's side effects are usually directed at the bone marrow, sexual problems develop rarely with this drug-although the underlying thyroid disease can cause problems.
Beta Blockers & Physical Activity [posted 10/21/98]
Answer: Very safe.
Lack of Sleep on Beta Blockers [posted 10/9/98]
Answer: Switching to another drug class. About 10% of patients on beta blockers have difficulty sleeping or nightmares. These do not change with time.
Beta Blockers [posted 8/5/98]
Answer: This is a class of drugs which chemically block the beta adrenergic site. There are selective and non-selective Beta one and Beta two classes of drugs. These drugs are used for hypertension, angina, migraine prevention, anxiety, tremor, cardiac arrhythmia, etc.
Beta Blockers [posted 8/5/98]
Answer: Beta blockers are used for a variety of clinical problems. Side effects include slow pulse, fatigue, nightmares, nausea, and shortness of breath. Stomach cramps are occasionally seen, diarrhea is rarely seen.
Beta Blocker's Effects [posted 8/4/98]
Answer: They do interfere a slight amount with release. However, clinically it doesn't seem to make a difference. High dosages of beta blockers would have more effect. Most of the time, we don't use the high doses as much as 20 years ago due to other alternatives. It doesn't seem to clinically seem to affect diabetic control or weight, although theoretically possible.
Answer: Propanolol is a beta blocker. I can't figure any other beta blocker that would start with P or this spelling. General side effects are fatigue, slow pulse, nightmares, nausea and lack of sex drive.
Beta Blockers - Ziac
Answer: Beta blockers come in two classes B1 and B2 with the B2 being somewhat selective. That is they produce less pulmonary side effects, etc. General side effects are fatigue, insomnia or nightmares, nausea, occasional hair loss, and slow pulse. Fatigue is the side effect which causes most patients to avoid these drugs. Ziac tries to avoid the side effects of beta blockers by using a very small dose. However, some patients are very sensitive to beta blockers and will experience side effects at small doses.
Answer: Beta Blockers are common drugs used to treat many different problems. They are very effective in treating hypertension, angina, rapid heart beats, preventing migraine headaches, and have been used to treat Stage fright and occasionally anxiety. They also have similar side effects. Beta Blockers come as selective and non-selective. The non-selective beta blockers can cause some bronchospasm and asthma. The selective blockers can also, but much less frequently. Common side effects to both selective and non-selective beta blockers are fatigue, slow heart rate, nausea, nightmares and difficulty sleeping, impairment of insulin release, depression, and occasional skin rash. These drugs should never be stopped abruptly and require a tapering if discontinued. These should work well with you, but give them a trial first before the "big day" to ensure they do not lower your blood pressure excessively.
Answer: Beta-blockers are used for a variety of problems. Anxiety and stage fright are common uses. This drug has been studied and used for years and the side effects are well known. These side effects include fatigue, slow pulse, depression, nightmares, nausea and occasionally asthma. The other drugs available for chronic or acute anxiety are klonopin(potentially addicting)and SRI anti-depressants, which have a shorter time of evaluation compared to the beta-blockers. In general, I start young people on beta blockers before going to other potentially more limiting drugs. Young people tend to have much fewer side effects than older adults with these drugs.
Answer: The beta-blocker metaprolol is useful in limiting or preventing migraine headaches. I doubt seriously if a headache which has lasted three months is a migraine. While I would not disagree with trying it, I doubt that it will work. I agree with you an MRI is certainly indicated and a visit to a specialist in headaches if the MRI is negative.
Answer: Beta-blockers are one of the most effective drugs in preventing initial and subsequent heart attacks. They act by blocking the beta receptors in the bodies nervous system. Consequently, when these receptors have been blocked for any significant amount of time and then are open or unblocked they actually are more responsive. Exercise, stress, anger, etc will produce faster heart rates and higher blood pressures than they would normally. When physicians need to stop beta-blockers for any reason we taper the dose over several days to minimize this effect. Missing the dose by a few hours is usually not a major concern-missing several doses can he critical.
Atenolol and Stroke
Answer: It's always a problem when a severe problem occurs at the same time that a new drug is either started or stopped. It is agonizing for the physician, patient and their family to try and decide whether this is just unfortunate circumstance or whether the drug had anything to do with the medical problem. Off hand, I can't come up with any senario which starting a beta-blocker would cause a stroke. I suspect it is the intrinsic small vessel disease from his diabetes mellitus.
Omeprazole and H2 Blocker
Answer: H2 Blockers are drugs that block acid in the stomach. This is accomplished by "blocking" the H2 receptor on the cells in the stomach that produce acid. Omeprazole(Prilosec) belongs to a class of drugs called proton pump inhibitors. This class of drugs blocks acid production by not allowing the cell to pump hydrogen charges through the cell membrane. In general, the proton pump inhibitors are more powerful in reducing acid. The H2 blockers have the advantage of minimal short or long term side effects. They are so well tolerated that they are now generally available over the counter without a prescription. There is no absolute contraindication to combining these drugs. On occasion, I have maintained a patient on H2 blockers for the first 2-3 days of treatment with omeprazole since the omeprazole can theoretically take a few days to be maximally effective. I guess if acid symptoms were still present, a combination of the two would be effective. I haven't seen this tested clinically.
Possible Tolerence to Zebeta
Answer: Are you having palpitations or tachycardia? Palpitations are usually only a nuisance and don't affect longevity-actually most patients with MVP live longer than those without unless there is severe mitral regurgitation. Tachcardia(runs of fast beats) is a different story. If you are not having symptoms of vertigo , syncope, etc. with the palpitations, I wouldn't worry about it. Occasionally, verapamil( a calcium channel blocker) with work where beta blockers don't. Also, avoid chocolate, coffee, caffeine in any soft drink, get normal rest, avoid alcohol-see if any of these help.
Answer: I'm not sure that this data is known-the drug companies certainly don't discuss it as an advantage of their own beta blocker.