Problems on Bisoprolol or my health?

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Hi, I am a 34 years old male.

For the last 2-3 years I had palpitations and 1-2 episodes of Spvt (or short Atrial fibrillation lasting 10-30 seconds) per Month. (My cardiologist said that based on my symptoms).

I have done Ecg, Echo, holter and a stress test. All results were fine.

But, I was scared a lot by those episodes and over time, a doctor suggested me to take a low dose of some Beta blockers.

I have happily accepted that...

Before this, I was able to walk 1 hour every day (without any problems) and live a regular life (except playing sports since it could trigger the spvt sometimes).

In January 2015, I started to take the lowest those of Nebivolol. Everything was fine for the first few weeks, but then I started to experience breathing problems, while walking, sitting, watching tv, everything. Also, I have realized that I could walk less and less in those days. From 1 hour of walking before beta blockers, I dropped to 10-15 minutes of walking. Also, my episodes of Spvt suddenly started to repeat more often than without Beta blockers.

After 3 Months, I have asked my doctor for a different BB, since this one wasn't helping. She gave me 1,25 Mg of Bisoprolol. For the first 10 days, it was good, but then my breathing, walking and everything started to be even worse than on Nebivolol. I thought that it is normal side effect, and I have continued Bisoprolol for the next 7 Months.

My breathing didn't get better over time. Also, over time, I have developed a new problem: for 2-3 days I would feel fine, I could walk, and do excercise without any problem. And then, on the 4th day, without any reason, I couldn't get out of bed. I would be extremely tired, my heart would race when I would stand up (for 10-20 seconds) or after any change of position, urinating, bending down, everything. But the worst part, my lungs would feel "totally dead" on those days. As if you gave some kind of anesthesia to my lungs, and I would feel as if I can't breath at all automatically. I could breath only "manualy". I felt as if the brain is not sending signals to my lungs at all. Also, on these days, I couldn't walk at all. After 1-2 minutes, I would be "dead". My heart would feel as if it can't beat/go faster, and lungs were just dead all the time. I would have zero amount of air or energy.

The strangest thing is, on the next day, I would feel more or less 100% fine. I could walk 15-20 minutes without too much problems, do excercise and a normal activity, and the lungs would breathe almost "normal".

But then again, after 2-3 good days, I would have 1-2 days where I couldn't do virtually do any physical activity. I have read a lot of other topics here, and I had all similar side effects: being tired, troubles with breathing, no energy, flu-like feel, feeling like you have 80 years, feeling totally down all the time due to all symptoms...

I thought that I need more "activity" and tried to walk more often, but it didn't help. On days when I would fell "bad", if I would walk, breathing and other symptoms would only get worse and the "episode" of "a bad day" would then last for 2-3 days instead of 1 day.

So, basically, the only solution was to lie in bed the whole day and not do anything, because everything causes enormous stress to lungs/heart and everything just turns even worse...

In October, I decided to lower my dose of Bisoprolol, and over the last 2 Months, I have lowered the dose from 1,25 Mg to 0,60 Mg and 0,30 Mg. But breathing problems and "bad days" were still here.

Now, I haven't took Bisoprolol for the last 14 days. I have slightly more energy, I am not that tired, but symptoms of breathing problems and "bad days" when I can barely walk are still here and they are repeating each 3-4 days.

Also, before taking BB, my BP was 120-130. In the last few Months with Biso, my BP dropped to 95-100-105. And BP was around 105 all the time for the first 10 days (after stopping it), but in the last 2 days, a rebound effect kicked in, and I have a BP around 145-150 more or less.

Now, please, can anyone help? Does any of you have these "bad days" when you can barely walk to a kitchen? When I go to my doctor, he says: Your heart is fine, according to tests, I don't know what to do.

Since when I started to use BB; my health deteriorated a lot.

And now, 14 days after quitting, I still feel equally as bad (those bad days) and now even my BP jumped a lot.

It could be that my health deteriorated (not because of BB), but all my results are fine (I have done Ecg and Echo 2 Months ago), they were all "fine"...

Doctors and tests say that I should be fine, while I can barely get out of bed on some days.

Thanks, cheers

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  • Posted

    Hi Bob, I'm not sure if I can be of any help but reading your post made me think about what I went through and where I am now...which is off Bisoprolol and on a different beta blocker...Propranol. After several very scary episodes of racing heart and all the symptoms that accompany it..dizziness, nausea etc I was barely able to walk a few steps without coming over like I was going to pass out.I had chest tightness and struggled to breathe. I was taken to hospital on a couple of occassions and also despite being on blood pressure tablets my BP also shot up. Anyway, I had the works, was checked out for everything. Particularly because there is a history of heart problems in my family on both sides. My heart is fine. My arteries I was told are like those of a 35yr old....I'm presuming a healthy 35 yr old! I'm 61. After wearing a 48hr monitor the only thing that showed up was I have paroxysmal atrial tachycardia. So I was put on a beta blocker. I am on medication for RA also and thought maybe some of my symptoms had been due to that like breathlessness and extreme tiredness. I stuck with the Bisoprolol for probably a year putting up with constant headaches and pain in my head thinking it was the price to pay for stopping the episodes of jumpy heartbeats and racing heart etc. But eventually I saw my GP and she prescribed Propranolol as she thought my symptoms were migrainal and this med specifically helps reduce the frequency and severity of migraines. Within a couple of days the constant pressure I'd been feeling in my head and the headaches lessened. Was such a relief. I'm sticking with this one for as long as it seems to be working. When I was on Bisoprolol at the cardiologists suggestion I stopped it to see how things went but within a day my heartbeat was racing and I felt terrible so went straight back on...which he said was fine to do. I often feel exhausted but try on "good. days" to walk for 30mins but I think the beta blocker in slowing your heart rate down makes you feel more tired. I take comfort in knowing while on a bb that hopefully I'll not experience the kind of symptoms I was getting previously. I think I'm a very calm person who doesn't panic and when these episodes happened outwardly I tried to stay calm and focus on my breathing...but inwardly I guess if I'm honest I felt very scared. My younger brother died of a heart attack at 27 and a couple of years ago my son had a massive heart attack aged only 38! Thank heavens he survived but its probably left me a bit anxious about these things and also stress doesn't help with most health conditions. It's very reassuring if you've had the all clear for your heart etc. I know it made me feel more confident knowing my heart was OK that I wasn't suddenly going to have a HA. It's just very frustrating at times when you can't do as much as you would like to.I try to avoid hills and inclines as I get so puffed out and just walk on the flat. Good luck with your health and getting to a place you feel happier at.
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    • Posted

      Thanks for a reply, Debra.

      I am sorry to hear about your family's situation...

      About your story, you said that you had problems with walking. Was it before BBs, during Bisoprolol, or during Propanol?

      And if it was during Biso, is it better now on Prop?

      Over the last few Months I have virtually checked every forum and internet page about beta blockers, experiences from people, side effects and everything. I have even saved majority of infos on my computer in various word files and I re-check them and read from time to time.

      What is frustrating is when doctors can't answer why you are suffering... They say that you shouldn't feel any symptoms and that you should be more or less fine, according to tests. So, we are then left "alone" and all we can do is try 100s of different things or get some helpful answers on internet from people who have been trhough the same.

      About my problem, I am trying to be calm and logical from time to time, and this is how I am looking at my situation:

      1. since I only had short episodes of Spvt for years (10-15 seconds once in 14 days) prior to taking BBs, I am hoping that current troubles with breathing, "dead" lungs, inability to walk on some days and similar are all side effects of (a longer use) of BBs.

      (I would like to add that I have done all blood tests, thyroid hormones tests, all heart tests and even lungs tests last month, and everything is fine)

      2. the 2nd option is that both Beta blockers and lowered physical activity over last year (due to problems which BBs are causing to me) have together in combination caused these troubles with breathing, walking, any activity, standing up, bending up etc.

      (You are worse and worse because your physical activity is lower and lower each day. And your activity is lower because BBs are causing tiredness, troubles with breathing, slow and weaker heart etc. And you can't get out of that cycle...)

      So again, over time, without Beta blockers and with increased physical activity, I am hoping that things will go back to a level from 1 year ago (before BBs) when I was able to live more or less a normal life (except avoiding sports because they can trigger Spvt episodes)

      3. the 3rd option is that my inability to walk and breate on majority of days is caused by some health problem which hasn't beed detected yet by usual Ecg, echo, stress test and similar rolleyes

      I have been taking BBs for almost 1 year. I have been tapering off for 2 Months, and I am now 15 days "clean".

      Till now, I have seen positive changes with libido right away.

      Around 10th day off Bisoprolol, I started to feel less sleepy and I suddenly started to stay awake on average 2 hours longer than on Biso (I was deadly tired very soon on every evening on Biso).

      Also, during BBs, I was able to sleep at any part of the day, I was sleepy all the time. But now, after 10 "clean days", when I lay down in bed during an afternoon, I can't sleep anymore...

      Till the 13th day, my BP was still very low (around 100 all the time. It was 120-130 before BBs). On the 13th day, suddenly HR jumped to 100 (it was 60-80 during BBs) all day, and BP jumped to 150-ish. HR is currently 80-90 (it is getting down slowly), while BP is still around 140-150.

      I am hoping that this is a withdrawal effect, and that things will return to normal after some time, when my body re-adjust to a new era and new adrenaline levels, without BBs.

      From posts on various forums, I have seen that some people are "clean" from almost all side effects almost of BBs after only a few days after stopping BBs, while some people experience some of side effects even for 2-3-6 Months after quitting BBs...

      Anyway, I will post here from time to time, maybe someone will experience a similar symptoms in the future (or will try to taper off), so I will write for how long some symptoms/effects continued after quitting BBs (or hopefully, after how long they have gone away).

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  • Posted

    I sent reply on sat,but I don't think you got it. 

    I fully empathise with you. Maybe you will have read my previous posts. I have persistent A/F ,for 5 yrs. I was given bisop and rampril. I had loads of side effects,I thought it was the A/f,and fully trusted my GP. However after reading posts on here, I returned to my GP, who refuted my meds prob, but referred me to a cardiologist. Hopeless appt! I'll cut out the details...I was given atenolol by another GP instead of the biso. The side effects were much the same as the biso....blurred vision, unbelievable fatigue,weak legs,couldn't walk, puddled head etc. I had the dose lowered by another GP. I've since lowered the dose of atenolol further. The withdrawal effects were a nightmare. I couldn't walk without help because of feeling so dizzy. The effects kicked in about 2-4 weeks . Since then it's not been so bad,but weaning off these meds hasn't and still isn't easy. I had another panicky Palps , only just last night. I'm sure it was the cutting back the beta blocker. The side effects have receded. I can now think more clearly,not as puddled in my head, headaches gone, no blurred vision, I don't fall asleep during the day,,legs not as weak,and I can walk. Biggest problem is backache. May be due to rampril or the weight gain over these 5 years! I've not had breathing problems,but others on beta blockers have had this. It's all so frightening!

     I've read that it can take up or even longer to get beta blockers out of the system and I've been on these for 5+ years. Also I read that lots of people if they are intolerant to one beta blocker then they're likely to be intolerant to others!

      Lots of people have these prescribed and are perfectly OK, but like you....try getting my GP's to listen! . I've been desperate at times,just like you. I want to know,but unfortunately it's not an exact science! There should be more  time listening to patients, more monitoring and a more sympathetic approach. However I think the NHS is in crisis. It is here in Cumbria!

      I hope this helps. The good news from you, is that all the tests have been done and you have good results. The stress of this and life takes its toll,but even though I'm no doc, I'm sure that once you get off the beta blocker, you will be fine. Check it though with your doc! Take care. There are plenty of us here to share our thoughts with you.

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  • Posted

    Hi. An update.

    It seems that Bisoprolol did cause my breathing and energy problems.

    I stopped taking it, and everything was fine, but after 60 days I had 2 big episodes of sinus tachycardia with HR 165 when I came to ER (when withdrawal syndrome was already over).

    The doctor told me that I will need to take Beta Blockers again.

    Any idea about some other Beta blocker, like Metoprolol or similar, or some other medicine which could cause less side effects (trouble breathing, trouble walking longer than 10 minutes, low energy, flu like symptoms...)?

    Thanks

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