Help please - 9 years deep and about to stop Bisoprolol

Posted , 8 users are following.

Hi everyone,

Bit of background... 9 years ago was put on bisoprolol 2.5mg for palpitations. (Was under a lot of stress at the time). They did solve the problem. Came down to 1.25mg and continued for a couple of years. Long story short I've been up and down between 1.25 and 2.5mg for all that time. 

I've read some horror stories about bisoprolol and loads of it applies to me - but the docs always said 'can't be the side affects of the drug' ... many things such as "You're just getting older" when I complained of terrible continual ankle / leg pain and the same when complaining about not being able to exercise AT ALL....

Other problems I've had are 'confusion'... 'fuzzy head' .... TIREDNESS etc... but these are all because I'm getting older. I'm 46 now and was always really sporty and loved football and golf. I've got to the point where I cannot play (gave up football about 4 years ago) and now I'm now at the point where I even struggle to play golf - I walk like a 90 year old for a day if I do have a round of golf.... I've decided enough is enough - so I went to a new doctor.

10 minutes with new doctor (he reviewed all my medical history including cardiograms etc..) then says 'I haven't got a clue why you are still taking bisoprolol)... blood pressure fine, heart rate fine ... but still feel like crap at least 50% of the time! And more importantly, cannot do any exercise and piled on the pounds since (put on 2 stone from my ideal weight and not heading in the right direction).

So, to the help I am looking for. I need support, I've tried to quit on my own before and given in more than once at 2 weeks... (this was when trying to quit it myself - I know 'bad idea'wink.... what happens is I end up getting really stressed and angry - my wife even said to me 'I'd rather you stay on the tablets than face 'angry simon' again'... Doctor has said that I need to taper the drug off, I'm on 2.5mg - has anyone suffered the same as me and successfully got themselves off bisoprolol - did you just stop? The doctor said I could just quit (I don't fancy that), so he said I could go to 1.25mg and then after 4 - 6 weeks then quit that... (don't fancy that either to be honest)...

I don't mind how long it takes but I want off this drug, maybe the palpitations will return, maybe I would have to have something else to replace that, who knows.... I thought I would ask here as you guys and girls seem to know more about the real effects and how to stop.

All advice welcome, I will keep everyone in the loop with my progress.

One useful thing I did pick up along my Bisoprolol journey that nobody (and especially doctors) seem to know is DON'T take any multivitamins or supplements at the same time as taking your bisoprolol - they interfere with the absorption so leave at least 2 hours between. 

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  • Posted

    look at...tapering off bisoprolol...sent as a topic on here and sent by Bob. The info is brilliant....I doubt if you'd find such info elsewhere.

        About the side effects...after 4 years of bisoprolol and mentioning to my doc that I was having loads of symptoms...I wasn't given any reasons,no dialogue,no solution. I just put up with it thinking it was the a fib! I had more anxiety, dizzy, no energy, sleeping through the day, depressed,cold hands& feet, couldn't stand for fear so falling over, walking was like going through treacle, thinning hair, weight gain, runny nose and bleeds and eyesight was affected. Yes,quite a list,but my doc didn't I continued to put up with all of these.

       I then found this web sight and read what others were saying. I took a risk and decided to taper the bisoprolol. As you know ,it's not easy. I cut the dosage slowly over a few months. I can only describe it as hell. Some days I was ok,other days I had the palps, dizzy etc. I read that the withdrawal was likened to cold turkey...the effects of it would be worse than the effects of the bisoprolol.

       It can take months to recover. I persevered and the effects disappeared, however a new doc prescribed atenolol for my a fib! I took this religiously but the side effects returned. I persevered for 2 years,then decided to taper off this as well. Same issues ....withdrawal..hell again. I'm now beta blocker free. I'm off them ,never to be taken again. I may sound silly to some on here,but I'm not going through that again. I live with the anxious,jittery feeling everyday and my heart rate fluctuates...but my other symptoms have gone. I need to get the extra weight off and my optician has said that my eye test was so much improved..that was only last week Crazy!

      I know some find these beta blockers lifesavers...but not me! I've rattled on here,but I wanted to give you my experience in the hope that it may give you the courage to make the right decision and the courage to do it. Keep us all posted. You'll get lots of help here.

       At 46, you're still a bit of a chicken and plenty of golf in those bisoprolol free legs! 


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  • Posted

    Hi Simon, tell me are palpitations are form of  Arrhytmia as i'm not sure and i will come back to you as i suffer Heart Disease and have a pacemaker. please tell me and i will come back to you as i have had big problems with bisoprolol. I can tell you that any of theses drugs that end in the letters lol are the same drug just have diffrent names. i had 4 years of hell with theses drugs.

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  • Posted

    Hi Simon, Sorry to hear you have had such problms with Bisopropol. My wife was on it and it made her very tired and wanting to sleep all the time, this also applied to me, I spke to my wifes Cardiologist and he agreed for her to go on Atenolol in stead, I only took Bisopropol for a ver short time and it made me like a Zombie, likewise I came of it with my GPs agreement and both of us have beeb fine ever since.

    I would add that every drug has a different effect on different people depending on what they have wrong with them also on what other drugs they take.

    Good Luck Ken.

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  • Posted

    Hi Simon

    I was on beta blockers for 20 years latterly bisoprolol. I was on 2.5mg with a heart rate of 41 I had to come of them. I reduced in November to 1.25mg and did have some problems. In February my heart rate was low again so I went ontobiting the 1.25mg in half which I did for a few days then stopped them altogether. Since then its been a rocky road with a very fast heartrate, mood swings, rapid speech etc.

    I now take to Magnesium taurate capsules a day which helps to regulate the heart after 4 months my heart rate is normalising again. My resting heart rate is good. I still feel like my heart is a bit too excitable at times but overall I feel so much better good concentration etc I sometimrs feel a bit down as I feel the symptoms I have had in recent years has affected my quality of life. I think GPs should have a much greater understanding of side effects and people should not be kept on medication for years at a time without any review. Good luck.

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  • Posted

    I was on it for about 4 months every day I would wake up feeling so bad I didn't think I could make it through the day.Told doctor said same as yours no way its the med. Kept taking finally said enough called doc he said just quit it. That's the worst thing you can do. So I cut the tablets gradually back over a month. Blood pressure went back up but feeling great. Internal med doc trying different meds. In proof losing weight. That med should be pulled of the market


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    • Posted


      Your side effects sound exactly like mine. Went back to the cardiologist and was told no way it was from the bisolprolol.bA month later called and told him I would rather take my chances than stay on drug. He said just stop it then. I had read enough about it to know not to cold turkey this med. I weaned myself off of it over a month. Smartest thing I ever did. Went to a new gp he put me on 10 mg of bystolic works great. I've got my life back.


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  • Posted

    Simon, hi.

    Please take a look at some older topics on this forum, you have 100s of posts from people about tappering off.

    In short, you were taking it for 9 years and your body adjusted to a life with Bisoprolol. Your heart as a muscle is weaker now since it has been beating slow and weak for 9 years (due to drugs), to prevent tachycardias, arrhythmias, palpitations etc.

    Try to picture your heart as a muscle in a leg, after you have been in bed for 9 years after a car accident and now you have to walk and run suddenly.

    More or less, this is how your heart looks today after 9 years on drugs.

    Some people don't have any problems while quitting a drug. Some suffer for a few weeks, some suffer for 6-12 Months. Some people, sadly, die (there were a few stories here also). A mom of one lady from this forum was taken off Beta blockers cold turkey and she died 2 days after that. 

    In short, most common withdrawal symptoms when you quit the drug are:

    Resting heart rate around 90-100-110 all day long. Blood pressure going up a lot, inability to walk or get out of bed for some days or weeks. Anxiety for weeks or for Months. Pain in abdomen, in muscles, in ankles, dizziness, headaches, nausea, different types of breathing problems. I had problems with loud noises and sunlight for a few weeks (part of anxiety and being nervous all the time after quitting drugs since BBs affect/block adrenaline).

    Since you have been taking a drug for 9 years, it is very likely that you will suffer a stronger withdrawal, so it would be better to tapper it slowly. It will take longer, but long term you will be fine.

    Try to do something like this: lower the dose from 1,25Mg to 3/4 of that dose (around 0,90Mg) and stay on that dose 1 Month until you will feel normal.

    You will see that you will be less tired, you will have less breathing problems and you will have more energy.

    But, on the other hand, you will also experience a mild withdrawal when going from 1,25Mg to 0,90Mg.

    I used to feel ill all the time when I was going through it. I felt as if I had some sort of flu all the time (but I didn't have a flu) and a strange pain in whole abdomen for weeks.

    Imagine that I had breathing problems around 10 out 10 (in strength) while I was on 1,25Mg dose and I felt tired for 10/10.

    Then, when I would lower a dose to 0,90Mg, my breathing problems dropped from 10/10 in strength to 7/10 and I was less tired, let's say from 10/10 to 7/10 also.

    But, on the other hand, withdrawal symptoms kicked in, and I had pain in the abdomen, some strange pain in my lungs, nausea, some palpitations, being anxious etc.

    So, with a slow tappering, you will see that your original side effects from Bisoprolol will slowly disappear and you will know that it is getting better.

    But, some new problems will kick in.

    So, be prepared for your original side effects getting weaker, but new problems kicking in.

    But, the good news is that these new symptoms are only temporary, and they will be here roughly for 2-6 Months.

    And after that, you will get rid both of Bisoprolol's side effects and withdrawal's side effects.

    So, again, when you will lower the dose, you will feel better in one way, and worse in the other way.

    Then you should stay on that dose for 1 Month until you will feel slightly better.

    When you will feel better, you can go down to half of a dose (0,60Mg), and the same will happen. Original problems will be even weaker and weaker since you are taking smaller amounts of drug, but THE SAME withdrawal symptoms will kick again. So, you had the first withdrawal when going from 1,25Mg to 0,90Mg. After suffering, you will start to feel better. But when you will lower the dose from 0,90 to 0,60Mg, the same withdrawal problems will kick in again.

    But again, remember, this is temporary and think about a long term, brighter future.

    When a 2nd withdrawal (at 0,60Mg) will slowly go away, lower the dose from 0,60Mg to 0,30Mg (1 quarter of 1,25Mg).

    Also, the lowest doses are the strongest, and it is the hardest to get rid of them.

    So, once you come to a 0,30Mg dose, don't quit it completely, but do this:

    At first, take a full 0,30Mg dose for some time.

    Then, when you will feel ok, take a drug once in 2 days for 2-3 weeks.

    When you will feel fine on that dose, try to take a drug once in 3 days, and stay on that dose for 2-3 weeks.

    Then you can stop it completely.

    But even then, you will still have some rough time after that.

    I have personally been through this 2 times. I didn't make it in the first time because I weaned off to fast and I ended at ER with HR jumping to 160 (and staying there) for no reason (40 days after quitting a drug).

    In the 2nd attempt, 1 year later, I was weaning off very slowly, as explained above, for 6-8 Months and I am off drugs currently (7 Months off currently).

    I can walk more and more again. I am not tired all the day long. I can breathe normaly again. My head and memory is less foggy etc.

    So, please, go slowly, and read some other topics on this forum, you will find more stories and advices.

    Oh, and for the end, drink a lot of water every day. A LOOOOOT, while you will be quitting drugs. If you will drink a lot, that will slow down your heart rate in a natural way.

    Also, buy some Magnesium supplements, they are slowing down HR and they will help you during the rocky days.

    My GP gave me tiny amounts of Valium while I was weaning off Beta blockers, because your central nervous system will be very sensitive (lots of anxiety, being nervous and scared all the time, your heart rate jumping up all the time whatever you do etc). I am not taking Valium anymore, since my Beta blocker's withdrawal is luckily gone.

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    • Posted

      Your reply is so thorough and extremely helpful to those who have trouble with bisoprolol. Thank you on behalf of all of us who are or have been struggling with this beta blocker. 

         Keep well.

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    • Posted

      Hello Bob, I really need your help my doctor thinks this is easy.

      id like to make a couple of things clear, I have been cleared of any heart condition, my heart is fine. I was given Bisoprolol for tachycardia went I went to the ER (heart rate 130 140). This was around 2 months ago, started off with 2.25 mg and I felt like hell even though my heart rate dropped. So I cut my pill in half (1.25 mg). Felt better but still filled with anxiety and tired all the time, so I cut the pill even more which is 0.60 I think, I took that for a week and then tried taking it every other day, I caught the flu which made the weaning off much worse and on the second day of not taking it my heart felt like it will jump out of my chest (heart rate wasn’t that high max 120).

      so now it’s been a week and I’m taking 0.40 mg every day I think maybe less I dunno I tried cutting the 0.60 but it’s pretty hard it’s so tiny.

      i have stomach and chest tightness now and thank god so far no heart racing incidents since being on this dose and been taking magnesium as well. 

      I want off of this drug and I went to my doctor and he said I can just stop at anytime and that the dose I’m taking now is extremely low it will not do anything for my heart. 

      So my question is when can I start skipping days or should I just stop or should I reduce the pill even more. It’s extremely small I don’t know if I can cut more of it.

      please get back to me cause the physical anxiety this pill is causing is so extreme I want off of it.

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