Is my heart rate linked to hayfever drugs?

6 messages
07/07/2004 at 11:53
I've been a serious-ish casual runner for a few years. But, I only began monitoring my heart rate in March this year. At that point my resting rate was about 40-45bpm. Since June, and starting my annual hayfever drug taking (Zirtek one-a-day tablets, Flixonaise nose spray, Subutamol inhaler and opticrom eyedrops), my resting HR has risen substantially to mid-60s or even 70s. Has anyone else experienced this? And, has anyone a possible physical explanation? I'm very curious!
07/07/2004 at 13:17
It might be the inhaler. My other half has two inhalers and has been having some problems with bpms being high (ended up in hospital last week!).

Someone with proper medical qualifications should be along soon....
07/07/2004 at 13:24

One theory I'm playing with is that if I am having more trouble breathing then there is lower concentrations of oxygen in my blood. Therefore, my heart has to beat faster to circulate more blood to satisfy my oxygen requirements....? However, I never did biology at school so this might be complete mumbo jumbo!

You might be right - it is just the inhaler and playing with a different type might help.

08/07/2004 at 20:30
Hi there, I've got the med.certs and have the same problem this time of year.

Salbutamol raises your heart rate as a side affect, so if you are using it regularly for "wheeze" then your RestingHR will rise. You are right also that if your breathing is restricted by allergy "asthma" then you have to work harder to get the same amount of oxygen into your system. You will notice this in getting out of puff faster on runs, times droppping off, wheeze or cough on excercise, waking at night coughing or wheezing as some examples. This will all raise your RHR, just like excercise does.

Current recommendations are that if you need to use salbutamol more than 3x per week and/or getting night time symptoms etc then you probably need a prevention inhaler like beclomethasone to control the "asthma". Once under control your RHR returns to normal and runs get easier <VBG>

Some people get fast heart rates with certain antihistamines but these are really fast and Zirtek is not one of these.

Hope this helps, have you noticed any drop off in your running as above?
09/07/2004 at 11:13

Thanks Beardie that is really helpful!
If you are right, I am using the inhaler all wrong as I take two puffs 4 times a day. When I run, I take one of those doses 15-20 mins beforehand. Perhaps I should get one of these preventor ones and only take the salbutamol one just before running etc.

The affect on my running (apart from a general feeling of demoralisation!!) is that I am only managing slow runs so that I can manage my breathing. As soon as I vary my pace, I just end up gasping for air and getting panicky because I can't seem to get it quickly enough! Can't really say it is having an affect on times because I don't train that seriously and other variables come into play.

I guess now that I know what is going on, i'll just coast for a few months and look forward to Sept/Oct to pick my training up properly. But, I'll also go back to the Doctor and experiment with one of these preventor inhalers - do you know if they have any side-affects I should know about?

Thanks again!
09/07/2004 at 11:37
Hi ya, yes if you are using that amount of salbutamol you most definitely need to be on prevention inhaler like beclomethasone. Salbutamol is for relief now and again, like pre-exercise if needed, however if the preventor is at the correct dose you should hardly need any salbutamol even pre exercise once controlled. Salbutamol is like a "pain-killer" it makes you breath easier but does nothing for the underlying inflammation in the lungs which continues hence the need to repeat the dosage regularly.

Preventors are steroid inhalers but in the small inhaled doseages used side-effects are minimal (ocassionally husky voice, sore mouth commonest). Offset that by the ability to breath properly and stop long-term damage to your lungs from inflammation etc its worth it.

Have a long chat with your Doc, get sorted and keep on running.

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