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Another Verapamil Question

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Pam Alexson single mother of 3 wonderful young adults;a special ed teacher, an RN and a senior accountant. Find out more about Pam Alexson
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  • Another Verapamil Question

    I have been taking Verapamil 120mgs ( new for me) for 2 weeks now and I am feeling increasingly tired , lethargic ,poor energy and I don't feel it has stopped the problem with chest pain; the reason I was started on it. I had yet another incident where the chest pain was so bad that I contemplated taking my nitro but deferred because in the past it only seemed to cause more problems. Maybe now with my obtruction removed it would work better ? I don't know. I did after waiting it out and then not being able to even fall asleep take an additional 1/2 dose, 50mgs of atenolol. What is anyones opinion on this. That extra 1/2 dose did do the trick and the chest pain was gone in about 20 minutes. This is the second time I have had to do this. Most of the chest pain I get is not as intense and goes away fairly quickly. I know I need to call Boston but in the meantime has anyone had same effect, problem or response? Thank you in advance. Pam
    Dx @ 47 with HOCM & HF:11/00
    Guidant ICD:Mar.01, Recalled/replaced:6/05 w/ Medtronic device
    Lead failure,replaced 12/06.
    SF lead recall:07,extracted leads and new device 2012
    [email protected] Tufts, Boston:10/5/03; age 50. ( [email protected] 240 mmHg ++)
    Paroxysmal A-Fib: 06-07,2010 controlled w/sotalol dosing
    Genetic mutation 4/09, mother(d), brother, son, gene+
    Mother of 3, grandma of 3:Tim,27,Sarah,33w/6 y/o old Sophia, 5 y/o Jack, Laura 34, w/ 5 y/o old Benjamin

  • #2
    Re: Another Verapamil Question

    I've taken an extra 50mg or so of Atenolol when i felt i needed it, mostly for tachycardia episodes. I'm not sure if you're supposed to really do that, but it's pretty fast-acting and calms my heart down right away. I just always make sure to monitor my heartrate and blood pressure to make sure i haven't taken too much. I'm on 200mg daily now anyway, so an extra 50mg probably isn't going to hurt me
    "Some days you're the dog... some days you're the hydrant."

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Another Verapamil Question

      It’s interesting that taking an extra dose of Atenolol can remedy an episode of angina or tachycardia. I wonder if that is an indication of a need to have your current dosages adjusted. I know I have to be very careful of the stuff as I also have a renal condition.

      I would suggest checking with your cardiologists about possibly adjusting the medication and avoiding the problem in the first place. An overdose can do some ‘interesting’ things to your BP & pulse rate, so please be careful.
      Burt

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Another Verapamil Question

        Thanks Jim & Burton, Still having a problem and all the cardiologists are at the convention with Lisa. At this point I have tried my NTG and it worked for a short time ,20 min. but the cp is back and feels like a burning aching stiff sensation in my chest. This is a familiar feeling I had in the old days before myectomy. I talked it over with Celeste and said if it worsens I'll call my pcp & go to the dreaded ER. I still feel strongly that either the dose of the veramamil is not high enough or the atenolol has to go up. Yes Burt Atenolol is used for lowering the pulse and Bp thereby softening the heart beat and for cp. With that Jim's heart rate comes down and the tachy part disipates. Did anyone know also that Atenolol can deplete the stores of Co-q10 in the body? Read that in the nurse teaching part of my drug ref. book last night. Maybe that is why people always say they feel better on Co-q10. Thanks, Pam
        Dx @ 47 with HOCM & HF:11/00
        Guidant ICD:Mar.01, Recalled/replaced:6/05 w/ Medtronic device
        Lead failure,replaced 12/06.
        SF lead recall:07,extracted leads and new device 2012
        [email protected] Tufts, Boston:10/5/03; age 50. ( [email protected] 240 mmHg ++)
        Paroxysmal A-Fib: 06-07,2010 controlled w/sotalol dosing
        Genetic mutation 4/09, mother(d), brother, son, gene+
        Mother of 3, grandma of 3:Tim,27,Sarah,33w/6 y/o old Sophia, 5 y/o Jack, Laura 34, w/ 5 y/o old Benjamin

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Another Verapamil Question

          Burton,

          You bring up a good point... and i do understand your reasoning that if we are needing to take an extra 50mg every now and then to control our symptoms, then our regular dosages should probably be adjusted accordingly.

          My doctor has already told me to increase my Atenolol to 250mg per day, but honestly, i'm really beginning to notice some serious ongoing side-effects from the high doses of beta blockers.

          My current strategy is this... i try to live with as many HCM symptoms as i reasonably can (and still function), on the lowest dosage of Atenolol that i can reasonably take, which right now is 200mg. If on a particular day i find i need the extra 50mg, i take it. I'm still not exceeding the dose that my doctor recommended, and i make sure to check my heartrate and blood pressure when i do that.

          I hope that made some sense... it did in my head anyway

          Thanks,

          Jim
          "Some days you're the dog... some days you're the hydrant."

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Another Verapamil Question

            Hi Jim and Pam,
            There’s also problems incurred when the daily dose of a medication fluctuates up and down from day to day. Let’s face it; these drugs were designed to be kept at a steady level in your bloodstream. “Minor” adjustments from time to time should be fairly well tolerated, but bouncing up and down frequently is not the best of scenarios – nor is beating yourself up and living with pain unnecessarily.

            I felt the same way about narcotics. I didn’t want to use them unless absolutely necessary. I felt that if I used the stuff too often, when I really needed it, it wouldn’t be as effective. I’ve since learned that sometimes their use is better then gritting your teeth and bearing it. There is a happy medium, while still avoiding the possibility of getting hooked.

            I took the long way around getting here, but I still feel you should work closely with your doctor to achieve the best mix to give you both comfort and optimum control. Now, if you look closely, you will see me get off my soapbox and move off into the crowd.
            Take care - Burt

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Another Verapamil Question

              just thought I would join in here...

              I've been on Verapamil for about one month now. So far, it has been controlling my A-fib episodes...that's the main reason for being on it. I have stopped taking atenolol....I don't think it was doing much of anything for a long while before....still had SOB sometimes...The verapamil has actually given me more energy and can go up a flight of stairs with no problem. The only problem I'm having is a LOT of "skipped" (premature) beats and it's driving me crazy!!!! I have an appt. on March 16 at NEMC. Anxious to see what they have to say about the event monitor readings they've received...the only times I called in to record was these #$%@ skipped beats. I hope it's just a matter of adjusting my med
              \"It is not length of life, but depth of life.\"

              Ralph Waldo Emerson

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Another Verapamil Question

                I wanted to add that since I've been on 120 mg. of verapamil, my pulse has gone from 50 bpm to 70 bpm. I informed my doctor a few weeks ago and he said that was o.k. I thought verapamil slowed it down? I can feel my heart beating more so that before I took it. Just phoned in another recording...these extra beats are driving me crazy
                \"It is not length of life, but depth of life.\"

                Ralph Waldo Emerson

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Another Verapamil Question

                  Just to show you how the waters part differently for each of us, I had to stop the Verapamil this week after being on it for 3 plus weeks . It was making me feel a little worse for the wear sort of like the cardizem made me feel in the past so it may just be that calcium channel blockers and me don't mix well. My face was flushing more and more each day and the extra beats were getting worse my heart rate was up for me and the chest pain was at times agonizing , the chest pain was why I was started on it. Since off it and increased to 150 mgs of atenolol I feel so much better. No chest pain and the extra beats are gone and the flushing gone the higher pulse down and I had some weird sensations in my head like I wasn't all there or disconnected somehow now gone. Not that I was ever all there! And this could all just be for now . My chest pain is like that, here sometimes all day then puff gone for a few days, we'll see. But Dr. Maron said to go back up on 200 mgs atenolol if I have to like I was from 11-2000 to 5-2003. Who can figure how different our needs are and then how they change and how similar they are at times? Figured I'd add the latest. Pam
                  Dx @ 47 with HOCM & HF:11/00
                  Guidant ICD:Mar.01, Recalled/replaced:6/05 w/ Medtronic device
                  Lead failure,replaced 12/06.
                  SF lead recall:07,extracted leads and new device 2012
                  [email protected] Tufts, Boston:10/5/03; age 50. ( [email protected] 240 mmHg ++)
                  Paroxysmal A-Fib: 06-07,2010 controlled w/sotalol dosing
                  Genetic mutation 4/09, mother(d), brother, son, gene+
                  Mother of 3, grandma of 3:Tim,27,Sarah,33w/6 y/o old Sophia, 5 y/o Jack, Laura 34, w/ 5 y/o old Benjamin

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Another Verapamil Question

                    thanks for your input, Pam.

                    I have been having flushed cheeks now that you mention the "flush"! Rosy red cheeks...now that explains it! I have been doing well with it but have been getting a LOT more extra beats. I'm on it because I have a-fib. If it weren't for the extra beats I would be fine. I'll have to see what Dr. Maron & Link say...at least they have the event monitor results for the past month. Maybe they'll add some atenolol for the extra beats, I don't know. I'm not used to a pulse of 70 either and feeling my heart. It's funny, but when I fall asleep and wake up during the night,,I can actually sleep on my LEFT side....I havent in a long time. I seem to get more extra beats about 1-2 hours after I take the verapamil. I'll be seeing them on Tuesday
                    \"It is not length of life, but depth of life.\"

                    Ralph Waldo Emerson

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Another Verapamil Question

                      Cynthia, Good luck at your visit . Maybe all the extra beats will settle down when it is fully titrated . I know most meds usually take at least 4-6 weeks to begin to show solid results that are consistent and for most side effects to dissipate like the flushing of the cheeks ,hopefully this will be so for you. It certainly is a better med for the a-fib then the amiodorone . Let's hope you don't need that in the future. I had a lot of problems with it and am thankfull after being on it for 3 months for my a-fib that they were able to stop it in Jan. It should be fully out of my system by early May or so. They do not anticipate my a-fib returning but you know how things can change with HCM, no guarantees. Take care and enjoy your sleep ; nothing like a restfull sleep in the position we like the most . I know the feeling. Pam
                      Dx @ 47 with HOCM & HF:11/00
                      Guidant ICD:Mar.01, Recalled/replaced:6/05 w/ Medtronic device
                      Lead failure,replaced 12/06.
                      SF lead recall:07,extracted leads and new device 2012
                      [email protected] Tufts, Boston:10/5/03; age 50. ( [email protected] 240 mmHg ++)
                      Paroxysmal A-Fib: 06-07,2010 controlled w/sotalol dosing
                      Genetic mutation 4/09, mother(d), brother, son, gene+
                      Mother of 3, grandma of 3:Tim,27,Sarah,33w/6 y/o old Sophia, 5 y/o Jack, Laura 34, w/ 5 y/o old Benjamin

                      Comment

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