Inderal for headaches/Beta Blocker

Hi All,

I had my appt with my Dr. the other day because I was having headaches that would not respond to normally effective meds like Maxalt, Excedrin Migraine and Tylenol.

I had a bad bout that lasted for a week or so and now have daily headaches.

I quick background: I have Chiari I and have seen a specialist Dr Bejjani who feels I am a good candidate for surgery.

My PCP wants more tests and a meeting with a headache specialist to determine if these headachs are from the Chiari or my migraines. I also have GERD, TMJ, IBS and fibromyalgia.

So, anyway, my PCP has placed me on B2 and Magnesium supplements and Inderal a beta blocker.

I am also taking Calcium, D3 and Prilosec and Zantac at large doses as prescribed for the GERD (for now until we start to try to wean me off of those and see how I do).

I have take 10 mg 2 days in a row and will work up to the 10mg/2x per day because for now I feel funky, tired, slightly dizzy and a little cranky.

However, that being said I feel a little better and it's only been two days.

The pressure is stil there in my ears and when I bend over or cough or sneeze or laugh type thing.

Anyone have any experience with Inderal?

Is it safe to be on all your life to control headaches?

Is it just masking the problem or helping it?

I googled it but you get lots of conflicting info, ya know?

TX all!

:-)



Emmaline said:

If you're a candidate for surgery, meds are the only treatment until surgery. Med lists vary so much with each patient, and what works for one does nothing for another.

Meds can help vary much if you are in a wait and see mode, if you're doing well. If you're not then it seems to point to a surgery choice which will stop the progression of the herniation. In that case meds are simply a bandaid until the surgery will give the herniation the room it needs. Have you had a Cine MRI?

Hi Emmaline,

I love your name btw! Thanks for the reply. No, I have not had a CINE MRI .

I have a 2nd appt with Dr. Beijjani on the 19th. I plan on bringing an old MRI from 2004/2005 to see if my herniation has gotten worse. I had an MRI in 2013 which is the first time anyone has menitoned the Chiari I which is at 7mm. I also plan on asking questions one of which is why have I NOT had a CINE MRI.

And, I will be asking if starting Beta Blockers/Inderal will be worth it for me.

Not to mention there are side effects to the Inderal and worsening headaches upon stopping it. Several side effects are: weight gain, cold hands and feet/Raynaud's and low BP and bradychardia. I already have all of these. Trouble is when I am nervous or drink coffee my BP can go up and I was nervous last time my BP was taken.

Anyway, I kinda was thinking exactly what you pointed out: this is probably a band aid that comes with lots of side effects. I am one of those people that tend to get the side effects from almost everything. So, for now I am not going to take the Inderal/beta blocker.

I am also thinking that my feeling a bit better today is more than likely NOT from the Inderal since I have only taken it for 2 days and only half the dose both those days (10 mg each day). So, I am not taking anymore.

Thanks for the input. I am scared to have the surgery but more scared of never getting better or of getting worse. And lately, I have been getting worse. Symptoms tend to come in bouts with me. But this last "bout" was longer and worse than any I have had before.

No, not been tested for POTS. But I will add that to my list of questions. Thank you!

Ophelia, I stared on a beta blocker for my dysautonomia after surgery. The dysautonomia (POTS is a type like Em said) can cause rapid heart rate and low blood pressure- these can make you feel ill and cause it’s own headache. I think the beta blockers are a good thing. But also like Em said, medication for the Chiari will not prevent any Chiari symptoms, maybe just mask some of the pain.

Jenn

Thanks jcdemar! I am thinking I should get tested for POTS as I often feel dizzy going up and down stairs, bending over and craning my neck to look up or down. And sometimes feel dizzy upon standing. I have lots of weird problems regulating my temp and experience chills for no reason that are pretty bad sometimes. I wonder why I have never been tested for dysautonomia? Or had a CINE MRI?...I will ask Dr Beijjani and then the headache specialist Dr. Kaniecki here in Pittsburgh.

Goodness I thought that once they all knew I had Chiari I would have surgery and be done with it. Ya know? I thought I'd get the pertinent tests for conditions commonly found along with Chiari, find out which I had and which I didn't and then get treated as best as is possible for all conditions I did have. I didn't think I would be fighting for a diagnosis STILL....I have been fighting for years to tell them I don't feel well and I KNOW something is wrong. I was beginning to believe that I was just some kinda psychosomatic/ hypochondriac. It's hard to fight when you are tired all the time and are in pain. Sheesh!

Sorry for the venting...thank you for your reply! I will find an answer sooner or later! :-)

Your smart you’ll get there! It’s hard to believe that even when you get hooked up with a Chiari specialist you STILL have to specifically ask for help with each related condition.

I have been on Inderal for close to a year. I think it reduces the severity of the headaches but does NOT prevent them for me. It does slow down my heart rate quite a bit and has eased the palpitations. It can make you dizzy. I also have Raynauds and the Inderal makes those symptoms worse. I'd say its a pretty safe drug overall but you CANNOT just stop taking it. You have to be eased off gradually or it can possibly cause heart attack.

I has not helped with the head pressure, ringing ears, full feeling in ears, vision blurriness/aura, tingeing or numbness.

I was very nervous about starting it, but soooooo glad I did.

As far as masking symptoms, there is no cure for Chairi so why not bother trying anything to help ease the pain and symptoms? If you have more questions I'm here!

I should probably also mention the best meds I have tried for the head pressure headaches and confusion... have been Midrin and Fioricet.

Midrin is a combination drug that constricts the blood vessels. It has a pain reliever and anti-anxiety in it as well, if my memory serves me.

The Fioricet is a anti seizure med, I was so scared to try that but it does reduce the pain for a bit.

Midrin is a dream! It works very well for me and quickly too, but it is super pricey ($160 for 30 pills, which I can take 5 a day). The Fioricet is inexpensive but takes a long time to work and only works for about an hour or 2.

Both are narcotics which I am not fond of, but they help keep me functional. Without them I was living in a painful haze that just kept getting worse...


Hey there,

Thanks for all the info!

I really was concerned about the cold hands/feet and the fact that it doesn't help with the pressure which is my main symptom: horrible, horrible pressure in head, back of head/neck and ears especially. I also need to lose weight and suffer daily from vertigo The headaches I have now are being controlled with tylenol although I have to take that daily and more than once a day on bad days. I had a very long bout of headaches that lasted more than a week and didn't respond to anything. I think it's funny that my Dr would not know the cause of those headaches and put me on a drug that could lower my bp, cause weight gain, cold hands and feet and not help with the pressure and cause dizziness. It seems the side effects are the very things I have trouble with! Lol I have decided not to take the drug Inderal until I find out if I have dysautonomia (POTS to be specific) or some other condition that would benefit from the drug for sure. I tend to have horrible side effects from meds (my Mom swears it is because I am a redhead which she says is backed by studies Lol).

Anyway, thanks for the info: it is helpful to hear what works and how for people.

I am leaning more and more towards surgery to not feel spaced out in the head and dizzy and to get rid of the daily pressure.


pebbles said:

I should probably also mention the best meds I have tried for the head pressure headaches and confusion... have been Midrin and Fioricet.

Midrin is a combination drug that constricts the blood vessels. It has a pain reliever and anti-anxiety in it as well, if my memory serves me.

The Fioricet is a anti seizure med, I was so scared to try that but it does reduce the pain for a bit.

Midrin is a dream! It works very well for me and quickly too, but it is super pricey ($160 for 30 pills, which I can take 5 a day). The Fioricet is inexpensive but takes a long time to work and only works for about an hour or 2.

Both are narcotics which I am not fond of, but they help keep me functional. Without them I was living in a painful haze that just kept getting worse...

You need to be on the Inderal consistently for it to work. I would at least try it out. It can't hurt! When thinking of surgery please keep in mind that it is not a cure. Many people need to have the decompression more than once. My neice has had 2 decompressions (shes 6) and now shes having the tethered cord surgery on top of it. Her symptoms got better for a period of time and she declined again. 2nd surgery, better for a time then declined.

There is no way of knowing if the surgery will actually do any good. It can actually make it worse as well. Myself, I will try all other avenues first. Have you been checked for EDS? something else to think about when considering surgery.

Most of us have the terrible pressure headaches. Something that can be missed with most MRI's is Normal pressure hydrocephalus and Intracranial hypertension. Please be sure to find a good Chiari Specialist when considering surgery. I have heard some really terrible stories when doctors (who say they are experienced) but really aren't specialized in Chiari.

I have heard that Dr. Henderson (I think in Vermont?) has a huge success rate with improvement of symptoms long term. I guess he does some kind of a 90 degree Cine MRI that is pretty unique to address whether decompression will help or not.

I wish you the best of luck... Gotta go, my head is killing me...