Exhausted from bisoprolol: Hey, So I've... - British Heart Fou...

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Exhausted from bisoprolol

Aimee5
Aimee5

Hey,

So I've been on bisoprolol for the past few months to help with my cardiac arythmia but it makes me so tired. I already have insomnia but this medication makes me feel a level of tired I have never experienced before. I'm 18 and trying to study for my end of year exams but it's almost impossible for me too focus. I've talked to my doctor about it and he said that there was nothing he could do because it's not safe for me to be taken off it. So I'm just wondering if anyone has found anything that can help?

72 Replies
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MichaelJH
MichaelJHHeart Star

Hello and welcome to the forum Aimee!

It always saddens me when someone so young has health problems. There are alternative drugs to Bisoprolol as discussed on this BHF web page:

bhf.org.uk/informationsuppo....

Are you under a cardiologist? If not ask your GP for a referral. It is worth looking at triggers. Besides stress caffeine, alcohol, chocolate and spicy foods can be triggers. A chat with the BHF nurses might be helpful. However, please do not just stop the Bisoprolol without medical supervision as there could be serious consequences! Good luck!

Aimee5
Aimee5 in reply to MichaelJH

Hey,

Thank you for that link it has given me some options that I can talk to my doctor about. And I am under a cardiologist but they are so busy at the moment that it's hard to get in contact with them. I was surprised that caffeine could be a trigger for my tiredness. I have been warned not to drink caffeine but I thought it was just because it would increase my heart rate. I must admit I didn't completely stop taking it, but now I'm going to try too. :)

TruthBeTold
TruthBeTold in reply to Aimee5

Don't forget caffeine is in a lot more than just coffee as its a hidden ingredient in a lot of energy drinks too. My wife had to come off bisoprolol because she started having bad dreams at night and muscle weakness. It had been prescribed to help with a fast heartbeat but that was being caused as a side effect to some other medication that she was able to stop. She also has difficulty sleeping and bought a lavender spray for her pillow which seems to help.

Aimee5
Aimee5 in reply to TruthBeTold

Hey,

Thank you for the warning about the caffeine. I just realised earlier today that a pre workout drink that I have been drinking twice daily has a lot of caffeine in it. I really should have noticed earlier. I drink it in the mornings to give me some energy but I never clicked what it was that was in it that gave me that energy boost.

Aimee5
Aimee5 in reply to Aimee5

I'll also look into the lavender spray it's definitely something I haven't tried yet🙂 thank you

TruthBeTold
TruthBeTold in reply to Aimee5

I forgot to mention that proton pump inhibitors such as Omeprazole can sometimes worsen anxiety and insomnia. I'm not saying that's the case here, but if you have a sympathetic doctor it might be worth reviewing your medications to see if any alternatives could be prescribed - but only if it is safe to do so of course.

It may be the arrhythmia that makes you tired. The heart is not pumping 100% efficiently.

It could also be the Beta Blocker tablet.

Or it could be that the tablets are dropping your pulse too low and oxygen to your brain is lower than normal.

You don't say what your pulse is with the BB.

Aimee5
Aimee5 in reply to Palpman

Hey,

Before I was put on beta blockers my heart rate would randomly increase and be anywhere between 150-160bpm. But now that I'm on the beta blockers when it spikes it only reaches 120bpm. When its not spiking it is usually between 40-50bpm.

Gretuliora
Gretuliora in reply to Aimee5

Hey Aimee5, may I ask when your heart rate rise to 150-160, how long did it take till settle down? I have heart rhythm problems for many years, I get episodes every day when my heart beats 120-168, and sometimes drops to 43-47 in the course of the day but the doctors don't see the problem and don't take my complaints seriously.

Aimee5
Aimee5 in reply to Gretuliora

Hey,

My heart rate does the exact same thing. I've been told I'm highly sensitive to adrenaline so my heart rate jumps from one extreme to the other. My heart rate can go from 150 to 40 in about half an hour, and it does this at least 4 times a day. It doesn't feel very nice and when its either really high or low I often get palpitations before passing out. This sucks because I'm studying to be a nurse.🙂

Aimee5
Aimee5 in reply to Gretuliora

It's really hard to get a doctor to take you seriously, if it wasn't for my mum constantly calling my doctors and pushing them I never would have gotten a diagnosis and would probably still be assuming my fainting spells were just exhaustion. You need to keep pushing for answers. After all it's your body and you know when somethings wrong. Good luck🙂

Gretuliora
Gretuliora in reply to Aimee5

I am already ashamed that I turn to them so often. four years as I try to prove that I am not well. but .. I have to call an ambulance sometimes because it is very bad, but they do not capture the worst case scenario because it arrives too late, so I have no way to prove it. i bought the latest watch which fixes the ecg but i think they will not take it as a serious confirmation because it is a non-medical device .. well i hope someday it will succeed and i will get attention to myself. thank you. I wish you good luck too 😁

Hi what kind of arrhythmia do you have ?

Hi,

I have SVT

Hi Amy. Can you say whether your arrhythmia is Sinus / Atrial Tachycardia, Ectopic Clusyers or in fact Atrial Fibrillation ? I used to think my exhaustion was from Bisoprol Fumerate but turned out it was from a low thyroid function. I am sorry you have ??? Arrhythmia at such a young age and trust it is either very temporary or will abate with time.

Smileyian
Smileyian in reply to Smileyian

Oh Just read you have SVT.

Firstly it saddens me that you are suffering at such a young age. I had a cardiac arrest in March, no pulse for 4 minutes. Luckily we have an AED at work, 4 shocks brought me back to life. Only 8% of people who have an arrest out of hospital actually survive. I have an ICD fitted. My cardiologist says it like this, the Bisopurol is regulating my heart and basically keeping me alive, the ICD is my back up. I suffered VT, only found out that by dying, the Bisopurol keeps my beat regular. I don't suffer any fatigue btw.

Aimee5
Aimee5 in reply to ToffeeT

Wow that must have been terrifying, it's one of my biggest fears that one day my heart will just give up but I'm happy to hear that you don't suffer from fatigue. That gives me hope that it could just be a temporary thing.

Thank you for your message. :)

Smileyian
Smileyian in reply to Aimee5

Hi Amy, I had various arrhythmia at 20, on and off for many years with frustrating runs of tachycardia for 5 mins reverting to sinus. I had so much stress at that young age which included SVT and ectopic beats apx every 5th beat for 6 months. SVT is extremely frustrating, annoying and frightening but be assured it is very seldom life threatening on its own. I am sure you have been told this by your medical advisers which will have give you comfort. It may spontaneously go away or will come and go less frequently. It can be very much controlled with various modern medicine. My very best wishes and go go go pass those exams and become a cardiologist and enjoy your long life ahead.

I had the same issue when I went on it. Within about 2 hours I was like a zombie. Agreed with the docs to take it at night, that way I sleep through the worst of it. So I take it about an hour before bed. Some mornings I’m a little groggy but much better than taking them in the morning.

Aimee5
Aimee5 in reply to Sanan76

Hey,

I couldn't bring myself to take it this morning I needed atleast one day where I felt like I had some energy, but I'll try taking it tonight instead and hopefully it won't still have the effects in the morning. Thank you for your advice 🙂

Heart problems are so indiscriminate. So sorry that you are suffering at your age. Some great advice from Michael. Bisoprolol has a widely different effect on different people and some people just can’t tolerate it. It is a drug of choice for cardiologists but if it is definitely this causing your tiredness, there are potential alternatives.

Best wishes.

Aimee5
Aimee5 in reply to IanMK

Thank you :) I will talk to my doctor and see if there are any suitable alternatives if the effects of this medication don't stop.

Tempo57
Tempo57 in reply to Aimee5

I would suggest you try and find an alternative which suits you. You cannot go on suffering like this.

My father, although much older than yourself, couldn’t tolerate it and I got his health advisors to take him off it. The change in him was almost immediate (well at least within the first 36 hours), after which he could breath properly, hold a conversation instead of been weary and he regained his energy back. It was like night and day. During this time I thought Bisoprolol as being a poison.....it certainly was to my father who, IMO, should never have been prescribed it for his arythmia because he had naturally very low blood pressure to begin with and Bisoprolol lowered it even further hence his weariness, exhaustion and breathing difficulties.

Out of interest, what reading is your Blood Pressure?

Aimee5
Aimee5 in reply to Tempo57

Hey my bp monitor says 100/70 but I don't know what that means. I just record the readings in a book and show them to my cardiologist at meetings 🙂

Tempo57
Tempo57 in reply to Aimee5

Hi Aimee5,

Your blood pressure is low, which is a good thing but it could be the Bisoprolol which is keeping it this low. It is certainly lower than the norm. My BP is the same reading as yours and I am 63 years older and on no medication at all. I many times worry it’s too low.

When it is too low, (mine often goes to 90/70), I can feel lethargic with no energy and sleepy. It would be good to know what your blood pressure was before you were put on Bisoprolol. Your doctor should have a record of it. Bisoprolol is probably not the med of choice for you. If as you said earlier you are giving the medication a miss it would be helpful for you to record your BP when not taking it and see what kind of a reading you have. 120/70 would be ideal. If you haven’t got a BP monitor I advise you get one and take your own recordings daily.

Females and in particular young females like yourself, tend to have lower blood pressure than males. I would certainly be looking to change doctors if one said to me there was nothing he could do because I needed to stay on it. There are other options as others on this forum have pointed out.

Keep checking in here but meanwhile try hard to get another appointment with another doctor and ask for a second opinion with a specialist. Don’t forget, GP’s know a little about everything or as I say....they’re ’Jack of all trades’. They are not specialists.

I am so glad to read that you have involved your mom in your health issues. At first I wondered if you had discussed this with your parents....glad to hear that you have.

Best wishes for better days ahead

Smileyian
Smileyian in reply to Tempo57

Very interesting Tempo. Enjoyed your post.

Tempo57
Tempo57 in reply to Smileyian

Thank you Smileyian....T57

Hi Aimee,

I have spent four years on 7.5mg of Bisoprolol and didn't realise that I was suffering from side effects. Thanks to information from this forum I asked the question of my doctor. They didn't take me off Bisoprolol but the did reduce my dosage to 6.25mg daily. That adjustment has made so much difference to me I can't tell you. There is hope!

Wishing you all the best!

Aimee5
Aimee5 in reply to Tweedsider

Thank you. It's nice to hear that someone going through the same thing has found a way to fix it. 🙂

Hi Aimee, what my are you taking and what time of the day are taking the tablets? Are you taking anything else with them

Aimee5
Aimee5 in reply to SGH47

Hey,

I'm taking 7.5mg of bisoprolol usually in the mornings but I think I'm going too try taking it at night now. I'm also taking nortriptyline to help with my anxiety, omeprazole for my stomach ulcers, and quetiapine for my insomnia. Also some ondansetron to help with the nausea. I don't believe any of my other medication would have caused the fatigue though because I have been on them for a long time and haven't had this problem before.

DizzyD
DizzyD in reply to Aimee5

Aimee did you have the heart condition before you were prescribed quetiapine?

I suggest that you do some intense research on this drug. By no means do I aim to alarm you but this drug is mainly prescribed for severe paranoia. I was prescribed it for depression and while watching a drama series on Netflix, (can't remember the title) this drug was mentioned many times as being dangerous as it causes heart attacks and strokes in the long term. According to the drama I watched, it's banned in USA for effect it has on the heart!!! You are young, I am much older (with diagnosed heart conditions) but please research this drug because knowledge is power.

I stopped taking the drug based on narrative i heard, relating to Quetiapine, on the show. My reasoning was it must have been true what was said, if it was not true the film company would have been sued for slander.

Think series was "In God's Hand"!

I really not out to scare you. Concerned for you. There are safer meds for anxiety. See your GP

By the way I turned into a couch potato on bisoprolol...2.5 dose.

Aimee5
Aimee5 in reply to DizzyD

Hey,

No I didn't have a heart condition before I was prescribed quetiapine which is concerning. I've been told my heart problems have been caused by my anxiety, but I'll definitely look into the quetiapine and bring it up with my doctor. Thank you🙂

DizzyD
DizzyD in reply to Aimee5

After posting my reply to your post mentioning quetiapine done a little research on it. I got some interesting info from reading about people's experiences on this drug in a USA forum I joined. Will pm you name of forum later.

Some young people on the forum developed heart problems while on this drug. I am not a doctor, I am much older than you and have experienced mismanagement of health issues over the years. To me your doctor is blaming YOU, your anxiety, for the heart problem. Take control Aimee, ask him/her this question: Doctor can you please show me just one research paper to confirm that anxiety causes heart problems such as the one that I have been diagnosed with?

There is a vast number of people being treated .by NHS for health conditions contributed to, or caused by side effects of prescribed meds.

Really surprised that your cardiologist has not linked your heart problem to quetiapine....! Discuss this issue at your next visit.

You have age on your side, and time, so don't just stop taking the quetiapine. Do research, seek medical advise (cardiologist is best). Furthermore, you will have to taper off this drug if you decide to stop taking it.

Tempo57
Tempo57 in reply to DizzyD

Very well explained DizzyD.

I’ve always believed that GP’s piling drugs onto people without thorough investigation of symptoms and diagnosis is going to create even more problems down the line. All drugs have side effects and drugs are not always the answer to our ailments. They can be helpful in many cases but not all by far. T57

IanMK
IanMK in reply to Aimee5

Were you advised to take the Bisopropol all at once? When I was on that dose I was advised to take 2.5mg in the morning and 5mg at night. As I recall, this was to avoid being lethargic during the day. Ask if you can do the same.

Aimee5
Aimee5 in reply to IanMK

Hey,

I was originally instructed to take the whole dose at the same time every morning. Although I started on a smaller does when I was told this. I've been in contact with my doctor and I'm now taking it at night, and so far it seems to be helping.🙂

Petercat1
Petercat1 in reply to Aimee5

Hi.

I'm on Bisoprolol, I take 5mg in the morning and 5mg late in the evening.

Mind I'm going to see if I can reduce my dose as have put on a lot of weight and think it is that.

Best wishes

Denise

tunybgur
tunybgur in reply to Aimee5

Hi Aimee,

I suffered from tachycardia attacks and was put on 1.25mg of bisoprolol which was sufficient to control it, so that was the dosage I stayed on, just enough...

7.5mg is going to make you feel tired as it's designed to slow your heart and reduce the work it does, but it may be possible to reduce the dosage to a level that just controls the SVT but doesn't act like a medical cosh.

I would ask your consultant if it's possible to decrease dosage slowly until you just have the optimal dose.

Good luck

I've been on Bisoprolol 10mg since January and tiredness is a problem. If I nap through the day I have problems sleeping at night, so now I go to bed about 9pm and get about 10 hrs sleep. I go for a walk in the afternoon and sometimes it feels like walking through treacle. So the tiredness doesn't go away but you learn to accept it. I have to say I feel so guilty for keep sitting down or sneaking in a nap when there's so much I should be doing. I work a couple of days a week, take care of my 11 Yr old granddaughter and struggle to keep the house as clean and tidy as I used to

Aimee5
Aimee5 in reply to Zxgreen

I couldn't imagine the pressure of having to look after somebody else while feeling this way, and you shouldn't feel guilty for resting during the day. I understand the guilt though, I am one of 5 kids and I feel horrible everytime I have to say no to one of my siblings because I'm too exhausted to hang out. But what's most important is that you look after yourself so you can be there for those you love when they need you. 🙂

Pauline762
Pauline762 in reply to Aimee5

I was very tired in the beginning but the tiredness seems to have stopped now. 4 months on.

Aimee5
Aimee5 in reply to Pauline762

Thank you, that's good to hear 🙂

Sorry to hear at your age problems I had to drop dosage down as very sensitive to medication and also I take it at nighttime instead if morning so you don’t get the tiredness as your sleeping which is better for me I do find a touch of insomnia also as side effect

I do take other tablets also having had a stent it has been a real trial getting balance right also very bad breathlessness but at present now a bit better

I did speak to cardiologist though to make sure ok heart foundation also excellent advice

Wishing you all the best and your not alone feeling the way you do but do speak to gp there are other options 💕

Aimee5
Aimee5 in reply to staffbull

Thank you🙂 Im hoping that maybe after a while I'll be able to take smaller doses of it because currently I can't walk 100m without having to stop and take a breathe. It feels like really bad indigestion but in my chest and it burns.

Bisopralol knocked me out completely but there are alternatives. If your GP refuses to change it ask him to contact cardio.He should have more luck than you will but it's still worth you phoning the secretary and begging.

Hello, I was on Bisoprolol for about 6 months before it was changed for other meds, I also found it made me really tired. I spoke with my doctor and asked if I could take it last thing at night when the effects would be less of a problem. He saw no reason I couldn't. I was much happier and slept well and was less tired during the day.

I must stress you must discuss it with your doctor before you make any changes.

Hope this helps.

Aimee5
Aimee5 in reply to shellarc

Hey,

I must confess I took my bisoprolol a couple of hours ago and now I'm lying in bed worrying that if I go to sleep my heart rate will drop too low. I probably should have discussed it with my doctor first.

shellarc
shellarc in reply to Aimee5

I am not sure if that would be a problem, your heart rate will only drop as much as normally does. But Yes I did try and stress you should discuss it with your doctor. Do you have access to an out of hours medical professional to check with tonight?

Aimee5
Aimee5 in reply to shellarc

Hey,

I'm awake now and feel fine so hopefully I didn't do any damage. I'll make sure I check today with my doctor to see if it's ok to take it at night 🙂

shellarc
shellarc in reply to Aimee5

Do you think it helped? If you are not tired today and sleep well at night it seems it might work for you. Yes do check with doctor today if you can.

Aimee5
Aimee5 in reply to shellarc

I think it has helped. I still had to take a nap in the afternoon but I was able to get some study done in the morning and it went pretty well.🙂👍

It is interesting how often Bisoprolol is mentioned in the context of exhaustion and other debilitating s/effects, yet when this is mentioned to the cardiology people, they all repute those suggestions.

I've even had a cardiologist express considerable dissatisfaction that I wasn't taking it, and noting that the angina I was suffering from would undoubtedly have been prevented had I been taking it. I would add that coming off it had been agreed by my GP, having decided the side effects didn't warrant the benefits. For context, at that stage I was on anti-anginals and using GTN spray several times a day just to barely function. This following a discussion with the cardiologist in my local hospital who subsequently referred me for an angiogram at one of the two national centres in Scotland.

Anyway, 4 hours later, after he'd done the angiogram, found some considerable narrowing to a left artery and added another stent to my collection, he wasn't promoting it anymore !! I note it isn't in my daily sweetie ration either.

Interestingly though, he told me he was taking it himself for high blood pressure. And wasn't having the tiredness, weight gain, insomnia / nightmares, runny nose and blocked Eustachian tube I had as side effects. As far as I was concerned, it floored me and left me utterly debilitated.

So - you're not alone. Despite what the medics say! I can only suggest you have an in-depth chat with your cardiologist and ask for an alternative. As suggested, it could well be worth looking at other triggers too - not least that coffee / caffeine. It seems it has a detrimental effect in terms of heart / artery elasticity and this was re-inforced with a strict instruction to specifically not have breakfast tea or coffee the morning before the angiogram.

Best wishes.

Itsanafiblife
Itsanafiblife in reply to MikeBB

Runny nose?? Is that what it’s ftom? Ugh! I’m just experiencing now on top of low blood pressure and weight gain. I’m only on 1,25 mg and still I feel heavy legs and tired .

Hi Aimee, your so young to have an arrhythmia, I experienced my first about 4 years ago when cycling to work. I didn’t know what was happening. I eventually was diagnosed and prescribed Flecainide and just recently Bisoprolol. I’m on a tiny dose, 1.25mg but find it causes tiredness. Like others here I’ve switched to taking nighttime so by morning the effects are less and by mid morning the fatigue has abated. Good luck, I hope yours (arrhythmia) is temporary.

Aimee5
Aimee5 in reply to Runningman21

Hey,

I've gotten the all clear to try taking my medication at night so I'm going to give it a go.🙂 Thank you

It was the first thing I was Told re bisoprolol . It does slow your heart for a while that’s it’s job. I was told your body gets used to it. It took a while. For the first few months I was wanting to go to bed at 6pm. And that was the lowest dose!

Aimee5
Aimee5 in reply to Chriskho

Hey,

I am really hoping that I do just need to wait for my body to adjust to it, because it definitely works it's just the side effects are horrible. 🙂

Chriskho
Chriskho in reply to Aimee5

We were told at cardiac rehab to expect feeling tired for a while with bisoprolol as it slows the heart down .I did and it also felt like my heart was beating outside my chest ( if you know what I mean) at first

Are you sure it is the bisoprolol that is causing your tiredness? It does not affect me that way after a year on it. It could be stress about those exams, or your diet. Caffeine, late-night screen reading, lack of exercise may also play a part.

Aimee5
Aimee5 in reply to RufusScamp

Hey I'm pretty certain it's the bisoprolol. This doesn't feel like normal tiredness, like I said before I've had insomnia for the past five years and I am lucky if I get an hour or two a night. It's more like when your recovering from being sick and you feel completely wiped out.🙂

Hi Amee5

I am sorry to hear of your situation. I recently started on Bisoprolol the sensations of tiredness dizziness were very stressful but after two months. Anxiety compounds the effects Bisoprolol has. I have found meditation tapes you may find it more stressful to start with but persevere as the mind takes time to change they are very helpful you only need to get into that relaxed state once then the fear and anxiety will fall away and you will find you sleep better and become more relaxed.

I wish you every good fortune and a long and happy life free of all worry.

Aimee5
Aimee5 in reply to R3mi

Thank you🙂 I've tried meditation in the past but I don't think I did it long enough to really give it a chance to work, so I'll give it another go.👍

R3mi
R3mi in reply to Aimee5

Hi Aimee5

I will look up the one that works for me but there are other reasons for insomnia I was restless and not sleeping for 20years the issue didn’t stem from what I thought. I will send you over the title of a book I got that has completely revolutionised my thinking alleviating lots of stress at 70. I am buzzing like an 18 year old just building back up to my former self. If I can do it after years of sofa bashing so can you.

Good luck you will be ok 👌

Aimee5
Aimee5 in reply to R3mi

Awesome thank you 😊

Aimee, sorry to hear of your troubles, and so young.

I think there may be a touch of misattribution going on, especially as you are female, and young, unfortunately it still happens. I would check out the quetiapine drug mentioned and bring it up with your doc.

The words you need to use to express dissatisfaction with beta blockers is "I do not tolerate them well". The word tolerate seems to be understood by doctors even when they seem to deny the undoubted adverse effects of BBs.

The other thing is, when do your attacks of high rate happen, mostly day or night or no pattern, and do they coincide with yiur gastric problems for which you are taking Omeprazole?

Aimee5
Aimee5 in reply to Cliff_G

Hey I'll be sure to use the work tolerate when speaking with my doctor thank you for that advice🙂 and my spikes in heart rate happen night and day. Although they seem to be worse during the day because that's when I pass out the most. And I was told that my stomach ulcers were also caused by stress but I don't think the two problems are linked in any other way. They don't really explain much to me. I think being a teenager they don't feel the need to go into great detail, and what I am told is the really dumbed down version.

Aimee, gastric problems can very much be related to heart problems, as both are fed by the same nerve from the brain. Check Dr Sanjay Gupta's Youtube channel (York Cardiology, not the American man of the same name), in particular his videos on the gastro-cardiac link. I have suffered with similar for years, but I believe it's a two-way thing (it is with me), if the gut is upset it can affect the heart and give you abnormal rhythms, and if the heart is on edge, it will make for more wind (presumably more acid) in the gut.

I would say a lot of people get the dumbed down version, this is partly as doctors are so tight on time with appointments. Ask "why?" a lot.

Aimee5
Aimee5 in reply to Cliff_G

Thank you 👍 I will look into it😊

Mind article on your meds medicines.org.uk/emc/files/...

Aimee5
Aimee5 in reply to taliesin1411

Thank you the article was really informative 👍

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