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.

@strmalik Remember, Everyone is different. I quit cold turkey, and never had a problem.

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@strmalik

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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@strmalik, welcome to Mayo Connect. I’m glad you found us, and I’m sorry to hear about your bad experiences after abruptly stopping Carvedilol, but I’m not surprised. Many patients on Carvedilol have unexpected side effects if they quit taking the medication or phase out of it too fast. I hope you’ll consider calling your prescribing doctor right away and reporting the symptoms you describe.

A new medication comes with a comprehensive label (3-6 typewritten pages) that has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. I just renewed my Carvedilol prescription, and my pharmacy included the latest, dated July 7, 2017.

Right at the top is the following “Warning: Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor. Some conditions may become worse when you suddenly stop this drug . . . If your doctor decides you should no longer use this drug, he or she may direct you to gradually decrease your dose over 1 to 2 weeks . . . (When doing so) it is recommended that you temporarily limit physical activity to decrease strain on the heart.”

Under Side Effects, the label advises “Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects,” including 10 symptoms, the 9th of which is “mental/mood changes (such as confusion, depression).”

FYI, I have been on Carvedilol for two years for treatment of high blood pressure and atrial fibrillation. I have had no significant side effects despite dosage of 25mg twice a day, but I have always taken it on time and never thought of quitting.

If you don’t have access to a comprehensive label for your Carvedilol medication, get back to me here and I will track down a web site to provide it for you. Martin

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@strmalik

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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Thank you for the reply

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@oldkarl

@strmalik Remember, Everyone is different. I quit cold turkey, and never had a problem.

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I stopped cause I was out of town not a good excuse but the effects of not having it was scary to me. I’m glad you didn’t have any issues

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Hi I have been on Coreg for over a year now. Seemed to work better with less side affects then metoprolol.but after about 4 months started getting dizziness and occasionally a very sharp pain under my right rib.Last 2 months dizziness has been almost constant. Switched to toprol xl and then generic coreg(Carvedilol).No change so per doc weaned off ALL meds.I was on low dose of lisinopril. But after 4 days my hands are shaky! So now I called doc and told him via voicemail I’m going bk on. Can’t take the shaking.havent heard bk as of 5 hrs ago but will let you know. Vicious cycle these drugs!,,

Liked by strmalik

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@shawn2018

Hi I have been on Coreg for over a year now. Seemed to work better with less side affects then metoprolol.but after about 4 months started getting dizziness and occasionally a very sharp pain under my right rib.Last 2 months dizziness has been almost constant. Switched to toprol xl and then generic coreg(Carvedilol).No change so per doc weaned off ALL meds.I was on low dose of lisinopril. But after 4 days my hands are shaky! So now I called doc and told him via voicemail I’m going bk on. Can’t take the shaking.havent heard bk as of 5 hrs ago but will let you know. Vicious cycle these drugs!,,

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@shawn2018
Thanks for sharing your situation.
I was on a very low dose (3.125 X2/day) carvedilol from July 2015 until finally I weaned off by November 2017. I had migraines each time I tried to wean off. So, someone here made the suggestion, and I can’t recall who it was, that weaning off very slowly might be what I needed to do. So, over 14 weeks I decreased the carvedilol by one more dose each week. I had to use a calendar to keep track, but I omitted one dose on Sunday evening the first week. The next week I omitted the Sunday & Monday Evening doses. And continued to omit an additional dose each week.

On the 8th week, I took none in the evenings, and omitted the Sunday Morning dose, then the 9th week I omitted the Sunday and Monday morning doses until I was completely off the entire drug.

Metoprolol was bad for me. It seemed to drop my heart rate severely. Though Carvedilol also did I kept taking it due to the migraines. When I was completely off the stuff I found my heart rate had risen from a low of 36 at night to a low of 38 at night. I no longer have the migraines, but I had to increase my Losartin from 25 Mg to 50 Mg as I noticed a rise from 131 to 140 in my top number of my blood pressure readings.

I do hope sharing my experience will help you to decide what is the best method for you. Be sure to check you blood pressure readings everyday at about the same time as the beta blockers can help keep your blood pressure lowered.

Eileena

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@shawn2018

Hi I have been on Coreg for over a year now. Seemed to work better with less side affects then metoprolol.but after about 4 months started getting dizziness and occasionally a very sharp pain under my right rib.Last 2 months dizziness has been almost constant. Switched to toprol xl and then generic coreg(Carvedilol).No change so per doc weaned off ALL meds.I was on low dose of lisinopril. But after 4 days my hands are shaky! So now I called doc and told him via voicemail I’m going bk on. Can’t take the shaking.havent heard bk as of 5 hrs ago but will let you know. Vicious cycle these drugs!,,

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Thanks, @eileena, for this piece of your diary. I’m sure @shawn2018 will appreciate it. As a long-time user of Carvedilol, permit me to add some advice from the Food and Drug Administration label for Carvedilol: “WARNING: Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor. Some conditions may become worse . . .

“If your doctor decides you should no longer use this drug, he or she may direct you to gradually decrease your dose over 1 to 2 weeks . . . (and) temporarily limit physical activity.”

My point is the importance of tightly coordinating this with your doctor.

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@shawn2018

Hi I have been on Coreg for over a year now. Seemed to work better with less side affects then metoprolol.but after about 4 months started getting dizziness and occasionally a very sharp pain under my right rib.Last 2 months dizziness has been almost constant. Switched to toprol xl and then generic coreg(Carvedilol).No change so per doc weaned off ALL meds.I was on low dose of lisinopril. But after 4 days my hands are shaky! So now I called doc and told him via voicemail I’m going bk on. Can’t take the shaking.havent heard bk as of 5 hrs ago but will let you know. Vicious cycle these drugs!,,

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I hope all is ok

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@strmalik

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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@predictable ,
I wanted to let you know it is not really advisable to assume a person has NOT had consultation with her physician prior to weaning off a medication. It is in fact downright insulting.
A year prior to finally figuring out that MY body needed a far
more gradual withdrawal from this med than most who could get off this med in one to two weeks my doctor gave me his blessing and advised me to take the route you cited from the manufacturer. I made 2 different approaches, both after consulting with my doctor and BOTH times I was affected by migraines.
It was on some input by others that I took the path I took and tapered it off very slowly always alert to the possible recurrence of migraines.
My doctor was pleased and as
he said the tiny dose I was on should not have been as effective as it was
Now I’ve said all that to advise you NOT to assume YOU know everything about the situations of others here.
Thank you for your attempt at circumventing my own doctors advise. We are all different and our bodies react differently to medications. None of us is a standard model.

REPLY
@strmalik

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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@eileena, my comments weren’t aimed at you, and I made no assumptions about your situation, nor did I give you any advice — especially advice about your doctor’s treatment for you, because I don’t make any judgments about that. In quoting from the Carvedilol label, I thought members who had followed the FDA-suggested path would be glad to have reassurance, and those who had not would find the FDA guidance helpful. Whenever you wish to engage in a street fight, perhaps you’ll consider doing that with a private message rather than a public outburst.

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@strmalik

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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If not aimed at me WHY did you direct your reply to my post? Perhaps you should you should take your own advise and reply privately to others you disagree with?
Also you specifically used my name in your post indicating YOU were picking a “Street fight” with someone who gave input.

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@strmalik

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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In simplest terms, @eileena, my brief post intended to “add” some additional information to your post, for the benefit of another member. I did not “disagree” with you or your posting. That you took my posting as making you my target is unfortunate and a surprising assumption on your part. I had no intent of doing that and have never in the past felt that you needed any medical advice from me.

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I got off coreg for 5 days and tremor scared the hell out of me!! 2nd day bk on and shakes have gotten better. Just found out im borderline diabetic and beta blockers apparently block some symptoms of glucose spikes. Im working eith an endocrinologist so we’ll c what happens . I had been having dizzy spells for weeks (bad) so that’s y I wanted to stop beta blockers. My endocrinologist was surped that cardio never checked blood glucose

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@shawn2018

I got off coreg for 5 days and tremor scared the hell out of me!! 2nd day bk on and shakes have gotten better. Just found out im borderline diabetic and beta blockers apparently block some symptoms of glucose spikes. Im working eith an endocrinologist so we’ll c what happens . I had been having dizzy spells for weeks (bad) so that’s y I wanted to stop beta blockers. My endocrinologist was surped that cardio never checked blood glucose

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So good to talk to someone who also has to take these drugs for one reason or another. You would think in this day and age they could come up with something that didn’t have all the side affects.

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@shawn2018

I got off coreg for 5 days and tremor scared the hell out of me!! 2nd day bk on and shakes have gotten better. Just found out im borderline diabetic and beta blockers apparently block some symptoms of glucose spikes. Im working eith an endocrinologist so we’ll c what happens . I had been having dizzy spells for weeks (bad) so that’s y I wanted to stop beta blockers. My endocrinologist was surped that cardio never checked blood glucose

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Glad we can be helpful in your attempts to be healthy. Every time I see ads on TV for different medications they give warnings for all side effects. Everything had some.

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