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Bisoprolol: Dose, Effect, and Side Effects

Bisoprolol belongs to the drug group of beta blockers and is used to treat high blood pressure, chronic heart failure, and tachycardia.


Basic Information: Bisoprolol Fumarate

Bisoprolol fumarate is an antihypertensive agent in the beta blocker drug group used to treat hypertension, chronic heart failure, and tachycardia. Bisoprolol is one of the most commonly prescribed beta blockers in the UK. beta blockers have been shown to be very effective in the treatment of high blood pressure which explains the popularity of their use. The dosage is determined individually by the attending physician under consideration of possible side effects that can occur when taking bisoprolol.

Drug Bisoprolol
Packaging size 1.25 mg, 2.5 mg, 3.75 mg, 5 mg, 7.5 mg and 10 mg
Prescription only? Yes
Form Tablets

Bisoprolol Effect

Bisoprolol is a so called beta blocker. beta blockers block the beta-receptors of the heart. This makes it impossible for the hormone adrenaline, which causes the blood pressure to rise, to doc.
Bisoprolol thereby slows and relieves the heartbeat, thus lowering blood pressure. Along with this, the heart's oxygen and energy consumption are reduced, thereby alleviating symptoms of heart failure or respiratory problems and relieving the entire heart muscle.

Tip: The Cora Health app helps you track your blood pressure and encourages you to improve your heart health through scientifically-backed lifestyle recommendations.

Bisoprolol Dose


The dosage of bisoprolol depends on the condition being treated. Usually, the intake of beta blockers such as bisoprolol is gradually increased. Treatment starts with a low dose, which is gradually increased over a period of two weeks. The exact dosage is prescribed by the treating doctor. The dose should never be changed without consultation. Neither should you stop taking blood pressure medicines like bisoprolol without further notice.

Bisoprolol is usually taken once a day in the morning with some liquid in the form of tablets. Bisoprolol is available in different doses, with bisoprolol 5 mg probably among the most commonly prescribed. However, the antihypertensives are also available in the strengths of 1.25 mg, 2.5 mg, 3.75 mg, 7.5 mg and 10 mg.

Bisoprolol 5 mg

Bisoprolol 5 mg is oftentimes prescribed at the beginning of treatment for high blood pressure or heart failure. Over time, this dose may be increased to 10 mg per day - or in exceptional cases even more.

Bisoprolol 2,5 mg

Bisoprolol 2.5 mg is usually used instead of the more common 5 mg dose for patients with mildly increased blood pressure.

Special Dosage

The prescribed Bisoprolol dose should contemplate the age and a possible pregnancy of the patient:

  • Seniors: Seniors suffering from a poor liver or kidney function should only receive a low dosage of bisoprolol.
  • Children: Children should not be treated with the beta blocker bisoprolol.
  • Pregnant women: Any use of bisoprolol during pregnancy should be consulted with the doctor, as it may affect the development of the unborn baby. The same applies during breastfeeding.
  • Athletes: Taking bisoprolol may result in a positive drug test.

Bisoprolol Overdose

You should immediately contact your doctor if you have taken an overdose of bisoprolol.
Depending on the amount, severe side effects such as heart failure, slow heart rate, dyspnoea, impaired consciousness, or cardiac shock may occur.

Bisoprolol Side Effects

Bisoprolol may cause various side effects that affect different parts of the body. Possible side effects are classified into frequent, occasional and very rare side effects. The following list is not inclusive. There may be other side effects not listed below.

Frequent Side Effects

  • Loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Tiredness
  • Confusion and depressive moods
  • Headache and dizziness
  • Nightmares and sleep disorders
  • Delusions
  • Bradycardia and arrhythmias
  • Feeling cold
  • Allergic rashes and hives
  • Muscle weakness and muscle spasms
  • Abdominal pain and abdominal cramps
  • Lipid metabolism disorders
  • Sweat

Occasional Side Effects

  • Blurred vision
  • Dry eyes
  • Conjunctivitis

Rare Side Effects

  • Liver inflammation
  • Disorders of libido and potency disorders
  • Penis stiffening
  • Memory loss
  • Psoriasis
  • Arthritis
  • Tearing and hearing problems
  • Hair loss

Bisoprolol and Alcohol

Bisoprolol and alcohol both have a short-term antihypertensive effect. This means that drinking alcohol may amplify the effect bisoprolol. Thus, extensive drinking should be avoided.

When you drink alcohol you may experience common side effects of bisoprolol such as headache, dizziness, lightheadedness, fainting, or changes in heart rate. If these side effects do not go away after a few days you should consult your doctor.

Do not drive when you take bisoprolol and drink alcohol.

Does Bisoprolol Cause Weight Gain?

The slowed metabolism can be the cause of weight gain during beta blocker therapy. Although weight gain is a possible side effect of bisoprolol, it is rare. If you are affected by this side effect, switching to ACE inhibitors may be a possible solution. Please consult your doctor.

Does Bisoprolol Reduce Anxiety?

In very rare cases, beta blockers may also be prescribed in low doses to treat anxiety. However, a study in the Journal of Human Hypertension found no significant impact of bisoprolol on anxiety.

Bisoprolol Alternatives

A common alternative to beta blockers like bisoprolol are ACE inhibitors. If you are looking for an alternative to bisoprolol, please consult your doctor to find the most suitable medicine for you.

Discontinuing Bisoprolol

Beta blockers such as bisoprolol should never be discontinued without consulting your physician. If your doctor decides to discontinue the drug, the dose will be gradually lowered. This process takes about three to ten days before the drug can be discontinued completely.

A sudden or rapid discontinuation can sometimes lead to life-threatening side effects, such as a heart attack. Other side effects may include exacerbation of heart failure, insufficient perfusion of the heart muscle, or increased blood pressure.

Do you want to know more about your heart health? Read about blood pressure ranges and the resting heart rate.

The content on this website was created for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.