Started atenolol

Hi Guys,

Well, I reluctantly started another drug today – a beta blocker called atenolol. Adleman (from the Headache Wellness Center, NC) says it’s the one they use most because it apparenly has fewer side effects than all the other B blockers. I started on 12.5 mg only and I can say already that I feel dizzy in a new way and really weird. I hate these drug feelings that occur. Anyway, I’ll try and tough this out and see if it gets better. Apparently it can make things worse for a couple of weeks until the body gets used to it.

Can anyone else relay any stories about how it felt starting a B blocker for MAV?

Cheers … Scott 8)

Hmm, how’s the migraine program going then?

Hey -

I’ve put it on the backburner for now. I’m just not ready to go down that road and go through the nightmare of trying to get 15 ingredients balanced. I know another who went to hell and back on it. The few times I’ve tried various things on the program, it knocked the sh*t out of me. For example, they want me on 300 mg of 5HTP yet if I go above 50 mg daily, it’s a nightmare of extreme anxiety and an inability to sleep. Another ingredient SAMe causes me anxiety as well complete with night sweats, and one of the hormones (pregnenolone) gave me crushing headaches. I’m not sure the team over there understands just how bad this is when migraine gets stuck into the vestibular system. Throwing a stack of supplements at this is no easy task without unleashing a potential hell. I have to be able to work at the end of the day. Anyway, I’m not throwing in the towel on it just yet considering it cost me and arm and a leg… just want to see what this beta blocker route produces first.

S 8)

Hi Scott

I take a beta blocker for MAV -Propranolol. It didn’t stop the dizziness, headaches or fatigue but it stopped my nausea in its tracks, which is why I still take it. In other words, it worked a little bit but not much. However, i do know others who had huge success with it.

On the positive side it doesn’t have any side effects for me except if I take it too late at night I get insomnia. And its really good for anxiety, which is a plus. I don’t worry half as much anymore!


Hi Scott,

I just finished a two-month trial of Toprol, another beta-blocker. The only negative side effect I noticed was it made my insomnia and crazy dreams worse if I took it at night. A positive was it seemed to help with my fatigue when I took it in the morning. I didn’t feel like I had to go take a nap in the afternoon when I was at work.

Unfortunately, it didn’t do anything for my MAV. I was originally planning to give it a full three months, but I read somewhere that if a med hasn’t started to work for migraine in 6-8 weeks, than it probably isn’t going to. I only had a three month supply, so I decided to see if I felt a difference coming off of it while I still had some left in case I noticed a difference coming off. I’ve been off for a week and I am actually having a better week. So, I think this is another med I can check off my list.

I don’t like 5-HTP. I had high hopes for it helping with migraine and mood, but it made me feel tired and off. I actually just added St. John’s Wort to my regimen just because I had a bottle in cupboard from when I used to take it for depression. Like I said, I’ve had a good week. I wonder if that had anything to do with it. Probably not. I remember you had a bad experience with SJW. Luckily, I’ve never had a problem with it. We’ll see how the next few weeks go. I believe hormones are a big issue for me. Typically, I have one pretty good week, and then I crash along with my hormone levels.

I hope things settle down for you and the beta-blocker does you some good. Please remind me; how long have you been struggling with MAV?


Thanks for the input everyone. Do you guys think different beta blockers have different effects in the same way SSRIs do? That one dose of atenolol has totally knocked my socks off … I can hardley believe this. It was only 12.5 mg and last night I felt totally freaky all night in bed. I kept waking feeling very strange indeed. Today I feel awful … really not myself, headache, disorientation and no energy. Such a drag. I’m sick of these drugs making me feel like a mental patient!

I notice propranolol has a shorter half-life and wonder if it’s any easier to handle?

Man, I’m sick of feeling lousy and looking for “the drug”. I wonder if it’s out there at all sometimes.

Scott 8)

They do have different side effects. Atenalol made me sleep, propanalol gave me insomnia. I believe I tried metropolol as well, but it was a long time ago. The easiest for me to tolerate was the propanalol, in fact, it reduced my daily headaches, the big migraines still broke through, I was on it 3 months but couldnt get the dizziness down, but, looking back, I was suffering from reactive hypoglycemia which I didnt know about at the time. I only got up to 40 mg, anything above that and I got insomnia and loose bowels (two know side effects). Shame, because I think it may have worked.

Hey everyone -

I am having a terrible time with my sleep at the moment. Are there any drugs for MAV that actually make you sleep other Topamax?

Thanks -


Aren’t beta blockers supposed to give fatigue/lots of sleeping? :?
Tricyclic antidepressants generally cause sedation, especially amitriptyline.

With many drugs that cause sedation, theres also the option that they cause insomnia. Its not as common but not very uncommon either. This is true not only for migrainemeds but for sleepmedication as well.

— Begin quote from “Tranquillity”

Aren’t beta blockers supposed to give fatigue/lots of sleeping? :?
Tricyclic antidepressants generally cause sedation, especially amitriptyline.

— End quote

I found the opposite with Metoprolol (Toprol). It caused insomnia when I took it at night and helped improve my energy during the day. More evidence we all react differently to meds.

Great thread! I take Metoprolol twice a day due to a heart condition. Ive been on it for alittle over a year. I tried atenol (sp) and cardiziam la the first one I could not breathe and it still didnt control my heartrate. The second I broke out in a rash and was itching. Metoprolol is the only one I could tolerate. I am just learning about migraines and was suprised when I seen this thread.

I have been on Atenolol for years, 25mg. I haven’t had a migraine since I started the drug. It used to make me very tired, but I’ve gotten used to it. I love it because I was getting migraines several times a week, real throbbing miserable pain. Now, I’m completely headache free.

Thanks for the info Rottlesrule. Did it wipe out your dizziness as well? Do you have MAV? If so and you are well again, it would be great to have your personal success story posted in the main discussion area in the sticky thread.

Thanks … Scott :slight_smile:

Scott, I was never dizzy and have never had balance issues. The Atenolol was given to me for BP, however, the upside of it is I’m headache free. I started on 50mg, but was cut back to 25mg when the larger dose slowed my heart rate too much. I really love taking it because the headaches would last sometimes for days.

Last March I was dx’d with cochlear hydrops, or what he called atypical MM. I’m still not dizzy at all, just dealing with the fullness and hearing loss when the ear is full.