Beta blockers increase dizziness

Hello i suffer from dizziness and dizziness is my core symptom. The dizziness causes unbearable anxiety which antidepressants dont touch. I wanted to get on a beta blocker to tackle the anxiety part. Unfortunately propranolol causes horrific nightmares while atenolol and metoprolol increased the dizziness to unbearable levels. Im so frustrated with all this.


Have you been given a MAV/VM diagnosis? Anxiety does tend to go hand in hand with MAV/VM. It’s understandable. If you are sure the dizziness is the cause of the anxiety, you really need to look at treating the dizziness. What causes the dizziness. There are many causes from blood pressure, ear or eye problems, migraine and many others. Most medics generally take your general health and any comorbidities into account when prescribing so discuss it with your medical provider. There are usually several options. There are other betablockers out there. Unfortunately all drugs have side effects if which dizziness is a common one. Some drugs cause initial problems only until your body gets used to them then they settle. It’s usually a case of trial and error. Often, particularly with anxiety, it’s a good idea to look at therapy, counselling and lifestyle changes in addition to medication. CBT is often a good place to start. Good luck with your journey. Helen

My diagnosis is left peripheral vestibulopathy. A neurotologist diagnosed me with it. There were abnormal caloric tests. To an extent i agree with her. I believe some nerves involved in sensing balance have been damaged. But where this nerves are located i dont know.

I’ve found that Verapamil helps me relax about as much as a beta blocker. Verapamil doesn’t suppress the adrenaline response as good as say Propanolol, but it does suppress noradrenaline a bit which also feeds into anxiety I think.

Have you already tried Amitriptyline?

Yeah ive tried amitriptyline in the past with no success at least with low doses 25 to 50 mgs.
Ive been on lexapro 20 mgs for the last two years. It doesn’t touch the dizziness or anxiety but it doesn’t make the dizziness worse either.
Its interesting that you find verapamil to be calming. First time ive heard that. Im interested in trying drugs which enhance inhibitory neurotransmission in brain such as baclofen and Carisoprodol (soma).
The drugs which work for my dizziness are CNS depressants such benzos and barbiturates.

If you read Dr Hain’s dizziness and balance website, he actually has a page dedicated to medications associated with dizziness and he actually states that there are two groups of people more vulnerable to dizziness through medications: people with anxiety and those with migraine, Helen

Ive tried migraine meds(triptans, ergotamine) to no avail. Ssri antidepressants dont touch the dizziness either. It really is most likely a balance disorder. I have noticed im prone to slipping and falls. Thank you for replying.

Dr Surenthiran, probably top UK specialist, calls MAV/VM ‘a migraine variant balance disorder’.

I notice you’ve been on this forum since 2013, a long time to still be having unresolved or even undiagnosed health issues. Can you not get to see somebody who can help you sort this. Sure you must have had a good read around by now and have some idea of what it might be which would tell you where to start trying to find some sort of solution. No point just trying different drugs on the offchance. Not unless you really have to failing all else. You really need to find some sort of medical diagnosis you can believe in and work with. The preventative drugs take months to kick in once you have found one you can tolerate so the better idea you can obtain of what you are dealing with, the less false starts you should have to suffer. Helen

I was born with this dizziness. But it has greatly increased over the last ten years.

Im from india(a poor country ) and i dont make much money either. There are not many doctors who specialize in these sort of mysterious diseases in india.
I have been to a neurotologist, she ran a battery of tests and said that a balancing nerve in my left ear does not work properly which (she said this causes my dizziness). She wrote that i have a “left peripheral vestibular system lesion”. Unfortunately she could not come up with any novel or effective treatments.

I have some hearing loss in left ear.

I also have chronic pain in my eyes which is also a mystery.
I also have rare autoimmune conditions which are adding to my misery.

The most effective drugs ive found for my dizziness are cns depressants like benzos. So i continue to experiment with drugs which have benzo like action in hopes of finding a drug which will work for my dizziness.

Try pregabalin it has a benzo like action but difficult to wean . My personal favourite along with Dr. Hain is venlaflaxine. You can see a neuro-otologist in India. I have seen one myself in India though i live in the US. Eye pain is signature migraine symptom.

So sorry to hear your circumstances. I don’t think there are many experts in these fields anywhere in the World and novel and/or effective treatments are pretty sparse too in many places so you aren’t alone there. I’m UK based and people here still struggle just like you do. It’s all underfunded and underresearched. Maybe @getbetter can fill you in on how he found a specialist although appreciate you do live in such a huge country but anything’s worth a try. Helen

May i ask your diagnosis and if you found any relief with meds?

Of course. ‘Probable Migraine Associated Vertigo’ I was told three years ago this week. I take a betablocker, Propranolol and it has helped immensely. I’m ablut 80% these days barring blips, like colds, overdoing it, etc. I recently wrote up my story, you’ll find it in Personal Diary Section if you want more detail,

Yeah gabapentin and pregabalin are next on my list. I need to enquire about their prices and whether or not i can afford them. Its interesting that you say that eye pain is signature migraine symptom. Migraine meds do not work on me but benzos do.

I have seen a neurotologist. Thank you for replying.

Propranolol is poison to my brain. Very few meds scare me like propranolol does. It causes nightmares and night terrors when im sleeping. When i wake up i feel like my brain will explode.

Quite alot of drugs seem to give people nightmares. Amitriptyline and Effexor amongst them. It’s pretty common I believe. Helen

Hi I’m from the UK but spend most of my time in India. I started experiencing vertigo about 6 months ago and saw various doctors in Delhi and was eventually referred to Dr Anita Bhandari who has a vertigo clinic in Jaipur where she diagnosed me with vestibular migraine . Whereabouts in India are you? If you can get to Jaipur it might be worth visiting her clinic. The website is here:


I am also located in jaipur and have visited doctor Anita bhandari in the past! She diagnosed me with left peripheral vestibulopathy.

Oh, that’s convenient that you live in Jaipur! I think her clinic is very good for diagnostics. I haven’t yet discovered whether it will be work for me in the longer term for treatment as I’ll have to correspond with her through wattsapp. But I haven’t yet found another doctor in India who really knows about vestibular migraine…

As I’m living in India, I’m interested to find out which neurotologist you saw? And if you’d recommend them?