AF Association
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Can anyone explain the difference between Bisoprelol and Dronedarone.I am on Bisoprelol for past 8 months with no side effects,after just one attack of AF, but my wife was put on Dronedarone after one attack of AF and it has made her very tired and without the same energy she had before this one and only attack,some 6 months ago.I feel that the consultant who prescribed Dronedarone is testing this drug on her and I am rather concerned as my wife was extremely active 72 year old,swimming and walking regularly but now does not have the same energy or enthusiasim.

Thank you in anticipation

6 Replies

Bisoprolol is a rate control drug and Dronedarone is a rhythm control. I have been on Dronedaron for about 4 weeks and have no noticeable side effects myself. I am however having regular blood tests to check my liver/kidney function. I'm surprised that your wife is on Dronedarone after only one attack. I would go back to the consultant and say it has affected her quality of life.

Hope this helps.


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AF is a mongrel condition that affects different people very differently. My sister and I both have AF but its symptoms and treatment are totally different in each case. Please don't assume that because your treatment is one way, the same thing would be right for your wife.

Simplifying horribly, there are two possible approaches to treating AF: rate control and rhythm control. Rate control says "AF is okay but lets make sure the heart doesn't beat too fast" and so uses drugs like Bisoprolol to control the rate . Rhythm control says "lets try and 'cure' AF and get the heart beating in sinus rhythm" and uses drugs like Dronedarone to help the heart back into rhythm. Still simplifying horribly, there can be more side effects with rhythm control drugs but, when they work, they stop AF occurring. The choice between the two approaches depends on a variety of factors such as how long someone has had AF and what the symptoms are. That is why cardiologists have to do years of training! Dronedarone has been around for 6 years or more so the consultant would have no reason to be testing it just for the sake of it.

If a drug is having deleterious side effects, it is always worth asking if there is an alternative - though I have to say, there are many more posts on here about the side effects of Bisoprolol than there are about Dronedarone and, personally, I didn't get on with Bisoprolol at all - so I would be cautious about suggesting that it might be a better solution for your wife.


Very well put Chris. I've been on both on and off for the last 4 years, Dronedrone was and perhaps still is a relative unknown when it was prescribed to me in 2013, in fact I believe even now it is still "reg flagged" and only allowed to be prescribed by a specialist.

Dronedrone was hailed as the big cure and breakthrough in AF medication some years ago, being less potent than Amidrone but it's not lived up to the hype.

Like you say to the OP - it's always worth asking if something else may be better suited. I've had various combinations over the years but found Dronedrone and Bisoprolol to be the worst.

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Thank you Beardy Chris,Your reply is very helpful.


dronadarone (& sotalol) work in a very specific manner which either seems to work well or totally wreck the patient's energy levels. It is no point staying on it so go and see consultant asap but don't just stop in the meantime. Amiodarone may work however and might be worth trying. However if attacks are rare then a pill in the pocket approach may be better


Dronaderone was prescribed for my wife as, unlike amioderone, it doesn't affect the thyroid (she had to have a partial thyroidectomy in the past). However, be aware that dronaderone can induce phototoxicity which is not very pleasant. I know because it happened to my wife. She ended up with a severe rash over most of her body which meant she had to stop taking the stuf (she had been taking it for about a month when the problem started). Even now, some 18 months later, she still has to be careful when out in the sun because the rash starts to flare up again. On the positive side, it prompted her to have a second ablation done which, touch wood, seems to have worked well. For further info on dronaderone and phototoxicity, see:


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