The beta blockers

Hi All,

Does anyone here have any experience with different beta blockers? In other words, have you tried various types? I’m wondering if, just like SSRIs, the side effect profile varies considerably with each type. The main ones that come up for migraine control are the following:

Acebutolol –- Capsules (U.S.) Tablets (Canada)
Atenolol – Tablets (U.S. and Canada)
Betaxolol – Tablets (U.S.)
Bisoprolol – Tablets (U.S.)
Carteolol – Tablets (U.S.)
Labetalol – Tablets (U.S. and Canada)
Metoprolol – Tablets (U.S. and Canada) Extended-release tablets (U.S. and Canada)
Nadolol – Tablets (U.S. and Canada)
Oxprenolol – Tablets (Canada) Extended-release tablets (Canada)
Penbutolol – Tablets (U.S.)
Pindolol – Tablets (U.S. and Canada)
Propranolol – Extended-release capsules (U.S. and Canada) Oral solution (U.S.) Tablets (U.S. and Canada)
Sotalol – Tablets (U.S. and Canada)
Timolol – Tablets (U.S. and Canada)

Thanks … Scott

When I added propralonol to my mix of Effexor and Remeron, it sent me into a crying spell for a couple of days…very depressing for me…I quit and couldn’t say exactly why, but I haven’t wanted to go back down that route since.

Heya Kelly,
You’ve just reminded me of my early experience with propranolol.
It made me quite down for about a month, this feeling occasionally pops back every now and then.
I’ve been on it for a few months now and can say it’s calmed down.
Depression is a side effect of prop.
However, I feel propranolol is really working for me, except during the monthlies.
Nothing seems to help me then.


Scott I was on Nadanol when I went off Verapamil when were trying to have children. It had low side effects but not nearly as effective on me as Verapamil

Atenalol, slept a lot.

Metropolol, cant remember, but I stopped it.

Propanalol, worked for my daily heads quite a lot, but could not get over 40mg, without getting bad insomnia, and loose bowels, known side effects.


I took propranolol as my very first med from a neurologist who didn’t understand my complete condition. I STARTED at 80mg and it was horrifying. My arms and legs were freezing cold and so heavy I felt like I couldn’t move them if my life depended on it. I almost felt like I was on a psychedelic drug. I was up all night. I only lasted two weeks. I was a waste of space. I couldn’t remember anything. I;m not sure if that was a medication side effect or if that was due to the fact I was operating on 2-3 hours of sleep. When I did sleep I had night mares as well as a hard time breathing.

I’m sure I would have had a better experience starting at a MUCH lower dose. But at that point I was undiagnosed, and I was unaware of the importance of low and slow methods of going on meds.


Well, you already know what I think of propranolol – it was probably the worst drug I’ve ever taken. I think it made my symptoms worse. I haven’t tried any other beta-blockers, though Hain has some comments on some of them:

More effective, but generally more side effects:
timolol, nadolol (non-selective beta-blockers)

Lower success rate (than propranolol, timolol), but better tolerated / fewer SE’s:
metoprolol, atenolol (selective beta-blockers)

Reportedly ineffective:
acebutolol, pindolol

I’ve been on metoprolol for 6 months and just in the process of titrating off it to try med -free (scary!)

In the first 6 weeks of taking it I put on 5kg, was exhausted (like someone sucked the energy form my body) and had terrible nightmares. These subsided after a while and perhaps could have been avoided if I’d titrated up to the full dose (50mg 2x day) rather than starting straight in on it. But my GP didn’t suggest it and I was new to the whole migraine/MAV situation. After about 6-8 weeks I did get some relief, and the main ongoing side effect is a complete loss of appetite most of the time - and I’ve had to eat a lot less and exercise almost every day to avoid any further weight gain (I can’t lose any hence stopping the meds). THe tiredness improved but I suspect that is also a byproduct of all the exercise.

I’ve been on 1/2 a tablet 2x day for 3 weeks now and am about to step down to 1/4 tablet 2xday and then off (under Dr supervision, of course :smiley: ). My head does feel clearer, but I think my MAV symptoms are getting worse - or at least I have more bad days than I did a month ago.

Just because you don’t mention it, at least not under the generic name, I’ll mention that I’m on nifedipine tartrate 60 mG. No nightmares that I recall. It was prescribed by my internist, at my suggestion, to replace the antihypertensive I was on.

Hi suddenly got the full MAV (eternal dizzies, nausea, light sensitive, feeling blah, even fun dreams of boating and surfing (!)) only two months ago.

But at the time it suddenly came on I had already been taking Propranolol (in Australia it’s Deralin) for 4 months to try to prevent the more “normal” migraines (never ever dizzy) I’ve had for 20 yrs. Thats all I was taking.

While everything under the sun was being checked out to find out what on earth was wrong with me (you’ve all been there!) we found propranolol had made my heart rate go real low. Otherwise was a robust specimen from the neck down.

I had to stop the p but surely…it didnt like…cause the MAV in some way…???

good luck all

I tried Propranolol a few months back but I only lasted a few weeks on it because I was too exhausted all the time plus I felt no benefit. Today was my first day on metoprolol and again I felt tired all day. I will try to give this one more time but I can’t stand the fatigue.