First known episode of AF 6 weeks ago that lasted 9 days. Been on Bisoprolol ever since but convinced making me lethargic and joints ache. Gp won’t allow me to come off them until I see cardiologist in mid July but I honestly don’t know what they are doing whilst not in AF. I feel I could try and stop and then if go into AF before see consultant then just take 5mg and then 2.5mg daily. Any views? Is this a really stupid idea? I just don’t want to take this drug unnecessarily.
Should I stop Bisoprolol?: First known... - AF Association
Bisoprolol won`t help you stay in normal rhythm Cmundo. It is purely to slow your heart rate down. It won`t help your afib if you go back in to it. You need a drug like Flecaincide, for example, to help with controlling rhythm. Also it`s not a good idea to just stop Bisoprolol - a weaning off period seems to be advised.
Check your heart rate - if it`s high it`s best to stay on in. Your cardio will have other options if it is not agreeing with you. I would stick with your doctors advice although personally I haven`t always done that - not really a good idea though !
Thanks Paul I recognise that Bisoprolol was only for rate control but since I’m back in NSR for about 4 weeks I’m not sure what good it’s doing me. I’m down to around 50 bpm at night and 60ish in day, my normal rate wasn’t high only went off the chart when went into AF. If I stay out of AF I’m not sure what purpose the Bisoprolol serves.
Sure Cmundo - I see your point TBH. 50 to 60s is a good rate.
I guess they are giving it to you in case you go back in to afib so your rate stays down. There`s no way I can second guess your doctor - I have no medical training. However Bisoprolol is a perfect pill in the pocket if the heart rate goes high ie when you are in afib. Maybe you could halve the daily dose so there is still some in your system but have one handy in case you go in to afib - this will help keep your heart rate down when needed. Take the extra when and if required.
However I do want to stress this is just the opinion of someone online without medical training (me) ! It`s worth suggesting to your doctor as an option though - please speak to him / her to discuss it BEFORE doing anything They may think it`s safe to do - worth asking anyway.
No worries Cmundo. I just want to add one thing.
You wrote ----
......my normal rate wasn’t high only went off the chart when went into AF.......
This is why you will have been put on it. If your heart rate is really high in afib the med will help keep it down. Please only consider what I have said as something to discuss with your doctor. Taking med`s (or not taking them) without a doc`s say so is not a good idea ! Maybe ask for a call back from the doctor tomorrow and ask their advice.
Once again - good luck with it
Not sure what dose you are on but even a 2.5mg made me have same side effects as you.
Gp agreed i could take the dose as 1.25am & evening which helped.
But, he contacted the cardiologist & requested my app be brought forward. As a result I was seen within a week & I also rang the cardio clinic for any cancellation slots.
Medication changed was changed to calcium blocker
I had the same experience as you - started on 5mg - I reduced it myself in stages to 2.5mg and finally 1.25 without consulting my doctors. They were happy with the result when I did eventually discuss it with them. I still think the 1.25mg is making me tired due to low heart rate etc - but I’m afraid to stop completely
I had reduced mine to .65mg before getting the doctor to change it to Nebivolol. I would like to come off altogether but will see how I get on with Nebivolol. I did wean off altogether after my first afib attack 4 years ago with cardiologist's approval but was put back on in March 2018 after going into afib in hospital after bowel surgery. I then had 2 more episodes in Aug and Oct. This time I am more apprehensive about stopping altogether.
The Nebivolol 5mg is scored so it is easy to break into quarters. It is not so easy to cut the quarters in half. When I reduced the Bisoprolol I did it very slowly from 1.25 to 1.00 to .8 etc and stayed on each new dose for at least a month. I had 2.5 mg tablets and the reduced doses were approximate but it worked. At .65 mg the lethargy was more orless gone but I reckon I still have more aches and pains.
I was on Verapamil slow release for about 8 tears years and was fine on it but, just over a year ago the 120mg x once a day stopped working = heavy sort of feeling in chest, lot of ectopics etc. so dose was doubled & I took 120mg twice a day then 120mg dose three times a day but kept getting af, after various tests cardiologist (QE hospital Birmingham) said as high dose of Verapamil not working he put me on Atenalol then Bisoporol but, due to awful side effects I was put on Diltiazam 80mg (calcium blocker) no side effects but then I didn't have side effects with Verapamil (just stopped working) I had Diltiazam dose doubled to 240mg two months ago & have had about 3 bouts of AF this year. Diltiazam hasn't stopped AF but I didn't expect it to however, feel lot better than when I was on the beta blockers.
Yes, I was thinking of asking for diltiazam. I read though it didn't have such an effect on the heart as verapamil. I was on 40mg x 3 times daily (120mg) then upped to 1.5 tablets (40mg) 3 times daily (180mg) . But I have recently been reducing it to try to stop the POTS symptoms. Since changing to calcium channel blockers I cant do any exertion without my rate increasing and a head ache and pains.
SNAP. I faced the same conundrum. Vital signs all excellent, have made no significant life style changes, but unlike yourself have no significant side effects. (Perhaps you need to persevere). Bisoprolol CAN help to prevent AF (do some research) so stick with it until you discuss with your medical professional.
(Remember that this is fundamentally a social media platform sharing personal experiences of AF). Stay positive and Good Luck.
My cardiologist believes that it is the best Beta Blocker to use as a prophylaxis for AF - it does not prevent the events but it stops the heart racing which is one of the things that must be prevented, these being Stroke and heart failure, the latter being caused by the heart overworking by beating too fast, so since I was diagnosed by chance 3 years ago (I probably had it long before that, but I have always been symptomless.) I have taken 2.5mg Bisoprolol per day (he maintains it is the best drug for AF as it works directly on the heart) and a 20mg Xarelto. I sometimes feel tired, but it passes if I do something active, My main problem which I'm fighting at the moment with the help of fellow members, is overcoming the obsession of taking my pulse 'just in case'. To overcome this urge I'm either breathing, meditating, or pedalling on my static bike, and gazing at the birdlife in my garden while I do so.
When I was put on Bisoprolol it took a while for me to get over the tiredness. In some respects it was not helped by the fact that it was winter ie cold & drab/raining etc. What I did notice was that when I had days that I could get out into the garden, tiredness did not come into the equation! It is [to a degree] a case of not giving into it - keep on the move. One other thing to consider; would taking it later in the day ie towards evening/night time make you less tired?
I was on same drug a couple of years ago and hated it. Felt like I was sleepwalking - “brain was walking through treacle” was the way I described the feeling to myself. It didn’t agree with me at all. As others have mentioned, it’s likely doing some good as an extra preventative control, but I never really adjusted to it well.
I haven’t had an Afib event in 4 years and cardio still won’t consider at least reducing dosages of Flecainide, Propanolol or Eliquis. One of them is making me a zombie with no energy, shortness of breath, inability to walk half a block without resting, etc. I am a different person, and Primary Care doc defers to Cardiologist, who won’t even listen to my complaints. I’m frustrated and ready to get off the drugs by myself, gradually, of course. I get it, cmundo1972!!!
I suggest you go to a nutritionist, I went to June Butlin who you can google with the express brief to give up my drugs. After 3 months of learning from her how and what to eat and time my eating and exercise and rest, I left her with many thanks because I did not want her held responsible for my decision to leave my medications. I developed lichen planus when I started Bisoprolol 4/5 years ago and had had enough of having to manage the discomfort of that. I gave up alcohol and could not eat spicy or acidic foods because of the LP and now follow the nutritionist' recommendations. Vitamins etc in a treatment called CV247 has improved my nails which were badly affected by the Lichen Planus. I now feel much stronger and normal and my mouth, particularly my top lip and tongue which could be a bit a bit swollen and sore, seems to be less troublesome.
I only had a few bouts of arrhythmia and reckoned they mostly came from when I had let myself become constipated. It was when I managed to clear that that the racing heart beat with heavy heavy feet and light head happened. Some people are born with a heart flutter and hopefully can LIVE with it if the nutrition and lifestyle are tailored to you. I believe she has the gift of a Kinesiologist. She has also helped my daughter live with breast cancer when she refused surgery and chemo and radio treatment. That was why I tried her. I only did all this because I felt I needed to. It is not for me to suggest what you do but all the very best
I am having the same problem. I did not know what what it was and I am unable to talk about it to a cardiologist they simply do not want to know. I also feel lethargic and very weak and my joints are killing me all the time. I thought that that possibly it was because of some of the medication I was taking. I am taking it to slow down my pulse, but I think I could possibly do without it. Thanks for this post as I had no idea. I feel a wreck the whole time.
I had no idea it was the Bisoprolol! I feel a complete wreck and I have tried talking about it to one of the cardiologist but they are completely uninterested. It is the weariness as well, I can hardly do anything. I feel tired all the time and my joints ache everywhere even in my feet. I am going to reduce the amount to half and then stop. I do not have AF but my arteries are fluffed up from plaque and I am due to have an angiogram in a few weeks. The other side affect I had was a very sore throat and my tonsils swollen and my voice has changed. My mind was all over the place thinking I might have cancer!! but I have googled Bisoprolol and this is also a side affect of this drug.
You need to ask your doctor if the blood tests included thyroid tests and if they did what the results were. If they say normal ask for the actual figures and what normal range the lab uses. TSH at the top of the normal range can indicate a problem but doctors usually ignore this and tell you there is no problem even if you have a whole raft of hypothyroid symptoms. Most doctors these days would not even recognise a myxadema face they are so hung up on the TSH number.
So glad I read your post so I know Im not the only weird one! My bisoprolol was increased from 5mg to 7.5 mg about 6 weeks ago. As I expected I felt so lethargic I couldn’t do anything but thankfully that’s now much better. The pain in my elbows was really severe and also had sharp pains in my legs. I guessed it was the drug but it seemed so weird. Thankfully the pains have also now passed so all I now have is breathlessness going up hills or stairs. Agree with the others that you need to see a doctor before stopping as everyone is so different.
Was diagnosed in January with AF in A&E, they took me of Metoprolol which I was on for previous 6 months. They then put me on Bisoprolol 2.5mg. I started to feel awful, could do very little. From being very fit I went to finding it difficult to climb the stairs. Lots of aches as well. Put up with this for 3 days. Fortunately I had phone contact with the Cardiologist he told me to half the dose they had started me on too high a dose. Dropped it to 1.25mg for 3 days, was a bit better but not good enough, so stopped them and went back on Metoprolol 25mg 3 times a day. Told the Cardiologist I we would discuss it at our next meeting. He agreed so I am still on the Metoprolol... It keeps my Blood Pressure and pulse rate at a very sensible rate. Except when I go into AFib. Then I take Sotalol until it clears up..
My, up to then perfectly healthy, SOH was hospitalised with a TIA in Oct 2016, at which point it was discovered he was in AF and he was started on Bisoprolol & Rivaroxaban to reduce the risk of a further stroke. In October 2017 he developed Sepsis and suffered a month long life threatening bout of Tachycardia with his heart rate consistently at 180 bpm. This was followed by months with an ultra low heart rate - typically 40 - 45 bpm. After having a pacemaker fitted in Feb 2018 he is still very tired & breathless. The Cardiologists have just stopped the Bisoprolol as his heart rate has stabilised at around 70 bpm, there has not been much change to his energy levels or breathing difficulties. We were told that the AF caused the TIA. Please talk to your Dr's before altering your medication, even if you don't thinks it is doing anything, it could well be protecting you from something else.
Just went and read your first post. Can’t believe they left you in AF for 9 days without anticoagulants on board. Dangerous - stroke risk!
I am not a medical expert but you’ve asked for opinion so here’s mine: They’ve probably left you on the Bisoprolol because you were going very fast 160bpm in AF. AF treatment is about rate or rhythm control. I guess they feel like if they control your rate with Bisoprolol that will limit the chance of you going in to AF again. It’s not a perfect science and it may be that actually you need rhythm control instead. But even with rhythm and rate control you can still breakthrough in to AF. Do you know what triggers your AF? If you decide to come off the Bisoprolol, wean yourself off - don’t stop it suddenly as this can have a short term rebound effect promoting arrhythmia. Weaning might mean halving the dose for two weeks and then taking it alternate days for another two weeks. If you decide to stop the Bisoprolol your HR will be faster. Keep an eye on it. Make sure it’s not too fast. If it is, you’ll need to go back on something. If you go in to AF again, note the time and head to A&E by 40 hours at the very latest. They can only CV you electrically if you’re within the 48 hour window. At your cardio appointment ask about Pill in Pocket therapy. If you don’t like taking daily meds and you’re symptomatic this can be a good approach. With PiP you self-administer an agreed amount of meds when you go in to AF instead of taking ‘preventative’ daily doses. The first time you do PiP you have to do in under supervision in A&E so best to have agreed a protocol with your cardio beforehand and have it in writing. Then, when you go in to AF you can take that with you to A&E and give it a go. Hopefully you chemically CV (usually takes me 6-8 hours).
I wish you all the best!
It was very, very dangerous to discharge you in AF without anticoagulant cover. I feel lousy when in AF and can’t imagine how yuck and down I’d be after 9 days of it. I urge you to discuss this with your cardio. It should go on your record that they mustn’t ever do this to you again. I agree - you should have been DC CV within that 48 hour window.
I work for the NHS too, but that shouldn't stop you from voicing your concerns pretty strongly about your experience. A 9 day episode should ring alarm bells for the most junior of doctors to be aware that you are a stroke risk and should have made sure you were on an anti-coagulant before you were discharged. During my 30 years of PAF I have seen so many medics and had my drugs changed on a regular basis. Some sort of work, others don't and some are downright dangerous. At a follow-up appointment my consultant arranged for me to have a 24 hour tape because I told him that the Bisoprolol he had put me on was really slowing my heart rate to the extent that I felt dizzy and disorientated most of the time. The tape was fitted and returned to the cardiac department and when I did not hear anything about it I assumed it was all ok. At my next follow-up appointment 9 months later the consultant told me to stop taking Bisoprolol immediately because my heart rate was dipping to 34 beats per minute and this, in his words, was dangerously low. I was so annoyed that he hadn't thought it important enough to contact me once he had got the tape results but had left me, still merrily swallowing these damn things, for another 9 months until he saw me again. I wrote a letter of complaint to the hospital and now at my follow-ups I see his Registrar, never him. Don't tinker with your medication but don't sit there and suffer either. ANY concerns you have, make a fuss. Get your appointment brought forward. You may not be a cardiac specialist but you know your own body. You make sure they look after it. Good luck.
I can take bisoprolol as a pill in pocket at 5mg,but couldnt tolerate it as daily dose.Worth another chat with your GP.Also another option is to consider a private consultation with your cardiologist,even better if you can see an Electrphysiologist(specialist in arrythmias) cost about £150 to200,get seen in days,then you get fol!ow up on the NhS.
Palpitations when under stress. Dr prescribes Bisoprolol. Even 2.5mg stopped any more palpitations. ECG tests show heart rate still 110. My condition is Atrial fibrillation (+tachycardia?)
Dr prescribes Perindopril to smooth blood flow through arteries.
Dr + Consultant prescribe Apixaban to prevent a heart attack.
Consultant says I should up the Bisoprolol to 15 mg, and books me in for a cardioversion.
I am not happy about the 15mg dose, but I put up with the tiredness thinking 15mg will give the cardioversion a better chance. (Tiredness wore off a little as the weeks passed.)
Cardioversion was successful, sinus rhythm restored, heart rate down to 50, and I feel much less tired.
Dr says carry on taking Bisoprolol, but now 2.5 is enough. I say, thank you Dr - I trust you!
I wouldn't self-prescribe if I were you. However having been started on 5mgs pd of Bisoprolol and having just the symptoms you describe, I was allowed by my cardiologist t reduce first to 2,5mgs and now 1.25mgs per day. |Energy levels have improved, but more importantly I'm not light headed or dizzy. My resting heart rate is still low at 48-50 bpm but, the cardio team argue that so long as I can function a little dose is better for me than no dose.
I'm prepared to go along with that.
I still don't have the energy I had 5 years ago before my problems started, but I can also say that I've done little strenuous training in that time. I try to walk a fair distance every day and don't shy away from stairs, but there was a tie when I had difficulty with these and that is past. I wont be doing a marathon or climbing the stairs in a skyscraper any time soon, but I manage a normal life.
I would suggest you ask your GP if it would be alright to reduce the dose to 1.25mg pd and then discuss with cardio when you see him in July.
If I were you though, I wouldn't change the dose without some qualified medical confirmation it's appropriate.
Yes I probably is. I could not take even 1.25 mg of bisoprolol without going to sleep 40 minutes later lasting 4 to 5 hours and feeling drugged, pain in arms and chest, almost zero excerise tolerance and excessive tiredness when I woke up. I think my max hr was about 117. I stopped it and my GP put me on Atenolol another beta blocker. This was much better but still terrible still massively tired and no exercise tolerance. My GP then swapped me to verapamil a calcium channel blocker. Magic. Almost no side effects. There are other beta blockers that some people like. I never tried them. Some people just dont tolerate beta blockers at all
My strong advice is do not reduce or stop bisoprolol without medical advice preferably from a cardiologist. Can I just ask are you now on an anticoagulant?
I saw the consultant earlier in the week and he confirms that muscle and joint pains plus chronic fatigue are known side effects of bisoprolol and accepts that these can be very disabling. I currently take 10mg daily which he suggests I try taking as a divided dose 5mg morning and night.
A lot of cardiac medications have significant unpleasant side effects and I agree with other posters on here that it comes down to balancing these against your quality of life. However quality of life isn't easy to define as it depends if you look at it in the short term or longer term if that makes sense
I wish you well
Just be careful ! I was on only 25 mg of meto Beta blocker and tried to get off em over 3 days. Result was 170 Systolic, and 2 hours later I had my no 2 flutter at 150 pulse.. When I do get off betas, I will do it very gradually over a month; stopping at each level for a week.... I halfed from 50 to 25mg at day 3 when I started em as I had the same as you.....zombie time... swimming woozy head, very unpleasant..... oh and I have had a stiff neck from day 1, which may or may not be connected to betas.. I am steady on 25s for 6 weeks now and I am fully active...takes a while to settle...
I’m in the United States. I think most of you are in Europe. I take a drug called Bystolic. I take it as a pill in the pocket. It doesn’t have any side effects for me other than lowering my heart rate to the high 40s. It was prescribed as 5 mg but I take 2 1/2. Is that a drug that you all are able to ask for. I took all of those other ones and they were horrible so you might ask and see if it’s available.
I know high 40s is a pulse that many people have safely. I know that athletes often have a pulse of 40 as their hearts are so strong they pump plenty of blood at the 40 rate.. For me, a rate in the 40s would have me very scared and I am happy at my 61 (with metopropol)..When they double dosed me and stopped my heart for 5 seconds, the last pulse I saw on the EKG monitor was 41as I entered the dark tunnel....... Everyone is different but when I finally get off betas, I will be happy with my historical level of 70...
I know I can't take 2.5mg. I was taking only .65mg of Bisoprolol but still felt some lethargy . I have swapped to the same dose of Nebivolol and am hoping to see a difference. Someone else said they did not notice a difference till after a month - presumably after the Bisoprolol had completely left their system.
I fully understand your thoughts about Bisoprolol. I have gone through the same many times. But now understand this illness quite well, since been dealing with it 20+ years. First of all, do not stop taking Bisoprolol. This is how I see this our illness. Once diagnosed after few episodes, you will have this “friend “ with you for the rest of your life, it is uncurable!! But kind of controllable. It is just waiting there somewhere for the right moment to visit. I have taken Biso for quite a few years, first 5mg to control the rate and propafenone for the irregular rythm. They somewhat helped and maybe shortened the episodes sometimes. I had them frequently and long ones. My cardiologist recommended ablation, seemed like it helped abit, not as often in AF. Kept on taking same drugs. Almost two years from ablation the frequency increased. Had second ablation done. Bisoprolol was reduced to 2.5mg, was told to take propafenone for one more year. Unfortunately I still had AF episodes right after ablation, but understood that was a healing process. Started feeling very poorly while in episodes, fainting and short of breath. In emergency was told it is now my medications that makes my heart to pause for many seconds, 8 seconds. After my cardiologist heard this I was back in hospital instantly for the Pacemaker. This devise keeps my heart now at 60 beats/min, and no more long pauses while in AFib. Stopped Propafenone after a year, but 2.5 mg of Bisoprolol will be there, most likely forever, since I still get AF approx. every 3 to 4 weeks and I know without Bisop. my pulse would be a lot faster than from 100 to 140. So I feel Bisoprolol is there for security to keep our heartrate calmer. I am lucky not to have as bad symptoms like before while in AFib. So, thats my story. Good luck to you!
I went off it over 3 months time - very slowly breaking them into fourths, then eights the last month to not risk Afib. It was making my lower legs ache.
Taking bisoprolol made me feel so ill - I am 55 and felt like how I imagine a 90 year old feels. Limbs hurt in the night like I had really bad flu - was worse lying down for some reason. Go back to GP and ask for an alternative to slow heart rate if that’s what you need. They found me something else. Also I had permanent AF but after ablation this Jan I am in normal rhythm, medication free and very well - wishing you luck as GPS don’t always believe your symptoms
It sounds as if you are on too high a dose and as others have said you really require a drug to keep you in normal rhythm rather than reduce the heart rate. We are all different but GPs tend to treat us all the same! 1.25 mg taken daily brought my heart rate down too low and made me feel lethargic and after three days a pharmacist I consulted, took my pulse and rang through to the surgery where the GP agreed that I should stop taking the stuff at once- now only do if I get an AF episode with a heart rate of over 140 twenty minutes after taking flecainide (a drug to deal with heart rhythm rather than rate). You could quote me to your doctor and ask to have a lower dose of bisoprolol (or flecainide) as July is a while off!
All the best,