• This topic has 20 replies, 11 voices, and was last updated 2 years ago by DezB.
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  • Beta blockers and exercise
  • Premier Icon sssimon
    Free Member

    Hello

    Just started a course or Beta Blockers to help with anxiety and stress related headaches and back and shoulder issues.

    Usually my go to self treatment is running or cycling but since beginning treatment I can’t seem to “get going”. I know Beta blockers reduce heart rate which at the moment is definitely helping but has anyone any experience of how to get past the heavy sluggish feeling when I try to exercise?

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Full Member

    Yep, they act like a rev limiter on your heart, so you will find exercise quite hard and only be able to access a certain percentage of your aerobic capacity.

    Premier Icon sssimon
    Free Member

    Hnmmm, that’s exactly the feeling, like my engine management light is on and I’m down on power ☹️

    Premier Icon submarined
    Full Member

    I had a real issue with Propanolol, not so much in that it limited exertion, more that it limited the buzz I got from riding, like it muted the enjoyment. It was one of the main reasons I looked weather for migraine treatment.

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Full Member

    I was on Propanolol briefly, did bugger all for my anxiety but stopped me riding a bike at more than 5 mph…

    Premier Icon ton
    Free Member

    I was on beta blockers for around 4 years whilst poorly with my heart.
    all the time I kept exercising. but I found it like riding through mud constantly.
    or like I was a pressure cooking, gently coming to the boil, before passing out as I reached the boil……….. ;o)

    Premier Icon DezB
    Full Member

    The only answer I’ve found for riding .. is uplifts (trucks, not drugs!)

    Apart from that, just get used to be slower on the climbs.

    Premier Icon ton
    Free Member

    is uplifts (trucks, not drugs!)

    I organised 4 uplift days on here whilst on beta blockers.
    I thought it would be easier, but I was wrong. I passed out at the bottom of revolution bike park, and crashed into a van. such fun……. ;o)

    Premier Icon sssimon
    Free Member

    I was on Propanolol briefly, did bugger all for my anxiety but stopped me riding a bike at more than 5 mph…

    Frustratingly it does seem to be helping with the feeling of shear panic and worry so short term I feel like I need to stick with it but I couldn’t contemplate the sluggishness being my long term state.

    I’m not exactly a finely honed athlete but I’m a mid pack, mix it with the masses type. Yesterday I was just lucky to get round I think

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Full Member

    Frustratingly it does seem to be helping with the feeling of shear panic and worry so short term I feel like I need to stick with it but I couldn’t contemplate the sluggishness being my long term state.

    I switched to SSRIs which don’t affect exercise.

    Premier Icon sssimon
    Free Member

    Ssri in the past left me barely able to function, this was an alternative route offered but at this stage I’m just not sure whet to do as if I feel I can’t exercise I’ll be in more of a downward trajectory. I’ve been stressed and anxious bit in all honesty I’ve not been depressed

    Premier Icon alanf
    Free Member

    I’m on Bisoprolol (following an MI) and to be honest it doesn’t seem to adversely affect me.
    I run more than cycle but neither seem to be limited in my capacity to push and work.

    Maybe ask for a switch to a different type to see if that helps?

    Premier Icon MSP
    Full Member

    Also on Bisoprolol, and while my heart rate is a good 20+ bpm lower than normal for a perceived exertion level, it is only on my heart rate monitor that I notice it.

    That is prescribed as I had afib and flutter, so the docs want to slow my heart rate to restore the heart muscle. May not be a suitable drug for anxiety.

    Premier Icon neilnevill
    Free Member

    Timely thread. Just handed over a script for propanolol… Feeling very anxious.

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Full Member

    Ssri in the past left me barely able to function, this was an alternative route offered but at this stage I’m just not sure whet to do as if I feel I can’t exercise I’ll be in more of a downward trajectory. I’ve been stressed and anxious bit in all honesty I’ve not been depressed

    You could try CBT Therapy for the anxiety? Possibly not easily available on the NHS, but you should be able to find someone if you can afford £40-£50 a session?

    You could try reducing the BB dose or ask the doc for an alternate BB and see if that behaves differently. As with SSRIs, not everyone responds the same way…

    Premier Icon sssimon
    Free Member

    CBT is already underway. Had 2 or first 6 sessions, I’d been referred about 6 weeks ago and was shocked at how quickly the appointments were available. The medication route has been a hard choice to try and break the cycle of worry and panic. The first CBT session floored me as I thought I was a bit stressed but now I realize I’ve been ill for a while and I’ve destroyed myself trying to work around it.

    Hoping a few weeks and I can maybe try a lower dose of propranolol and get a balance back.

    Great to know there’s a world of usefull advice on here as ever though.

    Premier Icon TheFlyingOx
    Full Member

    I’m on Bisoprolol (following an MI) and to be honest it doesn’t seem to adversely affect me.
    I run more than cycle but neither seem to be limited in my capacity to push and work.

    Maybe ask for a switch to a different type to see if that helps?

    Yup, I’m on bisoprolol and flecainide for AF. Ran my fastest ever mile today as part of a longer run. The only difference I notice is my resting heart rate is a lot lower, I still manage to get into the 170s when I’m really exerting myself.

    Whether or not bisoprolol is suitable for your particular diagnosis I have no idea but it can’t hurt to ask the GP.

    Premier Icon bigdean
    Full Member

    On propronol for a few years now slowly increasing dose.
    Have been doing the zwift 10wk ftp builder fof the last 7 weeks and started swimming, mainly to battle start of term stress.
    So far heart rate hasn’t gone above 135bpm it seems to be taking an age to get towards 200w (just over 2w/kg).
    If i push and work hard i get exertion headaches.

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Full Member

    CBT is already underway. Had 2 or first 6 sessions, I’d been referred about 6 weeks ago and was shocked at how quickly the appointments were available. The medication route has been a hard choice to try and break the cycle of worry and panic. The first CBT session floored me as I thought I was a bit stressed but now I realize I’ve been ill for a while and I’ve destroyed myself trying to work around it.

    Sounds familiar. When I got really ill (and then better) I realised that I had had an angst prone personality all my life and just considered it normal. Now, on SSRIs, I’m probably much more ‘normal’ and definitely less angst prone.

    As with any journey, CBT won’t be a straight line, they’ll be ups and downs you’ll go a few steps forwards and sometimes one or two back. But it’s proven to benefit people, so definitely worth sticking with.

    Premier Icon handybar
    Free Member

    I was on them once and yes they had a big effect on my ability to exercise, legs just felt dead. Maybe think of them as a short term thing to help you balance the boat whilst the CBT will give you the tools in the future; on CBT, I recommend an App you can add to your phone called CatchIt, which you use to redescribe your negative thoughts.

    Premier Icon DezB
    Full Member

    Interesting about the running – apart from taking longer to warm up, I can still run around refereeing in rugby without any adverse effects from the Bisprolol.

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