Sounds like 'By-sop-rol-ol'

Easy-to-read medicine information about bisoprolol – what is it, how to take bisoprolol safely and possible side effects.

Type of medicine Also called
  • Belongs to a group of medicines called beta-blockers
  • Bosvate®

What is bisoprolol?

  • Bisoprolol is used to treat heart failure or high blood pressure (hypertension).
  • It works by blocking certain chemicals in the body, and in that way slows the heart rate and lowers blood pressure.  


  • The dose of bisoprolol will be different for different people.
  • Your doctor will usually start you on a low dose and increase this over a few days. This allows your body to get used to the medicine and reduces unwanted side effects.
  • Always take your 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

How to take bisoprolol

  • Take bisoprolol once a day, in the morning.
  • Swallow your tablet with a glass of water.
  • You can take bisoprolol either with or without food.
  • Limit or avoid drinking alcohol while you are taking bisoprolol. 
  • If you forget your dose, take it as soon as you remember that day. But, if it is nearly time for your next dose, just take the next dose at the right time. Do not take double the dose.
  • Do not stop taking bisoprolol suddenly; speak to your doctor or nurse before stopping.

Possible side effects

Like all medicines, bisoprolol can cause unwanted side effects, although not everyone gets them. Often unwanted 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
  • These are quite common when you first start taking bisoprolol, and usually go away with time.
  • Tell your doctor if troublesome.
  • Dizziness
  • Feeling faint when you stand up
  • This is common when you first start taking bisoprolol.
  • Be careful when getting up from either lying down or sitting to avoid falls.
  • Problems with breathing such as chest tightness, or wheezing or swelling of the ankles or feet.
  • Tell your doctor immediately or ring HealthLine.


  • Check with a pharmacist before taking over the counter medicines such as:
    • Cold or flu tablets containing phenylephrine (e.g. Sudafed PE), or diphenhydramine (e.g. Benadryl Original)
    • Anti-inflammatories such as diclofenac (e.g. Voltaren Rapid), ibuprofen (e.g. Nurofen), mefenamic acid (e.g. Ponstan), naproxen (e.g. Naprogesic)
  • Bisoprolol may interact with a few medications and herbal supplements, so check with your doctor or pharmacist before starting bisoprolol or before starting any new medicines.

Learn more

The following links provide further information on bisoprolol:

Medsafe Consumer Information Sheet: Bosvate

New Zealand Formulary Patient Information: bisoprolol

Credits: Sandra Ponen, Pharmacist. Reviewed By: Dr J Bycroft. Health Navigator NZ Last reviewed: 15 Jan 2015