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How Do Beta Blockers Stop Migraines

Final Notes About Beta

How do beta blockers work?
  • Beta-blockers are drugs used to prevent migraines. However, they cannot stop a migraine that has already started.
  • These drugs can be an excellent choice for patients who have migraines plus specific common heart diseases. For example, angina , high blood pressure, ischemic heart disease, or heart problems that can narrow the arteries.

Your healthcare providers will most likely start you on a low dose and gradually increase it. Please follow your doctors instructions on how to take this medication.

Why Do People Take Propranolol And Metoprolol For Anxiety Symptoms

Now that weve covered the basics about Propranolol and Metoprolol, lets talk about why people take these beta-blockers to cope with anxiety.

As we mentioned before, beta-blockers work by blocking the effects of adrenaline . To understand why that plays a role with anxiety symptoms, we need to understand what happens in your body when you experience performance anxiety symptoms.

Are There Any Natural Beta

Although beta-blockers are relatively safe and effective, you may be reluctant to become dependent on them long-term.

If used for a long period consistently, theres a risk that you could become dependent on them. Not just for performing, but to maintain regular cardiovascular function. Although thats quite uncommon among people who use them for stage fright.

Regardless, here are some natural beta-blocker alternatives to help you maintain your calm and composure before a performance.

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Side Effects Of Beta Blockers

Most people taking beta blockers have either no or very mild side effects that become less troublesome with time.

Contact your GP if you’re having symptoms that bother you or last more than a few days.

Side effects commonly reported by people taking beta blockers include:

  • feeling tired, dizzy or lightheaded
  • cold fingers or toes
  • difficulties sleeping or nightmares

It happens rarely, but some people have serious side effects when taking beta blockers.

Tell a doctor straight away if you have:

  • shortness of breath with a cough that gets worse when you exercise , swollen ankles or legs, chest pain, or an irregular heartbeat these are signs of heart problems
  • shortness of breath, wheezing and tightening of your chest these can be signs of lung problems
  • yellow skin or the whites of your eyes turn yellow these can be signs of liver problems

These are not all the side effects of beta blockers. For a full list, see the leaflet inside your medicine packet.

You can report suspected side effects using the Yellow Card Scheme.

For more information on the side effects of beta blockers, read about the specific medicine you take in our Medicines A to Z.

Who Shouldn’t Take Beta Blockers

Beta Blockers Treatment For Cardiovascular Disease Where ...

While beta blockers are generally considered safe and effective, there are people who should consider other migraine treatments.


  • people who are taking other blood pressure medication
  • people who are taking certain antidepressants
  • people who are taking medicine to treat diabetes, asthma, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, or COPD
  • people who pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breast-feeding
  • people with a history of a heart condition
  • people with asthma

That said, everyone’s different and you should speak to your doctor about your specific needs or concerns.

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Thyroid Hormone And Beta Blocker Withdrawal

Besides the above signs, the effects of beta blocker withdrawal can also be related to hyperthyroidism. Hyperthyroidism has symptoms like tremors, increased anxiety and heart rate. As these symptoms are similar to the symptoms of beta blocker withdrawal, it may be difficult to differentiate between the two. This can make it difficult to diagnose the condition and there are chances of delay in treatment, which can severely affect health.

Identifying And Avoiding Triggers

One of the best ways of preventing migraines is recognising the things that trigger an attack and trying to avoid them.

You may find you tend to have a migraine after eating certain foods or when you’re stressed, and by avoiding this trigger you can prevent a migraine.

Keeping a migraine diary can help you identify possible triggers and monitor how well any medicine you’re taking is working.

In your migraine diary, try to record:

  • the date of the attack
  • the time of day the attack began
  • any warning signs
  • your symptoms
  • what medicine you took
  • when the attack ended

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Daily Use Side Effects May Limit Use

Since its impossible to predict when a migraine will happen, these medications must be taken daily. But the more often you have to take a medicine, the less likely you are to take it faithfully. If you dont have the symptom right away when you skip a dose, then you are even more likely to skip doses, says Dr. Schramm.

All medications, and herbal remedies, have the potential to cause side effects, cautions Dr. Schwamm. Antiseizure medicines can reduce concentration and may cause drowsiness. Beta blockers can slow the heart rate and sometime cause depression or sexual dysfunction. Topiramate can cause weight loss, so some patients are more compliant with this drug, says Dr. Schramm.

Foods With Natural Beta Blockers

Beta Blockers

After reading the above paragraph you may be anxious to know what these natural beta blocker foods are. Here is a detailed list of foods that contain the benefits of beta blocker in its natural form. The function of beta blockers, which are also known as beta adrenergic blocking agent is to lower the rate of your fast beating heart and make the blood vessels wide open.

Following are foods containing natural beta blockers:

Vegetables, fruits and pulses:

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How To Taper Off Beta Blockers

Fact Checked

Beta-blocker medications, also called beta-adrenergic blocking agents, treat a variety of illnesses, including high blood pressure, migraine headaches, chest pain and glaucoma 1. Beta blockers cause the heart to beat more slowly and with less force, thereby reducing pressure in the blood vessels. Your doctor might have prescribed a beta-blocker medication for your condition, but doctors sometimes recommend patients wean themselves off of beta blockers because of adverse effects, lab abnormalities or other reasons. Stopping beta-blocker medications can be dangerous, so it is important to know how to taper off of beta blockers in a safe way.

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.

Schedule an appointment with your physician or cardiologist.Discontinuing any medication without your doctors approval can be dangerous, especially if you were prescribed beta blockers to treat a heart condition. If you want to discontinue a beta-blocker medication because of troublesome adverse effects, your physician might be able to adjust your dosage or change the time of day when you take the medicine.


Medications For Migraine Prophylaxis

SEEMA MODI, M.D., and DIONNE M. LOWDER, PHARM.D., B.C.P.S. Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina

Am Fam Physician. 2006 Jan 1 73:72-78.

Patient information: See related handout on migraine prevention, written by the authors of this article.

Sufficient evidence and consensus exist to recommend propranolol, timolol, amitriptyline, divalproex, sodium valproate, and topiramate as first-line agents for migraine prevention. There is fair evidence of effectiveness with gabapentin and naproxen sodium. Botulinum toxin also has demonstrated fair effectiveness, but further studies are needed to define its role in migraine prevention. Limited evidence is available to support the use of candesartan, lisinopril, atenolol, metoprolol, nadolol, fluoxetine, magnesium, vitaminB2 , coenzyme Q10, and hormone therapy in migraine prevention. Data and expert opinion are mixed regarding some agents, such as verapamil and feverfew these can be considered in migraine prevention when other medications cannot be used. Evidence supports the use of timed-release dihydroergotamine mesylate, but patients should be monitored closely for adverse effects.


First-line therapies for migraine prophylaxis in adults include propranolol , timolol , amitriptyline, divalproex , sodium valproate, and topiramate .


Algorithm for pharmacologic migraine prophylaxis.

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What Else Do You Need To Make Your Decision

Check the facts

  • That’s right. Medicine may not prevent every migraine. But it can reduce how many migraines you get, reduce the number of days that they last, and make your symptoms less severe.
  • Sorry, that’s not right. Medicine may not prevent every migraine. But it can reduce how many migraines you get, reduce the number of days that they last, and make your symptoms less severe.
  • It may help to go back and read “Get the Facts.” Medicine can reduce how many migraines you get, reduce the number of days that they last, and make your symptoms less severe.
  • Sorry, that’s not right. Doctors recommend that you first try an over-the-counter pain medicine before you try a prescription medicine that can either prevent a migraine or stop a migraine after it has started.
  • That’s right. Doctors recommend that you first try an over-the-counter pain medicine before you try a prescription medicine that can either prevent a migraine or stop a migraine after it has started.
  • It may help to go back and read “Get the Facts.” Doctors recommend that you first try an over-the-counter pain medicine before you try a prescription medicine that can either prevent or stop a migraine.
  • A drooping eyelid .
  • Bruising on the face .

Sides Effects Of Beta

How Do Beta

Beta-blockers, like most medications, can have a variety of side effects. Side effects related to beta-blockers can vary based on the dosage. The lower the dose, the less noticeable the side effects should be. Your health care provider may adjust your dose or switch the specific drug type a couple of times. They will work with you to find the drug and dosage that is the most effective and leads to the fewest side effects. Many health care providers recommend patience as the body adjusts to the appropriate dosage.

Some of the more common side effects of beta-blockers include:

  • Cold hands or feet
  • Upset stomach, constipation, and/or diarrhea

Less common side effects include:

  • Mild depression
  • Shortness of breath
  • Trouble sleeping/disturbed dreams

Health care providers consider a few different things before prescribing a beta-blocker. Beta-blockers can trigger asthma attacks in people with asthma. Beta-blockers can also negatively affect cholesterol and triglyceride levels, decreasing your good cholesterol and elevating your triglycerides. Beta-blockers can also block symptoms of low blood sugar , so diabetics taking a beta-blocker will need regular blood sugar checks.

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Who Can Take Beta Blockers

Beta blockers are not suitable for everyone. To make sure they are safe for you, tell your doctor before starting a beta blocker if you have:

  • had an allergic reaction to a beta blocker or any other medicine in the past
  • low blood pressure or a slow heart rate
  • serious blood circulation problems in your limbs
  • metabolic acidosis when there’s too much acid in your blood
  • lung disease or asthma

Tell your doctor if you’re trying to get pregnant, are already pregnant or breastfeeding.

It’s important not to stop taking beta blockers without seeking your doctor’s advice. In some cases suddenly stopping the medicine may make your health condition worse.

What They Are Used For

Preventive medicines for migraine are taken to prevent migraine attacks. They are taken every day and are aimed at preventing migraine attacks altogether or at least reducing their frequency and severity.

If you are having at least four migraine attacks per month you may wish to discuss preventive medication with your doctor. There are a range of different preventive migraine medicines that can be taken, including several that are just becoming available in the UK.

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Why Might Your Doctor Recommend Medicine To Prevent Your Migraines

Your doctor may advise you to take medicine every day to prevent migraines if:

  • You get bad migraines often.
  • Your migraines are so painful that you’re not able to do your daily activities.
  • You use medicine more than twice a week to stop a migraine after it has started.
  • You have tried medicines to stop a migraine, but they don’t help.

Can Beta Blockers Help Tension Headaches

Beta blockers for migraines #Short

Beta-blockers A drug such as propranolol may be combined with an antidepressant, such as amitriptyline, to prevent chronic daily headaches. Divalproex Sodium This drug is used to treat chronic daily headache, including chronic tension-type headaches.

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Articles On Migraine & Headache Prevention

It’s the best situation: Stop a migraine before it starts. To do that, your doctor may consider these types of prescription drugs.

Anticonvulsants. These are medicines that prevent or reduce seizures. Your doctor may recommend topiramate or valproic acid to prevent headaches. Anti-seizure drugs could make you sleepy. You may also find it harder to focus.

Beta-blockers. These relax your blood vessels. TheyĆ¢re often prescribed to control blood pressure. For migraines, your doctor may suggest atenolol , metoprolol , nadolol , propranolol , or timolol. Side effects include feeling depressed and having problems during sex.

Botulinum toxin . A doctor can inject small amounts around your face and scalp every 3 months to keep migraines from happening. This treatment is approved only for people who have headaches at least 15 days a month. The more often you have migraines, the better Botox seems to help.

Calcium-channel blockers. These include diltiazem and verapamil . They ease the narrowing of your blood vessels and are also given to treat heart disease. Side effects can include constipation and low blood pressure.

What Else Should I Know About Calcium Channel Blockers

Calcium channel blockers shouldnt be taken with grapefruits or grapefruit juice. Grapefruit reduces the livers ability to eliminate the drug from your system, which could cause a dangerous build-up of the medication in your body.

It is important not to take calcium channel blockers if you have had a recent heart attack or have uncontrolled high blood pressure.

Before you begin calcium channel blockers, tell your doctor if:

  • You are allergic to the medication
  • You have heart problems besides angina or high blood pressure
  • You are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • You have diabetes
  • You have liver problems
  • You are taking or using any other medicines, supplements, or vitamins5

You should begin no medication or supplement without first checking with your health care provider and should let them know of any other prescriptions, OTCs, and herbals you are taking to ensure there are no interactions.

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Is Metoprolol Right For You

Metoprolol is less popular for anxiety and is typically used more for high blood pressure. And the side effects can be more frequent than Propranolol, although overall, still quite insignificant and rare.

If Propranolol makes you drowsy, or if your doctor suggests that Propranolol might interact with other medications, then Metoprolol could be an option for you.

Is It Better To Take Beta Blockers At Night


Blood pressure medications/beta blockers: If youre taking these medications, talk to your health care provider about the ideal time of day to take them, though as a general rule of thumb, evening is best. Providers may specify to take these in the evening because of side effects that can occur, Verduzco said.

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Choice Of Drug For Migraine Prophylaxis

The choice of treatment depends on factors such as patient preference, drug interactions, and other comorbidities. Treatment should be started at a low dose and gradually increased to the maximum effective and tolerated dose.Preventative treatment should be tried for at least three months at the maximum tolerated dose, before deciding whether or not it is effective. A good response to treatment is defined as a 50% reduction in the severity and frequency of migraine attacks. A review of ongoing prophylaxis should be considered after 6-12 months treatment can be gradually withdrawn in many patients. Patients should be referred to a neurology or specialist headache clinic if trials with three or more drugs have been unsuccessful.

GalcanezumabNICE has issued guidance on the use of the humanised monoclonal antibody galcanzumabthat binds to the calcitonin gene-related peptide ligand, blocking its binding to the receptor. For migraine that has not responded to at least three preventative treatments, clinical trial evidence shows that galcanezumab works better than best supportive care in both episodic and chronic migraine.

NICE therefore recommends galcenezumab as an option for migraine prophylaxis for patients with at least four migraine days a month and for whom at least three preventative drug treatments have failed. It should only be considered if the company provides it according to the commercial arrangement agreed with the NHS.

How Do Calcium Channel Blockers Work

Calcium channel blockers prevent calcium from entering cells of the heart and blood vessel walls. This helps prevent the muscles in the vessels from contracting and tightening. As a result, the blood vessels relax and widen, which leads to lower blood pressure. Some calcium channel blockers work more specifically on the heart muscle and others work better on blood vessels.4

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What Are The Symptoms & Effects Of Beta Blocker Withdrawal

High blood pressure is a common problem across the globe and can have severe consequences on health. High blood pressure is treated by many drugs, and beta blocker is one of them, which helps to reduce the blood pressure. As these medicines are taken regularly and for a long period, it is important to know the symptoms and effects of beta blocker withdrawal.

As high blood pressure can affect blood vessels and damage major organs, beta blockers are used to effectively control blood pressure and prevent complications. Beta blockers are also extensively prescribed to patients suffering from high level of anxiety and stress. Along with high blood pressure, beta blockers are useful in treating ailments like abnormal heart rate, angina pain and when there is an increased risk of heart failure.


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