Bisoprolol: Good afternoon Following a... - British Heart Fou...

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Bush73 profile image

Good afternoon

Following a very fast pulse rate 120+ last Thursday evening and AF during the night I called 111( nice people) who sent me off to A&E

The usual tests ended with the A&E doctor prescribing Bisoprolol 2.5 one daily for one week then after checking the results with my GP stop the drug for one week and record the changes to see if the AF was a one off which given my age and condition is unlikely

But I’m always hopeful 😎

Anyway the purpose of this post !

After my second dose of Bisoprolol I’m lightheaded and floating!!

Not nice !

Is this the usual side effect and if so does the body adjust and how long does it take?

Great site this forum gracious and informative

56 Replies

Hi,When I was put on it after my HA I along with other meds as I had been given it this way in the hospital. It made me feel exactly the same way. I was told to take it at night and my other med I the morning and thst sorted it out. Are you on any other medication? As it could be a reaction to that? It's a very low dose so shouldn't really make you feel like this? Maybe your just unlucky though and fir you, it's maybe not the tablet for you?

Bush73 profile image
Bush73 in reply to Doora

What a great idea I’ll take it in the evening!

Yes have been on the usual cocktail of drugs following H/A last January

I expect your right that the drugs mix and may cause a reaction

That’s what our lovely GPs are for when you can find one ha

A&E are just stars tho

Thanks for you comments much appreciated

Yes it will make you feel a bit squiffy to start with, takes a few weeks for your body to adjust.My arrhythmia nurse told me to try it at night which I did and it works better for me and I also started on a lower dose and worked up gradually.

Bush73 profile image
Bush73 in reply to bantam12

Thanks I’ll take at nightNice word squiffy sums it beautifully ha

Yes. Me too. I also got quite weird after begin. Bisoprlol.I take 2.5 in morning around 9 a.m. and the same at around 9 p.m.But but be glad 'they' did not give you Digoxin!That can really make you feel awful and not just weird.

I take mine at 9am and 9pm too

Yep, normal and, as others have said, it really helps to take it at night so you sleep through the initial hit of each dose.

It does go away for most people but, if you're only taking for a week for now, there may not quite be time for your body to get used to it. If do you find yourself on it longer term then obviously that's not an issue :)

Just wondered does your heart rate go up in the one hundreds when you walk or exercise say cut the grass?

Depending how hard I'm walking / working it can do.

Just strolling round town I wouldn't expect it to but, if I'm "out for a walk" I tend to push fairly hard - usually aim for 125 steps / min and under 15 min / mile regardless of the terrain - and that can see it up into the high 120s on hills.

Useful thanks just trying to get an idea how hard I can push Great appreciated

Just a brief additional comment : The lightheadedness/floating feeling isn't really a side effect. It's a consequence of the bisoprolol doing its job to slow down your heart rate, control arrythmias and (slightly) lower your blood pressure. As others have said, taking it at night will help and your body will probably compensate and things will get better. However, if you end up taking bisoprolol long-term, the 1.25mg dose may suit you better.

If you are someone who targets a particular heart rate range when you are exercising (eg a percentage of a calculated maximum heart rate), please remember that bisoprolol lowers your heart rate so your "target" will be lower. My cardio rehab nurses have a calculator to work it out and allow for the effect of bisoprolol, but I don't know the formula.

Bush73 profile image
Bush73 in reply to Mart25

Thanks great info

Never found that kind of reaction to Biso.

Bush73 profile image
Bush73 in reply to mike2002

Ok thanks

It did exactly the same to me, but my resting pulse became 38. Off it now and symptom free

Bush73 profile image
Bush73 in reply to Dredd2000ad

Good news

Hi I was initially in hospital put on 5mg felt the exact same feelings as you they then reduced to 2.5mg still same. I'm now on 1.25mg which have taken for over a year now and after the first couple of floaty months haha im fine on this drug now x

Bush73 profile image
Bush73 in reply to Mikamoo2

Thanks for the info glad your now good

I’m on my 2nd week of bisoprolol. I’m only just starting to feel normal! It made me very dizzy and spaced out. But much better now. I still have AF but no tachycardia. Pharmacy told me to split my dose so 1.25 in the morning and 1.25 before bed. But that made my heart rate drop too low so just 1.25 in the morning now.

Bush73 profile image
Bush73 in reply to widgetcook

Ok something for me to remember Thanks

I was put on 2.5 Bisoprolol also after my AVR 2 years ago along with other medications. I experienced a number of side effects, most of which I put down to my recovery from open heart surgery. I just kept going and eventually came to terms with the breathlessness and other effects over time and now it doesn’t seem to bother me much at all. Funny thing is, being on this forum, I think it must be the most posted about drug for side effects I’ve seen! Many people have problems with it and so get it changed. I think it’s worth following your symptoms up with a doctor. I had to wait a long time to get used to my medication - you don’t want to do that if you don’t have to. Good luck! Sue 🙏

Bush73 profile image
Bush73 in reply to TMeditation

Thanks Sue for your reply I’ll speak with my GP if I can get thro the rear guard ha

Agree with those who suggested taking it at night. The medication also suggests taking it with a fair amount of water.


I take Ramipril at night. Is it OK to take Bisopronol at the same time? I’m taking it in the morning with Moxonodine at the moment but have bouts of feeling ‘flaky’. Could taking the Bisopronol at night avoid this?

Hi, i was put on bisoprolol recently after a particularly bad dose of AF which took me to A and E. I was given 2.5mg once a day and felt terrible - really tired and nauseous. I had also been taking 50mg flecainide and 5mg apixaban twice daily for ages. The doc changed bisoprolol to 1.25mg twice daily and upped my flecainide to 100mg twice daily and I have felt great ever since. Tweeking my medication has certainly worked for me so far.

Bush73 profile image
Bush73 in reply to Sewbikeswim

Thanks for your reply and infoWhat a great site

Stay well

Hi, Been on Bisoprolol for about 12 months no problems but always have taken it in the morning with breakfast.

Bush73 profile image
Bush73 in reply to EngineerB


I take mine in the morning and evening. It helps with the ectopic beats. Pacemaker and ablation help too, but you are never completely " right". I didn't experience any wooziness on the biso, but it did help with those thudding occasional beats. I went from AF to AV block, due to electrical issues. That was after the ablation!! Then, 2 weeks after having a pacemaker fitted, one of the wires detached from the heart wall!! Yet another op!! And I'm only 59!! Gotta be positive though.

Bush73 profile image
Bush73 in reply to Renault225

Thanks for replying Wow you’ve been through the whole spectrum

Great info thanks and glad your now good

I’m 82 now so you have some great years to look forward to

Stay well

Hi Bush73, just read your experience with bisoprolol and was not going to respond until your last post revealed you were the same age as me!I sometimes wonder whether I should be on this forum as I rarely experience the side effects that many do.

I was diagnosed with HF two years ago and take 7.5mg Ramipril, 10mg Apixaban and Bisoprolol 2.5mg. Fortunately I am on the edge of AF and have not had any incidents.

My breathlessness has improved and I can walk uphill without stopping as much as I did before diagnosis.

But 6 months ago diagnosed with local advanced prostate cancer and now on hormone therapy which can be draining,BUT regular exercise seems to keep me moving. BP always in the normal range and HR around 60.

I have recently focussed upon diet as that is also a big factor, especially as diets for both conditions can sometime conflict.

Keep on going and nil

Best wishes Raft

Bush73 profile image
Bush73 in reply to Raft

Hi yaNice of you to reply I always remember the Churchill quote “ keep bugg!!!in on” which always makes me smile

I really hope the hormone treatment gives you control

There are so many great improvements today in the treatment of prostate cancer

Be lucky I hope you keep well


Desperandum translated as “don’t let the b.....ds( conditions) get you down!

Yes, I get the same floaty, unreal feeling with Bisoprolol. I take it twice a day 2.5mg in the evening, and 1,25mg in the morning because taking 2.5mg. twice a day, as prescribed originally after I had pacemaker fitted, made me feel half asleep. It was quite impossible for me to function. I was tripping over the furniture, bumping into walls. But after I started taking 1.25mg in the morning instead, gradually after few weeks I began to tolerate it better. I still have little energy, and I feel tired all the time. I must add that I am bad at reacting to almost any medicines with side effects, so I suppose it is combined effects with my other medicines. I often think I would feel much more healthy if I stopped all my medicines, but I have to remember that they keep me alive.

Bush73 profile image
Bush73 in reply to Arnika

Thanks Yes keep going it’s a pain but necessary

Thanks for your thoughts

Hi, I take bisoprolol for AF. I was prescribed 2.5 by cardiologist at A and E but could not tolerate and don't take any other meds. I had really quite significant breathlessness, some dizziness and chest pain. My GP reduced to 1.25 and expressed dislike of bisoprolol. Bisoprolol is often not tolerated well, so I'm told.It took a few weeks to be bearable and a couple of months to really settle down but I'm now tolerating this. My heart rate was quite a bit higher than yours and is still around 90 resting and can jump up pretty high still (160 +) as its such a low dose but its not as sustained or problematic. Waiting on cardioversion, so not messing with meds at this stage but it's important to know there are other options to be discussed. Id talk to your GP or cardiologist before making any changes. Good luck!

Bush73 profile image
Bush73 in reply to Fullofheart

Good luck and thanks for your reply

Hi. I have been taking bisoprolol since last sept for tachycardia. Many horrible side affects. Some people tolerate it. I'm struggling but have to keep taking them until cardiologist sorts me out. Take care

Bush73 profile image
Bush73 in reply to Fifimyangel

Yes it’s not everybody’s idea of funThanks for replying

You take care now

Hi , I’m on a very low dose 1.25 mg and it made me feel a little out of sorts . Switched to taking it in the evening before bed and it’s so much better . I also think doing this has helped my palpitations which by all accounts is down to my hormones and being a women of a certain age !

Bush73 profile image
Bush73 in reply to Shopgal67

Hi I’m hanging on today to change to an evening dosage hoping this will calm things down we shall seeThanks for your input much appreciated

I have been on bisoprolol for 4 years and take it in the morning without any side effects. I take a few different medications but so far none of them have had a bad reaction. I do see the benefit of taking it at bedtime as any light-headedness can be slept off.

Bush73 profile image
Bush73 in reply to Heather1957

At my age four years sounds absolutely fine so your comments are much appreciated Thanks 😎

As everyone has said, yes, that’s normal and can make you also feel very sleepy. I’m on 7.5mg and struggled until I started taking it at night and that was a game changer. Every time I change the dose it takes a couple of weeks to adjust.

Bush73 profile image
Bush73 in reply to SaraSaraSara

Thank you So much advice and suggestions also experience which is invaluable

If you can handle 7.5 mg then I should be able to cope with 2.5 mg

I take your point on it takes time !

Thanks so much

Be well


SaraSaraSara profile image
SaraSaraSara in reply to Bush73

Funnily enough the pharmacist said sometimes the lower doses are harder to cope with than bigger. I started on 1.5 and had all the symptoms you had. It’s strange I know...

Well there you go!I’ll remember your comments if that happens ha

Very strange


Bush73 profile image
Bush73 in reply to Bush73

Ever tried just not taking it ?As I sit here without any today my pulse rate averages 65 bpm

Lightheadedness is quite common with bisoprolol. It's because it's slowing your heart rate. I had it a while ago when they thought I had heart problems but right now, I'm taking it because some of the new antidepressants I'm taking, along with the sudden change the brain chemistry . It should wear off when your body becomes accustomed to it.

Thanks appreciated

I had to stop taking it as it made me so very depressed, was prescribed another medication as this is an unusual side effect so might me worth asking the question about yours

Bush73 profile image
Bush73 in reply to Greymore

Thanks for your thoughts appreciated

I also take Bisoprolol and have done since 2016. I take it in the evening after finding it had a reaction during the day.

Thanks I took the advice of many of our lovely members and changed to an evening dose last evening Early yet but I feel feel fine , or as the person said as they fell out of the window “ so far so good”

The old ones are the best ha

Long may it continue

Thank you so much for your opinion

Speak to your GP immediately- it could be your BP dropping a little too low…I accidentally took two doses in the same morning and couldn’t walk straight!

All the best.

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