- Beta Blocker commonly prescribed to treat High Blood Pressure
- Works by protecting the heart against too much activity
- Makes your heart more efficient at pumping blood around your body
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What is Bisoprolol Fumarate?
Bisoprolol belongs to the class of drugs called beta blockers, it is commonly prescribed to treat high blood pressure and congestive heart failure.
Bisoprolol is also highly effective in preventing complications associated with high blood pressure such as stroke or heart attack.
Bisoprolol is one of two commonly prescribed beta blockers in the UK, the other being propranolol. To learn more about beta blockers, we recommend reading our guide to Beta Blockers.
What is Bisoprolol Fumarate used for?
Bisoprolol is prescribed in the treatment of Hypertension (High Blood Pressure) and other associated diseases, such as heart failure, angina and arrhythmia.
The active ingredient contained in this medicine is Bisoprolol fumarate, which works by protecting the heart against too much activity. It affects your body's response to certain nerve impulses, particularly in your heart.
Bisoprolol fumarate makes your heart more efficient at pumping blood around your body by slowing down your heart rate.
Bisoprolol tablets are often used alongside other medications to help prevent heart failure, which occurs when the heart muscle is too weak to effectively pump blood around the body at the rate it requires.
How does Bisoprolol work?
Beta blockers get their name due to their beta-adrenergic blocking agents which stop the body’s natural adrenaline/stress messages being received by the beta receptors of the heart. The beta receptors are essentially a command centre, which will then instruct your heart to do certain things based on the messages it receives.
These messages contain adrenaline, the body’s natural stress hormone, which then increases the rate at which the heart beats and causes the heart to pump harder, resulting in a higher blood pressure.
By stopping the natural stress signals reaching the heart, this ensures that the heart beats at a slower and more consistent rate. As a result, blood pressure and heart rate are lowered due to the decreased cardiac output.
How to take Bisoprolol tablets
Bisoprolol tablets can be taken with or without a meal as this medicine will not upset your stomach.
You should swallow the tablets whole with a drink of water. Some brands sell tablets that allow you to break the tablets in half, making them easier to swallow. However, you must make sure you read the patient information leaflet to see if you can do this with your tablets.
Who can take Bisoprolol Tablets?
Bisoprolol is an effective medication for controlling high blood pressure, but it is not suitable for everyone to use.
Bisoprolol tablets are suitable for adults who are over 18 years old.
Speak to your doctor if you have any of the following conditions, to make sure that Bisoprolol is safe for you to take:
- You have had an allergic reaction to Bisoprolol or any other medicine in the past
- You have low blood pressure
- You are allergic to bisoprolol fumarate or any other ingredients in this medicine (please, refer to the ingredients tab for full details)
- You have a slow heart rate
- You have a lung disease or severe asthma
- You have serious blood circulation problems in your limbs, which may make your toes or fingers turn blue or tingle
- You have too much acid in your blood (metabolic acidosis)
- You have recently had a heart attack, heart disease, or heart failure that is getting worse
Bisoprolol Fumarate side effects
As with all medicines, Bisoprolol tablets do come with the risk of certain side effects, although not everyone who takes it will get them.
Most people will not suffer any side effects at all, while others may suffer only minor ones that will not last for long.
Below is a list of common side effects you may experience; speak to your doctor if any of the below symptoms bother you or do not go away:
- You have constipation
- You have cold hands and feet
- You feel dizzy
- You feel weak
- You have headaches
- Low blood pressure, particularly in patients who have heart failure
- Feeling sick or being sick
- You have diarrhoea
Less common side effects may include:
- Muscle weakness or muscle cramps
- Sleep disturbances
- Breathing problems if you have asthma or a lung disease
Please note, these lists are not exhaustive. Refer to the Side Effects tab on this page for rarer and more serious reactions you may suffer while taking Bisoprolol.
Bisoprolol Fumarate tablets are available in the following doses:
Bisoprolol Fumarate Dose
Can you buy Bisoprolol over the counter?
No, bisoprolol is not available over the counter, it is classed as a prescription only medicine POM. Bisoprolol Fumarate tablets has to be prescribed by a doctor or qualified healthcare professional, your blood pressure will also need ongoing monitoring whilst taking Bisoprolol.
Can you buy Bisoprolol tablets online?
Yes, you can buy Bisoprolol online at most online pharmacies in the UK. However, you will be required to complete an online health questionnaire so a doctor can review your medical condition and ensure that Bisoprolol tablets are the most suitable treatment option for you.
When purchasing medicine online, it is essential that you do so from a fully regulated online pharmacy. To learn more about our company, medical professionals and licenses we hold, visit our about us page.
Bisoprolol Indications and Dose
Our pharmacist and prescribers follow NICE prescribing guidelines when prescribing Bisoprolol.
Always take Bisoprolol exactly as instructed by your doctor. Read the patient information leaflet thoroughly before you start your course of treatment. Speak to your doctor or pharmacist for further advice if you are unsure of how to take it.
How much you will need to take will depend on the reason why you need Bisoprolol.
When used to treat high blood pressure and angina, the dose will usually be 5mg to 10mg once a day. If this doesn't improve your high blood pressure, your doctor may prescribe you a dose of 20mg Bisoprolol.
For heart failure, your doctor will normally start you off on a dose of 1.25mg each day and increase the dose gradually, over a few months, up to 10mg.
What if I take more than I am supposed to?
Taking an overdose of Bisoprolol tablets can slow down your heart rate and make it difficult for you to breathe.
Therefore, if you do accidentally overdose on Bisoprolol, you should go to the nearest hospital or call your doctor or 111, straight away.
If you need to go to A&E, ask someone else to drive you there, or call an ambulance. Be sure to take the medicine and its packaging with you.
What if I forget to take it?
If you miss a dose of Bisoprolol, take it as soon as you remember that day.
If you only remember you missed a dose the day after, skip the missed dose and continue taking Bisoprolol as normal.
Never take a double dose of medication to try and make up for missing a previous one.
To remember to take these tablets, it helps if you take your medication at the same time each day. Some people find it beneficial to set an alarm, to remind them to take it.
Is it safe to take for a long time?
How much does Bisoprolol cost?
What happens if I stop taking Bisoprolol?
Can Bisoprolol be bought online and without a prescription?
Bisoprolol Side Effects
Rarer side effects of taking Bisoprolol may include:
- Hearing problems
- Dry eyes from a reduced tear flow
- Reduced sexual performance
- Changes in your blood test results
- Inflammation of the lining of the nose, which causes a runny nose with irritation
- Hair loss
- Psoriasis-like skin rash
Seek medical attention if any of the above reactions do occur while using this medication.
Contact your doctor as soon as possible if you experience any of the following:
- You have shortness of breath with a cough that worsens when you exercise, chest pain, swollen ankles or legs, an irregular heartbeat – these could be signs of heart problems
- You have yellowing skin or the whites of your eyes turn yellow – these could be signs of a liver problem
- You have shortness of breath, are wheezing, or have tightness in your chest – these could be signs of a lung problem
Serious allergic reaction
In rare instances, it is possible that you may suffer a serious allergic reaction to Bisoprolol.
You should either call 999 or go to A&E straight away if you exhibit any of the following symptoms, as you may require treatment in hospital straight away:
- You are wheezing
- You have a skin rash that is red, itchy, swollen, blistered or peeling
- You have tightness in your chest or throat
- You have swelling in your face, lips, mouth, tongue or throat
- You are finding it difficult to speak or breathe
Always read the patient information leaflet thoroughly before you start to take any new medicine, for a comprehensive list of side effects.
If you have any questions or concerns at all, we strongly advise you to speak to your doctor about them before you start using your new medicine.
Bisoprolol Warnings and drug interactions
Like all medicines used for high blood pressure, Bisoprolol may interact with other medications you are currently taking.
Before you start to take a new medicine, you should always inform your doctor or pharmacist if you are already taking any other medication, no matter what condition it is for. This includes both prescription and non-prescription medication, herbal remedies, vitamins and supplements.
In particular, you should make sure they are aware if you are currently taking any of the following:
- The antibiotic rifampicin
- Any steroids, such as prednisolone
- Any other medicines used to treat high blood pressure – combining these medicines could lower your blood pressure by too much, which can make you feel dizzy
- Any other medicines that may lower your blood pressure, such as certain antidepressants or nitrates. This also includes medicines for Parkinson's disease, an enlarged prostate gland, or the muscle relaxant baclofen
- Any non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen, and over the counter and prescription only Naproxen.
- Medicines to treat diabetes
- Any medicines for allergies
- Medicines to treat asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Any cough medicines that contain pseudoephedrine or xylometazoline
If you have any questions or concerns about whether this medicine is suitable for you, please do not hesitate to discuss these with your doctor or pharmacist before you start to take it.
For more information on Drug Interactions when taking Bisoprolol.
Driving and operating machinery
This blood pressure medicine may cause dizziness, particularly when you first begin to take it.
Not everyone will experience this side effect, but if you do feel dizzy while using this medicine, you are advised not to drive, ride a bike or operate any machinery until you feel better again.
If the dizziness persists, you should seek medical attention.
Buy online safely
Never order medication online unless it is from a pharmacy that is registered with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPC), like Medicine Direct.
All of our doctors are fully certified and registered with the General Medical Council (GMC), meaning they can prescribe you medicine just like your local GP. You can then order this from our online pharmacy, and if you order before 2pm, we can offer you next day delivery on your products.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
Women who are currently pregnant are not likely to be recommended to use Bisoprolol for high blood pressure or any other condition.
If you are currently pregnant, trying to get pregnant, or think you might be pregnant, you should make sure you inform your doctor. There may be other high blood pressure medicines available that are safer for you to take while pregnant.
There is not much research available to prove that Bisoprolol is safe for women who are breastfeeding.
Small amounts of this medication may get into your breast milk, which can cause low blood pressure in your baby.
Other medicines may be more suitable to treat high blood pressure while breastfeeding, so you should speak to your doctor about possible alternatives.
The active substance in this medicine is bisoprolol fumarate.
These tablets also contain the following inactive ingredients: Cellulose microcrystalline, calcium hydrogen phosphate anhydrous, silica colloidal anhydrous, crospovidone (Type A) and magnesium stearate.
Updated on: 17/06/2021
This content has been written by our Superintendent Pharmacist Hussain Abdeh and has been medically reviewed by our Pharmacist Sonia Khan
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