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Old 11-12-08, 03:51 AM
PopeyeDoyle PopeyeDoyle is offline
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Angry Tachychardia and Anxiety from Adderall

Hello forum,

Was recently diagnosed with ADHD and put on Aderrall which has been working fabulous at the right dose (half a 20 mg xr three to fours times a day). Taking a full one gives me an uncomfortable rush. The Adderall has been wonderful for my ADHD and thinking, but has elevated my heart rate to above 100 and blood pressure as well to pre-hypertension to hypertension levels normally. Sometimes if I don't space out my dosages or take too much my heart beats fast (~120-130ish) and get arthymias presumably because its beating too fast. I have almost become obsessed with monitoring my pulse and believe I feel arrhythmias, but could just be me being a hypochondriac. It would make sense to have arrhythmia because of the tachycardia (100+ heart rate).

Now I believe anxiety is also a factor as well, for instance in class with a teacher I am not relaxed around, our divided groups were explaining something, was on adderall and the closer it came for us and I to speak the more lightheaded I got. I almost fainted, and got a stronger heart beat than usual. Believe they are called "extratoles" or PVCs, they can be caused by stress or stimulants (like Adderall) but it seemed to be stress in this case. This wasnt the first time I've felt a extratole on adderall either and probably the biggest reason I started taking only halves of my prescribed pills. Being put on adderall has been both great and scary which has caused me to focus on my cardiovascular system; I want to live a long time. Would a benzodiazipine lower my heart rate? I've had a panic attack in public and almost fainted like Tony Soprano before, and more anxious than the ordinary person. But my anxiety has never really been a problem until now that its exacerbated by the stimulant. Not sure if ironic is the right word, but it seems that a lot of my stress before was a product of my ADHD.

I really don't want to be put on a beta blocker for my HR and BP, and a benzo for anxiety. I'm 27 and the only prescribed medicine I've ever taken has been Adderall for the last 8 days. I would rather just be on a benzo. Psychologically heart and blood pressure medicine seems like something my grandpa would take. But my ego would have to be hurt if there was no choice, and I suspect im going to be put on at least one more medication or off adderall. What benzo works best against Adderalls increase in heart rate and blood pressure?

Have experimented quite a bit with benzos before, and know that xanax has a very high abuse potential. Used to do a lot on the "weekends" (40-50 miligrams) to the point that I seemed to stop having withdrawals (im very serious). And don't want to be put on xanax because I don't think I can handle it, but feel little to nothing on valium and clonopin after the first day and it lasts a long time too (unlike xanax). What is the best benzo for lowering blood pressure and heart rate?

I'm going to feel like an old man if I get prescribed atenolol and a benzo. It seems like a slippery slope from treating my ADHD to potentially being on 3 medications.

I see my doctor tomorrow, just want to hear users experiences on the subject above.

************************************************** ******
For the benefit of future forum users below is some information related to the effects of some benzos on HR and BP, but posted the above because I want to hear from people on Adderall about benzos:

It has been proven that alprazolam (Xanax) does lower blood pressure temporarily. I am not familiar with studies using valium, but lorazepam (Ativan) has also been shown to lower heart rate and blood pressure. The following link will take you to a NIH study on this issue:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi

In another study, it was shown that Xanax can lower the diastolic blood pressure (lower number), while Ativan does not:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi

Several studies have shown that patients suffering from high blood pressure and anxiety will experience a lower BP from taking Xanax, but it is not clear whether persons without anxiety should take Xanax for blood pressure. There are several reliable and widely-used medications that lower blood pressure in patients without anxiety. Even if you do suffer from anxiety and high BP, a benzodiazepine should be prescribed for the anxiety, and another med should be prescribed for BP.

If you have anxiety and the benzo helps your blood pressure, then great, but rely on blood pressure meds for high blood pressure nevertheless. The benzo effects are temporary, and other meds (such as atenolol) are quite effective at maintaining healthy blood pressure.

If you do not have anxiety, do not take a benzo for high blood pressure when there is a plethera of great meds that work very well.

And of course, if you have low blood pressure, don't take Xanax or Valium! You can end up in a coma.
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Old 11-12-08, 07:53 AM
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Re: Tachychardia and Anxiety from Adderall

Just see your doc and tell him and the side effects - he/she might look at a different ADHD med and/or pairing it up with an SSRI to treat the anxiety. I dare say Benzos will be the last med you get prescribed because they're very addictive.
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Old 11-12-08, 04:14 PM
PopeyeDoyle PopeyeDoyle is offline
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Re: Tachychardia and Anxiety from Adderall

SSRIs take about 6 weeks to kick in, and aren't they for depression? I know serotonin is used for a myriad of functions.

Assuming im going to stay on adderall, lowering my heart rate and blood pressure is the main concern. The stress causing PVCs is somewhat concerning as well, but might go away just with blood pressure and heart rate medicine. A lot of my anxiety has been calmed from Adderall, but the effects of the stimulant exacerbates the little I do have.

I may be wrong, but I think im going to temporarily be put on a benzo. I almost fainted from anxiety in class and it seems to trigger PVCs. Thats not the main concern though, im not scared of fainting or having anxiety, im scared my blood pressure and heart rate rate will get too high because of anxiety and lead to cardiac arrest.
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Old 11-12-08, 04:58 PM
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Re: Tachychardia and Anxiety from Adderall

It sounds to me like what you are just having side effects from Adderall. It could be that the dose is too high, or that you just need a little longer to adjust to it. It is also very possible that there is a better med for you that won't produce those side effects, e.g. Vyvanse. Adderall is more physically stimulating for many people than Vyvanse (or any other d-amp formulation).

I know a lot of people take benzos and never have any problems with them, but some people can become very depedant on benzos very quickly. I'm talking about physical dependance, not psychological addiction. The physical dependance can be incredibly powerful, and withdrawal can last a really long time. I just finished a benzo taper that took me close to 2 years to complete. I'm not saying that will happen to you or anybody else who reads this, but I am saying do not take a stroll down benzo road without some serious risk/benefit analysis.

Beta blockers do not have to be taken every day like vitamins; many doctors will prescribe a low dose of one of these drugs (e.g. inderall) on a PRN basis, and for many people that's all it takes if you get hit with an anxiety attack. I wouldn't want to be taking beta blockers every day at your age either, but I also wouldn't want to be taking benzos. Beta Blockers are much safer drugs for regular or long term use than benzos IMO, but I think there's a good chance you don't need to be taking either of these regularly--talk to your doc about options.

That said, benzos work very well for most people for anxiety as long as they are not taken regularly. But the body can adapt wicked-fast, and it heals wicked-slow once you start fooling around with your GABA.

I'm not a doctor or anything like that. I've just been burned by benzos, and I don't want to see that happen to you or anybody else if a little education can stop it.

Best,
-tom
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Old 11-12-08, 07:23 PM
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Re: Tachychardia and Anxiety from Adderall

Quote:
Originally Posted by PopeyeDoyle View Post
SSRIs take about 6 weeks to kick in, and aren't they for depression? I know serotonin is used for a myriad of functions.
SSRIs are also used to treat anxiety and anxiety-based illnesses (like OCD).
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Old 11-12-08, 07:24 PM
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Re: Tachychardia and Anxiety from Adderall

Quote:
Originally Posted by PopeyeDoyle View Post
SSRIs take about 6 weeks to kick in, and aren't they for depression? I know serotonin is used for a myriad of functions.
They work best for depression, I think, but are used frequently for anxiety. I'd dare say they have potential for treating any emotional problem. I take Sertraline (Zoloft) for anxiety.

Quote:
Assuming im going to stay on adderall, lowering my heart rate and blood pressure is the main concern. The stress causing PVCs is somewhat concerning as well, but might go away just with blood pressure and heart rate medicine. A lot of my anxiety has been calmed from Adderall, but the effects of the stimulant exacerbates the little I do have.
I'm cardiophobic rather than hypochondriac, but I do tend to monitor my physiological processes unusually closely. So I can empathize with you here. Just being on a stimulant of any kind makes me a little eagggh.

Quote:
I may be wrong, but I think im going to temporarily be put on a benzo. I almost fainted from anxiety in class and it seems to trigger PVCs. Thats not the main concern though, im not scared of fainting or having anxiety, im scared my blood pressure and heart rate rate will get too high because of anxiety and lead to cardiac arrest.
Are you sure you should be taking Adderall right now? With that kind of anxiety, I can't imagine you being worse off taking a break and getting an SSRI. Yeah, they can take 6 weeks, but some people notice effects sooner.
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Old 11-12-08, 08:45 PM
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Re: Tachychardia and Anxiety from Adderall

Incidentally, don't overlook the importance of hydration. Dehydration can trigger a tachycardia.
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Old 11-13-08, 02:15 PM
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Re: Tachychardia and Anxiety from Adderall

Also, do you drink a lot of coffee or any other caffeinated beverages? If you do, that may explain it. Caffeine + adderall can really get the heart muscle pumping and the anxiety rising--very physical stimulation.
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Old 07-01-10, 06:44 AM
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Re: Tachychardia and Anxiety from Adderall

Popeye Doyle,
I agree with all members comments in general, Tuminal is spot on, also Grey Kamaleon, and all others. I mixed too high a dose of I/R Ritalin many years ago, and used 1 Mg. "Xanax" to mellow out my sometimes intense anxiety, using 60 mg of I/R Ritalin a day, ran up a 6 mg. addiction to "Xanax" and had to Doctor Shop (before the PMP programs of today" it took me $5,000 of private therapy, and 90 days, and a "slip" and another 90 day taper to kick alprazolam "bars". That was 14 yrs ago. Perhaps you just need to lower the dose a bit on the Adderall XR, as I am suspicious that your dose is a "tad high", with the combination of a likely co-morbid anxiety disorder, (like I have), I have "reluctantly taken a "Inderal" in small doses, and/or "Corgard" for all day relief, "but on occasion, not every day, for at age 27, I would not want to be on anti-hypertensives, or off label anti-seizure drugs, or other meds, long term, like gabapentin (neurontin) or Lamictal, like a daily vitamin. Inderal does wonders for stage fright, oriented anxiety, but too big a dose, will turn you off, by knocking out all of the AdderallXR, do it in small doses at first, (there are side effects), I have tried zolpidem, for 2 hours of relief, with so-so results, as well as Klonopin, with so-so results, I would never go back to Xanax, as I feel it is a entirely different anti-panic benzo, twice as addictive, as any other benzo, I have ever tried. Clonidine has been a help for some people, who have a primary diagnosis of ADHD, and a secondary diagnosis of one of the anxiety disorders. "Cat-a Press" it is called. I will take a 10 mg. Valium on a very, very bad day, but, I am glad I have a limited supply of diazepam, for I remember the faster, acting "Xanax". (been there , done that). I have tried 1/2 dozen SSRI's and SNRI's and a concoction of mixtures of I/R stimulants, and have ultimately settled on delayed release Dexedrine Spansule 15 mg. and take I/R Adderall as a booster, once or twice, every day as needed, 10 mg. I/R versions. Under extreme stress, like getting married, going to Court to face a judge, being in a dance contest with lots of judges and spectators, taking a test, that I have prepared for for one year, those kinds of days, I know that I can't take any stimulant, or at the very least like 1/2 dose of a I/R stimulant, "no coffee, no caffeine" and usually, keep a pill box in my pocket, to take for a tackacardia, where the "Inderal in 10 mg doses, or 80 mg sustained release Corgard, or a "Valium" in my pocket, comes in very handy, and I usually need it, when overwhelming anxiety, becomes prominent, and my ADHD is secondary. The trick is learning to seperate "occasional need for a anti-hypertensive, or mild benzo (not Xanax), or "nothing" on a day of stress that you have to practice controlled breathing techniques, to avoid a panic attack, that is when a back up pill is so resourceful for me, or having the awareness, that I am already too amped up without any ADD meds for a upcoming day of walking on eggshells stress. thank god that does not happen often, it comes from the school of hard knocks. Good Luck!!!
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Old 07-02-10, 10:30 AM
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Re: Tachychardia and Anxiety from Adderall

Hey Popeye,

I'm also suffer from anxiety issues. I use to have panic attacks. When I first started on ADHD meds, I wasn't on any anti-anxiety meds. I was a nervous wreck. I began to notice my heart rate was elevated and than began researching it on the internet and that's when I found out about all the negative effects of ADHD meds.

So this sent me into even more paranoia and I began to focus on my cardiovascular area too. Constantly worried I was going to die.

Anyway, long story short, I went to a cardiovascular doctor had everything checked out and she told me I can still take my ADHD meds. So I went back to my psych and she tried me on zoloft. That has been a life saver. Totally stopped my panic attacks, and now my ADHD meds don't effect me like that anymore.

So my advice is to go to a cardio doc just to have peace of mind. (I'm sure the majority of what your going through is panic.) Then talk to your psych about an anti-anxiety med. Then see how your ADHD meds effect you.

I hope this helps.
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Old 10-21-10, 06:53 PM
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Re: Tachychardia and Anxiety from Adderall

this is eerily similiar to what i am going through. i was on 20mg xr for 5 mo, had a few chest pains, but mostly panic attacks. i have been prescribed Ativan, but only as needed. it does help but it is very temporary. Im a little worried about asking my doctor to add something else, however, if it is safe to take something mild along with the adderall than i am interested. i cut out caffeine and that helped my anxiety alot, but still having moments of rapid heart rate and im getting very ocd about my health issues, particularly my heart. had an ekg few months ago and was normal....so hoping this is just my anxiety....i have heard good things about zoloft and and a few others, but do the anti depressents take away from adderall's benefits? oh and i just started 30mg xrs today. so far felt great in the morning and had panic attack and irritability at dinner time......
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