Doing the job ..... but at what cost ?

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Following heart surgery [aortic valve replacement + pacemaker fitted] back in 2011 I've been symptomatic one way or another. i've had 5 cardioversions in 5 years and have been in AF for over a year now. i'm on warfarin, irbesartan [for blood pressure] and for the last 3 months bisoprolol [only 1.25mg daily]. My GP put me on bisoprolol because although i'm on warfarin & have a pacemaker he was concerned that my heart rate was too fast albeit rarely going over 90 bpm. My symptoms of dizziness, fuzziness, brain 'fog' unsteadiness, tiredness & general feeling of being unwell are just debilitating & I'm due to go on holiday shortly & I really don't want to feel like this & am tempted to stop taking them ...... any advice would be welcome. Could my worsening symptoms be caused by such a low dose of bisoprolol & has anybody out there tried an alternative for slowing the heart rate ?

Many thanks everybody ......

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  • Posted

    If you didn't have dizziness, fuzziness, brain 'fog', unsteadiness, tiredness & general feeling of being unwell before Bisoprolol and you have those symptoms suddenly since starting to take Bisoprolol, then surely it is most likely Bisoprolol.

    If you had similar problems even before Bisoprolol, then it is probably your original disease mixed with medicines.

    About stopping Bisoprolol, you have a serious heart condition and please, in no way, don't stop a Beta blocker on your own, without doc's permission. Stopping Beta blockers cold turkey is very dangerous in these conditions.

    About other drugs which can be given instead of Bisoprolol, there are lots of drugs out there which can control and slow down your rhytm (other Beta blockers, Calcium blockers, other antiarrhytmic drugs), but again, you will need doc's permission.

    So, don't do anything on your own, no matter how bad are you feeling right now.

    Talk to your doc and then try other options. Good luck

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    • Posted

      Thanks Bob. I have in fact now made an appointment to see my GP tomorrow.

      Thanks again for the advice ....I'm also wondering if caffeine/alchohol [had a coupls of drinks whilst away [not really a drinker] but as in hotel had lots of caffeinated coffee which again I don't have so much. Also noticed that whilst my heartrate is ok at 70 bpm my BP is up around the 150's/90 !

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    • Posted

      Your heart rate is around 70 due to Beta blockers (Bisoprolol). If you stop taking them, your heart rate will jump to 90 and your AF may worsen.

      Again, you will have to talk with your doc about all options.

      About your blood pressure, if it is too high, maybe a doc should give you some additional Blood pressure drug (NOT additional Beta blocker on top of Bisoprolol) which only controls your blood pressure and doesn't effect your heart rate since your heart rate is currently fine (Beta Blockers affect both heart rate and blood pressure).

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  • Posted

    Your history sounds almost identical to mine and although I have a dual chamber pacemaker, I elected not to take the Bisoprolol any longer after the fitting of it, as the side effects of fatigue and a feeling of detachment were making me feel so miserable.  My heart did settle down and I don't know if it would be worth discussing in your own case, but when I feel it pick up its rate and start racing, I take a Flecainide pill, followed by another within two hours if still too high.  So far this has worked for me (now two years), but if for instance, the rate would not come down, then I would have to think again about some sort of beta blocker, but not Bisoprolol - there are others to try.  As we know, the pacemaker will speed up a low rate, but not slow down a fast one.  I have had an AV node ablation and although this is now considered a bit drastic - it has improved life for me to the extent where I can forget all about the past trauma of repeated ablations and cardioversions.

    Just to add, see if your doctor will give you dabigatran instead of the Warfarin, as there are no blood tests or monitoring required and it is considered safe now as they have an antidote for bleeding as for Warfarin.  It is one burden less.....

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