Fobbed off by GP? Propranolol content…

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  • Fobbed off by GP? Propranolol content…
  • Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    Old GP used to prescribe Diazepam & Tamizapan for long haul flights.

    New GP removes Tamazepam and substitutes with Propranolol – didn’t work for me on a short flight this year. The explanation is the worry of DVT and the risk of having an unconscious passenger on a plane. I won’t get the Dia/Taz mix again.

    I returned today and questioned the whole thing (whilst also getting a referral for CBT) because I am yet again expected to be on a flight to the US in January. Apparently I was taking the Propranolol incorrectly – instead of 2 hours before the flight I should have been taking the required dose a few days leading up to the fllght.

    I now have trust issues. I could live with the knock-out experience, but I’m not sure the propranolol even with the revised strategy will work, even though she says “you’ll be surprised at the difference”. Thing is, I’ll only have the chance to try it once I’m committed to the January flight.

    So has anyone else used propranolol in the fashion and could reassure me it does indeed work?

    allthegear
    Member

    That’s how propranolol works. You definitely need to take it for several days before it has effect.

    Rachel

    Premier Icon jam bo
    Subscriber

    I’d change jobs if my employers insisted on me doing something I didn’t want to

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    They haven’t Jambo. They’ve asked me if I liked to go. And the Mrs wants a long-haul holiday, so in the interest of parity…

    Premier Icon jam bo
    Subscriber

    And how did that work out last time?

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    And how did that work out last time?

    See the OP for this years flight experience, and the last long haul was with the Dia/Tam combo.

    Premier Icon jam bo
    Subscriber

    because I am yet again expected to be on a flight to the US in January.

    Doesn’t sound much like asking.

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    Don’t frustrate me. That my fault expressing it incorrectly.. I’ve been asked, so lets not draw out a pointless dialogue.

    bikebouy
    Member

    Take the Docs advice, take it beforehand as mentioned.. that’s how those drugs work.

    Trust issues aside, you should really listen sometimes to what people are telling you.. not everyone is out to misplace trust or coerce..

    Premier Icon xora
    Subscriber

    That’s how propranolol works. You definitely need to take it for several days before it has effect.

    This ^^^

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    Trust issues aside, you should really listen sometimes to what people are telling you.. not everyone is out to misplace trust or coerce..

    I appreciate that, but I’m also quite paranoid and I can’t get off for 10hrs once I’ve started the trial…

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    That’s how propranolol works

    Righto, thanks. I had googled this and there are people stating they felt better after a couple of hours, hence I was worried its not working for me.

    Premier Icon geoffj
    Subscriber

    FFS Kryton – AGAIN?
    Have some self respect and get yourself a job where you don’t have to put yourself through this.
    For your own health man.

    wordnumb
    Member

    Have you tried milk?

    Jamie
    Member

    I appreciate that, but I’m also quite paranoid and I can’t get off for 10hrs once I’ve started the trial…

    Try paranoidnolol.

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    geoffj – as stated I’m not being forced to, and I quite like holidays outside of the UK. I ‘d like both to be a less dramatic experience.

    Premier Icon geoffj
    Subscriber

    Mmm defo mixed messages up there ^ about choice, but good luck with whatever you decide.

    peter1979
    Member

    I used to get real bad travel sickness and anxiety when I was a kid travelling in a car, but since I drive everywhere myself it seems to have subsided. Maybe this is a solution?

    I ‘d like both to be a less dramatic experience.

    Unlike these threads?

    Have you tried Proper ‘nana lol ?

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    Seeing as my particular minor mental health issue is treated with hilarity and demeanour on here I think I’ll avoid the **** who consider it fine to do so and not bother to ask on this site in future.

    Thanks to those who at least provided some factual assistance.

    Jamie
    Member

    Don’t flounce, Kryton.

    jambourgie
    Member

    Just to play devils avocado:

    There may be something in what the OP says about being ‘fobbed off’. Perhaps one of STW’s GP’s could offer some insight?

    It’s not the first time I’ve heard about this, and I assume it’s because GP’s are no longer choosing to, or being allowed to prescribe benzodiazapines unless absolutely necessary. With good reason, they’re addictive and sedating. However, used with responsibly and with caution they can be life savers (not literally)

    I used to get a couple of valium’s prescribed for flights. Because as, whilst I wouldn’t say that I’m phobic, I would say I find the whole experience of being stuck in a sealed tube in close-proximity to other people pretty hard work. And I’d stress about it for days beforehand and also drink a load of booze. Those couple of pills just made it all easy.

    Sometime over the last few years I started to get resistance from new GP’s. They’d just be quite condescending and treat you like some kind of free-drugs seeker, like recommending you get therapy instead, or prescribing one 2mg pill, silly peevish things like that. Whereas, if they’d just said “we’re under pressure not to prescribe these anymore” I would of understood.

    In the end, I just bought them off the internet to avoid seeing the doctor. Which is ridiculous from a harm-reduction viewpoint as it’s un-monitored, of unknown quality, and you can buy hundreds at a time. But hey-ho, that’s prohibition.

    For the record: I don’t take anything to fly these days as I’m a lot more chilled in general 8) But I really emphasise with you OP. It’s a horrible feeling and can ruin an entire holiday. And condescending gits telling you to ‘take deep breaths’ can really get on your nerves. But, as others have said – new job man! Then work on your phobia on your own terms.

    Best of luck.

    barkm
    Member

    That’s how propranolol works. You definitely need to take it for several days before it has effect.

    For me it was prescribed to be taken 2-3 hours before the ‘event’ that causes severe anxiety/panic only. I don’t take it any other time, certainly not days before.
    For that it works brilliantly for me, but took a little experimenting to find the correct dose.

    Premier Icon cinnamon_girl
    Subscriber

    Some nasty comments on here, no need for that. 😐

    xcracer1
    Member

    From experience you can never beat anxiety and panic by fighting the symptoms and trying to control them. Medications may help mask them for a short while.

    To desensitize to your fear you will have to ride your anxiety out. Let the feelings and symptoms come up. Feel the anxiety without consciously negatively reacting to it. By exposing over time you will desensitise until your fear is then gone. When the fear is gone, all the physical and mental symptoms associated with that fear disappears.

    Not easy but if I can do it then I cant see why you cannot.

    Premier Icon flashinthepan
    Subscriber

    Kryton, can’t help you with any info on the drugs but I do sympathise; I haven’t flown for 8 years and I’m not sure I’d be able to handle it if asked. Is it worth a trip to one of the drop-in (not free) G.P. services?

    What I will say is that some of the reaction to Kryton’s post is pretty Neanderthal and (to put it mildly) unhelpful. I guess those posting have no weaknesses or faults at all.

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Subscriber

    If you know the valium works for you, and you’re not abusing it, I know people do source it online (for less responsible use).

    Surely you anticipated a bit of friction given your extensive previous postings on this – and you can see why people think you’re your own worst enemy.

    jambourgie
    Member

    xcracer1 – Member
    From experience you can never beat anxiety and panic by fighting the symptoms and trying to control them. Medications may help mask them for a short while.

    To desensitize to your fear you will have to ride your anxiety out. Let the feelings and symptoms come up. Feel the anxiety without consciously negatively reacting to it. By exposing over time you will desensitise until your fear is then gone. When the fear is gone, all the physical and mental symptoms associated with that fear disappears.

    Not easy but if I can do it then I cant see why you cannot.

    Wow. You’re awesome.

    You are right of course. And it might be possible to do this on say, a train where you have the option of getting off at the next stop if things get really bad. On a plane you’re not getting off. You’re not even gonna be able to shove your head out the window to get some air. And if you really lost it you could freak out other passengers, get restrained/tazered who knows…

    Also, might get pretty spendy doing exposure therapy on air travel.

    If you only fly once in a blue moon surely it’s just easier for everyone to simply medicate?

    chip
    Member

    You need some advice on something, you post on here.
    You get lots of unhelpful, pisstake replies and in amongst it you eventually get some sound advice.

    I thought that’s how this place works.

    Obviously Kryton may be a little touchy due to his obvious anxiety about his upcoming flight,

    No ones been nasty.

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Subscriber

    I guess it all depends on your symptoms. I was prescribed Propananol for anxiety and it had no effect whatsoever on the anxiety but did stop me be able to ride a bike any faster than a tortoise who had been wheel clamped.

    Eventually I was prescribed SSRIs (I has to beg them) and they worked a treat, so much so I’ve stayed on them for 8 years now as life is just so much nicer that way….

    ecampbell
    Member

    Not sure you’d find many, if any, gp’s willing to prescribe both diazepam and temazepam together these days. Same class of drugs with similar effects, just different rate of onset/offset, combining the two has potential to have pretty unpredictable effects!

    I sympathise with both yourself and your gp. From your perspective your being denied something that worked well previously with no issues. From the gp’s they’re being asked to prescribe drugs we know have lots of issues, to be used at a dose big enough to be sedative, in an environment where help isn’t readily/quickly available should any problem occur. If something were to happen to you, however unlikely, it would be their registration and hence livelihood at stake. Unfortunately that’s the way things go these days.

    Propranolol is a strange drug, but works well and is much, much safer. It has a dual effect, the anti anxiety effect that can take a few days to reach full effect, and a blunting of the body’s responses to stress that lasts for a while after a given dose. It won’t give you the doped up/sedated effect of the benzos, there not that sorta drug.

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Subscriber

    From the gp’s they’re being asked to prescribe drugs we know have lots of issues, to be used at a dose big enough to be sedative, in an environment where help isn’t readily/quickly available should any problem occur.

    A colleague used to take knock out drugs for flights. One time (at band camp) he had boarded a plane in China and after 2 hours they announced the plane was bust and they were being transferred to another plane. Only problem was he was now completely out of it and in the end had to be carried off the flight by four attendants as all he could do was dribble…..

    5plusn8
    Member

    I had the same issue, the propanaollly stuff didnt work, I told the doc I need the valium or I may never fly again and lose my job (never been offered the tamzepan). They rolled over and give me 20x2mg diazepam every time I ask for it. Which is once every 3 months or so.
    My point is – insist.

    tjagain
    Member

    I can certainly see why the GP would not want to prescribe two benzos – very nasty drugs with awful side effects and addiction potential.

    I don’t know enough about propanolol to comment on it but consider that those who say taking it 2 hrs before hand might just be getting placebo effect. Its very powerful

    Check out “desensitization therapy” its the way forward for these sorts of anxiety attacks. also lern deep breathing / deep relaxation techniques. Takes a bit of time to learn but really works. I am mildly phobic / scared to death of dentists but using deep breathing / deep relaxation techniques I an put myself almost into a trance and stay relaxed in the chair.

    What you want to do is train your mind not to have this anxiety rather than mask it with powerful sedatives

    I also get anxious in airports and take off and landing is a white knuckles on the arms of the seat/ full blown adrenaline response ( not as bad a you tho). My way round it is to laugh about my stupidity with my other half. Now the flight anxiety triggers me to laugh. Its all about training your mind. You need to break the cycle of reinforcement of the anxiety.

    Hope that makes some sort of sense and ignore the **** on here

    Have you considerd hypnotherapy? Again could be worth a try

    I have not looked at these links in any detail
    https://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/Pages/ways-relieve-stress.aspx

    Can Hypnotherapy cure a Fear of Flying?

    Premier Icon deadkenny
    Subscriber

    allthegear – Member
    That’s how propranolol works. You definitely need to take it for several days before it has effect.

    Odd as for me it’s effective within a hour or two. But then for me it’s about changing crazy heart to chilled out and knocking some symptoms on the head.

    Was told to just take as and when needed.

    Anyway, Propranolol is simply a beta blocker which affects reception of adrenaline signals. Diazepam & Temazepam are benzodiazepine which are brain chemical affecting drugs. Very different. Beta blockers are technically aimed at treating heart conditions, but just happen to be useful to some for anxiety.

    I wouldn’t expect Propranolol to be a substitute for Diazepam & Temazepam, but they may work for some.

    ecampbell
    Member

    Anyway, Propranolol is simply a beta blocker which affects reception of adrenaline signals

    It does a lot more than just beta blockade, although that was what it was developed for. It’s fairly “dirty” as drugs go, seems to affect noradrenaline and 5-HT reuptake in a similar, if weaker, way to ssri/snri/tricyclic antidepressants do. Hence why it’s useful for this, and bisoprolol/atenolol etc isn’t. Also why it’s not used for it’s betablocking properties by the cardiac guys anymore.

    Premier Icon jambalaya
    Subscriber

    Some nasty comments on here, no need for that.

    Indeed.

    legend
    Member

    Can’t believe no one posted this

    newrobdob
    Member

    Seeing as my particular minor mental health issue is treated with hilarity and demeanour on here I think I’ll avoid the **** who consider it fine to do so and not bother to ask on this site in future.

    You might want to wind your neck back in. People have posted in here reacting to your OP which doesn’t mention the severe and long term problems you’ve had flying, which I know you’ve discussed before but very few people will have read your other threads about it – your first post just hints at a fear of flying and talks mainly about the drugs and your interaction with the docs.

    Premier Icon jairaj
    Subscriber

    Could you do a trail run with a domestic flight?

    Flight time will be ~1hour so you won’t have to put up with it too long and if the drugs didn’t work you could always take the train home?

    TiRed
    Member

    propranalol works pretty quickly, we use it to block the effects of inhaled beta-agonists. Obviously it’s a vasodilator and will lower your blood pressure a little. Personally I’d go back for ONE benzodiazepine. Better relaxation. You have clearly demonstrated a need and no evidence of abuse.

    mattyfez
    Member

    Just have a few vodkas in the bar before hand, enough so you don’t care, but not so many for them to refuse you to fly.

    My partner has used / does use propranolol in relation to controlling anaxiety in a number of situations. It is not a magic bullet.

    A single dose prior several hours prior to a situation where she knows she my require assistance controlling her anxiety does work however she has also had to use it for periods of time for long time anxiety and building up to particularly stressful times in her life for example exam periods during uni.

    As I said it’s not a magic bullet. I think you will have to look at it as something you take for a period of time prior to the event as even if you don’t realise it you will be having a build up of anxiety prior to the flight itself. I would, not from personal experiences but from close association to, suggest following theGPs advice and use it in the lead up for a period of time to reduce the build up of anxiety that you may not even consciously realise is happening.

    Premier Icon I_did_dab
    Subscriber

    As your employer is asking you to fly, could you ask them to enroll you on one of the fear of flying courses that many airports run? At their expense obviously…

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