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Ask Dr. D. Love Your Own Question
Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 18777
Experience:  Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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I am a 67 year old male who is quite healthy, however,

Customer Question

Hi, I am a 67 year old male who is quite healthy, however, when I was 50 I attended a well man clinic at the Nuffield and although my results were fine, I told them about the anxiety attacks I was having concerning the death of my father. I would panic when going to social functions etc where my heart would race etc. The doctor suggested taking atenonol just before visiting a social function, which I did. However the night after doing this my heart rate went through the roof and on telling the well man doctor he said that I needed to take it every day. What a mistake!!. Since then I have elevated blood pressure and palpitations every day. The palpitations were so bad I visited my own doctor who sent me for a portable ECG monitor which turned out normal. He then put me on Adalat and a water tablet. Since then I still get palpitations my blood pressure has stabilised. The dose of atenolol is 50mg and so recently I have halved this and in doing so I have noticed that I don't get palpitations until about 7pm to 11pm, but once I go to bed they cease, and so yesterday I missed a tablet and the next day my heart rate shot up to what felt like 1000 beats per minute. I am sure that the atenolol is causing the palpitations and I didn't suffer from hypertension before taking it so I want to come of the retched drug, so my question is how do I achieve this safely?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 1 year ago.
Hello from JustAnswer.What does your blood pressure and pulse currently run?You mentioned the dose of the atenolol. What are the doses of each of the other medicines that you are currently taking?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My pulse is around 60 when resting and goes up to 70 - 72 when working, I suffer from white coat syndrome so I have elevated BP when being checked but it is about 134/84 at home. I was prescribed by my doctor 50mg Atenolol, 2.5mg Bendroflumethiazide, 30mg Adalat and 20mg Citalopram ( which stopped my anxiety attacks)
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 1 year ago.
Since you are taking a thiazide diuretic, have you had your electrolytes checked recently, including the potassium and magnesium?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No not at all, but reading that magnesium can help to stop palpitations I have been taking 250mg tablet daily
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 1 year ago.
Yes, and the thiazides can cause deletion of the potassium and magnesium. I also ask because most people that no longer need atenolol can usually be stopped from a dose of 50 mg daily. If you otherwise do not need atenolol but are sensitive to tapering off the drug, it could be related to low levels of potassium or magnesium. However, if you are simply someone that is more sensitive to tapering off the atenolol, then a taper that would usually be safe would be to take the 25 mg daily dose for a couple weeks, and then to stop the atenolol. If you develop a significant increase in heart rate while performing this gradual taper (and the electrolytes are normal), then that would support that you truly need to the drug to control the rapid heart rate. If you can successfully taper of the atenolol, then the blood pressure at that point in time can be used to judge whether you can try to come off the Adalat and diuretic. Both of thm can be simply stopped at the doses at which you are taking them, but should be stopped separately, about a month apart, with monitoring of the blood pressure. If I can provide any additional information, please let me know.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you Dr Love
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 1 year ago.
You are most welcome.
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 1 year ago.
Please let me know if I can provide and further assistance. If you would like my assistance with any future questions, I can be reached through my profile at www.justanswer.com/medical/expert-DrDLove/