Bisoprolol is a prescription medication that treats high blood pressure and fast heart rate in patients who are at risk of cardiac arrest or congestive heart failure. It may be taken alone or in combination with other blood-pressure regulating drugs to improve heart rhythm and blood flow throughout the body. Bisoprolol can cause unwanted side effects or interact negatively with other drugs, so it is important to keep in contact with a doctor during treatment to ensure complications do not occur. Most people who take the medication and follow their doctors' instructions about proper diet and exercise do very well.
The nerves that control the heart muscle and blood vessels in the body rely on the chemicals epinephrine and norepinephrine. When the chemicals reach beta receptor sites on nerve cells, they trigger electric impulses that induce heart contractions and blood vessel constriction. Bisoprolol is a beta blocker, meaning that it obstructs receptor sites and prevents electric signaling. The drug takes stress off of the heart by reducing the heart rate and allows blood to flow more easily through vessels by relaxing and dilating them.
Most adult patients who are prescribed bisoprolol are given initial oral doses of 5 milligrams to see how well they respond. After about a week of treatment, the dosage amount may be increased to 10 and then 20 milligrams, to be taken once daily. Patients who have chronic kidney or liver diseases are typically prescribed lower doses to reduce the chances of serious complications. Since bisoprolol's effects can be altered by other medications, including over-the-counter aspirin and ibuprofen, it is important to speak with a doctor before taking any other type of drug while on treatment.
Bisoprolol carries low risks of major side effects. A patient may experience a runny nose, muscle cramps, diarrhea, or vomiting shortly after taking a dose of the medication. Bisoprolol may also cause excessive tiredness during the day or episodes of insomnia. Rarely, the drug may cause blood pressure to drop too low and result in dizziness, fainting, weakness, and numbness and swelling in the extremities. It is essential to seek emergency care if major reactions occur.
Patients may be placed on special dietary or exercise regimens while taking bisoprolol to increase their chances of successful treatment. Eating the right foods, increasing activity levels, and quitting smoking are vital to overcoming serious heart problems. When people stick with their treatment plans, they can usually stop taking medications after a few months or years at the discretion of their doctors.