AF Association
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Weight gain with Bisoprolol

Can anyone tell me which beta blocker doesn’t put on weight? I am taking 3.75 of Bisoprolol at the moment plus warfarin 5mgs, statin 10mgs and omeprazol. I am sure I would feel better if I managed to drop the weight I have have put on since being on all these pills, approx 2stone. I am 72, walk between a mile and 2 miles everyday, eat a healthy diet about 1200 Cala, don’t drink or smoke. Get very breathless going up hills and a bad cough. Thankyou

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Hi Fruitcake100 :-) I have lost a stone and a half since taking the beta blocker Nebivolol a year ago but I also made lifstyle changes at the same time including eating small portions of healthy unprocessed food/changing my main meal time to lunch time . I attribute my weight loss to lifestyle changes rather than having anything to do with the medication I take.

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If you really are only eating 1200 calories a day this is less than wartime rations and nobody was over weight then. Something is wrong.

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Hi Fruitcake :-) do you have fluid retention, have you spoken to your doctor about the weight gain.

As Bob says 1200cal is not a lot, I have roughly 1500 calories each day (though I don't count them religiously I am not on a diet) . I am not saying you do, but it is easy to underestimate the number of calories we are taking in during a day and it can help to do a check for a few days to see what exactly we are eating .

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There are lots of stories like this on all of the different forums on the internet. The ones that are managing to lose the weight have opted to go for the low carb approach. According to a lot of the information I have read the average person can gain up to 2kg when first going on to beta blockers.

Do you actually add your calories up or is 1200 calories what you are guesstimating? I watched a TV program recently were somebody said they ate x amount of calories per day. When they monitored that person for a week he was shocked to find he was eating nearly half as much again.

Then there is the eating too little trap that some people have fallen in to on the weightloss forum. Your body goes in to starvation mode and hangs on to everything you give it.

Over a period of 12 days after starting on bisopralol I was horrified to see that I had gained 6lb despite sticking to the plan that I was previously comfortably losing weight on before my AF diagnosis. Last time I checked after cutting my carbs back a little more my weight was going down so I will see if I have managed to offload it again when I weigh in next Monday. :)

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A rather ominous name "Fruitcake", are you rather partial to the pastries? Joking aside, I lost at one stage 21lbs whilst on Bisoprolol, so I do not think it is that. Late eating/drinking more often than not is a culprit, unfortunately the ladies tend not to count the calories in wine😨......they are high.

Depending on your bedtime, try eating your last bite quite some hours before lights out.If you feel hungry, a glass of iced water will take the edge off of hunger pangs.

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Bisoprolol will slow your metabolic rate so you will be liable to gain weight if you are so inclined. My previous successful weight loss stalled completely when I first took this drug whilst having same food intake.

I would recalculate your calorie intake as you should not be putting on weight with 1200 cals and exercising.

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Hi Fruitcake I do sympathise as I also struggle to keep the weight off. I am sure beta blockers do slow metabolic rate so as already said this can affect weight if you tend towards weight gain. Lots of good advice already given from other forum members. The only thing I would add is to look at omaprazol- my son was prescribed this and found he struggled to lose weight - he changed diet and lifestyle to avoid the acid reflux and the drug and now the weight is coming off - although he doesn’t have to contend with beta blocker!

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Good morning

I've been on a beta blocker (atenolol, recently changed to Bisoprolol) and lansoprazole for years and gained 3 stone. I think though that the weight gain was due to lifestyle and a high carb/high fat diet, as since being told I'm pre diabetic 10 weeks ago I've lost 21lbs. Lowering carbs and religiously counting calories is the way forward I think. Recent hba1c showed a reduction from 47 to 44. Still pre diabetic but going the right way! I've also just started to add the 5/2 principal to my diet and have meal replacement milkshakes (600 cals) on two non consecutive days but I also allow myself one treat day a week when I might have a juicy steak and a bowl of chips! Still a way to go but reckon I'm going to have to continue with this regime for life. Hardest bit for me was deciding to give up Prosecco!

Should also add that AF and flutter episodes have reduced massively!

I'd say give it a go. Good luck 😊

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Well done Hilly22 there is hope for us all 😊

I think many of us whether we like to acknowledge it or not become complacent with our eating habits. You can think you are eating well until you see the eating plan of somebody that actually is eating healthily. I agree with you that counting every little thing we eat is the way to go and cutting refined carbs in particular is essential.

It is amazing what you can achieve when you set your mind to it

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Thank you Justsharon. Yes, I've realised that being diagnosed pre diabetic was actually one of the best things that could have happened. Gave me a real kick up the proverbial!! I feel so much better in every way ... sleep better, enjoy walks more, laugh more, live more. Blood pressure has improved too. And hearing that alcohol is limited when on an anticoagulant made me decide to stop drinking altogether ... another kick up the backside!

I'm still overweight but plan to rectify that over the months. It's surprising how many health problems are caused by high BMI x

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I gained 6lb very quickly when I was put on Bisopralol at the end of April. Prior to that I had lost over two stone and was going strong until that dreaded day. I have had to cut my carbs back even further and slightly trim my calories but I got on the scales this morning and am back to where I was before Bisopralol.

I'm not going to deny that it appears this drug has just made things a whole lot harder than it already was but it is even more important than ever now that I get rid of as much weight as possible so it looks like I'm in for a bumpy ride but I'm ready.

Thank you for your post it has reinforced my belief that if you want it bad enough you can make it happen, good luck with the rest of your journey although I really don't think you need it 😊

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Thank you Justsharon for your encouragement. You're right about the long and bumpy road. You've done so well to lose what you gained and maybe you won't have to pull the reins in so much now - you've obviously been taking in less than was going out to lose that weight.

Still a long journey ahead and it's still not clear whether I have atrial flutter, AF or both. Waiting to be monitored over a few days, but I suspect I have vagal AF that turns into flutter. Husband's a retired doctor and agrees, but we'll see.

On the bright side, it's my treat day, and my husband took me out to lunch ... I allowed myself to indulge a bit - yum!!

It's been lovely chatting with you and I wish you all the very best. I'm following you to sort of keep in touch :-)

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Hi Fruitcake. I have been under weight all my life 59 years and I have been on bisoprolol for 1 year and I have put on 2.5 stone!! So yes I agree with you I am now overweight for the 1st time ever. I am also on losartan, Doxozosin and Edoxaban. I have recently stop Citalopram and lansoprazole in case they were giving me the awful side effects I've been suffering with for a year.

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Thankyou for your reply, it is rather frustrating as I feel no one believes me when I say I eat very little and stick to a healthy diet. Today took my pulse at lunchtime having done some bits in the garden and a 1.5 mile walk it was 43, I think I need to see the Dr and have the Bisoprolol dose lowered . Still reading all advice there is obviously a way to cope with all this and get fit again. I will just try harder.

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I'm sorry it's all so frustrating. My doc has just changed my bisoprolol to Sotalol. So goodness only knows what this will be like.

I believe you and I don't think you should try harder life's difficult enough. X

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Hi Fruitcake

I'm so sorry you're having problems with Bisoprelol. With a resting pulse rate of 43 I think you're right to see the doctor. Sounds as if it just doesn't suit some people. That's a lot of exercise you do, maybe you should take it easy for a few days while you get things sorted out through the doctor.

I do think that a beta blocker played a part in my massive weight gain but I wasn't eating healthily as you obviously are.

Please don't feel despondent x

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That is low. I thought/think mine is too low at 46 to 52 on 5mg. My own thoughts for what they are worth are; whilst a low pulse is nice and comfortable, it can also bring other problems ie higher BP + who knows what, as your/my heart is not working as high as it should be. Going on the medically recognised norm of 60 to 100, I have been of the opinion (unless one has a low pulse normally), that the medics should be aiming for the accepted 60bpm - not necessarily lower. When I get my cardiology appointment, I will be raising that point.

Also a problem could be occurring when we are asleep, as we do not know if the pulse is going lower. I feel that might be the case with me, as most of my Afib sessions happen whilst in bed.

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Thankyou everyone for your thoughtful replies. I did go to my GP for advice as I was also getting dizzy at times. His advice was to stop taking Bisoprolol as my pulse was low and he thought most of my symptoms were caused by pill. However I decided to come down slowly off the Bisoprolol so have stopped the 1.25 pill and will see if that improves things.

He was a locum so didn’t know anything about my history and was not particularly helpful. I have decided to carry on as above and will see my cardiologist, hopefully before to long to perhaps try a different pill.

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