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Doctors' Answers to "Frequently Asked Questions" - Coronary Disease

These comments are made for the purpose of discussion and should NOT be used as recommendations for or against therapies or other treatments. An indi vidual patient is always advised to consult their own physician.

[posted 10/15/1999]
Question: Are there other drugs that you can take instead of tenormin that would have less side effects. Also, is it normal to have periods of highs and lows because of the medication? It seems as though every couple of weeks a get a period where i feel extremely tired, weak almost lifeless, then i'm fine! Does this medication cause headaches also

Answer: Fatigue, depression, nausea, nightmares are the most common problems with all the beta blockers. Non-selective ones can also cause dyspnea(shortness of breath). Headaches are less common, but possible. Beta blockers are the best for patients for heart disease but very hard to tolerate. Calcium channel blockers work fine generally but slightly less effective than beta blockers for prevention of myocardial infarctions. Sometimes using a very small dose of a beta blocker(drugs like ziac) can get around this problem and be combined with calcium channel blockers. Whether you need to take this depends a lot on your coronaries. If only for hypertension, try something else.

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