Sounds like 'Bye-sop-roh-lol'

Key points about bisoprolol

  • Bisoprolol is used to treat heart failure, high blood pressure and angina.
  • Bisoprolol works by slowing down your heart rate and making it easier for your heart to pump blood around your body. 
  • Find out how to take it safely and possible side effects.




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November 2023: The funded brand of bisoprolol is changing

From November 2023, a new brand of bisoprolol, Ipca-Bisoprolol will be funded. The Ipca brand has the same active ingredient and works the same way as the Mylan and Viatris brands. Find out more about Bisoprolol – your brand is changing.(external link)

Bisoprolol is used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension) or to prevent chest pain (angina). It's also used with other medicines to treat heart failure. Bisoprolol works by slowing down your heart rate and making it easier for your heart to pump blood around your body. Read more about heart failure, high blood pressure and chest pain

In Aotearoa New Zealand bisoprolol comes as tablets (2.5 mg, 5 mg and 10 mg). 

  • The usual dose of bisoprolol for angina or high blood pressure is 10 milligrams (mg) once a day. 
  • If you're taking bisoprolol for heart failure, your doctor will usually start you on a very low dose and increase this slowly over a few months. This allows your body to get used to the medicine and reduces side effects.
  • For example, you will be started on 1.25 mg once daily for 1 week, then increased to:
    • 2.5 mg once daily for 1 week, then
    • 3.75 mg once daily for 1 week, then
    • 5 mg once daily for 4 weeks, then
    • 7.5 mg once daily for 4 weeks, then
    • 10 mg once daily.
  • Always take bisoprolol exactly as your doctor has told you. The pharmacy label on your medicine will tell you how much bisoprolol to take, how often to take it and any special instructions.


My dose is:

You can use the table below to keep track of dose changes when you start taking bisoprolol for heart failure.

Date Dose


  • Timing: Take bisoprolol once a day, in the morning. Swallow your tablet with a glass of water. You can take bisoprolol with or without food.
  • Missed dose: If you forget your dose, take it as soon as you remember that day. But if it's nearly time for your next dose, just take the next dose at the right time. Don't take double the dose.
  • Keep taking bisoprolol regularly: Treatment with bisoprolol is usually long-term. Don't stop taking bisoprolol suddenly. Talk to your doctor or nurse before stopping.

Here are some things to know when you're taking bisoprolol. Other things may be important as well, so ask your healthcare provider what you should know about.

  • Avoid alcohol while you're taking bisoprolol, especially when you first start treatment. Alcohol can increase your risk of side effects, eg, dizziness.
  • Bisoprolol can interact with other medicines. Tell your doctor or pharmacist about all the medicines you're taking including over the counter medicines, herbal and complementary medicines or recreational drugs.

If you have diabetes

  • If you have diabetes, bisoprolol may cause changes in your blood glucose level. This effect usually settles with time.
  • Beta-blockers may reduce the warning signs of a low blood sugar level (hypoglycaemia – often called a hypo). For example, you may not have the feeling of fast, irregular or strong heartbeats (palpitations) or tremor, which can occur when your blood glucose is going too low.
  • If you're worried about this, talk to your doctor. Don't stop taking bisoprolol without checking with your doctor first. Read more about hypoglycaemia.

If you have asthma

  • If you have asthma, taking a beta blocker may trigger your asthma symptoms or make them worse. Not everybody with asthma is sensitive to bisoprolol.
  • If you're worried about this, talk to your doctor. They may be able to prescribe a different medicine or increase the dose of your asthma preventer medication.
  • Don't suddenly stop taking bisoprolol without talking to your doctor first. This can be dangerous and make you feel unwell. Read more about medicines that may trigger asthma symptoms.

Like all medicines, bisoprolol can cause side effects, although not everyone gets them. Often side effects improve as your body gets used to the new medicine.

Side effects What should I do?
  • Tiredness
  • Headache
  • Problems falling asleep
  • Nausea (feeling sick) or vomiting
  • Sexual problems
  • These are quite common when you first start taking bisoprolol and usually go away with time.
  • Tell your doctor if these bother you.
  • Dizziness
  • Feeling faint when you stand up
  • This is common when you first start taking bisoprolol.
  • Avoid alcohol.
  • Be careful when getting up from either lying down or sitting to avoid falls.
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Dry eyes
  • Tell your doctor if these bother you.
  • Low mood
  • Tell your doctor.
  • Problems with breathing, eg, chest tightness, or wheezing or swelling of the ankles or feet
  • Tell your doctor immediately or phone Healthline 0800 611 116.

Read more about medicines and side effects and reporting a reaction that you think might be a side effect.

The following links provide further information on bisoprolol:

Bosvate(external link) Medsafe Consumer Information Sheet, NZ
Bisoprolol(external link) New Zealand Formulary Patient Information


  1. Bisoprolol fumarate(external link) New Zealand Formulary


bisoprolol maori

Bisoprolol in te reo Māori

My Medicines, NZ, 2017

5 questions to ask about your medications

5 questions to ask about your medications

Health Quality and Safety Commission, NZ, 2019

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Credits: Sandra Ponen, Pharmacist, Healthify He Puna Waiora. Healthify is brought to you by Health Navigator Charitable Trust.

Reviewed by: Angela Lambie, Pharmacist, Auckland

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