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Date of last update: 10/20/2017.

Forum Name: Arrhythmias

Question: Side Effects of Bisoprolol

 zambo - Mon Sep 08, 2008 12:42 pm

I am a 59 year old male, and was diagnosed with a benign arrhythmia a few years ago. The symtoms are PVCs, and occasionally my heart goes haywire for approx 15 seconds with irregular beats. This usually stops on it's own, but I can stop it by coughing or holding my nose and blowing down it. I was prescribed 2.5mg bisoprolol, but I have now cut down to 1.25mg. I am also on 40mg statin and one 75mg aspring a day. This is because my chol was 4.9 (HDL .75).

Anyway, over the last couple of years I've picked up half a dozen viruses, the last one affecting my chest. These usually take about two months to clear up, with wheezing and a dry chesty cough. I've read that bisoprolol can worsen asthma. I don't think I've got it however (peak flow around 500 when I have a virus), but I was wondering if bisporolol can inhibit and prolong recovery from these viruses by affecting the tubes.

If yes, then I'm ditching the drug, as I'd rather have the palpatations. Would aprreciate any views and advice. Thanks
 John Kenyon, CNA - Sun Sep 14, 2008 9:28 pm

User avatar Hello -

Like all beta blockers, bisoprolol can, in certain selected patients, aggravate pre-existing bronchospasm, but it is beta-1 selective (cardioselective) and less likely to cause this problem than most beta blockers. Your peak flow is excellent, so it doesn't seem likely that you have asthma, and the drug is unlikely to predispose to bronchitis.

The treatment of PVCs is usually optional and reserved for patients who can't tolerate the sensation of them. The fact that you can abort rapid or irregular episodes of heart rhythm by performing certain types of Valsalva maneuvers suggests strongly that you also have atrial arrhythmias. These are rarely serious, and if the PVCs and other arrhythmias don't cause you undue anxiety or otherwise hamper your functioning, you could probably do without the bsoprolol, even though it's unlikely to be contributing to your respiratory infections.

That being said, if you should decide to discontinue the beta blocker (any beta blocker), you need to inform your doctor, and then be tapered off over a period of one to two weeks to avoid an unpleasant and possibly dangerous rebound effect.

You could try tapering off the drug for a while to see if your chest infections are reduced in frequency or severity and if so, and you can deal with the palpitations, then you'll probably feel better about the whole situation. It's a personal choice, but be sure to discuss it with your doctor first if you decide to go off the drug.

Hope this is helpful.
 zambo - Tue Sep 16, 2008 2:08 am

Yes very helpful indeed. Many thanks, I will take your advice.

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