Rebound effect of stopping Bisoprolol

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Has anyone experienced a drawn out rebound effect from stopping Bisoprolol?

In February my husband was taken to A&E with rapid heartbeat (182) that would not subside and was kept on a ward overnight and subsequently diagnosed with Atrial Fibrillation. On discharge he was prescribed daily Warfarin and 2.5mg Bisoprolol.

We read up as much as we could about AF/ anti-coagulants / betablockers and we became aware that betablockers can really slow you down until your body adjusts. So far, so good. After 2 weeks the crippling tiredness and weakness was much less and he felt well enough to resume his daily walk albeit at a slower pace. He maintained his walking for approx. 3 weeks when suddenly he found himself struggling to get back home. His legs felt like they couldn't bear his weight and he was afraid he would fall over.

That put paid to the daily walking but sadly the problem worsened until he was even having difficulty walking around the house. Not breathless at all just felt he was in danger of his legs giving out. Over the last few weeks he has become a virtual recluse.

Initially the GP said to try and persevere but then even he could see he was deteriorating so reduced the Biso to 1.25mg for a week and then stopped them altogether. The hospital Consultant offered 3 options - just take Warfarin and monitor BP / HR until next appt.; try a different betablocker; try a calcium channel blocker. 

He decided to monitor BP / HR and for last 3 weeks he's had 85% average readings and 15% spikes and dips but now AF attacks. But has also found that he had a couple of feeling good days but in the main he feels worse now than when he first started betablockers.

We know there is a rebound effect but given that he was only taking a relatively low dose for just over 7 weeks we expected to see a sustained improvement after 3 weeks without betablockers. Any info. about duration of rebound gratefully received


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9 Replies

  • Posted

    Hello there,

    I too in February started having tachycardia. I was prescribed 2.5 mg of bisoprolol. I took it for a month or so and finally dropped it to 1.25 as it and along with my other blood pressure pills dropped my blood pressure to low. i HAD ABOUT 2-3 weeks on the 2.5 where I was so tired. Had to nap several times in the day.I have never felt so auwful. Also my feet would get so cold and numb about an hour after taking. I hate this medication and for that reason I am having an ablation the end of May so that I can get off that nasty drug.  Right now I am having issues with my legs that are jerking like crazy with no control over them. I wonder if it is from the Biso.

    Hope this helps

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    • Posted

      Thanks for replying. My husband had short bursts of jerkiness in his legs every day for first couple of weeks on Biso then it settled down but since stopping Biso altogether he is now having occasional jerkiness as part of the rebound effect.

      Best wishes for a successful ablation, we wish you a peaceful life

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  • Posted

    Sorry to hear your husband has had such bad reactions. I had my heart valve repaired over 2 years ago, refused to take bisoprolol afterwards even tho my heart rate was v high as I had taken 2.5 bisoprolol and furosemide together the year before and had bad diverticulitis and lost a stone in weight - however that must have been caused by the the furosemide as I decided to try 1.25 bisoprolol due to worry over fast HR and have had no probs at all! My HR is down to 80s (it had been 125!), so I am v happy. I too have AF and am on warfarin but feel lucky that my condition is being kept under control. I guess all this proves that everyone has different reactions to medication - I would have said after 3 weeks the medication should be out of his system, hope you get a reply from someone who has been through similar and I wish him all the best.
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    • Posted

      Thanks for your reply. So glad you have found a happy medium with the Biso and your AF is being kept under control. It's certainly true that everyone's reactions to these drugs can be different. Thankfully we are able to share experiences through this forum.

      Best wishes for the future, we wish you a peaceful life

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  • Posted

    I've posted many times on here. I've persistent a/f now for almost 5 years. I too was put on bisoprolol. I had so many side effects,the worst being that I couldn't walk or stand...the tiredness and the inability to think was so bad. You have described so succinctly how the bisop affected me. Unfortunately I hadn't found this forum and I trusted my GP.After, 3 years my new GP agreed to change it to atenolol. Just the same side effects! I honestly thought it was the A/Fib, not the meds until I found this site. 

      I've had the atenolol reduced by my GP at my request and have now weaned myself off the betablocker. What a difficult time I had stopping it! It's taken me months to get over the rebound...but I'd been on betablockers for a long time. How do I feel? So different. All my family would vouch for that. Blood pressure is ok and the heart rate no different than when I took the betablockers. 

      Read up the latest research. I know it's not from uk...Australia and America, but it's given me a new perspective. So reassuring! I can't post the web page here,but look at legacy p1 very eminent electrophysist said and drjohnm. The latter is also a practisinge/ physist,who also is a fellow a fib sufferer. Hope this helps. 

      Just a guess,but I'd almost put money on it being the bisop, but as the other post reports,this med can help many people. It's obviously not good for me...I'm in the minority I think.

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    • Posted

      Thank you, thank you, thank you! It is so reassuring to know that someone else had the same walking / standing problems on these tablets and that there is eventual relief from the rebound effect.

      It's a shame medics are not more upfront about the length of time this could take as my husband was beginning to think he was cracking up.  We will certainly check the latest research as he is due for hospital f/up in 2 weeks and knowledge is power in this respect.

      So pleased that you are now feeling good after what must have been a very traumatic period.

      Thanks again for taking the time to reply, we wish you a peaceful life

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  • Posted


    I would like to say that 2,5Mg is not such a tiny dose, as some doctors will say or as some patients may think.

    It is the same as 25 Mg of Atenolol or Metoprolol.

    But this drug is different and 2,5 Mg is not the same as 2,5Mg of other drugs...

    2,5Mg is an average and fairly strong dose, imo.

    I was taking 1,25 Mg of Bisoprolol for 6 Months and it lowered my BP for around 30 points and HR for around 15-20 points.

    Not too mention other things like energy, breathing, anxiety, changing receptor's activity in your heart, lungs, brain, the whole body...

    So, you see, it isn't a tiny dose, since it is changing so many things in our bodies...

    I weaned off to 0,60 Mg and 0,30 Mg, but I was still feeling more or less equally as bad as on 1,25 Mgs (or only slightly better).

    And when I stopped, I felt horrible for 2 Months, I had huge rebound problems and had to go back on Beta Blockers.

    About stopping this drug, be careful.

    2,5 is really NOT a tiny dose, especially for older people or for people with a slower drug metabolism (a lot of drug will accumulate in your body in it will have very powerfull effects, the same as 5 or 10 Mg doses).

    So, stopping it will surely worsen your main disease.

    If you had tachycardia, you will have worse tachycardia than ever for a few weeks after that (you can easily end up in ER and similar).

    If you had AF, it will surely come back during withdrawal, possibly stronger than ever, sadly.

    Please, monitor your BP and HR and if problems occur, please call your doctor or ER.

    Maybe your husband should try Atenolol, Metoprolol or Nebivolol (Nebivolol is the newest BB). Maybe he will have less side effects on some of those.

    The problem with BBs is: once when you start to take them, for some people, you can never go off of them. Or it will take Months/years and it will be very, very hard.

    About a withdrawal, some people are "clean" and feel good with no symptoms after 2 weeks.

    Some suffer for 1-2 Months,a nd with each new week they feel better and better.

    Some suffer for 6-12 Months with dizziness, tachycardias, insane anxiety (because of a withrawal), more breathlessness, feeling tired or worse than ever in your life (before or during Beta Blockers) etc

    If you really want to stop them, please be careful, and check your symptoms, BP, HR and AF all the time, and then decide whether to continue or to try other solutions.

    Good luck


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    • Posted

      Very informative. It has taken me months to wean off 25mgs of atenolol.i had days when I was so dizzy,thick head and a raised level of my a fib. I've stuck to my regime and have never felt better! B pressure is ok and pulse still erratic but no worse than when I was taking bisop and latterly atenolol. 

        It's a hard path to take,not for many to take,but for's made my life so much better. I keep referencing legacyP1 research info. Everyone a fib sufferer should read it and draw their own conclusion! 

        Again , well done. Your post was a  great help.

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