I just wanted to share my experience in the hopes that it might spare someone else the pain:
If you have or have had episodes of depression, please be aware that beta-blockers carry a risk of exacerbating depression (I know there are other posts about this - I wish I had seen them! - but just adding my personal experience here). I am on Atenolol and while it helped a lot with pain (reducing the frequency, severity and duration of my migraine headache episodes), it may have aggravated my depression (I strongly suspect this). I have also noticed greater confusion, mental fog, flattened/apathetic mood, and deep fatigue.
And Atenolol is apparently supposed to be one of the milder beta-blockers (in terms of side effects)! Perhaps I did not react mildly to it because I already have a vulnerability to depression.
Also, I learned a big lesson about how critical it is to disclose your medical history when visiting a new doctor (I did not tell the doctor who prescribed Atenolol I had a history of depression). Seems obvious, but I know from personal experience that it can be so hard to disclose when you fear the doctor will “pin” every symptom you have on depression or otherwise stigmatize you in some way. I just learned the hard way, it is better to disclose than risk your health like I just did.
I also learned that there are no short-cuts when it comes to managing migraine. I think accepting that will help me as I continue this journey.
According to Silberstein et al. (2007)*, “β-Blockers should generally be avoided in patients with asthma, depression, or second- or third-degree heart block because of their potential to exacerbate these conditions”.
*Link to the study referenced: onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1 … 760.x/full