Low heart rate

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I am now coming off Bisoprolol having been on beta blockers forb22years for high blood pressure.     Over the last few months I have had little energy, felt spaced out and my concentration and memory were poor.  I thought I was suddenly feeling my age.   I could still walk and go up and down stairs.   Could still do charity stuff etc and work but had to go to bed early or in the afternoon because I felt so done.  

  I bought a watch in August that measures your steps and heart rate.  Just by chance I saw my pulse was 47 one day and then closely watched and saw during the night it was sometimes 40 or 41 and during the day when it was 45 or so,I was spaced out and done.      I am not an athlete I am unfortunately a rather plump middle aged lady.    I went to doctors they did tests which all came back clear, thank God.    

I was only on 2.5mg so now on 1.25mg for a month before coming off.    So far so good I am very grateful to all the posters who have explained what the withdrawal effects can be.   This drug is very dangerous if I hadn't bought that watch who knows what might have happened next.  My friend thought I would need a pacemaker.


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  • Posted

    Your friend is likely completely correct.

    The pacemaker with bring your heart beat higher and this should significantly lower your BP. Best to get a cardiologist to seriously explain your situation with you but you seem likely to benefit from one!

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    • Posted

      Your low HR was 99% probably from Beta blockers.

      This is what they do in general (lower HR, prevent arrhytmias and lower Blood pressure).

      About quitting it, 2,5 Mg isn't that low dose.

      And since you have been taking it for 22 years, you probably have tons of this drug stored in your cells.

      If possible, try to lower to 0,62 first (half dose from 1,25 Mg) and stay on that dose for a Month again. Then you can lower it further, or start to take that dose once in two days (for a few weeks) and in the end once in 3 days, to give your body a chance to readjust even better to a life without drug.

      On the other hand, some people can quit BBs in a few days and experience zero problems. Other people actually die from a withdrawal.

      In my personal case, when I stopped taking BBs (twice till now), it usually started to "hit" me after 3-4 weeks.

      So, I would lower the dose, or stopped taking it completely, and absolutely nothing bad would happen for a first few weeks.

      I thought: awesome, this will be easy.

      But then, afer a few weeks: horror.

      My opinion is that we have tons of a drug stored in our blood, cells, all organs. And even when you stop taking it, you still have a lot of reserves in your body.

      So, this is why, my opinion, please, go slightly slower with reducing a drug, or at least wait for a little longer to see whether it will "hit" you after 3-4 weeks.

      If you are completely fine after 30-ish days after halving the dose or quitting the drug, then maybe you are one of those people who don't experience a tough withdrawal.

      But on the other hand, if you have been taking it for 22 years, your heart as a muscle is a much weaker now (due to drugs which weaken and "protect" your heart that way and due to low physical activity, due to drug's effects). Imagine your heart beating for 40-50 beats in a minute for 20 years, and now suddenly returning back to normal rhytm of 70-80 beats per minute. That will be a huge stress and a shock for a heart, which is totally out of shape and out of form. And this is why peope get dangerous tachycardias, arrhytmias or a heart attack after quitting BBs.

      Since you have taking a drug for 20+ years, you will probably have some sort of a withdrawal (higher heart rate probably, some anxiety, maybe high BP), so be careful.

      Good luck

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    • Posted

      Thanks a lot Bob I appreciate your good advice I will be careful,and will ask the dr to reduce it slowly.    I went on the BBs because of unexplained high blood pressure so didn't start off with a problem with arrhythmias.    I wear a Fitbit blaze which monitors my heart rate so hopefully it will pick up,any problems quickly.   It has been great not having the palpitations this week I hope that continues.

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    • Posted

      Hi: I have some sort of tachycardia/Spvt from time to time lasting a few minutes (but the docs think that it is not dangerous). I was scared of it and they gave me BBs to solve the problem.

      I was taking Bisporolol 1,25 Mg for 1 year.

      I am 30+ (still youngish), and I lost "all my life" after starting Bisoprolol. I couldn't walk for longer than 10 minutes anymore, I could stand straight for more than hour (I would get dead tired), I couln't go out in clubs/bars anymore, I had problems with too slow breathing all day long, tired all the time, feeling as if you have a flue, feeling as if oyu have been hit by a truck, some strange/too slow rhytms and some new palpitations and rhytms which I never had before. My BP dropped from 125 to 95. And when I tried to run or walk faster, I was feeling as if my heart is not letting me to go fast (it felt as if it hurts). The only thinhgs I was able to do is  to walk as slow as a turtle.

      Anyway, I told to my doc about symptoms, he said it shouldn't be from BBs since it is a low dose. I did a lot of new tests to lungs, breathing, blood and other things, and everything was good. Well, I said to myself that I either have a new phantom disease which started exactly in the same time when I started Biso, or that these are actually Biso's side effects.

      I started to lower dose on my own, and after 2-3 Months I dropped to 0,30Mg without too much problems. Then I have quit a drug, and after 3-4 weeks I started to have a sinus tachcycardia (a regular but way too fast HR all the time), like 100-110 all day long (before BBs, my HR was 70, and during BBs it was around 55-60). I went to ER 2 times during that Month of hell (HR jumped to 150 a few times after any physical activity and stayed at 150 for half an hour) and they told me that I have some new tachycardia (sinus tachycardia) and that I need to take drugs for the rest of my life.

      I was really sad.

      Then I switched to Nebivolol (Bystolic) after that, since I said to docs that I can't stand Biso. But, Nebivolol had more or less the same side effects.

      And after 3-4 Months of the same inability to walk or do anything (do to BBs), I decided to wean off for the 2nd time, but this time I decided that I will wean off for 6-12 Months or even longer, if needed.

      1,25 of Nebivolol is an equal dose as 1,25 of Biso.

      After they put me on Nebivolol, they told me to take 1,25 Mg, but I decided to take only 0,62 Mg (half dose) and my HR was 60-65 all the time. So, even a small dose was strong enough for me.

      But due to side effects (dizziness all day long, poor memory, again too slow breathing, problems with walking or any activity, I felt as if I have 80 years all the time, no offense to anyone, while I was able to run and do everything only 1-2 years ago before BBs) I started to wean off. I dropped to 0,50 Mg and waited one Month. Then to 0,40, then 0,30 etc. When I dropped from 0,30 to 0,20, for some reason I had to wait for 2 Months to feel normal, it strucked me real hard.

      Also, a drop from 0,20 to 0,10 Mg was also very hard, another 2 Months.

      This is my 8th Month of weaning off, currently.

      I am currently at "dust", I am taking last 0,02 Mg (I used to take 0,62 Mg 8 Months ago).

      If I had to do it all again (a fast quitting or quitting slowly) I would always do it slowly.

      Since I tried both ways, my experience is: if you quit cold turkey or too fast: it will hurt like 100% for 2-3 Months, and maybe you'll end at ER or die (in some cases).

      If you quit slowly, it will last looooong (too long, sadly), but it will hurt much less.

      Let's say that the pain and withdrawal symptoms will be like 30-50% for 2-3-4-5 weeks each time you lower the dose.

      So, it will last for months, but it will hurt way less and you can live a semi-normal life while weaning off.

      This way, with a slow weaning off, I managed to regain some of my physical strength (I am able to walk 45 minutes twice a day again, while I was able to walk 10 minutes per day on Bisoprolol, or 0 minutes on some days), I am starting to lift some light weights again, I even tried to run slowly for 2-3 minutes on some days and I felt good.

      My energy is back, my memory is better, I don't feel depressed/down/sick all day long like on BBs.

      I don't need to sleep all day long anymore.

      I am starting to feel like my old, normal self. It is a strange feeling: when I am walking lately, a thought crosses my mind, like: oh, I feel the same as like 5-10 years ago, when I was perfectly normal.

      It is hard to explain. Only people who had problems due to BBs will understand that strange state of your mind and body while you are on BBs. You just feel different, not 100% like your normal self. And all these side effects and your original disease can cause a huge depression.

      So, I still have a final 0,01 or 0,02 Mgs to wean off. I will do that in upcoming 1-2 Months.

      If anyone has some questions, feel free to ask.

      My personal experience (I tried Bisoprolol, Atenolol, Nebivolol and Metoprolol out of Beta Blockers) is that they are all more or less the same (80% the same, and each one has 20% unique side effects).

      Also, I weaned off from 2 BBs (Bisoprolol and Nebivolol), and again, my personal experience (to my body) is that a withdrawal was the same.

      My biggest problems were: rebound tachycardia in first weeks.

      And after that, HR gets slowly closer to normal, but you get a rebound anxiety which lasts for months, until your body (central nervous system) tries to readjust to a life without drugs (drugs were effecting central nervous system and adrenaline in your body).

      Other (moderate) withdrawal problems for me were: dizziness, headaches, nausea, and pain in your lungs and abdomen once you start to walk after quitting BBs (since your body works harder now and gets more blood than on BBs. Hard to explain, a really strange feeling of pain, as if you haven't used your lungs and muscles for 20 years).

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  • Posted

    I have been on 2.5mg for 3 years and I hate it with a passion! I feel tired all the time, some days I have to go back to bed in the morning after walking my dogs and doing a bit of housework, I can sleep for anything up to 3-4 hours, my heartrate is usually around the 48bpm mark so no wonder I am tired, I am going to talk to my GP and see if I can come off it as well.
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