stopping Carvedilol (Coreg): When will the effects wear off?

Posted by teatime @teatime, Apr 28, 2016

Hi everyone,

I am glad to be a part of this community. Please foregive the long post. I was wondering if anyone has had a hard time while being on and going off Carvedilol (Coreg).

I am an active 45 year old mom of a young child. I have always tried to eat healthily and keep in shape (I do yoga, pilates and, run about 5k 2x per week). My BP has always been pretty good, but since my 40´s it has gone up a bit (heredity factors play a role). My BP and heart rate also “spike” when I get stressed or anxious, but for the most part are pretty level during normal times. I do have anxious moments, but I would not say anxiety has been a major life problem. At my last check (Feb 2016), and after wearing a 24 hour BP monitor, my cardiologist suggested I start Carvedilol 6.25 1x per day (quite a low dose) for the spikes and to keep the heart from getting too excited. I agreed that maybe it was a good idea and started over two months ago. Other than stimulating rapid bowel movements, I did not notice any side effects at first. I would say about three to four weeks into taking the Carvedilol, I began not sleeping well. I also noticed my heart pounding, like a bass drum, slowly and steadily, at times. Then the heart pounding began to wake me up at night (it turns out my HR was down in the high 40s at night). Some nights I even felt my chest muscles vibrate, as if a phone on silence mode was on top of my chest. I started to notice this more and more and then I would have a few normal nights, so I figured I would just talk about this at my next cardio check (booked out in June). I also noticed I was getting more and more anxious. I wasn’t too sure why little things were beginning to bother me. I thought it was hormones, PMS, whatever, and started looking for someone like a therapist to talk to.

The previous week was bad. I woke up from a few nightmares and I started to panic in bed, just woken up from sleep. I had three nights of waking up to panic attacks and body shakes. The experiences made me very nervous. At this point I started looking into the side effects of Carvedilol and I was seeing not only chest pounding, but in rare cases reported effects of nightmares, visual disturbances, tremors, anxiety. I also know one does not simply stop a beta blocker, so we talked about tapering down. I tapered down for four days, and then I got in to see another cardiologist on Monday and he said just stop immediately. The effects are rare, but they have been noted. Going off this medication has been frightening. I feel weak and shaky all the time, and I get sporadic periods of pounding and muscle tremors in my legs, anxiety and fuzzy vision. I frequently get so cold I begin to shake. Yesterday I went back to the clinic for an EKG (normal) and some blood tests (including thyroid) and everything was normal. I am just assuming this is my body reacting and readapting itself after being on beta blockers. It has only been five days, but I am wondering if anyone out there has had similar experiences. How long did it take you to feel normal again? I ran a 5k just two weekends ago and yesterday I could hardly take a walk. Thanks for listening.

@eileena

I do not quite understand something. The Core is supposed to help with blood pressure, is it not? I realize it was supposed to help with my heart and lowering my heart rate. What I don’t understand is why is it that now I am weaning off the stuff that my BP readings are lower than when I was on it full time.

I take readings every day around the same time and find the upper number is now usually around 127, whereas prior it was around 134. The bottom number is a little higher now, 70 sometimes, but it was only at 66 usually prior to weaning off.

So I just don’t really understand. My dose has never been but the lowest 3.125 twice daily.

I see my Cardiologist in December, however any insight will be helpful.

Eileena

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@predictable Martin:

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experiences. As I’ve never taken this particular medicine or had A-fib, my experiences are not quite like yours. I hope that @eileena is helped by these thoughts.

Teresa

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@eileena

I do not quite understand something. The Core is supposed to help with blood pressure, is it not? I realize it was supposed to help with my heart and lowering my heart rate. What I don’t understand is why is it that now I am weaning off the stuff that my BP readings are lower than when I was on it full time.

I take readings every day around the same time and find the upper number is now usually around 127, whereas prior it was around 134. The bottom number is a little higher now, 70 sometimes, but it was only at 66 usually prior to weaning off.

So I just don’t really understand. My dose has never been but the lowest 3.125 twice daily.

I see my Cardiologist in December, however any insight will be helpful.

Eileena

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He approved of my weaning off Coreg, probably be I have not really had high BP so much since my Quad bypassWill see him in December s will be off the Coreg by then

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@hopeful33250

@eileena Hello Eileena,

This is a question that should be referred to your doctor. Since your appointment is more than a month away, it might be good to call the office or send a message through the patient portal (like My Chart). At Mayo Connect, we are not medical professionals, just fellow patients, like yourself. We cannot advise you regarding your own symptoms and what they mean.

Will you contact your doctor’s office and then get back with us and let us know how you are doing? I hope that you get an answer to your concerns. We look forward to hearing from you again.

Teresa

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I’ll let you know.  Seeing as how I have Brady, not Afibs it is different.
I also take 25 mg Losartin but that low a dose would not necessarily keep my BP low like it is.
I won’t go any sooner than December

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I just came across your post and I was wondering if you ever got to feeling better and how long did it take? I am on day 11 after getting off carvedilol and still feeling awful and scared.

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@shirleyperkins

I just came across your post and I was wondering if you ever got to feeling better and how long did it take? I am on day 11 after getting off carvedilol and still feeling awful and scared.

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@shirleyperkins, did you phase down your dosage under doctor’s orders? If you stopped taking Carvedilol abruptly, I hope you’ll call your doctor for advice on how to adjust your current dosage and symptoms to avoid the discomfort and possible injury. Martin

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@shirleyperkins, I have felt better since I began decreasing the Carvedilol. I tapered it off very slowly. This is how I accomplished it:
First week I skipped the evening dose on Sunday, Second week I skipped the evening dose on both Sunday and Monday, the Third week I skipped the evening dose on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. This took 7 weeks. I did not get another migraine, and my heart rate did rise a bit. Not much as I have Brady, not A-fibs. When I got through with eliminating th evening dose I began again reducing the morning dose the same way.

So it went like this, first week on Sunday I took no Carvedilol. But took the morning dose the other 6 days. Second week took no Carvedilol on Sunday and Monday.

I am now down to the last 3 weeks of this tapering off and my climb up the stairs at work (31 of them to get into the shop where I work) is not as hard to do as my heart rate is not being artificially held down. Sure, I get a slightly out of b reach, but it is only on those last few steps and then my heart rate returns to its slow mode within about 3 to 5 minutes.

It will have taken me about 14 weeks doing it this way, but better slow than in a hurry with weaning off from this medication.

Rest on what I have shared and think for awhile before following join my footsteps. Like @predictableasks, be sure to get your doctor into the loop. It’s a really bad medicine you need to give respect to.

Liked by vbrooks82

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I phased off the Carvedilol gradually…over several months. I am now on day 12 of being off it totally and I have gone through several side effects, especially anxiety and feeling spacy. Now I am shakey all the time and much hungrier than usual. I need to know if you or anyone has gotten totally off this med and gone through side effects and if these side effects ever went away. I need some hope here.

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Hi shirley im in the same situation.. Im trying to wean myself off of it.. I was on it for a little over a month and now im trying to get off bc of it causing me suicidal thoughts and abnormal thinking… My doses have been lowered but i still feel anxiety and my heart racing… How long were u on coreg? Did it make your heart rate rise… Getting off of this medication is very scary… Please let me know..

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@eileena…. You are exactly right you have to gradually take yourself off this drug… My doses have been decreased but its still hard for me to get. It out of my system… How long were you on it… Im kind of angry that i was giving this drug as an aide for my blood pressure but it actually keeps my blood pressure high and my never before anxiety even higher… Its a very scary drug and i pray its not damaging my heart when there wasnt an issue with my heart.. im soo scared and it really seems there is nothing i can do.. Ive been given anxiety meds but i dont want to rely on those i just want to feel better and get this medication out of my body

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@vbrooks82

@eileena…. You are exactly right you have to gradually take yourself off this drug… My doses have been decreased but its still hard for me to get. It out of my system… How long were you on it… Im kind of angry that i was giving this drug as an aide for my blood pressure but it actually keeps my blood pressure high and my never before anxiety even higher… Its a very scary drug and i pray its not damaging my heart when there wasnt an issue with my heart.. im soo scared and it really seems there is nothing i can do.. Ive been given anxiety meds but i dont want to rely on those i just want to feel better and get this medication out of my body

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@vbrooks82, I was on Metoprolol after my heart surgery in July 2015. It depressed my heart rate below 55, so the doc put me on a very low dose of carvedolol. My dose was never increased from 3.125 twice daily. I wear a FitBit to track my heart rate and noticed that my heart rate would drop to around 45 while sitting and if I had walked from one building to another at work my HR would go to 122 and then when I remained seated for a few minutes I would nod off to sleep for a short while. So…I talked with my doc and told him I thought it time to remove the stuff from my regimen. He agreed. I had had bad migraines and the carvedolol seemed to keep them at bay until I tried to go off the stuff cold turkey. WHAM! they were like Arnold…they told me “I’ll be back!” So…right back on the med. Next I tried only taking it once a day…within a week I had migraines again. So, I just kept taking it.

After while I stumbled onto this board and got the advise to wean off VERY slowly. So, I decided to take their advise and did so.

I feel much better, but my HR is still lower than I like. Not sure it will be much improved due to having had open heart surgery and once touched the heart is never going to be quite as strong. After I have been off the carvedelol for a while I know the doc will start asking if I am ready for a pace maker, but I feel it will be some time late next year before he approaches the subject again as he knows I have to be totally convinced it is the path to go.

But, do not be in a hurry. This is the best advise. Keep a calendar and mark it for the times you skip the carvedolol so you do not forget when you skipped it. I just wrote SC for the skipped doses.

You might just skip once this week and see how you feel. Be absolutely sure you doc is in agreement with you trying to skip your dose so you do not wind up in the ER.

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peach here. do not know where to post this but here goes: cannot find much information on the internet for “black blood” all i can find is low oxygen in the blood. wouldn’t the veins and the valves be involved as well? there has not been any investigation into this or i cannot find it, the last 2 blood draws (on 2 different arms) were black. even the phlebotomist remarked on this. i know i have severe anemia. very low b-12. it is good to keep up with the health issues. ???? any help will be greatly appreciated and thank you.

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Appreciating all the input. Five years ago I had open heart sugery for a valve replacement. I was sent home on Lisinopril and Carvedilol. Over the years I had a lot of side effects and never felt well. Both meds had dizziness as a side effect and a year ago I started having dizzy spells. So, last May I weaned myself off of the Lisinopril.My blood pressure actually went DOWN without it and I had no withrawal symptoms at all so I stayed off it. But, I kept having dizzy spells almost on a daily basis. Over the five years on carvedilol my blood sugar gradually climbed more than 100 points and I gained close to 30 pounds, Then I read that it should never be taken by a diabetic or by anyone over 65. Because of the dizzy spells I stopped driving or going to stores alone.I finally decided to wean myself off this carvedilol so I started cutting it in half and then in thirds and 12 days ago I got down to zero. My withdrawal syptoms are anxiety, sometimes shaky, faster heart rate (although not terribly high)and hungry more often. I assume this is because my metabolism has speeded up.The good news is no more dizzy spells. I am hoping there has been no permanant damage to my heart or my pancreas and that I can start feeling great for a change. I am just wondering how long the effects of this drug (poison)are going to last. I need some hope and encouragement. Thanks.

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@shirleyperkins

Appreciating all the input. Five years ago I had open heart sugery for a valve replacement. I was sent home on Lisinopril and Carvedilol. Over the years I had a lot of side effects and never felt well. Both meds had dizziness as a side effect and a year ago I started having dizzy spells. So, last May I weaned myself off of the Lisinopril.My blood pressure actually went DOWN without it and I had no withrawal symptoms at all so I stayed off it. But, I kept having dizzy spells almost on a daily basis. Over the five years on carvedilol my blood sugar gradually climbed more than 100 points and I gained close to 30 pounds, Then I read that it should never be taken by a diabetic or by anyone over 65. Because of the dizzy spells I stopped driving or going to stores alone.I finally decided to wean myself off this carvedilol so I started cutting it in half and then in thirds and 12 days ago I got down to zero. My withdrawal syptoms are anxiety, sometimes shaky, faster heart rate (although not terribly high)and hungry more often. I assume this is because my metabolism has speeded up.The good news is no more dizzy spells. I am hoping there has been no permanant damage to my heart or my pancreas and that I can start feeling great for a change. I am just wondering how long the effects of this drug (poison)are going to last. I need some hope and encouragement. Thanks.

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@shirleyperkins, Maybe you went too fast in your wean-off? Bear with it for a little while, maybe the next week make an appointment with your doctor to ask about your current symptoms.

Did not know Carvedilol should not be used due to its tendency to make diabetic problems.

Have wondered why I can’t lose weight. Had been down about 20 pounds after quad bypass then began gaining weight after I was on it for about a month. Went up those 20 pounds again. Glad you posted.

Will see what happens when I am finally completely off it.

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@peach414144

peach here. do not know where to post this but here goes: cannot find much information on the internet for “black blood” all i can find is low oxygen in the blood. wouldn’t the veins and the valves be involved as well? there has not been any investigation into this or i cannot find it, the last 2 blood draws (on 2 different arms) were black. even the phlebotomist remarked on this. i know i have severe anemia. very low b-12. it is good to keep up with the health issues. ???? any help will be greatly appreciated and thank you.

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Have you had an iron reading? Might be too much of it. Is your blood thicker than that of earlier times? Do you possibly have other diseases you are currently NOT aware of? That Black Blood term is the name of an MRI type of imaging done in Europe.
https://www.usa.philips.com/healthcare/education-resources/publications/fieldstrength/black-blood-mri-imaging

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Hi everyone I have a question about Carvedilol I hope someone can help me with. I have taken a 3.125mg pill for about 2 weeks (maybe a little more) and I went out of town for Christmas and forgot the pills at home I was completely fine until the day after Christmas I had the worse anxiety attack i ever had right before going to bed. It was so horrible and it was not due to stress or anything so after reading some post it looks like not taking the pill has caused it. It has been almost a week since my real bad anxiety attack but between them I have had small ones and I can feel it just lingering around. Has anyone else had this happen? If so when will it stop I really thought I had to go to the hospital one night.

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