What is Bisoprolol?
Bisoprolol is a medicine that belongs to a group called beta-blockers, used to treat high blood pressure and heart problems such as uneven heartbeat and angina.
How does Bisoprolol work?
Bisoprolol works by blocking the effects of the hormone, adrenaline. When you take beta blockers, your heart beats more slowly and with less force, which in turn brings your blood pressure down.
What are the benefits of taking Bisoprolol?
High blood pressure (also known as hypertension) or heart problems can be linked to a number of factors, such as a family history, a diet high in salt or being overweight or inactive.
In addition to some lifestyle changes (such as smoking and/or drinking less and exercising more), it’s often advised to take medication, such as Bisoprolol, to manage the conditions in order to prevent more serious ailments such as stroke, heart attack or blood clots.
How do I use Bisoprolol?
Bisoprolol is a prescription-only medication. Always follow the advice of your doctor and read the patient information leaflet provided in the medication packet.
Take the tablets by swallowing whole with a drink of water, with or without food. You should take it at the same time of day, in order to help you remember.
Bisoprolol contains the active ingredient bisoprolol fumarate, in strengths of either 2.5mg, 5mg or 10mg per tablet.
For high blood pressure, your doctor will usually start you on the lowest dose possible. After seeing how you respond, they may then decide to up the dose, with a maximum daily amount of 20mg. However, this daily maximum will be lower if you have kidney or liver problems. If you’re taking Bisoprolol for other heart problems then the amount will differ, so you should always follow the advice of your doctor.
If you forget to take your Bisoprolol tablet then you should take it as soon as you remember, unless it’s nearly time for your next dose. In this case, skip the forgotten dose and move straight onto the next one. Don’t worry but don’t double up on your dose to make up for a missed one.
If you take more Bisoprolol than you should, then go to your nearest doctor or emergency department immediately. Symptoms of an overdose include reduced heart rate, blood pressure, and a feeling of tightness in chest.
Side effects & precautions
Before taking Bisoprolol, you should always first consult your doctor. You should not take Bisoprolol if any of the following apply to you:
- are allergic to Bisoprolol fumarate or any of the other ingredients of this medicine
- have severe asthma or severe chronic lung disease
- have severe blood circulation problem in your limbs
- have untreated phaeochromocytoma, a rare tumour of the adrenal gland
- have metabolic acidosis, a condition when there is too much acid in the blood
- have heart failure that suddenly becomes worse
- have a slow heart rate
- have very low blood pressure
- have a slow or irregular heart rate (less than 60 beats per minute)
Your prescription of Bisoprolol may also be affected by a number of other factors, so you should make your doctor aware if any of the following apply:
- have asthma or chronic lung disease
- have diabetes
- are treated for hypersensitivity (allergic) reactions
- have any heart problems
- have any liver or kidney problems
- have any problems with the circulation in your limbs
- are going to be given a general anaesthetic during an operation
- have (or have had) psoriasis (a recurring skin rash)
- have phaeochromocytoma (a rare tumour of the adrenal gland)
- have a thyroid problem
Like many medications with active ingredients, Bisoprolol can affect or be affected by other medicines. Particular medications that you may experience this with include the following:
- medicines for controlling the blood pressure or medicines for heart problems
- medicines for depression
- medicines to treat mental illness
- medicines used for anaesthesia during an operation
- medicines used to treat epilepsy
- certain painkillers (for instance acetylsalicylic acid, diclofenac, indomethacin, ibuprofen, naproxen)
- medicines for asthma or medicines used for a blocked nose
- medicines used for certain eye disorders such as glaucoma
- certain medicines to treat clinical shock
- mefloquine, a medicine for malaria
- rifampicin for the treatment of infections
- medicines to treat severe headaches or migraines.
If you are taking any of the above medications, then you should make your doctor aware so that they can advise whether or not Bisoprolol will be the best course of action for you.
Like with all sufferers of high blood pressure or heart problems, you should pair your medication with some lifestyle changes such as eating healthily, exercising regularly and avoiding excessive smoking or drinking.
You should largely avoid alcohol while taking this medication (or at least limit your consumption), as it can cause your blood pressure to drop too low.
The most common side effects of using Bisoprolol include:
- slow heartbeat
- cold hands and/or feet
- numbness of hands and/or feet
- low blood pressure
- feeling sick, vomiting, diarrhoea, constipation
- feeling weak
If you do experience one or more of these side effects and they persist or worsen, then inform your doctor right away. You should also contact your doctor if you notice any serious side effects such as breathlessness, fluid retention or allergic reaction.