Bisoprolol - breathless

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Has anyone found that since being on bisoprolol they've become breathless???

I'm.on 1.25mg (as replacement for Inderal which was discontinued - for migraines)

I have noticed that I am breathless on even slight exertion.

I went to go on a regular walk yesterday and couldn't complete it as I was so breathless.

Also heart pounds hard but not fast. As if I'd run a marathon

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  • Posted

    Yes, that was the accompaniment to fatigue which I experienced all the time I was on Bisoprolol.  All I wanted was to sit down, especially when out shopping etc.  The distance from one shop to another seemed insurmountable.  These symptoms disappeared when I no longer would take this medication.  But of course, you must visit your GP and tell him about this and ask if you can try another drug in its place.  It is not wise to just stop without supervision.
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  • Posted

    Hi Rosemary,

    I was prescribed Bisoprolol Fumarate (2.5mg per day) after a bout of AF. This drug didn't make me breathless but caused a lot of confusion for the first week or so. My GP then upped it by 1.25mg per day. I wasn't breathless as such but after a couple of doses,I  would wake in the night feeling 'air hungry'. I also began suffering weakness, headaches and extreme tiredness.These, I found, are the symptoms of mild altitude sickness so I wasclearly deoxygenated to some extent.  I was put back on 2.5mg/day but still felt desperately tired, no matter how much I slept. I use an app called 'snore clock' on my smartphone, which records sound as you sleep. I found I was asleep for more than 9 hours a night and was still exhausted.

    I've now gone on to Beta Prograne, the slow-release version of the beta blocker Propanolol. I'm much less sleepy on this. Just finishing day 5 now and there's been no confusion and no significant air hunger.

    Incidentally, the Propanolol compounds are also prescribed for anxiety, which is an Achilles heel for me and has been for decades.

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    • Posted

      Hi Save

      I was put on beta prograine when my original beta blocker was discontinued. It was after the original Inderal LA was discontinued and I was put on Beta-prograne that my hard heartbeat started. I stayed on it for a few months but still had the hard heartbeat so Dr put me on this bisoprolol.

      I don't feel tired with it but I still have the hard heartbeat and now breathless on slight exertion.

      I'm uses to being very active and walked a lot and rode my bike fir leisure at the weekends. But now I can't walk fast ir far without being really breathless and my heart bangs so hard.

      I don't know what to do??

      I'm wondering now if the Inderal LA was working so well it was masking a heart problem?

      I was put on it 9 years ago for migraines. Not heart related problems

      Thanks for your reply

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    • Posted

      Hi Rosemary,

      Thank you for your reply.

      I must make clear that I'm not medically trained...I just used to be taken for a doctor when I worked in a medical school!

      Beta blockers work by moderating the effects of adrenaline and other hormones so the heart beats more slowly and with less force. A reduction in blood pressure happens as a result.

      The human heart is a remarkable organ. Fortunately for all of us, cardiology as a science has advanced tremendously so heart problems being undetected is a very rare occurrence.

      I always try to remember the words of the late Dr. Claire Weeke. She was a clinical psychologist specialising in anxiety and phobias.Referring to perceived 'symptoms', she said she seen anxieties giving ' every shade of every trick'.

      I'm not saying your hard heartbeat is down to anxiety. I'm merely pointing out that many of us - perhaps even most of us - may have been brainwashed into seeking heart issues that aren't there. The media - by which I also mean movies and books - have a lot to answer for.

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  • Posted

    I had the same problem with breathing.

    I had to take Beta Blockers for tachycardia episodes which happened from time to time.

    Before BBs, I didn't have any problems excpet short tachy episodes, like 2-3 minutes 2-3 time per year.

    I tried Bisoprolol 1,25 Mg and I felt horrible. Tired all the time, feeling like I have a flue, heart rate dropped from 75 to around 60. Inability to walk on some days fro longer than 2 minutes rolleyes

    But also, my BP dropped from 125 to around 95-100 all the time.

    Also, one of the biggest problems was breathing. I never knew how to explain this side effect to my doc. She always thought that I am breathless because of tachycardia or something.

    But no, the feeling is as someone mentioned like "air hunger".

    I thought a lot about this in the last few Months, and this is the feeling:

    Imagine that your regular HR without medicines is 75. And that your breathing rate is 15 breaths per minute.

    Now, with BBs, my "feeling" is that my HR drops from 75 to 60, and that my breathing rate drops way too much, like from 15 to 5-6-7-8.

    And then, walking is a problem. You walk, your HR is only 80-90, but you can't breath. Your breathing rate is like 5 breaths per minute instead of 15, and you have a feeling that you are walking, your heart is beating, but you get 0% amounts of air to your heart and body...

    And it is not only about walking. When I am sitting or in my bed, the same thing.

    You have a feeling as if your brain is not sending "impulses" anymore to your lungs to breathe. (Since all BBs are affecting both B1 receptors in heart and B2 receptors in lungs, and since BBs cross the brain-blood-barrier and enter into our brain, I am pretty sure that they are affecting our automatic breathing impulses).

    I thought that I was going nuts and stopped taking BBs a few Months ago, and my breathing was back in 3-4 weeks.

    I could breathe normally again, breathe fast, breathe deep, walk and breathe, lie in bed and breathe, everything.

    So, in my case, it was 100% surely because of BBs which for some reason slow down my breathing rate waaaaay too much, and then you feel horrible all the time.

    But then I experienced a few long tachy episodes, since our bodies are then twice as much sensitive to adrenaline (when you stop taking BBs).

    I did wean off for 2-3 Months from 1,25 Mg to 0,00 Mg, but it didn't help.

    Anxiety and sensitivness of heart were insane for 2 Months, all day long.

    Now, after all of this, I have to take BBs again, and now I tried other options, like Atenolol, Metoprolol and Nebivolol.

    Atenolol, the same story after 10 days, even though I took only 5 Mg of Atenolol, which is something like 0,50 of Bisoprolol (less than a half of 1,25 Mg of Bisoprolol).

    Breathing was dead, worse than ever.

    I tried Metoprolol, the same story. Horrible.

    I tried Nebivolol, and everything was good for 2 Months, and then one day: dead.

    Lungs didn't work anymore. It lasted for a few days, and I gave up from Nebivolol also.

    So, I have no other options, since Nebivolol and Bisoprolol are the most highly selective BBs (which means that they work mostly on your heart, and less on your lungs and brain), and they should "attack" our lungs in a least possible way.

    A strange thing is that even when I was taking 0,30 of Bisoprolol while I was weaning, it felt more or less the same as taking 1,25 Mg.

    I want to say, it seems that the effects are not "linear". So, it is not like: 1,25 Mg will lower your HR for 10, and 2,50 Mg will lower it for 20.

    I found some numbers in some researches, and it says:

    2,50 Mg of Bisoprolol: lowers HR on average for +13 points

    5,00 Mg of Bisoprolol: lowers HR on average for +15 (so, only +2 drop and you take twice as much of a drug than on 1,25 Mg)

    10,0 Mg of Bisoprolol: lowers HR for +18

    20,0 Mg of Bisoprolol: lowers HR for +24

    Some other people reported in the past that they have dropped sometimes from 5,00 to 2,50 or from 2,50 to 1,25 and seen almost no difference in HR or BP.

    So, my guess is that even a 0,60 Mg dose (half of a 1,25 Mg) still lowers your HR for around +10 and that even 0,30 Mg lowers it for around +7 or +8 (plus, of course, it works in a similar way with BP and anxiety levels in brain etc). This is probably why some people find it hard to wean off even from the tiniest doses, since, it seems, the smallest doses have the higher relative, like 0,0 Mg to 0,30 difference compared to 5,00 to 10,0 Mg, since 0,0 to 0,30 lowers your HR for 5-6-7-8, while 5,0 to 10,0 lowers your HR further for only +3 points.

    My only option currently is to take 0,30 or 0,20 of Bisoprolol (and similar amounts) and measure my HR and BP all the time and see how big of an influence those tiny doses still have (and the same, to check the strength of side effects on each dose).

    From my experience, my BP dropped both from 125 to 95-100 on 1,25 Mg and equally on 0,30 Mg when I was weaning off...

    So, for us, who have to take the medicine, maybe we have to try to find some individual dose which will help to your disease, but which will offer the smallest amount of side effects.

    But please, if anyone will try to do something like this, ask your doctor about it, since every disease is different, and each of us react different to drugs, it seems.


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