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  • Atenolol questions

    Good morning everyone:

    My daughter, Olivia, was prescribed 50mg of atenolol daily when she saw the specialist in Toronto last month. I have been careful to be certain that she remembers to take it each morning at breakfast, and so far, except for feeling absolutely exhausted for the first 10 days or so, she has done well with it.

    Yesterday morning was our school's walkathon (10km), and I didn't feel it would be advisable for her to do the walk since some of it is cross country,with a couple of steep hills, so I left her sleeping at home while my FIL watched our youngest (my husband is still at a conference). Although I had reminded dad that she needed to take her medication, it was forgotten until about 10:00 last night, when she looked at me with wide eyes and said, "I forgot to take my medicine."

    I phoned a local pharmacy and spoke with the pharmacist who consulted her manual and told me that it would be ok to give her the dose provided it was more than eight hours to the next dose. Since it was, I medicated her. About an hour and a half later, she came into my room, and told me her heart had just gone "ka-thunk" like it had when they caught the arrhythmia on her holter last month. Really had me concerned!

    Was this because of the delayed dose, or was it a coincidental correlation? I'm still really new at dealing with her meds. How do those of you who are on atenolol handle a missed dose? Is it more dangerous to give her the dose late, or to wait until the next scheduled dose?

    Thanks for your insights.

    Abby

  • #2
    Re: Atenolol questions

    Abby, it could be a lot of things. It might have been suppressed if she'd had her meds on time, but if she was really tired she might have had that feeling anyway. Just do your best to keep the meds at the same time every day. That will help a lot.

    Reenie
    Reenie

    ****************
    Husband has HCM.
    3 kids - ages 23, 21, & 19. All presently clear of HCM.

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    • #3
      Re: Atenolol questions

      I will feel "ka-thunks" before my next dose is due as the medication is wearing off. The beta-blocker may have just been hitting her system. It is normal for HCM to have a flutter here and there. If it didn't go away, then it would be doctor time.

      It is also important to understand that with betablockers, not taking them can make you feel worse. It is called a rebound effect. Please talk to your daughter about what you can do to help her remember to take her meds as if she is old enough to be left home alone, she is old enough to learn how to take her pills by herself.

      take care,

      S

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      • #4
        Re: Atenolol questions

        Well, duh, I am also old enough to remember to take my own meds, but I forgot yesterday them all (including a beta blocker) because a girl came to our house for me to help her with writing and then her father came for us to help revise a paper for publication and it just got forgotten until late last night. I was wondering why I was feeling more weird beats than usual by afternoon, but it was not so strange that I realized what I had done until I went to take my night meds and there they were! I took them then, but I continued to have some weird rhythms until about noon today. So, yes, missing a dose and taking it that late can be a problem but maybe not a serious one.

        Rhoda

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        • #5
          Re: Atenolol questions

          Hi Abby,

          It is always preferable to take your medications at the same time every day, - however life happens.

          At the present time I am on 16 medications. Most I take one a day, a few are twice a day and one is three times a day. I’ve been an adult lo these many years, and you’d think I’d remember to take my medications, but sometimes I forget. I mean, I take a shot of insulin just before every meal – you’d think I’d remember – and sometimes I forget to take the handful of evening pills until I wake up the next morning. My wife also takes a mess of pills, and sometimes forgets too.

          It doesn’t really happen all that often, but it does happen. We are humans after all and not automatons. The best you can do is the best you can do. If you ever figure out a method of always knowing when to take your meds, please let me know as I can sure use the help.

          I have read a number of times over the years a few different guidelines. Generally they say to divide the time between doses in half, and if you’re in the first half, take the med. Another says to divide the time into thirds, and if you’re in the first two thirds, then take the med. (That’s where the once a day dose / 8 hours came from.)

          The method I use is to take the med as soon as I become aware of the missed dose – to get coverage as quickly as possible. If I have to, I will delay the next dose so that I don’t become overmedicated, and return to the normal timetable for the dose after that.

          If you read the literature that comes with the medication it will almost always tell you what to do when you miss a dose. If you don’t have the literature, you can ask your pharmacist for a copy the next time you fill the prescription, or you can look it up on the computer – which is easier to read than that flimsy paper copy with the teeny tiny print.
          Burt

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          • #6
            Re: Atenolol questions

            This is why I take my meds at night. I was always forgetting to take them in the a.m. Since I have switched times, I have not forgotten once. However the down side is I feel like **** most of the day especially late afternoon, early evening- until I take my meds. In fact tonight I took them an hour early because I was getting so many uncomfortable beats and flip flops etc. Now(Its been 3 hours since taking my meds) I feel MUCH better. I should see if I can take divided doses, morning and night...or afternoon and night.

            Don't worry too much about the missed dose, just make sure she takes it as soon as you/she remembers(as long as there will be enough time before the next dose). Let us know how she is making out.

            Take care
            Pam
            It's not what you gather, but what you scatter that tells what kind of life you have lived.

            Dx in Feb/99. Obstructed. No ICD, no surgeries, no family history. 2 sons ages 14 and 6.

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            • #7
              Re: Atenolol questions

              I've been taking medication daily for 22 years but even I walked out of the house one day two weeks ago without having taken my pills.

              However, I keep a supply of pills in my purse and office for situations like that.

              Also, when I used to take very time sensitive meds, I kept a set of pill boexs (the kind that comes in a tray, seven boxes for the week with 4 sections for each daily box) and once a month I would fill them and keep them in the kitchen by my breakfast.

              (Did you all know that the bathroom is too humid to keep your medication safely?)

              S

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              • #8
                Re: Atenolol questions

                Thanks everyone for your replies.

                We're still adjusting to our new normal, and until we are more familiar with her meds, its side effects, even what is normal for Olivia's HCM, we'll have a million questions. Olivia is a very responsible girl, and I have no doubt that taking the atenolol will become second nature to her, however, in these early days, being off schedule is apt to make us forget, and now, at the end of the school year with field trips and special events, the schedule is anything but normal. Her class trip had been Thursday and Friday of last week, and I know she was extra tired, so that probably played into things as well.

                Aside from that one "ka-thunk" she seemed ok with the late dosing....I was just laying awake trying to figure out how I could do a hospital run in the middle of the night with four young children. Olivia felt well yesterday, although she was really tired...today as well. After Friday (last day of school) she'll be able to sleep in. In the mean time she'll just have to learn to rest when she's tired and go to bed a bit early.

                We'll be seeing the EP in Toronto on Thursday to begin the ICD process. Olivia's "ka-thunks" will be a bit less disturbing once that is in place.

                I hope everyone has a great day.

                Abby

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