Toperol XL and Exercise ?

Since my open heart surgery last November I have come off all meds except for Toperol. I hate the fact that I have to be on anything. I've never been a "pill" person and have conquered every medical issue i've ever had up until now naturally. I've always lived by the belief that I should not take prescription meds unless the condition is life threatening.

I'm pretty sure that everyone who has open heart surgery goes on Toperol (or another beta blocker) immediately after surgery during their recovery to keep their blood pressure low and relieve stress on the repaired heart. I fell into this pattern myself after surgery, but I figured once I recovered fully I would come off everything since I was 100% healthy before surgery. I didn't have any blocked arteries, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or any health issues before my surgery like many patients. My open heart surgery was for a freak aortic aneurysm, and so I figured once I was put back together and recovered, I wouldn't have to take any heart meds. For the most part that has proven true; I've come off morphine, insulin, pergocet, coumadin, and colchizene. I am however still taking a very small dose of Toperol XL (xl means extended release). Basically it is a blood pressure drug, but it is also used to prevent migraines, and arrythmias. My Cardiologist has me taking 25mg of this (a tiny dose) he says to keep stress off my aorta and as an insurance against the arrythmias I had after surgery (i actually had to return to the hospital for a week after surgery because I had an uncontrolled heart rate). I'm not questioning his judgement, as his prudence is one of the reason's I'm alive today, however I'm nervous about taking this and training hard for the marathon. Maybe I shouldn't be worried because it's such a tiny dose. My problem is that it keeps your heart rate a little suppressed. What happens when I really exert myself during a run? Am I in the clear because it's such a tiny dose, or should I be concerned that late in the marathon when I hit a hill my heart is not going to beat fast enough to supply enough oxygen to me and I'll keel over somewhere in the bronx?

Does anyone have any experience running or training hard while on Toperol XL? There's not much info online, I suppose because most people taking this are doing so as a result of an unhealthy lifestyle or perhaps after they had open heart surgery they've become sedentary? The link below was about the closest I came to finding anything significant:


Anonymous said...

In my opinion, Don't push it. The surgery you had is about as serious as it gets and many times requires many hours in surgery. True recovery can take well over a year.

Unknown said...

As a survivor of heart surgery, ASD & VSD, and a Personal Trainer, Yoga Therapist & Aquafit Instructor, I would advise you to write your Doctor a letter with regards to the level at which you intent to train, and if is is safe for you to do so post-surgery and given the medications that you have been proscribed. This is the best way to know if you are pushing it or not. You might be just fine, but, your Doctor will have a better idea than those who have not seen your heart, and what's going on with it.

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