If you suffer from postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), you know how debilitating the symptoms can be. Medication for POTS can help to alleviate some of the symptoms, and in this blog post, we’ll talk about some of the more common ones. We’ll discuss how they work and what their side effects may be. We also touch on alternative treatments that you can try to get further relief. We hope that this information will help you to make more informed decisions about your treatment.
Table of Contents
Symptoms of POTS
Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) is a form of orthostatic intolerance that affects an estimated 1-3 million people in the United States. The primary symptom of POTS is an increase in heart rate of more than 30 beats per minute or to over 120 beats per minute within 10 minutes of standing up or sitting up from lying down. Additional symptoms include light-headedness, fainting, brain fog, fatigue, and exercise intolerance. Patients may also experience headaches, tremors, sleep disturbances, gastrointestinal issues, palpitations, anxiety, and depression.
It can sometimes be difficult to diagnose as many cases are mild and the associated symptoms may be misinterpreted with other conditions. Treatment options typically involve lifestyle modifications like increasing salt and water intake as well as medications that slow the heart rate. With appropriate treatment, many individuals who suffer from POTS can lead normal lives without serious limitations in activities or quality of life.
Medications Prescribed for Managing POTS
Many medications are traditionally prescribed to help treat postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome or POTS. These medications include different classes such as beta-blockers, midodrine, pyridostigmine, and fludrocortisone.
Beta-blockers are often used to reduce heart rate and blood pressure, but they also have other beneficial effects. Beta-blockers such as propranolol, atenolol, metoprolol and nadolol are the main types used to treat POTS. These medications help to decrease the frequency of symptoms by reducing the heart rate and reducing the body’s response to stress.
Cholinesterase Inhibitors such as Pyridostigmine and Neostigmine are medications that help to increase the amount of acetylcholine in the body. Acetylcholine is an important neurotransmitter that helps regulate heart rate and blood pressure. These drugs can be beneficial to those who suffer from POTS and other forms of orthostatic intolerance by increasing tolerance to standing and reducing heart rate.
Midodrine is vasoconstrictor that helps improve the body’s capacity to produce and retain plasma, improved venous return, and increase blood pressure. Midodrine helps to improve the body’s ability to produce and retain plasma, which in turn improves venous return and increases blood pressure. This can help reduce the frequency of symptoms and increase energy levels.
Pyridostigmine is an anticholinergic drug whose purpose is to improve the ability for muscles to contract which helps reduce autonomic symptoms associated with POTS such as fatigue or dizziness.
Fludrocortisone is a mineralcorticoid hormone used as a diuretic therapy that helps people with POTS physical regulatory issues like hypotension. All of these medications can be effective in helping those suffering from this condition, but it’s important to make sure they’re taken under the advice of a healthcare professional only.
Antidiuretics, such as desmopressin, are also sometimes prescribed for POTS. This type of medication helps to prevent the frequent urination that many people with this condition experience.
Finally, medications like SSRIs or SNRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors) can be prescribed to help with the anxiety, depression and other emotional symptoms that are often present in POTS.
Tracking POTS Medication & Symptoms
Tracking your medications and symptoms is an important part of managing POTS. CareClinic makes it easy to stay organized, efficient, and most importantly, informed. With CareClinic, you can easily create a comprehensive symptom log with interactive medication reminders and tracking so you can stay on top of your condition. It is free to download and is available for iOS and Android, click here to download it.
The Benefits and Risks
Taking medication to treat a medical condition can often be a balancing act between benefits and risks. It is important to consider each carefully before making the decision whether or not to take the medication being prescribed.
Understanding what the desired benefits of the drug are and any associated risks that come with taking it will help make an informed decision. In addition, talk to your doctor about what potential side effects could occur and which benefits the drug might bring for your individual health needs. Doing this will ensure that you know exactly what you’re getting out of taking each medication and can weigh both sides to determine if it’s right for you. CareClinic also helps in this regard that you can see if your symptoms are reduced after following your current medical regimen and or if flare-ups continue to prevail.
Talking to Your Doctor About POTS Medication
Talking to your doctor about which medication is right for you can be an intimidating experience. Before going into the consultation, it’s important to jot down any questions or concerns you might have.
This way, you’ll have open dialogue and can make sure that the proper information is communicated. Additionally, come prepared with any recent bloodwork results or lab notes so that your doctor has an up-to-date conception of your health history.
Lastly, make sure to communicate any personal factors such as allergies or side effects of current medications that could affect what drugs work best for you. In short, being well-informed about your body and medical wants and needs before visiting the doctor will help ensure that you are prescribed the most effective medication for your individual situation.
Alternative Treatments for POTS
When it comes to finding relief from POTS, many individuals are turning to alternative treatments. Even though traditional western medicine offers a few recognized treatments for the condition, many people have found that they need to look beyond what their doctors offer in order to find something that truly works.
In recent years, a large number of alternative treatments have surfaced that can offer relief from POTS symptoms such as dizziness, lightheadedness and exhaustion. These include yoga and mindfulness techniques, acupuncture, tai chi, craniosacral therapy, and herbal remedies and supplements. Some individuals have even reported experiencing great benefits when following a specialized nutrition plan for POTS! All of these options can help give you hope if you’re suffering from POTS. Exploring each option carefully with your doctor is key in determining which will be most suitable for your own unique needs.
How I Cured My PoTS
Many patients online claim that they have a cure for POTS. We are not able to verify if this is actually true however we are able to confirm that many patients online were able to better manage POTS. The first step is to get your medication correct with the support of your doctor and potentially trial and error.. The second part is through making the right lifestyle changes.
Patients have claimed that Myasthenia gravis which wasn’t originally prescribed for POTS is now being prescribed and it may be tolerated better. Exercising as we mentioned previously is a key component of getting a handle on POTS as well. Lastly, you need to absolutely determine your triggers (for which the CareClinic app is perfect! download it for iOS or Android free by clicking here).
Once you know your triggers, learn to do things ‘smarter’ so you can manage things better and don’t burn yourself out. Make sure you are also drinking plenty of water and never dehydrated. Have a salt stash on you at all times. Another method that worked for people is using compression socks to get better circulation. All of these things together as part of your treatment regimen will greatly improve your quality of life.
Does PoTS really go away?
Most experts believe that the symptoms would go away as well, but this has yet to be confirmed. There is a small possibility that the underlying issue causing PoTS could still be present even if the symptoms disappear. Therefore, it is important for patients with PoTS to continue to follow up with their healthcare provider even if their symptoms resolve.
Taking it one day at a time!
POTS is a condition that can be hard to live with, but there are treatments available that can help. If you think you may have POTS, it’s important to talk to your doctor and get a diagnosis. Once you have a diagnosis, you can work with your doctor to find the best treatment plan for you. There are many different medications that can be used to treat POTS, and each has its own benefits and risks. CareClinic can also help you track your symptoms and keep track of how well your treatment is working. Try it for free by clicking here.