How Bisoprolol Works and What Your Doctor Needs to Know
You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking bisoprolol if you have:
- Liver disease, such as liver failure, cirrhosis, or hepatitis
- Kidney disease, such as kidney failure (renal failure)
- Chest pain (angina)
- Heart failure
- A slow heart rate (bradycardia)
- Heart block
- Sick sinus syndrome
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- An upcoming surgery
- Any allergies, including allergies to food, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant (see Bisoprolol and Pregnancy)
- Breastfeeding (see Bisoprolol and Breastfeeding).
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about all other medicines you are taking, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
(Click Bisoprolol Warnings and Precautions to learn more, including information on who should not take the drug.)
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 can help 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 both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.