Bisoprorlol side effects: Hello I'm new !, I... - AF Association

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Bisoprorlol side effects

Territwinks
Territwinks
29 Replies

Hello I'm new !,

I'm wondering whether to ask the GP to change my beta blocker.

I've been taking 2.5 mg Bisoprolol with Rivaroxaban and two different blood pressure medications following going to A & E and being diagnosed with AF. I'm also waiting for an appt with the cardiologist and also some tests on my heart, which will be 2 - 3 months wait. I'm not sure how long to persevere with the horrid side effects before asking to try an alternative beta blocker.

Did anyone experience the side effects of Bisoprolol getting better and if so how long into taking the medication?

I've got a constant pounding headache, feeling very tired, blurred vision and feeling very spaced out and dizzy. My BP remains high too. I've not been able to go to work due to feeling so unwell and after 2 1/2 weeks of being off work and feeling awful, I'm starting to worry that my life needs to return to some normality. I really can't take much more time off work.

Any advice appreciated.

29 Replies
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CaroleF

Normally I'd say give any new medication a month before asking for a change, but those side effects sound horrendous to me and personally I'd say ask the GP for something else. There are certainly other beta blockers that you might try; bisoprolol always seems the 'go-to' one at first. I never got on well with bisoprolol either, but the side effects I experienced weren't as bad as that. I know, however, that people here have said in the past that after a month the side effects have improved somewhat once their body has got used to the drug. You may find that the GP will do nothing without the say-so of the hospital. If that happens I would push the GP to communicate with them.

In the meantime you could try the following: try taking the medication at night rather than in the morning or buy a pill splitter and taking half in the morning and half at night. I did both those things on the advice of my pharmacist and there was some improvement, but not a great deal I have to say. Do speak to your own pharmacist first though as you are taking different drugs from me in addition and only they can advise.

I now take Diltiazem (a calcium channel blocker) which suits me well - but we are all different and I know some can't tolerate it.

In the end all treatment for AF is about improving one's quality of life (QOL) and bisoprolol certainly doesn't seem to be improving yours!

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Territwinks
Territwinks
in reply to CaroleF

Thank you for responding Carole, I will speak to my GP regarding splitting the medication into two doses, anything is worth a try at the moment. Glad to hear that you've found a medication to suit you. I definitely can't carry on for much longer with these side effects.

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CaroleF
CaroleF
in reply to Territwinks

If you feel more comfortable asking your GP about splitting the dose then obviously that's what you should do, though I have found my pharmacist much more knowledgeable than the GP on matters such as this. What ever you do I do so hope that you find a solution to your immediate problem.

Oh …. and a belated welcome to the Forum. Lots of lovely supportive people here with a wide range of experiences.

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Territwinks
Territwinks
in reply to CaroleF

Thank you :-)

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Chrisdave
Chrisdave
in reply to CaroleF

I like you have changed to Diltiazem and I feel much better than 1.25mg of Bisopralol.

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Finvola

Hello Territwinks and welcome to the forum.

Bisoprolol does seem to be the first stop at diagnosis of AF and it is infamous for causing debilitating side effects in some people - usually breathlessness and fatigue. Your symptoms are way beyond what I would tolerate and I would definitely be back with my GP for help and advice regarding the symptoms and the effect they are having on your ability to function normally.

There are alternative treatments and different beta blockers and it is sometimes a matter of trial and error to get the right drug and dose. Best wishes.

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Territwinks
Territwinks
in reply to Finvola

Thanks Finvola - the GP has doubled my dose due to another AF attack....aggghhhhh !

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Pam296

Hi Territwinks. I didn't get on with Bisoprolol either. I had a constant headache and was literally falling asleep at my desk at work. I have a fairly low heart rate anyway and it was reducing it too much. At present, I only have short, infrequent bouts of AF so my cardiologist was happy for me to stop medication (apart from Apixaban) until I really needed it.

If your side effects are that bad, I would definitely see your GP.

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Territwinks
Territwinks
in reply to Pam296

Thanks Pam, glad to hear that you found a solution, gives me hope :-)

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CDreamer

I would be asking for alternatives. All treatment for AF is to improve QOL, after anti-coagulation, so if it’s not improving your QOL and it’s obviously making it worse, no point in continuing with it IMHO.

I was on Bisoprolol for some months - side effects just got worse and worse., they certainly didn’t get any better.

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Territwinks

Thanks C Dreamer

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Hidden
Hidden

Hi they didn't get any better for me so I stopped them. I would go back and tell gp. Lots and lots of people on here have had problems with bisoprolol and have changed to a different one. Good luck

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Territwinks
Territwinks
in reply to Hidden

Thanks Scoobisu, i will go back again if the symptoms persist past the one month phase

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KMRobbo

I could not tolerate 1.25mg bisoprolol, I tried Atenolol another beta blocker which was less bad, but still no way to live, so my GP put me on verapamil a calcium channel blocker, which was hardly intrusive to my life at all. Later on I was put on diltiazem and although this was better than beta blockers for me it was still not very good. However I was over prescribed at 200mg but the cardio was playing over safe. I put up with it as I was heading for and ablation anyway, and am currently drug free.

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Territwinks
Territwinks
in reply to KMRobbo

Good news KMRobbo and glad to hear that its all worked out for you

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Morzine

Hi. Terri winks,

I was the same as you but a higher dose. He put me down then to your dose. I had headaches and the blurred vision . The vision really worried me as I sat in his waiting room and thought oh god I can’t read those posters in the wall. After a month that seemed to go...I persevered only because I read that the vision bit cleared generally after a month. I’m still on it and still get front of head headaches on and off......

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Territwinks
Territwinks
in reply to Morzine

Am worried as the dose was increased to 5 mg today by the GP as had another AF attack. Will keep complaining if things don't improve, the blurred vision is worrying me for driving is affected. Thanks for replying to me.

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Morzine
Morzine
in reply to Territwinks

My blurred vision is Better than it was but it’s still nit properly right.....I do wonder if this harms the eyes....I’m fed up with the headaches on and off and this odd not quite right dizzy moments...that come and go......I did mention it to the cardio but he didn’t seem to think it was a problem......everyone says the bisoprolol is for quality of life, but I don’t understand why it’s essential, does it take our blood pressure lower?

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RobertTonkiss

I am also on bisoprolol and appear to be one of the lucky ones who are having few side effects despite being on the whopping dose of 15mg though in retrospect I possibly have had mild variations of some of your side effect in the past. Now strictly speaking I am not an AF sufferer though my cardiac problems mean I am taking many of the same medications most AF sufferers are taking hence the reason I follow this site. If I were you I would definitely go back to my GP and get him to review all your current medications and double check there are no undesired interactions between the different meds as this is quite often the case where there are severe side effects as there may be a synergistic effect between 2 or more of your meds.

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Territwinks

Thanks for the advice Robert :-)

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zak123

It took me 18 months to get used to that dose but you will get there !!!!

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Territwinks
Territwinks
in reply to zak123

Thanks Zak

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Suzy1954

Please don’t suffer in silence. I did for 5 years and finally had enough. Pleaded with GP to change to a different beta blocker and feel much better. Good luck.

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Territwinks

Thanks Suzy

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Thomas45

My experience is not to think you need to tolerate a drug for a month that's causing painful side effects. I was on Rivaroxaban for just 12 days before being taken off because of rare very painful side effects.

I thought Bisoprolol was a wonder drug until I started with rare side effects. The first doctor I saw couldn't believe Bisoprolol was the cause of the painful intermittent rashes. The second doctor I saw, a skin specialist, was in no doubt that Bisoprolol was the cause. I'd taken Bisoprolol for 7 weeks before the side effects kicked off. I was taken off first by reducing the dose and then completely.

While the majority may easily tolerate a drug there is a minority who won't. Don't think you have to take a drug until your body gets used to it, but see your doctor for alternatives.

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Territwinks

Thanks for the advice Thomas

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Justsharon

I've stuck with Bisoprolol for 5 months. Some of the side effects have finally gone but the breathlessness is still there and losing weight is still a very big uphill battle but it is going down slowly.

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Moo1975

Pls read my post on this and other posts from other members. I was suffering for long time and finally switched to Nebivolol and it made a big difference in the quality of life.

You need to check with your doctor first but ask him about Nebivolol and my advice is not to suffer for long.

Most of us have been there and we know it but hopefully things will turn better soon.

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Headache - yes.... tired... yes... vision no... spaced out and dizzy yes. Also low BP as opposed to high BP. When I first started taking it and for about a month, when I took it in a morning I couldn't get up/go out/move around for about half an hour after taking it.

At the moment, I'm on 10mg. I get nothing of what is mentioned above any more. However, after a few months off Feb & March this year, I was restarted on it following a cardioversion, straight away back on 10mg. I felt worse this time than I did back in 2013, not so much the "after taking it" side effects and more extremely fatigued and falling asleep sitting up side effects for at least a month.

It still does make me feel tired, I have tried swapping it to night time but then I've found I didn't get on with that either. I'd get little flutters in the afternoon if I'd had a particularly active day in the run up to when my next dose was due. I also found it very difficult to wake up in a morning, whereas when it was a morning dose I'd take it having already been up for an hour, and I felt more confident it would cover my daytime activity levels not cover my night time activity levels (which with a young baby & AF were firmly off the table, bed, rug in front of the fire!)

Still quite tired (probably due to the meds but also flipping about waiting for an ablation) and like has been mentioned by others also struggling with weight loss. 10 kg in about a year but during that time been very much up and down depending on work/school runs but even at my most active it's plateaued.

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