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Doctors' Answers to "Frequently Asked Questions" - Corgard

These comments are made for the purpose of discussion and should NOT be used as recommendations for or against therapies or other treatments. An individual patient is always advised to consult their own physician.

Question: I take 80 mg of Corgard daily for migraine prevention. What are side effects of this dosage? What are long term effects of this medication?

Answer: Beta Blockers are common drugs used to treat many different problems. They are very effective in migraine prevention and also in treating hypertension, angina, rapid heart beats 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. Corgard is a selective beta-blocker. 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. Long term side effects appear fairly minimal.

Weight Gain
Question: I have been taking Corgard for two years . After an initial weight gain when I started the drug, I cannot lose weight. I worked with a trainer for two years while on the drug and stuck to a rigid diet and in fact, ended up gaining weight. I was taking 40 mg at the time. My doctor recently raised the dosage and about a month ago I had a defibrillator inserted I also have severe adema in my legs. My doctor says its not the Corgard. Can you tell me if Corgard causes adema /weight gain. If so, is there anything I can do to counter act it.

Answer: Not usually. It sounds like some of the weight gain is strictly fluid-treatment of this could be helpful.

Migraine Headaches
Question: Recently I was prescribed Corgard as a relief for migraine headaches. Initially, relief did not occur and I felt that Corgard was not the answer. Is it possible that I did not allow the drug enough time to act. My question is, if I chose to use Corgard again, what is the average time it takes to notice the effect that the drug is working. How long or how large of dose does it take to slow my heart rate. This is another concern. If you require my stats, I am 34 years old, 245 lbs and 6'5" tall.

Answer: Beta blockers are relatively effective in preventing migraine headaches and are effective in decreasing the frequency or severity about 60-70% of the time. However, the dose may have to be pushed until the side effects are not tolerable. Bradycardia is one and is variable from patient to patient. There isn't a great correlation between the heart rate and migraine prevention;but, if your pulse is not slow it will allow you to increase the dosage to see if it is more effective. The heart slowing should be within 24 hours of taking the drug. The migraine prevention will need to be followed over 2-3 months to give an effective time period to grade the effectiveness.
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