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.

@zany

After reading all these post I am sorry I ever took it . I have only been on it about two weeks and I don’t think I’ll take another dose of the medication…

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I cut back each day until the doctor said stop it had no problems coming off of it.

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@zany

After reading all these post I am sorry I ever took it . I have only been on it about two weeks and I don’t think I’ll take another dose of the medication…

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I will talk to him, I’ve been having a thyroid problem, along with a heart problem & I don’t understand any of these things. I just know it all scares me. At night my readings drop so low so I don’t take it at night. It’s all so confusing to me.

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@barnes123

I quit taking coreg about a month ago I feel like myself again I think it would have killed me if I had not. I could not hardly walk from room to room with out shortness of breath. Now I can do anything and not have any problems. It took me a year to convince my doctor that was what it was. I am not on any thing now. I go back to my doctor in May I guess we will go from there. But my blood pressure has been great.

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I have shortness of breath too now more noticeable. I don’t want to sleep at night because when I do I have nightmares…

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@barnes123

I quit taking coreg about a month ago I feel like myself again I think it would have killed me if I had not. I could not hardly walk from room to room with out shortness of breath. Now I can do anything and not have any problems. It took me a year to convince my doctor that was what it was. I am not on any thing now. I go back to my doctor in May I guess we will go from there. But my blood pressure has been great.

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@zany, please be prepared to get to the Emergency Room if your “readings drop so low.” What readings do you mean?

Carvedilol pills range in dosage from 6.25mg each to 25mg each. Which of these are you taking? How often? You mentioned a thyroid problem, and this could be very important. Are you on thyroid medication? Ask your doctor for a full explanation of that, too.

If you can, take somebody with you to listen to the discussion; that way you’ll have a better chance of reconstructing your doctor’s statements. Finally, if you are uncertain about your doctor’s diagnosis OR advice OR treatment, find another doctor and get a second opinion on every aspect of your situation. Your doctor may even help you with a referral for a second opinion. And get back to us any time that you want to talk about your status or progress. Martin

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@barnes123

I quit taking coreg about a month ago I feel like myself again I think it would have killed me if I had not. I could not hardly walk from room to room with out shortness of breath. Now I can do anything and not have any problems. It took me a year to convince my doctor that was what it was. I am not on any thing now. I go back to my doctor in May I guess we will go from there. But my blood pressure has been great.

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@zany,
@predictable has given great advice. If the shortness of breath gets worse, be prepared to go to the emergency room. Take all your medications with you, your thyroid medication and heart medication along with anything else you’re taking.
Do you have someone with you now or are you alone?

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@zany

After reading all these post I am sorry I ever took it . I have only been on it about two weeks and I don’t think I’ll take another dose of the medication…

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Very dangerous to stop abruptly. I stopped gradually (or what I thought was), and had terrible dizzy spells, one while I was driving…

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@barnes123

I quit taking coreg about a month ago I feel like myself again I think it would have killed me if I had not. I could not hardly walk from room to room with out shortness of breath. Now I can do anything and not have any problems. It took me a year to convince my doctor that was what it was. I am not on any thing now. I go back to my doctor in May I guess we will go from there. But my blood pressure has been great.

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My blood pressure readings at night when I am suppose to take my second Carvedilol 6.25mg are 97/54, 98/71, 107/69 low like that so I don’t take the second Beta Blocker. In
the morning I take Cozaar 100mg an hour later my first Carvedilol 6.25mg I am to take them twice a day the Carvedilol & Cozaar once a day. My original readings were like 210/98, 192/98 etc. very high that’s why I was given the Beta Blocker and a test that showed, “Since the earlier study the degree of underlying left ventricular hypertrophy has increased.”
I have Graves Disease I had to sallow radioactive iodine to kill my gland in 1999 I was hyperthyroidism. I remembered that caused a rapid heartbeat the reason to make me hypothyroidism so they could treat with Synthroid. Apparently 100mcg was too much so now I have been placed on 88 mcg and everything seems to have slowed down The Doctor had taken me up to 12.5 mg Carvedilol twice a day because my blood pressure readings were high and wouldn’t come down.
Now that thyroid medication has been reduced about a week now everything is behaving more normal my nonexistent thyroid, working on synthroid and my heart. I have my endocrinologist talking to my cardiologist she sent him my pertinent health records which he should get tomorrow. Then I will be able to discuss everything with him.
I blame myself for not thinking and remembering the thyroid could have been creating the rapid heartbeat. My family has a history of heart disease so I automatically figured my heart was creating all these problems.
I really think I need the morning Cozaar and maybe the hour later 6.25 mg Carvedilol. But these side effects on Carvedilol worry me….
My endocrinologist started me off on Lisnoprl 20mg back in November because I had high blood pressure readings at her office. It took me awhile to get into the cardiologist and Lisnopril had horrible side effects numbness and tingling in my hands and feet, coughing, sallowing difficulties so when I got into the Cardiologist he gave me Cozaar, then a few weeks ago beta blocker because of my rapid heartbeat. I think we are finally getting all this under control.
My precious daughter, Kelly, died in an automobile accident when she was 17 that was in 1987 and I started having horrible bizarre nightmares with Kelly in them. They were such awful images so I feared going to sleep. I am unsure which medications were creating the nightmares, but I think the higher doses of the Beta Blocker may have been the culprit or my non existent thyroid acting up from too high a dose of synthroid for an extended period of time.
I will be in contact with my doctor on Monday.
These doctors have all these different portals associated with their practices and they expect you to message them, yes it’s handy to message their offices but no one is on the same page. One doctor on a UMPC website another on a AGNH website still another associated with West Penn and two others I have to go too It’s crazy all these places you’d think the insurance companies could bring your doctors under your page on their websites.
I have a rheumatologist because I have rheumatoid Arthritis I take Enbrel shots once a week for that, I feel like a hypochondriac but I really am not, this is about the most I ever discussed my health with anyone. I hate to take any medications period because of the side effects.
Thank you all for listening to me and for your kind words of advise. Sorry this is so long. I depend on my doctors to help me, I studied Art not medicine but I can see now that I am older I need to be more aware of my medical situations and being involved in my treatment. Thanks again….

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@barnes123

I quit taking coreg about a month ago I feel like myself again I think it would have killed me if I had not. I could not hardly walk from room to room with out shortness of breath. Now I can do anything and not have any problems. It took me a year to convince my doctor that was what it was. I am not on any thing now. I go back to my doctor in May I guess we will go from there. But my blood pressure has been great.

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Thank you ever so much for caring and your concern. I share a house with a room mate so I am not alone. After reading your post I did make a list of my medications, dosages, etc and insurance information and I keep my medications in one place and I showed my friend where they are in my bedroom. If the shortness of breath continues and/or gets worse I will go to the emergency room. Thank you. I am 69 years old now and I never had headaches or high blood pressure till just a few months ago. I just have to get my mind wrapped around this new phase of my life, at present I found all these medical problems, and words on medication side effects a little confusing and frightening. Thanks again.

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It may be a good idea to put a list of all of your medications in your wallet. Easy access to any emergency respondents.

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@barnes123

I quit taking coreg about a month ago I feel like myself again I think it would have killed me if I had not. I could not hardly walk from room to room with out shortness of breath. Now I can do anything and not have any problems. It took me a year to convince my doctor that was what it was. I am not on any thing now. I go back to my doctor in May I guess we will go from there. But my blood pressure has been great.

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Great plan @zany. Glad we could help you to be pro-active about your health. These “new phases” of life in our golden years are no picnic.

Liked by zany

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@barnes123

I quit taking coreg about a month ago I feel like myself again I think it would have killed me if I had not. I could not hardly walk from room to room with out shortness of breath. Now I can do anything and not have any problems. It took me a year to convince my doctor that was what it was. I am not on any thing now. I go back to my doctor in May I guess we will go from there. But my blood pressure has been great.

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Thanks for the detail on your situation @zany. It prompts me to offer a few more questions.

Did you know that Lisinopril and Cozaar are very similar medications? They both interfere with angiotensin which is a hormone that constricts arteries; the hormone increases blood pressure, and both medications cut BP. Angiotensin is part of the renin-angiotensin system, which is a major target for drugs that lower blood pressure. Angiotensin also stimulates the release of aldosterone, another hormone which helps govern how the body handles blood pressure.

The connections to Renin and Aldosterone highlight the fact that the kidneys are important factors in my situation (and perhaps yours) and pointed to the need for my medical team to be led by a nephrologist (although both endocrinologists and cardiologists also have a role). Have you had the benefit of consultation or examination by a nephrologist?

What do your doctors tell you about your current need for Cozaar at the high dosage of 100mg per day? Also Carvedilol at the lowest dosage available (6.25mg) twice a day? Could you drop the Carvedilol altogether as unnecessary given your low BP readings at night? (FYI, my Carvedilol is 25mg twice a day with no apparent side effects and stable blood pressure.)

In the background of your hypertension, do your doctors emphasize how important your missing thyroid is and its former symptoms related to Graves Disease? Have you discussed this with your rheumatologist? Graves Disease is an autoimmune disease similar to rheumatoid arthritis. And research tells us that thyroid issues sometimes are ignored when heart problems show up.

I appreciate your frustration over the lack of central medical records and the inability of practitioners in several specialties to share crucial information and to better coordinate their diagnoses and treatment. Perhaps you would find comfort in engaging a comprehensive, holistic medical practice, such as a state university or Mayo Clinic. Let us know if that’s something you’d like to explore.

Liked by zany

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@barnes123

I quit taking coreg about a month ago I feel like myself again I think it would have killed me if I had not. I could not hardly walk from room to room with out shortness of breath. Now I can do anything and not have any problems. It took me a year to convince my doctor that was what it was. I am not on any thing now. I go back to my doctor in May I guess we will go from there. But my blood pressure has been great.

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I never heard of a nephrologist I have a urologist that treats me for kidney stones. Thanks for the description of the blood pressure medications.
I haven’t talked to the doctor about being taken off of or reducing any medications because of the weekend, but I will on Monday. Before I stopped taking the higher dosage of Synthroid my blood pressure was irratic and high which I believe is why all the medications and dosages were prescribed. I don’t think I need The Carvedilol now at all my readings this evening have been 101/65, 105/59 and 113/64 so I definitely don’t think I need any additional medications tonight.
I believe the thyroid Graves Disease caused my heart problems because it took a long time before it was discovered. The doctors when I complained treated me for aniexty and never checked my thyroid I was in hyperthyroidism for a good many years. I always heard my heart beating I thought everyone did so I didn’t realize I shouldn’t so I imagine that couldn’t have been good on my heart. It was amazing how everything quieted down after it was found and properly treated. I never had what the doctors were calling an aniexty attacks again after my thyroid was treated.
All the doctors as of last week are in communications. i have a Medicare HMO Security Blue, therefore my insurance only gives me coverage in my area. so I don’t think I can do what you were saying about a state university or Mayo Clinic.
I will be discussing the valuable information you have given me with my doctor tomorrow..thanks again for your time and consideration on my behalf…

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That’s a good idea too thank you ever so much

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Happy to report I was experiencing a “thyroid storm” created by my thyroid medication that can create fast or slow heart rates as in the case of Graves- tachycardia- fast heart rates as was described to me. Everything has quieted down, my Synthroid has been adjusted. I am backing off of Carvedilol and now only taking Cozaar 25mg once a day. All is well, for now anyways…… Thanks to everyone for helping me…

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@zany

Happy to report I was experiencing a “thyroid storm” created by my thyroid medication that can create fast or slow heart rates as in the case of Graves- tachycardia- fast heart rates as was described to me. Everything has quieted down, my Synthroid has been adjusted. I am backing off of Carvedilol and now only taking Cozaar 25mg once a day. All is well, for now anyways…… Thanks to everyone for helping me…

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I hope everything straightens it self out…best of luck and prayers.

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