Beta Blockers?

Having had asthma since I was 11 years old, my Doctor didn't put me on Beta Blockers because of this condition. However, since my asthma rarely causes me problems now (after giving up certain foods) my EP prescribed Beta Blockers because he thought my heart rate was still too high at around 87 bpm. After 8 days on the Beta Blockers, one evening my heart suddenly started to give little 'jolts' for a while, which I decided wasn't problematic and I ignored it. The next day, I took my blood pressure, which was normal...but my heart rate registered as only 54. Great! The EP had said this was what he was hoping for. Am I right to assume that the Beta Blockers have just slowed my heart rate whilst still in AF or is it possible that I am now back into sinus rhythm? Can Beta Blockers do that? I'm thinking not....just hoping. I am booked in for a cardio version on 22nd September and wondering if it will go ahead now that my heart rate is down...or whether my heart rate doesn't matter...whilst I'm in Afib, I still need to have the cardio version to try to get me back into sinus rhythm. I wish I had thought to ask these questions when I saw the EP!


7 Replies

  • Either is possible but beta blockers are rate controllers and not anti arrhythmic, so do not generally convert you from af. They are very effective at preventing you from reverting to af after cardio version though. However it is possible that You may have spontaneously converted. Can you feel if your heart rate is still irregular? That is the key factor

    If you are still in af you will still require cardio version. The aim is to get rate control initially and then get you back into sinus rhythm.

  • Thank you for your reply, Goldfish. My heart rate feels regular at the moment so here's hoping....

  • Just to give you an idea of what bisoprolol does to me and, from previous posts, to others on this site, 2.5 bisoprolol reduces my heart rate from about 80 to about 65.

  • Hi jennydog,

    Yeah me too, 5 mg Bisoprolol daily at night keeps mine around 65 - 67 instead of around 88. however, occasionally, just occasionally my heart rate drops to around 46 or 48 .... and I feel soooooo ice cold - 'the ice man cometh' (Lol!) and feel so crap. The only way out of that is to go to bed with a hot water bottle, hug it too my chest and have a mug of hot sweet coffee. Maybe doze on and off and it picks up and shifts upward again to 65/67. Really weird. Seems like a combination of heat and caffeine is the go ! No medical seal of approval there I fear - Lol!


  • Check your pulse and if your heart rate is regular then you are in NSR and will not need the cardioversion. Beta blockers are rate control drugs and not anti arrhythmic but you can spontaneously convert to NSR.

  • From memory in my case 2.5mg only made a difference of 10 bpm.

  • Thank you all. I will keep checking my heart rate (daily) to see if it is keeping to a regular beat...and if it is, I will try not to get too excited...not good as far as Afib is

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