Bisoprolol belongs to the class of drug known as beta-blockers. This medicine blocks the effect of adrenaline, a stress hormone, on the heart. It is mainly prescribed for high blood pressure, irregular heartbeats, and after a heart attack.

Your body releases various chemicals during stress that causes your blood vessels to constrict, your heart to beat faster, and produce a protein that boosts blood pressure.

Bisoprolol can subvert these actions, reducing the mentioned symptoms.

Your doctor may prescribe Bisoprolol to manage hypertension when heart disease symptoms are present.

Let’s understand more about this medication and how it can help you.

How Does Bisoprolol Help Prevent Heart Disease?

The prevalence of heart diseases is increasing significantly. 

Hypertension is one of the most common modifiable risk factors for heart conditions. This means, managing blood pressure prevents its occurrence.

Here is how hypertension leads to heart disorders:

  • Increases your heart’s load: Hypertension results in narrowing of blood vessels. These narrowed arteries are less elastic and make it difficult for blood to pass through them. This, in turn, causes the heart to pump harder.
  • Results in an enlarged heart: To cope with greater demand, the heart muscles get larger and thicker. While the enlarged heart pumps blood, it is not able to do that efficiently. So, the heart has to work even harder to meet the body’s nutrients and oxygen demands.

Here is how Bisoprolol Helps

Adrenaline is a hormone produced by your body during stressful events that contract muscles. It also results in excessive sweating, high blood pressure, rapid heartbeat, heart palpitations, and anxiety.

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Bisoprolol lowers the stress on your heart by blocking adrenaline action, taking the pressure off the heart and blood vessels. It also prevents the risk of heart attacks and death due to heart complications.

Effect of Bisoprolol on Various Heart Conditions

Treatment of chest pain (angina)

Bisoprolol slows down your heart rate, reducing the oxygen demand and thus preventing angina attacks.

Experts recommend the use of beta-blockers, like Bisoprolol, as a first-line treatment in angina. It can be prescribed alone or with a calcium-channel blocker.

Treatment of heart failure

Bisoprolol is seen 1 to improve the life expectancy of heart failure patients, especially due to left ventricular impairment.

The use of this medicine is thus recommended in patients with abnormal left ventricular function regardless of the symptom severity. 

It may be used along with angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors for the same.

Treatment of heart rhythm disorders

Bisoprolol slows down the heart rate and is thus used for atrial fibrillation and irregular heart rhythm. The use of this medicine usually reduces fatigue and palpitations associated with heart rhythm disorders.

Protection against recurrent heart attacks

Bisoprolol reduces the risk of another heart attack in patients who already have had a heart attack. Experts recommend prescribing Bisoprolol or other beta-blockers for heart attack patients on the day of discharge, and the same should be continued throughout the life.

Why Is Bisoprolol Preferred Over Other Beta Blockers?

There are two primary types of beta-blockers:

  • Non-selective beta-blockers: They block the action of noradrenaline and adrenaline on the heart as well as other body parts, increasing the risk of side effects such as cold hands and increased risk of an asthma attack. A common example includes Propranolol.
  • Selective beta-blockers: They have a higher affinity towards the heart and a less pronounced effect on other body parts. Selective beta-blockers, thus, do not have the mentioned side effects of non-selective beta-blockers. Common examples include Atenolol and Bisoprolol.
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As Bisoprolol has fewer side effects and has a greater affinity towards the heart, it is a common choice of cardiologists2.

Bisoprolol And Treating High Blood Pressure

It works by blocking chemicals responsible for contracting blood vessels and thereby lowers blood pressure. Another medication used to lower blood pressure is Candesartan.

Prescription and Use

Use the medicine as prescribed by your doctor. Some general instructions include:

  • Take this medicine orally, once daily, in the morning with or without food, or as prescribed by your physician.
  • Follow all the instructions on the prescription label. 
  • Do not stop taking this medication abruptly without consulting your doctor. Stopping it suddenly may result in a heart attack, angina (chest pain), or irregular heartbeat. 
  • Try to take this tablet daily at the same time. 
  • Your physician may start you with a low dose and gradually increase your dose. It may take weeks before you see the full effects of Bisoprolol.

If You Miss the Dose

  • If you happen to miss a dose of Bisoprolol, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. 
  • However, if it is almost time for the next dose, do not take the missed dose and continue with your next scheduled dose. 
  • Do not take a double dose to compensate for the missed dose.

Progress of Treatment-Short And Long Term

Bisoprolol is usually prescribed for the long term. Your symptoms may take some time to resolve. In some cases, heart disorders do not have any symptoms. So, you may not understand its effect. Whatever the case may be, you should never stop taking medicine without consulting your doctor.

It may also be possible that you may get side effects such as dizziness for about three weeks after starting this medicine. You may also need to check your blood pressure frequently to understand its impact on your body.

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It is even more critical to continue taking Bisoprolol if you have been taking this medicine for a long-time. Stopping it abruptly may result in rebound angina and predispose you to sudden cardiac death.

So, do not stop or reduce its dose without consulting your doctor.

Common Side Effects

Like all other medications, Bisoprolol has side effects; however, not everyone will experience these symptoms. You must know the side effects that are related to the drug:

Common mild side effects: 

  • Low blood pressure, especially in a patient with heart failure
  • Stomach or intestine problems such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation
  • Tiredness
  • Feeling weak (In a patient with chronic heart failure), dizziness, headache
  • Feeling of coldness or numbness in hands or feet

Uncommon side effects:

  • Feeling weak 
  • Muscle weakness
  • Depression
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Breathing problems in patients with asthma or chronic lung disease

Rare side effects:  

  • Allergic runny nose or blocked nose
  • Reduced tear flow
  • Fainting
  • Nightmares
  • Hallucinations
  • Impaired erection
  • Inflammation of the liver 
  • Altered blood test and liver function test

Very rare side effects:

  • Hair loss
  • Irritation and redness of eyes
  • Psoriasis or rash or worsening of skin rash

Some of the symptoms usually occur during the beginning of the treatment; however, they will disappear within 1 or 2 weeks.

This is not a complete list of side effects, and others may occur. Please consult your doctor to know more about other possible side effects.

Final Thoughts

Bisoprolol is a selective beta-blocker that reduces the load on your heart by lowering the effect of stress hormones on your heart. It can also manage hypertension, which is a major contributor to heart diseases.

If you think Bisopropol can help you, consult your doctor and understand if you can take it.

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