"What are beta blockers and how do they work?
Beta blockers, also known as beta-adrenergic blocking agents, are a class of drugs that works by blocking the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and epinephrine from binding to receptors. "...
Safety data are available in more than 30,000 patients or volunteers. Frequency estimates and rates of withdrawal of therapy for adverse events were derived from two U.S. placebo-controlled studies.
In Study A, doses of 5, 10, and 20 mg bisoprolol fumarate were administered for 4 weeks. In Study B, doses of 2.5, 10, and 40 mg of bisoprolol fumarate were administered for 12 weeks. A total of 273 patients were treated with 5-20 mg of bisoprolol fumarate; 132 received placebo.
Withdrawal of therapy for adverse events was 3.3% for patients receiving bisoprolol fumarate and 6.8% for patients on placebo. Withdrawals were less than 1% for either bradycardia or fatigue/lack of energy.
The following table presents adverse experiences, whether or not considered drug related, reported in at least 1% of patients in these studies, for all patients studied in placebo-controlled clinical trials (2.5-40 mg), as well as for a subgroup that was treated with doses within the recommended dosage range (5-20 mg). Of the adverse events listed in the table, bradycardia, diarrhea, asthenia, fatigue, and sinusitis appear to be dose related.
|Body System/Adverse Experience||All Adverse Experiences (%a) Bisoprolol Fumarate|
|Central Nervous System|
|Autonomic Nervous System|
|Body as a Whole|
|a percentage of patients with event|
The following is a comprehensive list of adverse experiences reported with bisoprolol fumarate in worldwide studies, or in postmarketing experience (in italics):
Central Nervous System
Autonomic Nervous System
Vivid dreams, insomnia, depression.
Muscle/joint pain, arthralgia, back/neck pain, muscle cramps, twitching/tremor.
Asthma/bronchospasm, bronchitis, coughing, dyspnea, pharyngitis, rhinitis, sinusitis, URI.
Fatigue, asthenia, chest pain, malaise, edema, weight gain, angioedema.
In addition, a variety of adverse effects have been reported with other beta-adrenergic blocking agents and should be considered potential adverse effects of ZEBETA (bisoprolol fumarate) :
Central Nervous System
Reversible mental depression progressing to catatonia, hallucinations, an acute reversible syndrome characterized by disorientation to time and place, emotional lability, slightly clouded sensorium.
Mesenteric arterial thrombosis, ischemic colitis.
The oculomucocutaneous syndrome associated with the beta-blocker practolol has not been reported with Zebeta (bisoprolol fumarate) during investigational use or extensive foreign marketing experience.
In clinical trials, the most frequently reported laboratory change was an increase in serum triglycerides, but this was not a consistent finding.
Sporadic liver test abnormalities have been reported. In the U.S. controlled trials experience with bisoprolol fumarate treatment for 4-12 weeks, the incidence of concomitant elevations in SGOT and SGPT from 1 to 2 times normal was 3.9%, compared to 2.5% for placebo. No patient had concomitant elevations greater than twice normal.
In the long-term, uncontrolled experience with bisoprolol fumarate treatment for 6-18 months, the incidence of one or more concomitant elevations in SGOT and SGPT from 1 to 2 times normal was 6.2%. The incidence of multiple occurrences was 1.9%. For concomitant elevations in SGOT and SGPT of greater than twice normal, the incidence was 1.5%. The incidence of multiple occurrences was 0.3%. In many cases these elevations were attributed to underlying disorders, or resolved during continued treatment with bisoprolol fumarate.
Other laboratory changes included small increases in uric acid, creatinine, BUN, serum potassium, glucose, and phosphorus and decreases in WBC and platelets. These were generally not of clinical importance and rarely resulted in discontinuation of bisoprolol fumarate.
As with other beta-blockers, ANA conversions have also been reported on bisoprolol fumarate. About 15% of patients in long-term studies converted to a positive titer, although about one-third of these patients subsequently reconverted to a negative titer while on continued therapy.
Read the Zebeta (bisoprolol fumarate) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects
Zebeta (bisoprolol fumarate) should not be combined with other beta-blocking agents. Patients receiving catecholamine-depleting drugs, such as reserpine or guanethidine, should be closely monitored, because the added beta-adrenergic blocking action of Zebeta (bisoprolol fumarate) may produce excessive reduction of sympathetic activity. In patients receiving concurrent therapy with clonidine, if therapy is to be discontinued, it is suggested that Zebeta (bisoprolol fumarate) be discontinued for several days before the withdrawal of clonidine.
Zebeta (bisoprolol fumarate) should be used with care when myocardial depressants or inhibitors of AV conduction, such as certain calcium antagonists (particularly of the phenylalkylamine [verapamil] and benzothiazepine [diltiazem] classes), or antiarrhythmic agents, such as disopyramide, are used concurrently.
Concurrent use of rifampin increases the metabolic clearance of Zebeta (bisoprolol fumarate) , resulting in a shortened elimination half-life of Zebeta (bisoprolol fumarate) . However, initial dose modification is generally not necessary. Pharmacokinetic studies document no clinically relevant interactions with other agents given concomitantly, including thiazide diuretics and cimetidine. There was no effect of Zebeta (bisoprolol fumarate) on prothrombin time in patients on stable doses of warfarin.
Risk of Anaphylactic Reaction
While taking beta-blockers, patients with a history of severe anaphylactic reaction to a variety of allergens may be more reactive to repeated challenge, either accidental, diagnostic, or therapeutic. Such patients may be unresponsive to the usual doses of epinephrine used to treat allergic reactions.
Read the Zebeta Drug Interactions Center for a complete guide to possible interactions
Last reviewed on RxList: 3/29/2011
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