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.

@floridawilbur

Hello. There was no plan to taper off. He said to stop taking the coreg and start the new prescription the next day.

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Hi, @floridawilbur. Sorry to hear that you've been left in the lurch by a doctor's switch in hypertension medication away from Carvedilol to Chlorthalidone. I've been on Carvedilol for several years, but almost from the beginning at the same dosage as now (25mg twice a day). So I don't have personal experience with the side effects you mentioned — and which several dozen Connect members have posted sad experiences with abrupt reduction or termination in the dosage. As a hypertension victim, I've been on over a dozen different medications over the years, Chlorthalidone included, but that diuretic was replaced with a unique potassium-sparing diuretic (Amiloride) when my inherited kidney problem was discovered (they dump potassium and don't reclaim it). I had the good fortune of being referred to a nephrologist by my medical team, and that led to detailed tests of my blood and hormones by an endocrinologist, working with my nephrologist. They figured me out, and their therapy for me was way different from what I was offered by a series of cardiologists. I can't imagine life without a good nephrologist to turn to when my BP wanders off its safe level or a primary care physician who recognizes the role of hormones in hypertension. Perhaps those specialties could be helpful to you as well. Martin

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I had an HA 4 years ago and I have a stent placed in LAD. Due to discrepancies with my cardiologist about the medicines I was taking and his insistence on doing a stress test and anticipating the results indicating a possible operation, I decided to go to another hospital for a second opinion.
After a rigorous check-up my new cardiologist recommended (did not order) to discontinue the use of coreg. I told him that I was scared because I had read that it is extremely dangerous. He told me that "there is no scientific evidence that the use of coreg is justified beyond a reasonable time after HA"
Due to the confinement due to COVID-19 and from what I heard about stopping the consumption of Coreg "cold turkey" I continued taking it for a while until I finally got tired of so much fear and uncertainty. I finally stopped taking it more than 6 months ago and apparently everything is fine with me. I am currently taking carvedilol once a day. My blood pressure is stable 117/77 and I have no negative symptoms. My oxygen saturation is stable at 97% with peaks of 98%, rarely less than 96%.
I am not making recommendations, just narrating how it benefited me to leave fear behind and take responsibility for my own health.
Someday I'll tell my full story here. Good luck to all and #Takecare.

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@delatorre27421

I had an HA 4 years ago and I have a stent placed in LAD. Due to discrepancies with my cardiologist about the medicines I was taking and his insistence on doing a stress test and anticipating the results indicating a possible operation, I decided to go to another hospital for a second opinion.
After a rigorous check-up my new cardiologist recommended (did not order) to discontinue the use of coreg. I told him that I was scared because I had read that it is extremely dangerous. He told me that "there is no scientific evidence that the use of coreg is justified beyond a reasonable time after HA"
Due to the confinement due to COVID-19 and from what I heard about stopping the consumption of Coreg "cold turkey" I continued taking it for a while until I finally got tired of so much fear and uncertainty. I finally stopped taking it more than 6 months ago and apparently everything is fine with me. I am currently taking carvedilol once a day. My blood pressure is stable 117/77 and I have no negative symptoms. My oxygen saturation is stable at 97% with peaks of 98%, rarely less than 96%.
I am not making recommendations, just narrating how it benefited me to leave fear behind and take responsibility for my own health.
Someday I'll tell my full story here. Good luck to all and #Takecare.

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@delatorre27421, a warm welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect and congrats on your first post. I think it's great that you were able to stop your medication without repercussion or side effects.
Did you taper off of the Coreg or did you just stop taking it?

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Hello,
I went to NYU on the January 3rd this year. While I the ER my heart rate was pretty normal. Until the nurse was trying to give me an IV in my right arm. That's when my heart rate shot over 140. I had chills, My body was trembling and shaking and I was extremely cold. After that my heart rate been over 100 since. They put me on carvedilol and that was the worst thing to happen to me. I experience a lot of different types of side effects that I drug. I seen a cardiologist from northwell health. He told me to stop taking that drug. And that was on January the 12th. Then I suffer a panic attack on January the 25th. I made a mistake and took one of the pills. Thinking that was slow my heart rate down. But they gave me even more side effects. I can even say it made the side effects even worser. So I haven't taken a pill since the 25th of January. My heart rate was pretty normal all up until February the 12th. since the 12 my heart rate's been up over a hundred when I'm sitting and when I'm walking. And it's close to my body to twitch. I've also been losing a lot of weight. January 3rd I was 204 lb. Now I weigh 180. I feel discomfort in my chest when I'm sitting down and when I'm walking. I have shortness of breath when walking. I've been having lower back pain and upper back pain also. My jaw feel like it's clinching sometimes.

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@kjnj23

Hello,
I went to NYU on the January 3rd this year. While I the ER my heart rate was pretty normal. Until the nurse was trying to give me an IV in my right arm. That's when my heart rate shot over 140. I had chills, My body was trembling and shaking and I was extremely cold. After that my heart rate been over 100 since. They put me on carvedilol and that was the worst thing to happen to me. I experience a lot of different types of side effects that I drug. I seen a cardiologist from northwell health. He told me to stop taking that drug. And that was on January the 12th. Then I suffer a panic attack on January the 25th. I made a mistake and took one of the pills. Thinking that was slow my heart rate down. But they gave me even more side effects. I can even say it made the side effects even worser. So I haven't taken a pill since the 25th of January. My heart rate was pretty normal all up until February the 12th. since the 12 my heart rate's been up over a hundred when I'm sitting and when I'm walking. And it's close to my body to twitch. I've also been losing a lot of weight. January 3rd I was 204 lb. Now I weigh 180. I feel discomfort in my chest when I'm sitting down and when I'm walking. I have shortness of breath when walking. I've been having lower back pain and upper back pain also. My jaw feel like it's clinching sometimes.

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@kjnj23 From your symptoms you should see your Dr or better yet a cardiologist . There is something the matter from what you have posted on your symptoms . Maybe till then you can just take slow deep breaths Before my by pass the Dr put me on that med one pill and I had similar symptons went of it right away . My case was different from what you are explaining . But do see a cardiologist ,a good one to find out what is going on . I wish you the best .

Liked by kjnj23

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@lioness

@kjnj23 From your symptoms you should see your Dr or better yet a cardiologist . There is something the matter from what you have posted on your symptoms . Maybe till then you can just take slow deep breaths Before my by pass the Dr put me on that med one pill and I had similar symptons went of it right away . My case was different from what you are explaining . But do see a cardiologist ,a good one to find out what is going on . I wish you the best .

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Thank you I'm looking for one.

Liked by lioness

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@kjnj23

Hello,
I went to NYU on the January 3rd this year. While I the ER my heart rate was pretty normal. Until the nurse was trying to give me an IV in my right arm. That's when my heart rate shot over 140. I had chills, My body was trembling and shaking and I was extremely cold. After that my heart rate been over 100 since. They put me on carvedilol and that was the worst thing to happen to me. I experience a lot of different types of side effects that I drug. I seen a cardiologist from northwell health. He told me to stop taking that drug. And that was on January the 12th. Then I suffer a panic attack on January the 25th. I made a mistake and took one of the pills. Thinking that was slow my heart rate down. But they gave me even more side effects. I can even say it made the side effects even worser. So I haven't taken a pill since the 25th of January. My heart rate was pretty normal all up until February the 12th. since the 12 my heart rate's been up over a hundred when I'm sitting and when I'm walking. And it's close to my body to twitch. I've also been losing a lot of weight. January 3rd I was 204 lb. Now I weigh 180. I feel discomfort in my chest when I'm sitting down and when I'm walking. I have shortness of breath when walking. I've been having lower back pain and upper back pain also. My jaw feel like it's clinching sometimes.

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Hi @kjnj23. Welcome to Mayo Connect. I'm sticking my nose in after seeing your reference to Carvedilol, the well-known beta blocker. I have a lot of experience with that medication over the past five years. Most important, with these beta blockers, I have learned — from my experience and lots of other Mayo Connect members — that abruptly stopping them often causes significant after-effects. Careful doctors usually urged us to phase down the use of Carvedilol — cut the dosage somewhat in each of several changes and/or spread them out to longer and longer durations between pills. Your doctor will want to help you manage phase-down from beginning to end, so it's important to stay in touch with the doctor's office.

I hope you can focus in on two areas of your condition that you didn't say much about and take them up with a really good Personal Care Physician (PCP). The first of those is the reason you went to the ER back on January 3rd; any advice you receive should be based in part on that information. Second, your weight loss since January 3rd might benefit from diagnosis by a PCP who can refer you to treatments beyond those provided by cardiologists, if the other physicians would be helpful. Have you resumed examination by your medical team? Are you feeling better now, despite the wintry weather that may be interfering with your need for medical care? Martin

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