AF Association
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My cardiologist recently changed my beta blocker to bisoprolol, for atrial flutter. It has reduced the frequency of session (good),  but when they do come, they are much worse. The symptoms during a session are stronger (weak, dizzy, can't concentrate, breathless), and afterwards it feels like I've been hit by a bus, totally exhausted for hours, achy, often a headache. Bad sessions like this were quite rare on my old beta blocker (atenolol).

I was just wondering if anyone else has had the same thing, or whether the bisoprolol is just letting the worse ones through (so to speak), and managing to block the weaker session?

Thanks in advance.

4 Replies

Bisoprolol is a rate control not a rhythm control so it wil keep your heart rate down but won't stop the rhythm 


Hello Paddinton. I asked myself exactly the same questions about Bisoprolol after 2 years of taking them daily. I get 6 second bursts of  either flutter, tachycardia or ectopic runs. I can conclude that there is no pattern and that I could go 2 months without any, weeks with a single 6 second session or weeks with just the odd ectopic which culminated with a 6 second glitch 2-3 weeks later. My point being is that there was no pattern and therefore I had to conclude that the Bisoprolol was not reducing the reoccurrence rate. I stopped taking Bisoprolol last October and the occurrence pattern remains the same.

Positive result for not taking Bisoprolol. I no longer get the minor balance problem every time that I stood up that lasted for a fraction of a second.

I was given the option to increase the dose of Bisoprolol but you are increasing the side effects for the periods in which you are not getting the heart glitches therefore, making yourself feel rough all the time.

I read here that it is a rate drug therefore I cannot understand why they are using it to treat our irregularity.


Having read various posts on here (and having a very good memory) there are possibilities that in a FEW cases Bisoprolol could help  preventing AF. For some if HB goes up AF can kick in. Therefore Bisoprolol could keep someone in NSR because of keeping HB low.  Also for some people if HB is too low AF can kick in. 


Hi Peter,

Hope you are well. Great answer, I am one of those people. I am finding out, that I only go into AF when my pulse rate goes up (bike ride/swim etc), if I do not do any exercise I remain in NSR. I am a fan of Bisoprolol.

Kind Regards


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