Bisoprolol side effects

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Hi everyone, i posted about a month ago because of the side effects i was experiencing with this drug and got some really great advice. I went to see my cardiologist for the results of my mri scan and fortunately no blockage in my arteries were found so my duagnosis is moderate to severe LV heart failure which i knew anyway and they were happy to keep me on the same bisoprolol dose ive been on for the last 3 months as it had reduced my heart rate considerably. I then went on to explain the terrible side effects i had been experiencing with this drug, most notably with weakness and muscle loss in my legs. As ive said previously ive had arthritis for years and have it in all my joints and my knees and legs but with trial and error over the years i am now on a regime of medication which enables me to have a fairly reasonable quality of life apart from the occasional flare-up which can come on unexpectedly i cope quite well. I explained to my cardiologist that within 2 weeks of starting bisoprolol my legs started to weaken i was losing my balance and they were becoming more

painful and this has got worse over the months so that i am now wearing support bandages just to walk, i am in constant pain and can see my leg muscles weaken as the weeks have been passing. However my doc did not seem to care, at first he wouldnt listen to my request to try another drug and tried to persuade me to stay on bisoprolol but with persistance and the fact he could see how desparate i was and how it was effecting my quality of life he agreed to allow my gp to change my medication but i would have to be weaned off it gradually so i am now waiting to hear from my gp to arrange an appoitment to sort this out but in the meantime i can feel my legs weaken further and none of my arthrits medication is helping and it seems too muvh of a coincidence that as soon as i was prescribed bisoprolol i started with the pains in ny legs. Has anyone out there had this problem i would love to hear your experiences and did going on a new drug help with the pain in your legs.

Thanks

Lisa

1 like, 12 replies

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12 Replies

  • Posted

    What dose of Bisoprolol are you on and how long will weaning off take. I weaned off this and felt better as soon as I reduced. You could start a small reduction straight away as the cardiologist has given his ok .
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    • Posted

      Hi madge

      Thanks for your reply. Im on 2.5mg although initially i was put on 3.75mg but i just couldnt tolerate this dosage so it was reduced to 1.25mg. Initially i thought the pain in my legs was my arthritis but when none of my medication for this helped it became apparent that it was the bisoprolol. Im seeing my gp hopefully next week to see what i can do about changing meds or reducing just dont know whats best at the moment all i know is i cant go on feeling like this

      What dose were you on when you started to reduce and when you say you have weaned off does that mean you are on no medication for it now and if so how are you feeling in yourself.

      Thanks

      Y

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    • Posted

      I was on 2.5mg twice a day. I felt like death warmed up - very tired and weak. I reduced to 1.25 and cut this in half so as to take it morning and evening. Gradually I reduced it to morning only ,then to every other day. Then stopped altogrther. After a Holker monitor test showed normal my cardiologist said I could stop the blood thinner and reduce the Bisoprolol over 2 months. I believe my attack of tachycardia and the afib were caused by an adverse reaction to Ciprofloxacin -a fluoroquinolone antibiotic. I feel ok now except for bad pain in my tendons - this is a well known side effect of this class of antibiotic. Many people also get cardiac problems from it.
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  • Posted

    I have a/f.i was prescribed bisoprolol and rampril. I had increasing weakness in my legs and developed bad backache on standing. I got to a point where I had to hold on to a plastic chair in the shower and walking was  like walking in treacle. I saw my GP but he didn't give me any idea what was causing the problem. I just trusted him and believed that it was due to being overweight and bad posture( I was so tired I was sitting most of the day..I couldn't walk far) or it was the a/ fib. After finding this site I then saw another go who then changed the bisop to atenlol at my request for a different med. I persevered for another 18 months! Same problem with my back and legs. I decided to reduce the atenolol, with another GP who was a bit reluctant to do this. Subsequently,I stopped the atenolol . The weaning off was horrendous and I had really bad withdrawal for more than 3 to 4 months. Since then, most of the side effects( I've not mentioned them all on here) have improved . My legs are much better,and I can walk so much better,however standing although improved still gives me backache. Overall , I am so much better and feel more like myself. I don't know if I've made the right decision but the quality of my life is certainly much better. It's good to hear from others with the same issues and their GP's and consultants all give such varying advice. It's not easy to live with this problem. I hope this may help you.
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    • Posted

      Hi eliazabeth

      Thanks for your reply. The thought of trying different drugs and putting up with another 18 months fills me with dread. What medication if any are you on now i am on 2.5mg i am going to my gp next week to sort out either changing or reducing the bisoprolol and i am considering just reducing to 1.25mg and see how that goes.

      If your not on any medication how are your afib symptoms now.

      Its good to hear from others who have had the same experience and its us who we should listen to not our gps who just see us as a condition.

      Thanks

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    • Posted

      Hi Lisa. I'm taking 20 mgs rivaroxiban..blood thinner and 25 mgs rampril. I want to stop the rampril,but I will try to lose weight before I take that decision.

         I've suffered 4 years of bisoprolol and 2 of atenolol . Nightmare for me although I know that these meds work for many. I read that if you have bad side effects from beta blockers then it's likely that you will have similar problems with any others. Who knows whether this is true or not? 

          Since stopping the betablocker my blood pressure has been ok....even checked by my GP just 3 weeks ago. The a/f continues to be just as bad as when I was on the meds. My pulse fluctuates between 94 and 112 bpm. Again my GP said it was ok! She gave me a prescription for 2.5 bisoprolol and said that it was there if I needed to take it. Also to put me in control...were her words! I'd have to be seriously pulsating to take it! 

      I think many consultants go down the ablation route for those who are not responding or having trouble with beta blockers. Maybe too late for me! 6 years since I was diagnosed. 

          I feel so much better able to cope when I read posts from other fellow sufferers on here. Also I keep returning to the Medscape article (usa), which has produced a report about a fib. Apparently the heart can remodel itself...it's a muscle, if you change lifestyle,especially taking control of weight food choices and exercise. Lots of common sense....but so difficult to do. I have no option but to try. 

         Hope I have helped and thank you for your post. Take care.

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  • Posted

    If we learn arnything from these forums, it is to complain and fight for better medication which we can tolerate, and telling our doctors that one size does not fit all.   We are so reluctant to do this as most of us care what medics think of us and want their good opinion.  But at the end of the day, it is your health and only you can voice what you feel like and would like to happen.  Some sail along with Bisoprolol but others have dreadful side effects but unless you strongly voice these to the doctor, then how is he to know and try alternatives.  Personally I felt like I was hauling a couple of lead weights around instead of legs and a short distance seemed like a marathon.  There is a also a difference of opinion about weaning off from what has been reported here.  Some say their GP advises very slow (months?) of weaning, and others here have stopped immediately with no ill effects, including myself and had instant improvement.  Remember AFib feels life threatening sometimes, but it actually isn't when you take your regular blood thinning medication, which is essential for as long as you have this - which is often lifelong.  

    The arthritis problem is worse really I know as my husband also suffers from both these complaints - AFib plus arthritis.  This cuts down anti-inflammatory choices which you can use with blood thinners, so this is our next battle - keeping him safe AND out of pain........   He is on a low dose of Bisoprolol 2.5 I think but has always felt this doesn't affect him and that it is the arthritis which is making his walking difficult nowadays.

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    • Posted

      Hi josephine,

      Thanks for your reply i am on the same dosage as your husband 2.5mg of bisoprolol daily. Initially it was 3.75 mg which was horrendous and they agreed to reduce to 2.5mg the side effects immediately stopped apart from the pain in my legs. Im not sure if i should try reducing to 1.25mg a day straight away rather than waiting to be put on another drug and see if that helps. I agree with your husband the pain seems worse than the Afib and its hard to cope with and quality of life is non existent. What dose were you on before you started to reduce im going to see my gp next week so if i can be armed with some extra information it would be helpful.

      Thanks

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    • Posted

      You're reply to Lisa makes so much sense to me. I just want to thank you for all the sensible comments you've made. You have it exactly right! Well done for giving everyone reading this some positive and informed info. 
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  • Posted

    Firstly thank you Elizabeth - I know how glad I was back then to find others with experiences which then lay ahead for me.  

    Lisa, you obviously do have some trial and error ahead and you won't have exactly the same experiences as anybody else.  I was firstly on 5 mg Bisoprolol and moved through that treacle you describe for many months, and underwent two failed ablations during that period, eventually nothing could prevent the upward march heartbeat. not even the eventual 10 mg I was on.  Eventually, following a bit of an emergency,  I opted for pacemaker and AV node ablation which is a bit drastic, but I am off all the drugs except for blood pressure and blood thinning as the procedure doesn't cure the AFib but I don't get any more distressing symptoms from it and am mostly back to my old self again.  A lot of the time I can forget all about it now.  But I do remember how it was and hope I can be of help.

    Before the pacemaker and when I thought I would have to continue with meds, I did take note of some others which had been tried here as alternatives to Bisoprolol.  These are mainly Propanol, Diltiazem and Digoxin, untried by me but successful in others, and I was preparing to fire these at the GP before I got carted off to A&E where experimentation ended for me....  So you could bear these in mind if your GP says there are no alternatives.  Following the pacemaker, they wanted me back on Bisoprolol but I wanted to try coming off all meds except blood thinning and the specialist said it would be okay if that was what I wanted.  I never felt a thing as regards withdrawal.  The only drug I have added since is just for raised blood pressure.

    As for the arthritis, as it happens I am accompanying my husband later this week to try to sort out his meds along with both conditions.  Paracetamol just isn't touching the pain now and it is obvious more is needed.  So far he has been fobbed off by the doctor saying that he just cannot have anti-inflammatories.  I have sought advice from several accredited sources and it comes down to the fact that two things must be monitored - your blood pressure and your INR levels. I feel that with an eye on those, he should experiment with Nurofen or the like.

     

    There is a hard choice to be made - what gives you the better quality of life - to be pain free with arthritis means you have to have antiflammatories, but to be safe from the AFib risks, you have to have a good INR level which is by taking blood thinners (and the effectiveness of these is reduced by anti inflammatory medications.   This is what I will be accompanying my husband to the GP about on Monday, to see what can be done.  

    I wanted to ask whether you are in permanent AFib or just from time to time and how fast does your heartbeat go during an attack?

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    • Posted

      Hi josephine

      Unlike yourself i didnt have an attack i started to become tired and breathlesa but my rheumatology consultant put it down to side effects from my meds for my arthritis. It was only after i contracted pneumonia last year that ny heart rate was noticed at 135bpm and something done about it. Immediately i was put on forusemide and bisoprolol and after messing about with different dosages i am now on 2.5 mg which has helped but my arthritis in my legs has severely deteriirated to the point i can hardly walk and my joints feel like they areur being knocked out of their sockets. Nothing the rheumatologist nurse has done has helped and i cant go on like this. Im not on blood thinners as yet so thats a good thing i dont have any blockages in my arteries after an mri scan and i have not had any further attacks and my heart rate is now 87bpm. My cardiologist has agreed today to take me off the bisoprolol for 2 weeks and put me on a different drug that is not a beta blocker (i cant remember the name i havent been given it yet) the plan is to see if this helps with the pain in my legs and if it does we know its the bisoprolol thats causing the pain and uf not then my arthritis is getting worse anpd it needs sorting eit

      her way i feel so much better that im being listened too.

      Thanks for all your advice its been a great help and hope your husband gets help with his arthritis .

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    • Posted

      I haven't heard of Bisoprolol causing actual pain and my guess is it is your arthritis.  Bisoprolol's most common complaint is fatigue and heavy legs, but as I said earlier, no two people have exactly the same reaction, so if you carry on investigating, you can at least rule things out.  

      Has your GP recommended any X-rays of your joints or replacements? 

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