What is Bystolic (Nebivolol)?
Bystolic (Nebivolol) is a medication prescribed to treat high blood pressure and heart failure. High blood pressure is associated with the risk of strokes, heart attacks, and kidney issues, so this drug works to prevent these from occurring. Bystolic contains the active ingredient nebivolol, which belongs to a group of drugs called beta blockers. It functions to inhibit the action of naturally occurring substances on the heart and vessels, lowering the heart rate and blood pressure.
Bystolic should be taken orally once daily, with or without food. The prescribed dosage is dependent on the severity of your condition, your existing medication schedule, your age, your medical history, and how you respond to treatment. The typical starting dose for adults is 5mg once daily. Your dose may be adjusted several times. To get the most benefit from this drug, it should be taken at the same time each day. Do not share this medication with anyone else, even if they have the same condition as you.
Bystolic tablets should be stored in a place that will not exceed 25°C. Store out of direct sunlight and away from moisture. Keep out of reach of children and pets. Do not consume expired medication. Dispose of surplus or expired medication responsibly, following the directions of your healthcare professional. Do not flush medication down the toilet or sink.
Common Side Effects
All medications come with a risk of side effects. It is important to recognize that your doctor has determined that your risk of side effects is outweighed by the potential benefit that this medication can provide. Side effects vary between individuals, and it is possible that you may not experience any at all. Bystolic is commonly associated with the following side effects:
- Difficulty sleeping
If you experience the above side effects and they concern you, or they worsen or do not resolve on their own, contact your healthcare provider.
As this drug can cause dizziness and lightheadedness, get up slowly from a sitting or lying position to prevent falling over or losing consciousness.
Bystolic can reduce the flow of blood to the extremities, primarily the hands and feet, making them feel cold. This is exacerbated by smoking. Dress in warm clothing and avoid tobacco products.
Severe Side Effects
Occasionally, this medication can be associated with severe side effects that should be taken seriously. If you have any of the following side effects, contact your doctor right away:
- Blue fingers or toes
- Losing consciousness
- Swollen ankles or feet
- Unusual fatigue or tiredness
- Unusual weight gain
- Mood or mental changes (confusion, mood swings, or depression)
An allergic reaction to Bystolic is rare, but not impossible. Do not take this medication if you are allergic to the active ingredient or any of its constituents. Inform your doctor if you have a history of severe allergic reactions to other medications. If you experience allergic reaction symptoms, such as rash, itching, facial swelling, severe dizziness, or difficulty breathing, contact emergency medical assistance immediately.
Warnings & Precautions
Before starting Bystolic, inform your doctor of all allergies you have, particularly if you are allergic to any of this medication’s ingredients. Ensure your doctor is aware of your complete personal and family medical history, particularly of heart rhythm problems (e.g., slow heartrate, second or third-degree atrioventricular block), blood circulation problems, respiratory conditions (asthma, bronchitis, emphysema), kidney or liver disease, heart failure, mood disorders, myasthenia gravis, or hyperthyroidism.
As bystolic can cause dizziness, it is important that you do not operate heavy machinery (including driving) until you know how this medication affects you. Dizziness is exacerbated by alcohol and marijuana use, so limit these while taking this medication.
Prior to having surgery, ensure all medical personnel involved in your care are aware of all the medications you take on a regular basis.
If you are diabetic, this medication can mask the feeling of fast/pounding heartbeat typically experienced when your blood sugar is low. It may also make it difficult to control your blood sugar. It is important that you monitor your blood sugar regularly and consistently report these results to your doctor. If you experience symptoms of high blood sugar (increased thirst/urination), tell your doctor right away. They may want to adjust your medication or exercise/lifestyle habits.
Children may be more susceptible to low blood sugar, particularly if their food intake is low or they are experiencing regular vomiting. Children should be feed on a regular schedule while taking this medication to regulate blood sugar levels. If a child cannot be fed regularly, or they display symptoms of low blood glucose, contact your doctor right away.
This medication should only be taken by pregnant people when absolutely necessary. Babies born to people who took Bystolic while pregnant are at risk of low birth weight and require extra monitoring for blood pressure, heart rate, blood sugar, and respiration. If you are pregnant, intend to become pregnant, think you could be pregnant, or do become pregnant while taking this medication, consult your doctor for what to do next.
It is not yet known whether this medication can pass into breast milk. If you intend to breast feed while taking Bystolic, talk to your doctor first.
Interactions & Contraindications
Medications taken concurrently can interact with one another, altering the way they function in the body or leading to unwanted side effects. It is therefore important to minimize all drug interactions where possible. Keep a comprehensive list of all medications you take on a regular basis (including prescription and non-prescription), and share this with your doctor. Do not change the dose, stop, or start taking any medication without first consulting your doctor.
Bystolic can have moderate interactions with amlodipine, furosemide, hydrochlorothiazide, and prednisone, and minor interactions with aspirin. Check with your doctor or pharmacist how to safely take cough/cold medications, diet supplements, or NSAIDs such as ibuprofen.
Bystolic can also interact with antidepressants such as fluoxetine and paroxetine, which lead to pathological levels of nebivolol in your body. Similarly, this can occur when taken alongside drugs that treat irregular heart rhythms, such as quinidine or propafenone. Taken alongside drugs that affect your heart rate, Bystolic can lead to severe bradycardia. These include digoxin and verapamil, among others. Further, other beta blockers should be avoided while taking Bystolic as, when taken together, can lead to pathological bradycardia. Examples include acebutolol, betaxolol, and metoprolol, among more.
Alpha-blockers (e.g., doxazosin, prazosin) taken alongside Bystolic can increase the risk of orthostatic hypotension (low blood pressure upon standing), causing dizziness and lightheadedness.
Bystolic can worsen breathing difficulties in those with respiratory problems such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Talk to your doctor if Bystolic is right for you.