Bisoprolol making me fat: Hi . I... - British Heart Fou...

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Bisoprolol making me fat

Fifimyangel profile image

Hi . I started on bisoprolol last September from the hospital due to tachycardia which is caused due to my pacemaker leads needing changing. Still awaiting to see my cardiologist. Iv since put on 11 pounds I'm on a calorie control diet. Haven't lost anything in a month in fact iv gained another pound. I'm gutted. Anyone else taking these awful tablets and piling on the weight?

56 Replies

The opposite in fact.

After my heart bypass operation I started taking Bisoprolol, but at the same went on a Mediterranean diet with a moderate low carb bias, I only ate between 1.00pm and 9.00pm, and I started fairly serious exercising in line with NHS recommendations.

Despite Bisoprolol I lost two stones to get back to a healthy BMI, and more importantly I've kept that weight off for over two years now.

I found two problems with calorie counting.

First it's actually incredibly difficult to count accurately. One study showed that trained nutritionists struggled to calculate their calorie intake to within 20%. The dice are really loaded with calorie counting, for example food manufacturers daren't OVER estimate the calorie content any more than they would dare to over estimate the contents, because if they did they'd be liable for trading standards prosecution. Consequently they routinely UNDER estimate the calories. I could go on and on, but the fact is very few people are able to accurately calorie count.

Second, with calorie counting there's a huge temptation to kid ourselves and cheat. For example we'll always assume an apple for example is a "medium" apple, not an absolute whopper! Or we'll "estimate" the weight of rice that we cook, but actually bump in a little more. Another common cheat/habit we fall into is eating lots of really tiny amounts throughout the day, say three or four crisps here and a quarter of a biscuit there. Individually they're too small to bother counting, but in total they really add up.

I don't want to be prescriptive, some people really make calorie counting work for them, but I suspect they are incredibly precise and disciplined individuals who measure and weigh every single morsel that they consume.

Good luck!

onadiet profile image
onadiet in reply to Chappychap

Keto Diet and Dash diet are both good. Lost over 4 stone since last June.

yes i blame Bisoprolol too, i think it makes it harder to shift the weight, however it could also be an age thing too, 🤨

Fifimyangel profile image
Fifimyangel in reply to SPV123

Thankyou for the reply

I take Bisoprolol and have lost loads of weight I didn't need to lose ! now officially underweight and can't put it on despite eating all the wrong things, so sadly Bisoprolol hasn't caused me any weight gain 😕

Gaz_chops profile image
Gaz_chops in reply to bantam12

Same for me 😒 except for the wrong things, mostly 🥴

Fifimyangel profile image
Fifimyangel in reply to bantam12

Thankyou for the reply

Bisoprolol and other beta blockers reduce your heart rate which may then reduce the number of calories you use while resting - certainly as far as my activity tracker measures it. But I'm told I'm eating less so maybe it evens out

Thankyou for the reply

Just came off of Bisopnorol 3 weeks ago and still getting severe anxiety and panic attacks. I did not put on weight as it made me feel nauseous a lot. Bisoponol is a horrible drug Since then my heart glitters have got worse. Now on Ibersartin as have hypertension. All this since June 2020.

Waiting still to see Cardiolagist.Woyld not recommend Beta Blockers. Try an alternative if possible though all have side effects.

Peony4575 profile image
Peony4575 in reply to onadiet

Withdrawal from beta blockers can be horrible . I have been off 12 weeks now and not completely out of the woods but it does get better

Tullymore profile image
Tullymore in reply to onadiet

What was your dose. I was on 2.5 now on 1.5 and feel much better

Ive been on bisoprolol for a couple of years. I used to put it down to the meds for my weight gain, not that I was eating wrong.

Started WW about 6 weeks ago and have lost a stone.

I would defo reconsider putting all of the blame on the meds and review what you are eating.

Yes. I was on beta blockers for seven months most of that trying to get off them . Bisoprolol and then Atenolol . Particularly belly fat . No doubt and it is an acknowledged side effect . Spent the whole time trying to restrict calories and didn’t go up a dress size thank goodness but now working to get rid of unwanted beta blocker deposit ! Hard enough keeping weight off as we get older and beta blockers can make it worse

Breesha profile image
Breesha in reply to Peony4575

I think one has to be careful when condemning Bisoprolol, I have been on 12 gms for years , after such a severe reaction to Ace inhibitors that I had liver and kidney failure.I lost over 30 kilos in weight , when the Hosp realised my buxom body was full of fluid , I never had swollen ankles or any of the normal signs of water retention ,

After 4 weeks in hospital on a fluid restricted diet And a proceedure to remove fluid from my lungs I have never looked back ...I was a size 24 , now a 14/16

So my advice to weight gain would be check your fluid intake and output, so simple to do and maybe like me you will need one small pill to maintain thar fluid balance.

Peony4575 profile image
Peony4575 in reply to Breesha

But you have to acknowledge that while you might be happy on bisoproprol and I assume you are as you take such a high dose. Other people are not . In a similar way to you can’t tolerate ace inhibitors but many people can . In my case bisoprolol caused a lot of heart arrhythmia I hadn’t had before and breathlessness anxiety and exhaustion to name just a few side effects . Many other people on this site have had similar effects . So I am being careful about stating my experience of bisoprolol which is every bit as valid as yours. And I don’t have a problem with fluid .

Yes I’m convinced Bisoprolol & also on Ramipril for BP & definitely is a factor for weight gain. Am 64 been doing WW for 6 weeks record everything doesn’t seem to shift that much so disheartening....!! Do lots of exercise walk 2-4 KM everyday & 4 Sessions of Pilates a week....fed up...

Have been on 7.5mg bisoprolol for AF for a number of years. It does tend to make me tired at times, but does not seem to affected my weight particularly, although over past 18months managed to get rid of 5 Stone in weight by following Weight Watchers programme to the letter.

Tullymore profile image
Tullymore in reply to DJCBigfoot

Try reducing the amount. I get by fine on 1.5

Am I correct in assuming that with a calorie controlled diet that you are also active, i.e. exercising daily?

Walking and cycling. Still no joy at losing weight. Spoke to gp yesterday who told me I have to stay on the tablets until iv seen my cardiologist 🙄

No that’s not been my experience, if anything I have lost weight since starting Bisoprolol. Mind you it might have something to do with the fact I’ve given up alcohol and chocolate since developing AF as both seem to be a trigger. Overeating generally can also trigger it. However I see you are controlling calories but still putting on weight. Hope you get some answers.

Yes! I’ve never had a real weight issue, although I tend to fluctuate because I’ve only got half a thyroid and am on medication for that too. But since going on Bisoprolol I’m heavier than I’ve ever been. My heart condition (LVNC cardiomyopathy) means I’ve been told categorically by my cardiologist not to exercise above 110bpm. That’s hoovering. It’s very frustrating as I’ve had to give up a lot of the exercise I loved doing. I’ve also tried reducing food, but that’s not having any effect. I use an exercise bike daily (but at 110bpm barely break out in a sweat after peddling for 30 minutes) and walk - again, at a slow pace. I have a wardrobe of clothes that don’t fit. What does fit looks awful. The only positive is that I’m still here...Wishing you well! X

Thankyou so much for your reply.

Bisoprolol is one of the 6 drugs I take daily. Losing weight can be a challenge, but I mostly put that down to oedema/water retention exacerbated by my heart failure. All is under control but dieting can be a challenge when water retention works against shedding the pounds.Actually concentrating what one's eating, keeping moving and taking regular amounts of water help flush the toxins. With patience the weight does come off. It's a struggle though and it can be depressing.

Good luck!


I have been on beta blocker, ace inhibitor and 11 other medications after 6 heart attacks, persistent fast AF, unstable angina, heart failure and a heart operation. I have found that it is all about the type of food you eat and when. I never eat after 9pm. I stay away from red meat and dairy products. I have managed to stay more or less the same weight as before my first heart attack 18 years ago. Try to look at what you you eat and when.

Good luck.

Curlyman83 profile image
Curlyman83 in reply to Gazzer83

Interesting, as I’ve been the total opposite. I’ve been using full fat spreads and other dairy products. My weight hasn’t changed at all - my cholesterol has also plummeted. I live by the mantra that if it’s produced in a factory then I don’t want it. All my milk is sourced locally from a farmer.

I think the key take away here is that everyone is different - what works for some won’t work for others. Each human body is an extremely complex machine and each one seems to run off different fuels.

When I was on bisoprolol I lost 3 stone, changed to sotalol and lost another 1.5 stone, all intentional. If you are on a drug that slows you down, you need to eat less. If you're not losing weight, then you are eating too much. The best diet advice I've ever seen was on a HU forum 'eat food, not too much, mostly plants'. Try following this advice.

Goldfish7 profile image
Goldfish7 in reply to Ecki

Doesnt necessarily work in my experience unfortunately

YES!. I was desperately trying to lose weight to help my heart and general health but these meds firstly prevented any weight loss and secondly added the Lbs. I've gone up 2 dress sizes since last july!

Me too! Since October last year. Heaviest I have been in my life. Gone from size 6 or 8 to size 10 or 12. Might not sound like huge sizes but I’m under 5 foot so every ounce counts ! I’m not sure if it’s medication related or not. Been taken off Bisoprolol twice for medical reasons. On various other meds but no change to weight - in fact still increasing particularly around stomach abdomen. Out of 14 skirts NONE fit 😱🥲. Depressing

Hi.100% yes, but if you say this to the doctors they say it's not the bisoprolol causing it as not one of the side effects. So many people have said about weight gain on them. I myself have put on about 1.5 stones since I started on them. It seems unless you are on a very low dose this is the norm (although as I said Drs don't agree!)

I have reduced mine from 10mg a day to 7.5mg a day, but am frightened to reduce much lower because it is helping keep my BP down as well as stopping my palpitation attacks. I am disgusted with how much fatter I have become, it is making me quite depressed.

I am 70 and have now just accepted my weight gain.


I definitely put weight on with Bisoprolol. I came off it years ago because of that and feeling so tired but my cardiologist wanted me to try it again recently. I’m on a very strict diet and have consistently lost 7lb a month since last July until I started the Bisoprolol again. First month weight loss went down to 3lb loss and this month 0.2lb. I’ve come off it with my GP’s approval.

I know it doesn’t affect everyone like that but it must slow my metabolism down to a snails pace. I guess we all react differently to certain medications.

(My thyroid was also under-medicated as GP reduced my thyroxine which didn’t help. TSH looks too low but GP tested T3 at my request and that was well below range).

I am already gaining weight after starting insulin and now fixing to go on Bisoprolol for HF. Now I am worried about more weight gain. It's possible my weight gain could be water weight. When I took a diuretic I lost a pound or two. Maybe that is what is causing the weight gain? Appreciate the feed back from all on this forum. Something, I will be watching for. As we all are made different, our reaction to this medicine will be different.

Yes. I lost 1.5 stone when I had my silent heart attack 3 years ago, as it presented as a gastric problem. Since then I have piled on not only that 1.5 stone, but another 1.5 as well. And that's while watching my diet and fluid intake. I switched to Carvedilol but that didn't make any difference. Depressing. Some people lose weight, some gain it. Unfortunately, the medics aren't interested. xx

Fifimyangel profile image
Fifimyangel in reply to Alison_L

Thankyou for the reply

We’re you put on Statin at the same time?

I’m not medical but there is a possibility you are retaining a lot of water ? Especially if your heart isn’t working properly. You won’t always notice the retention. It’s just an idea, you may be worth mentioning to your GP, best wishes

Fifimyangel profile image
Fifimyangel in reply to Brolly12

Thankyou for the reply

I'm on 6.25mg Am, and 5mg PM. I'm on a Calorie controlled diet and lost 8lb in 3 weeks. I'd check your on the right calories. No swollen ankles? They increase your appetite rather than make you gain weight. X x

Thankyou for the reply

Echos my experience. Itseemsto affect women worse than men from people Ive known on it including my much younger female cousin. I was on it for years as Dr wouldnt change it and if I stopped it I would go into AF within around a week. I was fairly slim before I started on it (initially for blood pressure) and even taking into account my subsequent PAF and menopause I piled on the weight. At one point I lived on 1 meal per day under 800 calories for 2months and began losing weight slowly but then weight loss ended up stalling.

Im now off it totally other than pill in pocket for other arythmias after a successful ablation. Sadly its still an uphill struggle as Ive got other heart and lung issues which have prevented me from getting fit in a reasonable time frame but the weight has been slowly reducing mainly with intermittent fasting.

Try to get your Dr to change yor meds if possible - I dont think I argued enough (due to work pressures) when the succession of patronising Drs denied that it was causing me weight gain, breathlessness, cold extremeties, disrupted sleep and a host of other problems. Best of luck.

Thankyou for the reply

Lacarno profile image
Lacarno in reply to Goldfish7

Well l have stopped taking Ranolazine or Ranexa l felt terrible dizzy lightheaded and sleep never had a good night while taking it and l finally had no sleep for 24 hrs and still couldn’t sleep so l took my self off it l notified the Doc and have followed his advice and it’s wonderfull to actually sleep again and l feel my old self .

Luisbrady profile image
Luisbrady in reply to Lacarno

I have just been put on this drug - on top of 7 others - to replace stAtin which causes me liver problems and I’ve been put on an additional blood pressure tablet. I’ve had horrible migraine headaches and nausea. But I also on mono nitrate tablets so difficult to decide which med is causing what. Do I the side effects of Ranexa decrease with time?

Lacarno profile image
Lacarno in reply to Luisbrady

No mine didn’t at all l took myself off them but rang the Doc he agreed that they were upsetting me but had said if l use my spray frequently like before l must ring 999 how many are you taking l took one in the morning and one at night if l did fall asleep used to wake up with a bad headache, if l were you ask your doc for an alternative you shouldn’t have to put up with that, l feel my normal self again thank goodness.

Luisbrady profile image
Luisbrady in reply to Lacarno

Thanks. I take one in morning and one afternoon (500mg). Waking after 3 hours sleep and not getting back to sleep. On top of that angina pains back this morning despite increased meds 🥲

I am in similar position. I started bisoprolol in Nov 20 for svt and ectopics. Dose was increased in Jan 21. I have put on 8kg since and 6 kg have been in last 7 weeks despite calorie controlled diet and hour long walk 6 times a week. its disheartening . Not due for cardio appointment for another 8 weeks .

Fifimyangel profile image
Fifimyangel in reply to vagg50

Thankyou for the reply

vagg50 profile image
vagg50 in reply to Fifimyangel

you are welcome. forgot to mention I am 49 year old female generally fit and slim before my heart started playing up post covid

I have been on it for almost a year and could not lose weight. In the last six weeks, I have gained ten pounds.

Yes...awful meds...try to change them

Yes I have to have them and went from 10 stone 11. Up to 13 stone in fact well over I’ve never in my life been fatter so now do some workout videos each day which seem to be helping a little , but boy it’s great dedication! I can’t breath some days, I don’t know what the answers are . But hope you feel better soon. Take care. X

Thankyou for the reply

Well been on them for years but haven’t noticed any weight probs don’t think it will be those .

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