Bisoprolol fumarate (Zebeta®) is a prescription medication approved to treat high blood pressure (known medically as hypertension). It can be used alone or in combination with other high blood pressure medications. The drug comes in tablet form and is typically taken by mouth once a day.
Bisoprolol belongs to a group of drugs called beta-adrenergic blocking agents, more often known as beta blockers. As the name implies, these medications block beta receptors in the body. Beta receptors are located in a number of places, including the heart and blood vessels. Stress hormones (such as adrenaline) bind to these receptors and cause certain reactions in the body, such as:
- Increased heart rate
- Increased force with which the heart pumps blood
- Higher blood pressure (both systolic and diastolic blood pressure)
- Constricted blood vessels.
At lower doses, bisoprolol helps to block a specific type of beta receptor called beta-1 receptors (at higher doses, it also blocks beta-2 receptors). By blocking beta-1 receptors, the medication causes the reverse effect of stress hormones. It decreases heart rate and systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
(Click Bisoprolol for more information about the specific effects of bisoprolol fumarate, when and how to take it, and potential side effects to be aware of.)