Nebivolol - a beta-blocker (Nebilet)

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Take nebivolol once each day.

The most common side-effects are tiredness, headache, stomach upset, and feeling short of breath.

Treatment with nebivolol is usually long-term. Continue to take the tablets regularly - do not stop without speaking with your doctor first, as this can cause problems.

Type of medicineA beta-adrenoceptor blocking medicine (often referred to as a beta-blocker)
Used forHigh blood pressure (hypertension); heart failure
Also calledNebilet®
Available asTablets

Nebivolol belongs to the group of medicines known as beta-blockers. It works on the heart and blood vessels. You will have been prescribed nebivolol either because your blood pressure is too high (hypertension), or because your heart is not working as well as it should (heart failure).

Nebivolol slows down the activity of your heart by stopping messages sent by some nerves to your heart. It does this by blocking tiny areas (called beta-adrenergic receptors) where the messages are received by your heart. Nebivolol also widens (relaxes) some blood vessels. These two things together allow the pressure of blood within your blood vessels to be reduced and make it easier for your heart to pump blood around your body.

Some medicines are not suitable for people with certain conditions, and sometimes a medicine may only be used if extra care is taken. For these reasons, before you start taking nebivolol it is important that your doctor knows:

  • If you are pregnant, trying for a baby or breast-feeding.
  • If you have any problems with the way your liver works, or with the way your kidneys work.
  • If you have asthma or any other breathing disorder.
  • If you have diabetes.
  • If you have been told you have a slow heartbeat or a slow and irregular heartbeat (heart block).
  • If you have been told you have chest pain caused by spasms of your heart's blood vessels, a condition called Prinzmetal's angina.
  • If you have poor circulation.
  • If you have a skin problem called psoriasis.
  • If you have a condition causing muscle weakness, called myasthenia gravis.
  • If you are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
  • If you have ever had an allergic reaction to a medicine, or if you have ever had any other serious allergic reaction.
  • Before you start the treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside the pack. It will give you more information about nebivolol and will provide you with a full list of the side-effects which you may experience from taking it.
  • Nebivolol tablets are available in several different strengths. When starting your treatment your doctor may give you a small dose and then gradually increase the strength of the tablets. Each time you collect a fresh supply of tablets, it's a good idea to check the strength on the packet to make sure they are what you are expecting.
  • The usual dose is one tablet each day. Take the tablet exactly as your doctor tells you to.
  • Swallow the tablet with a drink of water. You can take nebivolol either before or after a meal. Try to take your doses of nebivolol at the same time each day. This will help you to remember to take it regularly.
  • If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If you do not remember until the following day, skip the forgotten dose. Do not take two doses at the same time to make up for a missed dose.
  • Try to keep your regular appointments with your doctor. This is so your doctor can check on your progress.
  • Treatment with nebivolol can often be long-term. Continue to take the tablets unless your doctor tells you to stop. Stopping treatment suddenly can cause problems in some people, so your doctor may want you to reduce your dose gradually if this becomes necessary.
  • If you are due to have an operation or dental treatment, it is important to tell the person carrying out the treatment that you are taking a beta-blocker. This is because some anaesthetics may increase the risk of unwanted effects.
  • If you drink alcohol, ask your doctor for advice about taking nebivolol and alcohol. Alcohol will add to the blood pressure-lowering effect of nebivolol and so may not be advisable for you.
  • If you have diabetes, nebivolol can block the symptoms of low blood sugar. Your doctor will advise you about this.
  • If you buy any medicines, check with a pharmacist that they are suitable for you to take. Some medicines (including some cough, cold and flu remedies) may not be.
  • Your doctor may give you dietary and lifestyle advice about eating a healthy diet, not smoking, and taking regular exercise. If so, it is important that you follow the advice you are given.

Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. The table below contains some of the most common ones associated with nebivolol. You will find a full list in the manufacturer's information leaflet supplied with your medicine. The unwanted effects often improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following continue or become troublesome.

Common nebivolol side-effects (these affect less than 1 in 10 people)What can I do if I experience this?
HeadacheAsk your pharmacist to recommend a suitable painkiller
Feeling sick, diarrhoeaStick to simple meals - avoid rich or spicy foods
ConstipationTry to eat a well-balanced diet and drink plenty of water
Feeling dizzy or light-headed (especially when getting up from a sitting or lying down position)Getting up more slowly may help. If you begin to feel dizzy, lie down so that you do not faint, then sit for a few moments before standing. If this continues, speak with your doctor
Cold hands or feet, feeling breathless, disturbed sleep, feeling tired, swollen feet or ankles, tingling feelings in hands or feetSpeak with your doctor if any of these become troublesome

If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to the tablets, speak with your doctor or pharmacist for further advice.

  • Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
  • Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.

Never take more than the prescribed dose. If you suspect that you or someone else might have taken an overdose of this medicine, go to the accident and emergency department of your local hospital. Take the container with you, even if it is empty.

This medicine is for you. Never give it to other people even if their condition appears to be the same as yours.

Do not keep out-of-date or unwanted medicines. Take them to your local pharmacy which will dispose of them for you.

If you have any questions about this medicine ask your pharmacist.

Further reading & references

  • Manufacturer's PIL, Nebilet® 5 mg Tablets; A. Menarini Farmaceutica Internazionale SRL, The electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated December 2012.
  • British National Formulary; 68th Edition (Sep 2014) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London

Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.

Original Author:
Helen Allen
Current Version:
Peer Reviewer:
Dr Helen Huins
Document ID:
3687 (v26)
Last Checked:
24/11/2014
Next Review:
23/11/2017
The Information Standard - certified member

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