Bisoprolol : Hi all yesterday my GP increased... - AF Association

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Hi all yesterday my GP increased my Bisoprolol from 1x5mg a day to 2 x 5mg a day and today I feel awful I feel shakey dizzy and sick and I feel pressure around my middle is this to be expected or should I be worried?

37 Replies

Sounds normal from what I hear. Many people do not like this drug and that is quite a high dose.

Cher17 in reply to BobD

They can’t seem to control my HR it’s lower than it was but still too high it’s all getting me down

Hello again Cher17,

So sorry to hear how bad you feel.

Please try not to let it get you down, I know it’s difficult but try to stay positive. It’s a vicious circle, you must try to think of something good or something positive in your life or it’ll make you feel worse. Watch a funny film, read a feel good book or contact a family member or friend who makes you laugh or smile.

I’m very confused about what dose of Bisoprolol I should be taking too. The first Dr told me to take 1:25mg once a day but when I got a repeat prescription from a different Dr at my surgery, I received 56 of the same plus another lot of 112, 2:5mg Twice a Day also!!!!!

No Check Up! No Consultation or Discussion! Just sent both prescriptions to my Pharmacist, who didn’t know what was going on either!

I contacted the surgery, spoke to ANOTHER Dr, never seem to have the same one twice, and he told me to adjust it to a level where I wasn’t having AF anymore!!!!! Go Figure!

I also have other meds that, from looking up info online, should NOT be taken with Apixaban

The Drs have all our records of current meds, they should advise what to take or what not to take, how much and when but I’m thinking we have to check it out & do it all for ourselves.

Hope you have better luck with your Dr and a change of dosage than I do! It’s ridiculous!

Good luck

C 👵 x

That’s awful mine put mine up because my HR kept going above 130 I had to contact the 111 service on Friday he suggested putting it up another 1.25 mg but my GP would have to do it when I saw home yesterday he put it straight up to 10mg and no gradually straight up lol I read people coming and going into AFib but I am always I don’t get a break from it really I so hope it settles soon the meds do make me feel better except for today I am trying to remain positive but it’s so hard I hope you get yours sorted your drs need to inform you what they are doing it’s your body

My GPs are the same. Never see the same one twice. I'm also having problems with bisopralol. I don't have AF but had a heart attack. One GP told me to stop my duiretic; one said to stop my painkiller ( an opiate which is dangerous to stop like that) and one said to stop ticagrelor- all prescribed by the cardiac consultant. I can't get a single doctor to actually listen tat it IS a side effect of these horrid tablets. I know because I've been able to rule out all the others by changing the time I take them. I've also had the wrong dosages prescribed at the wrong times and had tablets missed off repeat. I get the impression that a lot of GPs haven't a clue. I tried phoning the consultant's secretary but just got told to speak to the GP. 3 weeks ago I was full of energy, slowly increasing the distance I could walk and recovering well. Now I get an hour like that right after I take the tablet then I get terribly breathless, very anxious and can barely drag one leg in front of the other. It starts to wear of around 5 pm.

seasider18 in reply to Qualipop

If there is a named doctor allocated to you initially or one that you prefer phone the surgery to find the days that he/she is there and then make an appointment.

Qualipop in reply to seasider18

MIne retired. Tried for an appointment with the replacement and was told 5 weeks. I have to go for an angiogram before then so will be better off asking the cardiologist

seasider18 in reply to Qualipop

I think that surgeries who have appointments too far in advance are not serving the best interests of their patients. Many people make just in case appointments.

The last practice we went to used to have a third of their appointments bookable up to four weeks in advance, a third allocated to patients by doctors for follow ups and a third as same day appointments.

Qualipop in reply to seasider18

That's what the practice burse told me to do; make a "just in case" appointment.You can get same day if it's urgent but there's no guessing who you will see and no continuity of care.

seasider18 in reply to Qualipop

I wonder then how many of the missed appointments are from just in case ones ?The practice I go to now say on their web site that you can make urgent same day appointments on line from 7.30am. Out of interest I often look but there have never been any.

Qualipop in reply to seasider18

With mine you have to phone at 8am. You eventually get a call back from a nurse who decides whether you deserve a same day appointment. They don't put them on line but like you I wonder just how many wasted appointments are "just in case" because people really want to see a specific doctor.

seasider18 in reply to Qualipop

It would be interesting if they were able to analyse missed appointments. One time I did miss an appointment with the nurse and another time one I cancelled had not been recorded. Each time I had a phone call soon after the appointed time.

Any medication for AF is all about improving quality of life (QOL). Bisoprolol at this increased dosage (I think 10mg a day is the maximum dose) is certainly not improving yours - though I suppose it would be fair to give it a few days' trial to see whether things settle down.

I think we hear more 'complaints' about bisoprolol than any other drug on this Forum and you are not alone in feeling rotten on it. Oh that cardiologists etc. could be made to experience the side effects of some of the drugs they prescribe! My personal view is that Bisoprolol is the spawn of the devil so I am prejudiced here, but there are other beta-blockers that can be tried, and calcium channel blockers too, to try to bring your HR down.

I seem to recall people speaking well of Nebivolol and I now take Diltiazem which suits me much better than Bisoprolol (though I know it doesn't suit everyone) and that seems to have been effective in bringing my HR down.

If I were in your shoes I'd be making another appointment to see the GP in a week or so's time (if you can get one that soon!) and in the meantime keep a detailed record of everything you experience and of your HR. Sometimes 'thinking positively' is the way to go - but not when your life is being made an absolute misery by the medication. It's not you that's wrong, it's the medication and that needs to be sorted.

Edited to say: Do I remember that in answers to an earlier post of yours you said that you had private medical insurance through work? If that's right, then why not go ahead and make an appointment to see an electrophysiologist privately? At least you'd get the time to discuss all the various treatment options and the opportunity to express your own views on bisoprolol!

Cher17 in reply to CaroleF

Hi Carole I was previously on Diltiazem and was worse they didn’t suit me at all I will give these a week and see how they go I was better on the lower dose I wonder if they have put them too high I will be using my private medical insurance I just want things to settle a bit I was diagnosed the beginning of sept I have had 2 spells in hospital and I am sick of the Drs saying thousands of people have this and lead a normal life I think they need to experience the terror of it and the anxiety so they understand fully what we go through

CaroleF in reply to Cher17

Hi Cher. Sorry to hear that Diltiazem didn't suit you; I'm afraid it can all be trial and error finding the right medication and the right dose that helps each individual. So I really hope that you find what suits you very soon. At my most charitable, I guess it's got to be educated guesswork from the medics. point of view since what works for one patient doesn't for another - and no one knows until they try.

It is always true, I think, that no one can fully understand any difficult circumstance in this life unless they have 'been there' themselves. It's just a pity that many medics don't seem to realise that, and saying that thousands of people have AF and lead normal lives (thus implying that you are making a huge fuss about nothing) is of absolutely no help at all if the treatment being prescribed isn't working and the condition itself scares you silly.

Here's hoping that your own situation is vastly improved very soon.

Hi Cher

I am on 7.5 bisoprolo x1

I also felt bad for a few weeks dizzy and

Tired: but lots better now took around 3 weeks to settle started at 5 mg

Cher17 in reply to 2468abcmuk

Thank you for that it’s helpful to know I need to be patient I do wonder if my GP put my Bisoprolol from 5mg to 10mg too quickly though but time will tell

I was on Bisoprolol 1.5mg twice daily then increased to 2.5mg twice daily and during both doses I was quite unwell with cold feet, numb fingers, breathlessness but worse of all chronic fatigue, I could hardly walk 5 steps without stopping for breath. My limbs felt like they were being dragged through treacle, it was an awful drug for me. I was then put on Sotalol (I'm in Scotland where this drug is sometimes used) but when I quoted the NICE guidelines for England to my Cardiologist that this drug can cause other rythme problems she immediately prescribed Flecainide and Atenolol and I felt like a new woman. I have since had an ablation and am 6 months down the line feeling - dare I say it - GREAT. Go back to Cardiologist or GP and ask for the drug to be changed, you don't have to suffer. Good luck

Hi, I was told by a cardiologist when taking Bisoprolol for the first time that it is a slow release drug and therefore should only be taken once daily.

CaroleF in reply to F-M-C-MM

Really? Not what I was told when taking Bisoprolol and indeed it was a pharmacist (who I tend to view as the experts in these matters) who suggested that I split the dose I was on and take half in the morning and half at night in order to try to mitigate the unpleasant (to me) side effects.

Dilitiazem which I take now is slow release - and I assume that the fact that the capsule contains lots of tiny spheres is an indicator of that?

F-M-C-MM in reply to CaroleF

CaroleF, A pharmacist confirmed the once daily dose also. Please check manufacturer's instructions which confirm the "once daily" instruction. A doctor in a hospital I was attending also said that I should take the dose at night as I had complained of feeling dizzy during the day. Someone else said don't as I had bradycardia at the time. So it's best to consult the manufacturers and read the small print also !

CaroleF in reply to F-M-C-MM

Ah OK. I take note of what you say. I don't take bisoprolol myself any more and no longer have the leaflet, but I'll certainly stop suggesting that splitting the dose morning/evening might help to mitigate the unpleasant side effects many of those who take this drug report here.

It seems that even pharmacists may not be as reliable a source of info. as I had thought and I know for a fact that not all GPs are up to speed.

Hi I am sorry you feel awful. All we want is to feel ok and fairly symptom free. When I went on 5mg bisoprolol I felt awful it took a while but I was relieved to feel less wobble flips and bumps. I have just been put on propanalol the first two days I was sleepy and didn't do much. Hopefully the bisoprolol will help you. It's a struggle some dsys. Sending positive thoughts. Regards Chris


I got put on 5mg earlier in the year and it didn't seem to drop my heart rate much at all. Had same symptoms and it was awful, but told it woukd subside 2/3 weeks, after 2 weeks just felt exhausted and spoke to my ep who dropped it to 2.5mg, which took maybe a week or so but I tolerated. And didn't see any difference in HR on higher dose. Gp says its awful drug, badly tolerated and has said if I get issues again I can drop to 1.5mg then swap for something else as he doesn't like patients on bisoprolol as as they seen to get a lot of intolerance and leads to depression etc. It's cheap which is the main reason it's used seemingly. I'd ask for a review and change if possible. Ian

Buffafly in reply to Hidden

My GP wouldn't let me have it even though I only have mild asthma, hooray for her! My cardiologist was very sniffy about it......of course if Diltiazem doesn't suit you then you have a problem.

Gee, I dont get why they have this fixation with bisoprolol. My experience with it is horrible. Has not helped my ectopics at all. Anyone had any experience with Vaperamil?

My hospital records are marked 'Bisoprolol intolerant' and that was on the 1.25 dosage. My EP is not terribly keen on Diltiazem either as he has had patients whose BP quickly dropped and had falls. It also seem to cause swollen ankles with many patients.

Go back to your GP and tell him/her you are not prepared to tolerate

the side effects; and then ask him to change it. Often the side effects are far worse

than the problem you are being treated for. Good luck.

I was very dizzy on Bisoprolol and felt unwell. It turned out my blood pressure was alarmingly low so the dose was halved. Some people don't get on with it at all. I have persisted with the lower dose but often feel shaky and low.

Two things come to mind with your story Cher17. One is that it is well known that you will adjust a bit to the Bisoprolol - if you are lucky enough to tolerate it at all. The second is that doctors start you on half of what they think is appropriate, to let that happen, and then double it up. At least mine did, and I've read here of others. 10mg sound a tad excessive though.

When I went back and explained that the double dose made it difficult to get up the stairs, I was immediately cut back to the previous dose, so it would be worth asking after a day or two. 5mg am and 2.5mg pm might work?

I have been on this drug for a number of years. They started fairly high to begin with and then reduced it wheny blood pressure became too low. However when I had to stay on this drug my doctor did let me take the dose split morning and evening and that really helped. It does get better as your body gets use to the drug but I only had breathlessness and fairly light headed. A bit like a zombie!!

I am sure it is a life saver for some. I worry about changing about so much. I don't want to make things worse. I have gone proprananol - bisoprolol - proprananol - bisoprolol. Still no further forward!

Hope that you're feeling a little better, it certainly comes as an unpleasant surprise but you will get better. I was initially on a similar drug combination of 10mg Bisoporol and Digoxin to bring blood pressure and heart rate down. It Took a few days to get the heart rate down, Bisoporol can take a while to fully kick in so hope your rate is coming down, albeit slowly. It does take a while for your body to cope with the side effects, took mine about a month, but slowly slowly you should see improvements, may need to moderate expectation levels but try to remain positive, from my experience the drugs do work!!! Stay strong and good luck.

I'm on 10mg bisoprolol and am worn out, also have ramipril and other meds but my BP is always over 175/100 and even goes up to the highest 226/120. What's also worrying is HR average is below 60 and often 56-58. As for GP I resonate with comments on here but I'm unsure that if I change GP I could get one that's worse. Anyone feel the same

Cher17 in reply to TigerLizzy

Hi since I wrote that post so much has changed lol I am now on 7.5 bisoparol 2.5 digoxin 2.5 ramapril and the tiredness is still as brutal but I can move a bit more without feeling as if my lungs will burst and my throat close, my BP however is stable and good but I didn’t have a BP issue before AF diagnosis so that may be why, but my HR is still around 80 I am waiting for an angiogram and waiting and waiting! My GP will not go against what the cardiologist says so it doesn’t matter how much I moan about being unable to function on days I have to wait for the cardiologist appointment to get anything done it’s so frustrating. I Hope you get sorted soon x

Make sure you are not deficient in Vitamin B12, folate, and ferratin and vitamin D. Are you taking supplements?

I am on bisoprolol and was plagued by fatigue and muscle weakness. After persuading a locum to carry out tests, I discovered I was deficient in Vitamin D and had low vitamin B12 and folate. Was put onto vit D and after doing research put myself onto vit B complex and magnesium. Magnesium is very important for heart health. Since I have been taking these supplements I have had no AF at all and I used to get ectopics and atrial flutter incidents every night. Still on bisoprolol and still a little fatigued but much less anxious and have less muscle weakness. It is important to educate ourselves on our health issues. Dr Gumpta's videos on YouTube are most helpful. I discovered there is an NHS guideline that everyone over 65 in the UK should be on 800 IU a day. My GP has never advised me of this. I can't think why. I am afraid I have lost confidence in our GPs. I have learned a lot from the Thyroid group on this website.

Cher17 in reply to Happywalker

Thank you I will try the vit B complex, I was on vitamin D but have just finished the course I was taking magnesium taurate but it gave me an upset tummy but maybe a multi might work better

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