Tuesday, January 3, 2017

An Ode to the Beta Blocker

I first discovered Metoprolol in residency. A friend who has essential tremor when doing large public speaking, it even affected her voice (sorry if effected is called for here - I mix the two), was recommended it by an attending, and the drug got rid of her symptoms (sx).

About that time, even though I was giving speeches and lectures in pathology to residents and cytotech students, I was paralyzed by fear at the prospect of giving med student lectures (150 in the audience!). So I tried it. It was amazing. Tamped down all the physiologic responses to fear, and left you with a clear head. I was hooked, but have used it sparingly over the years.

I appeared on TV many years back as an expert on Flu Swine. Couldn't have done it without a low dose beta blocker.

When I got divorced, I had to go on Match.com and date. Pulled out the 5 year old bottle of beta blockers. Dating is hard, when you aren't used to it. Or if you have fears of it. Some people set up dinners with wine, but I liked to set up lunch dates. Maybe a hike later, if I trusted them. If I can't get along with someone without wine, there is no point in a next date.

Last Summer I gained too much weight, and developed hypertension - discovered by a routine trip to the OB. The FP she recommended prescribed beta blockers. Hell, yeah, I thought, love them. It didn't seem to help my HTN, but a couple of months later I was ten pounds down and didn't need them anymore. Health is really all about nutrition and healthy body weight, not drugs.

But some docs have told me that beta blockers should be in drinking water - they are that harmless. So I had no qualms about getting a second of five refills today. They help with HTN, but they also help calm unmitigated rage. So after a busy day at work, I was able to hit the treadmill, go to yoga, and chill with Ray Donovan and a glass of wine.

In PMG pathology one of the best and funniest pathologists recently sang the praised of beta blockers - she takes one every day to deal with work. I'm not there, but I certainly don't judge. It's an amazing, harmless drug. It's gotten me through a lot of tough times.

No comments: