Propranolol is a brachioconstrictor. It reduces air flow through the lungs, especially during exercise.
Propranolol increases the release of norephinephrine during exercise.
Propranolol can cause a condition called "exercise induced asthma".
Propranolol And Shortness Of Breath.
Posted 11 May 2020 - 09:59 AM
Posted 11 May 2020 - 11:56 AM
I've looked into this a lot while I was on the propranolol because I have had shortness of breath through most of this recovery period and I was certain they were related. There were a lot of days during my worse months where I felt like every single breath had to be a big, labored breath, and even worse, a lot of times I felt like I wasn't able to get to the top of the breath despite the huge inhale. Like I breathed as deeply as I could but I still needed to keep going somehow.
4/24 was my last day on propranolol (I tapered) so it's been 2 weeks completely off. I have to admit that I expected all the breathing problems to go away by now but they haven't. Ultimately I think the prop may have contributed to some worsening of the problem, but I think the reality is that it's primarily an adrenaline/anxiety side effect for me. On days where my adrenaline is noticeably higher, I find my chest feels tighter too and I notice having to take those deep breaths again (although it's been a very long time since I've had that feeling of not being able to completely fill my lungs! phew) funny enough I also have a lot of burps on those days too, I guess because I'm taking in all this extra air.
One thing I did want to caution anyone against if you are taking daily doses of prop, be mindful of doing any exertion that would get your heart rate up. The prop will actively work to prevent your heart from beating faster and your body won't get all the additional blood oxygen pumping around that it needs which will lead to wooziness or lightheadedness. I can tell a big difference now in how quickly my heart beats if I climb a really big hill vs the lack of quickening when I would take the same hill while I was on the beta blockers.
Posted 11 May 2020 - 01:15 PM
This is a goo description of the exercise induced asthma they were talking about.
Posted 11 May 2020 - 01:57 PM
Interesting. I didn't necessarily feel like my breathing specifically was super changed by cardio exercise, as much as my heart wasn't beating fast enough to support what my body needed. I actually have a specific episode I recall where we walked halfway up a big hill (we live in SF, so these are everywhere) and on the walk back home (on flat land now) I suddenly felt like my legs turned to jelly and I felt very faint. I kept going and eventually things restabilized but I can see looking back on it that my legs probably turned to jelly because my muscles weren't getting the oxygen they needed to compensate for the exercise.
Also I do think it's worth noting that at least in seemingly all these studies the doses they studied were higher than what would be given for JUST anxiety. I think these doses are more in line with someone who is taking them for cardiac reasons. The lowest I saw was 40mg of propranolol. I was taking 20mg twice a day, and generally speaking people would probably only be taking the prop for anxiety on an as needed basis.
I did find the second link interesting where it mentions that propranolol had a big effect on increasing norepinephrine during exercise. I hadn't heard of that. I wish that study included the dosage they studied
Posted 11 May 2020 - 03:57 PM
There were other studies that showed an increase in norepinephrine during exercise obviously I don't include every study I find). Of course it should be mentioned that increases in exercise usually increases epinephrine as well as norepinephrine whether you are on propranolol or not. During exercise or stress the extra adrenaline causes blood vessels to the brain, heart lungs and muscles to dilate and increase blood flow/oxygen to those area. On the other hand epinephrine constricts blood flow to the stomach, liver, spleen and other none essential organs during these situations.
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