Arrhythmias and Bisoprolol 2.5 mg and Driving

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I was wondering if anyone else has had the same misfortune.  After Heart Failure, Left Bundle Branch Block, etc. (5 years ago)  it was discovered that I also had some Broad Complex Tachycardia, but nothing was done about that. To be fair, I think the Bisprolol had it under control. I eventually decided that it must be side effects that was making me feel lightheaded - you know that horrid sensation that seems to sweep across and with permission came off it around about 10 March.  I had lost 5 years of my life.  Then the arrhythmias started creeping in as there was nothing blocking them.  After a month I had Verapamil (a calcium channel blocker) and that didn't suit either as it was still letting through the arrhythmias.  Last Saturday I went back on the Bisoprolol with the view that whatever side effects it gave me, I would have to accept (and I do/did) until 12 May, when I see a new Consultant for possible ablation.  Interestingly, I see someone has the same brand Sandoz as me (as have others) and this is exactly what is happening - the most shocking missed beats.  After 4.5 years of doctors ignoring me, I bought a Healforce Prince108B ECG monitor.  It made them sit up and realise that something was wrong.  Yesterday, I went to see my GP about these missed beats, showed her my ECG readings and she said they were absolutely fine - nothing to worry about.  However, and cutting a long story short, she said I was not to drive and that she was going to inform the DLVA.  The lightheadedness is a side effect of bisoprolol and they have known about this for how many years?  I have never gone crashing out, it's just the sensation I have,  The consultant I saw a very recently did not have her view clearly.  Anyone else been in a similar situation to me, please? 

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  • Posted

    I am on Bisoprolol 1.25 for svt and palpitations since feb this year,  it has stopped the missed hertbeats which plagued me 24 hrs a day but it has caused me some breathlessness, so far it is ok but i have felt a breakthrough of the palpitations now and again.  I had lightheaded feelings when i was going on them but once my body has adjusted it is ok.  I don,t like this breatjhless feeling when i walk but itss the lesser of the 2 evils.  I,m waiting for an ablation. They do like to ignore you here in England, i,ve suffered for years and it came to their attention when i was admitted to hospital with my heart going at 197 beats a minute, up till then it was dismissed even when i went to hospital in the middle of the night 2 years ago with my heart racing at 150, i was sat on the edge of a bed and monitored until it went down.  Verpamil did nothing for me either, i tried it 10 years ago.  I,m 70 now and considering i,ve had this horrible thing for 42 years that i know of, it may have been there when i was younger but i wasn,t aware
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    • Posted

      And here was me thinking I was bad!  I've got the SVT as well and like you Ann, I'm also waiting for ablation once I get over the first appt.  I am finding it a nightmare and I get it, I really do how busy these doctors are.  I'm beginning to struggle now to accept it, because while I'm waiting for this appt. I have had to go back on the Bisoprolol - relunctantly.  My brain - is driving me mad!  All I pretty well have is 'immediacy' if that's the right word.  I have limited access to memory and I hate that!  It is interesting about Bisoprolol and Sandoz and it seems to me that the NHS dish out the cheapest.  I can understand that to a huge degree, but even though I haven't any money I would rather pay for the top brand.  Like you Ann, I've been dismissed as well - well, initially that is before I was rushed in with Heart Failure and Dilated Cardiomyopathy 5 years ago.  To be fair, in the main it's been this light-headed lark - only to find out it's the Bisoprolol.  I hope I will get the ablation, just like you and then hopefull, all will be much better.  Good luck .... please keep in touch and let me know if and when you get a date.  I'm in Shropshire, by the way.

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    • Posted

      Yes the memory is not good since taking bisoprolol, i,ve always had a very sharp memory too. I,m from Brecon Wales, lived in Romford essex for 50 years.  I will keep in touch, i,m starting to panic now about the ablation though. Good luck to you also.
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    • Posted

      Denise, while I was taking Beta blockers, I had problems on all of them.

      I tried Bisoprolol, 5 different versions of Nebivolol, Atenolol and Metoprolol.

      About 5 versions of Nebivolol, the difference is that on some versions you will have dizziness like 10/10 (strong dizziness) and breathing problems 5/10 (medium), and on the other one you will have dizziness 5/10 (medium) and breathing problems 10/10 (strong).

      So, roughly, it is the same drug like 80-90%, with only minor differences in strength of some side effects.

      But majority of things are the same.

      For example, I had breathing problems (as if my lungs were sleeping all the time even when watching a Tv) on all 8 differenty types of Beta blockers which I tried.

      So, about Sandoz and Bisoprolol, I don't think that your problems are from a cheap version of Bisoprolol, but from a Bisoprolol (or Beta Blockers) in general.

      Even if you take the most expensive or the original version, you will more or less have the same side effects.

      (I tried the original version of Nebivolol and felt even worse than on cheap versions, for example. I had even stronger side effects on that one).

      About poor memory, I started to have problems with remembering names of actors, singers, some people from my town and similar while I was on Beta Blockers. I am better now (I don't take Beta blockers anymore) but still not perfect.

      Also, when on Beta blockers, I felt a brainfog all the time, as if you are not 100% sharp in your head, as if you are slow in thinking, slow in reacting to a world around you etc.

      You know how smartphones have a battery saving mode when a phone turns off some features.

      Well, I felt like that. As if some of systems in my head were shut down or as if they worked at 50% of usual power.

      Beta blockers block our heart. But they don't block our heart directly.

      Beta Blockers enter into our brain (central nervous system which controls heart rate, breathing and automatic body responses) and then BBs block some of the mechanisms to slow down our heart and it's response to adrenaline.

      But while doing this, you get less blood and oxygen into a brain, and that is causing our brains to work slower, your memory is not as sharp, your thinking is clouded etc.

      Also, unintentionally, Beta blockers block (or shut down) some mechanisms which they didn't want to shut down.

      And then you get central-nervous-system side effects like: anxiety, insomnia, dizziness, poor memory, nightmares etc.


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    • Posted

      Hi Bob, nice of you to send a message.  Have you had ablation then Bob, or how come you are managing without?  Having said that, I am pleased that you must be feeling heaps better, although from what you say, not altogether.  Some time last year, I could not remember the name of a brand of paint ... I was talking to my sister and she couldn't remember either. I told her that if she remembers, not to tell me because I would do the searching in my head.  Three days passed and I still couldn't find it. It was like a torment and I gave in, and keyed in 'chalk paint'.  It's bonkers.  The said thing about all this, side-effects is though Bob, that there is no recongition from the powers that be, that we cannot function properly.  As far as they are concerned we are being treated for our symptoms and all is well.  Nothing could be further from the truth, for so many of us.  I know Bob .... sometimes all I had was what was in front of me.  Dreadful, dreadful stuff these Beta-blockers.  Yes, I know they keep us alive and I am grateful for that.  This Sandoz one, as I've said hasn't been too bad.  The main thing for me is that I am not now feeling light-headed.  The night cramps are back and I am so darn tired.  Never had the tiredness before, but now I know where others are coming from.  I'm not going to grumble, because it is blocking the arrhythmias - well certainly no symptoms at any rate, and as I say no light-headedness.  I hope that doesn't change.  I'm seeing my new Cardiologist next Friday 12 May, with a view to being considered for Ablation.  I will let you know what transpires.  Meanwhile, if you or anyone just wants to chat away, then please do.  I am checking regularly.  Kindest regards, Denise.

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    • Posted

      It seems that I can live without meds for now (or: I am trying, and we'll see how it will go). I didn't have an ablation.

      About you feeling tired, it is not about a specific brand of a certain Beta blocker, it is about Beta blockers in general.

      They do lower a heart rate and block the arrhythmias, but in return, when they slow down a heart, you get less blood in your organs, your body works slower, you get less oxygen, every mechanism in your body is slowed down.

      So, basically, you have to feel tired when taking this drug.

      I am not taking it currently, but in the future, who knows?

      If they are the only option, there is nothing we can do.

      Even though, there are still a few options to lower the strength of side effects:

      1. you can try to find a brand which causes you slightly weaker side effects

      2. plus, you can ask if you can lower the dose slightly (for example, from 2,50 Mg to 1,25, 1,50 or 2,00 Mg.

      In some cases, you will still get a good protection and side effects will be weaker.

      Docs usually give the same dose to everyone, but each of us is different.

      3. for some diseases, there are other drugs (other options), with different mechanisms and different side effects (Calcium channel blockers, Ace inhibitors etc) who work awesome for some people (the same protection, weaker side eddects).

      I hope that you'll find something that works for you, or something which will at least make it less painfull.

      Good luck

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