Withdrawal symptoms: Bisoprolol - debilitating aches and pains all over body

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I was prescribed Bisoprolol 2.5 in July this year (along with anticoagulant: Edexaban), for atrial fibrilation. I was fine for the first few weeks, but then I started to develop aches and pains all over and found yoga and pilates increasingly difficult. The aches and pains, particularly in my legs, just got worse and worse. Ten days ago, I went to my GP, who advised me to give the Bisoprolol a rest and see how I get on. I stopped taking the medication (but continued with anticoagulant) - and the almost immediate effect was a threefold increase in intensity of my aches and pains! All movement is a struggle, particularly walking up and down stairs, bending or squatting, sitting down and getting up. From an active , flexible, mobile woman, I now feel disabled and depressed!

I make sure I stay as active as possible and I walk everyday - but at the slowest pace! It is early days since I stopped taking Bisoprolol (10 days and counting) but I'm worried that these horrible symptoms will never go away! Anyone out there experiencing same or similar? Any idea how long these symptoms may go on for?

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  • Posted

    Bisoprolol is one of those drugs that should never be just stopped, the usual advice is to cut down gradually. If you were on 2.5mg daily, then you should have been given a box of 1.25mg to take daily for a week or two, and then to cut in half (even though they are already tiny) to take for another week. Even then, you could expect withdrawal symptoms.

    I'm not a medical person or a doctor, but this is the advice that I have read elsewhere.

    Now you have stopped, you will have to continue without them and tough it out through the withdrawal period. I hope you are over the worst of it (I would expect so).

    There are other beta blockers available, and if they don't suit you, you could adk your doctor to try a calcium channel blocker instead. I suggest you have a look at the Health Unlocked forum for AF sufferers like me.

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  • Posted

    It has been 7 days for me and literally feel like a train hit me. I can barely do anything. Been to the ER several times. I can barely do what i have to do for my children. Everything hurts from my head, face, all the way to my feet. I now have anxiety attacks. I am like you wondering will it ever get better. Anyone with answers

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  • Posted

    Thank you for your replies and advice. When I first experienced the side effects from Bisoprolol, I thought I had caught a particularly vicious virus! Then I worried that I had developed an MS type condition! It took a while for me to consider that the medication could be the cause - my symptoms were not listed in the information leaflet that came with the drug. It's reassuring to hear other people's experiences and to know I'm not the only one going through this. Particularly hard for you, Deek, as you have a young family to care for. I hope we can support each other via this forum.

    And if anyone else could share their experience re the time span for withdrawal, that would be really helpful. We need to focus on a goal.

    PS: I am not going back on to Bisoprolol or any other Beta Blocker drug. I feel like I've been poisoned! I'm not going through this again. I'll investigate alternative approaches to managing AF.

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    • Posted

      Hello Patricia,

      My hubby was prescribed this drug after having a heart attack. It was 6 - 8 weeks when the side effects kicked in, which I have since found out is normal as that is roughly how long it takes for the drug to leach vitamins and minerals from the body.

      Hubby had every side effect and more, he was so ill, being light headed along with the dizziness and being out of breath were scary for him as he was not used to any illness. The worst it caused was ectopic beats of the heart, which was responsible for him having to have a defibrillator fitted, then having an ablation, the cardiologist denies this but, there was no mention of ectopic beats until he came off bisoprolol.

      The GP told him to just stop taking the tablet, that was it. His blood pressure was all over the place after stopping, that took around 3 weeks to settle down, overall it took about 6 weeks for him to feel 'normal' We changed GP's, the new one said it can take up to 3 months to leave the system.

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    • Posted

      I am was able to drop my dosage from 2.5 to 1.25 mg. I went to pcp yesterday and my bp and heart rate was good. I was supposed to ho to cardiologist today but I am having to reschedule due to work. I want off these meds!

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    • Posted

      Re time span for withdrawal, my initial side effects from this horrible drug were feeling like a drunk zombie, feeling as if my lungs no longer worked, having to remember to breathe, blood oxygen levels below the 88% red line, burning and tingling from my feet to my thighs.

      The blood oxygen levels returned to normal around 14 months after coming off Bisoprolol. (Beta Blockers act on the Autonomic Nervous System which is the system that also regulates your breathing by detecting oxygen and carbon dioxide levels in your blood).

      The cognitive symptoms still remain however, and its now getting on for three years since I stopped taking beta blockers so I am guessing the low blood oxygen over such a long period of time has damaged my nervous system, especially when tired and when its colder, I find my balance goes so people think I am drunk, my speech becomes slurred, I do something and instantly forget I have done it. I had to be medically retired because of this drug, I would say it has permanently ruined my life.

      It was the constant beeping of the blood oxygen alarm on the hospital monitor that alerted me to the fact the breathing issues were actual and not just a feeling, so I bought my own oximeter, here is what my blood oxygen was like until my ANS reset itself.

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    • Posted

      hi patricia,ive got ectopics too,and i am on biso for angina,i have them most of the day,and it started just as they highered the dose and me having an angiogram. i keep saying ive only had ectopics since the angio,but reading your post,im not so sure now.ive been to my gp and she said that ectopic heartbeats are ok and nothing to worry about,but they are really bothering me,as i said i have them most of the day,but gp wasnt bothered.

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    • Posted

      Hi Patricia

      I have been on bisoprolol for three months and I have just started to come off it .

      I am only on day 4 and I am sat at 1.45am with terrible palpatations. I have read so many horror stories of the withdrawel effect of this medication that I wish I had never started it. I have been told that it may take me up to a year to feel normal again that is if I have got the strength to carry on reducing the dosage.

      I wish you all the luck and hope you continue to feel a little better with each passing day although I am told you may have many off days for several months but there will be light at the end of the tunnel.

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    • Posted

      Thank you Nannyknitting.

      Things have moved on!! Aches and pains became so debilitating, I could barely walk. Following several blood tests, I've just been diagnosed: Polymyalgia Rheumatica. And put on Corticosteroids! These can have a devastating impact on the body, so I'm hoping not to have to take them for too long. Cause of PMR is 'unknown'; could be genetic and/or 'environmental'. The latter could include medications! So I can't be sure, but intuitively, I still feel that the Bisoprolol didn't suit me and could have brought on PMR. I'm not going back on that drug. Especially now that I have to cope with effects of steroids!

      I wish you all a happy and health(ier) new year.

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  • Posted

    Hi PATRICIA I WAS ON THIS VILE BISOPROLOL FOR 8 WEEKS HAD TO CHANGE DR TO GET OFF IT ALL YOUR SYSTEMS AND LOADS MORE HE SAID HALF THE 2.5 FOR ONE WEEK THEN STOP WELCOME TO HELL I ONLY HAD A BIT HIGH BP I AM INTO MY 11 TH MONTH OF A NIGHTMARE MENTAL SUICIDAL HELL ALWAYS BEEN HAPPY GO LUCKY CHAP MENTAL WRECK NOW I WAS THAT ILL WENT A&E HAD ECG NURSE SAID YOU HAVE A HEART OF 21 YEAR OLD I AM 69 I SAID BEEN ON BISO SHE SAID THAT DRUG SHOULD BE BAND I FEEL AS IF I HAVE BEEN POISONED THE GIRL IN HEATH SHOP H&B SAID IT TOOK HER TWO YEARS OF BEING ZOMBIE SORRY CAN NOT BE ANY HELP

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    • Posted

      Hi Chico1950,

      We note from a recent post which you have made to our forum that you may be experiencing thoughts around self-harm. If we have misinterpreted your comments then we apologies for contacting you directly. But if you are having such thoughts then please note that you are not alone in this, and there are people out there that can help.

      If you are having these suicidal thoughts then we strongly recommend you speak to someone who may be able to help. The Samaritans offer a safe space where you can talk openly about what you are going through. They can help you explore your options, understand your problems better, or just be there to listen.

      Their contact details are on our patient information leaflet here: https://patient.info/health/dealing-with-suicidal-thoughts, which also offers lots of other advice on how you can access the help you may need.

      If you are having such thoughts then please do reach out to the team at the Samaritans (or the other people detailed in our leaflet) who will understand what you're going through and will be able to help.

      Kindest regards

      Patient

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  • Posted

    i came off bisoprolol last year and i had to do a slow phased withdrawl as i too found the pain in my legs unbearable. At times i was found sobbing in the corner in agony

    Doctors will tell you its simple to stop, can be done by simply stopping in my experience it cant and as i said you need a staged withdrawl.However as your ten days in it maybe impractical to do now but i thought id comment to show it actually happens to loads and its the meds and it does get better. Like you i never thought it would end, But it does

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