Hypertension among Americans, and the eventual risk of stroke or heart attack are relatively high, with half the adults in US estimated to have high blood pressure. The numbers are not just staggering, but frightening considering that many patients remain untreated for a long time. Known as a silent killer, the ailment and its attendant effects silently develop and creep upon individuals who appear healthy. Among the various medications used to manage, treat hypertension, beta blocking agents are considered as effective, when other thiazide diuretics do not work. Following sub sections offer a detailed look at the side effects of Bystolic, a beta blocking agent, to help users identify, prevent and mitigate the undesirable outcomes.

Overview of Bystolic

Belonging to the category of beta blocking agents, Bystolic is used to treat patients with hypertension and to prevent the risk of stroke and heart failure. It is technically a racemic mixture comprising a beta-adrenergic antagonist and a cardiac stimulant. In use since FDA approval fifteen years ago, the medication impacts the flow of blood through the veins and the arteries. The medication helps to lower blood pressure, and this is achieved by selectively blocking beta-1 adrenergic receptors. This in turn leads to a reduction in resting heart rate, apart from lowered diastolic and systolic blood pressure. The medication also has an effect on myocardial contractility.

The highlight of the medication is the limited adverse effects in insulin sensitivity and the impact on the airway, due to the highly selective nature of the mechanism of action. The medication also has an inhibitory effect on aldosterone, and renin release. The outcome of these effects is a reduction in blood volume and reduction in vasoconstriction. As a result of this, the patient’s exposure to the effects of the disease is considerably reduced.  The outcomes of the drug include better vasodilation, and cardiac output, apart from a reduction in peripheral vascular resistance.

Effects of hypertension when left untreated

As mentioned earlier, hypertension has the notorious distinction of being a silent killer. When left untreated, in increases the workload of the heart and the pressure on the arteries. Consequently, the functioning is impacted and this can result in possible damage to various blood vessels. These blood vessels, which have a critical role in the movement of blood to the brain, the heart, and the kidneys, when affected, can result in disastrous consequences. This includes the possibility of stroke, or heart failure, or failure of other organs like the kidneys.

Possible side effects of Bystolic

Every medication comes with the possibility of side effects, and other undesirable outcomes. This is mainly due to the mechanism of action of the medications or the properties of substances in the medication. Different types of effects are experienced by different users, and this depends on various factors. For instance, certain users are known to experience only mild or moderate effects, while others experience stronger effects. Similarly, there are other users who experience no effects at all. Therefore, the actual effects are determined by various reasons, such as the age of the patient, the gender, and the overall health condition of the patient. Additional factors include the condition being treated, the intensity of the condition, the dosage prescribed, the schedule of intake, other medications in use and presence of other ailments.

Bystolic, available as tablets, also comes with the possibility of undesirable outcomes. Patients about the start the medication are to learn all about the possible effects and take suitable precautions. This includes the need to know more about following risks.

#1 Allergic reactions

The risk of allergic reactions increases when the patient has had some kind of allergic reaction in the past to substances. For instance, a patient who has been sensitised to certain medications, or a particular food product, or some preservative ingredient, or dyeing agent is to inform the specialist about the same. There are individuals who are allergic to animal dander, and it is necessary to take suitable precautions to avoid possible allergic reactions to medications.

#2 Effect on underage and elderly patients

As the medication is primarily intended for adults with hypertension, its efficacy has not been studied on pediatric patients. The safety of the medicine on underage patients has not been documented or analyzed to conclusively state that it can be taken without apprehensions. However, in the case of geriatric patients, there is no cause for alarm, as till date, no reports have emerged about adverse effects of the medication on the elderly. It is therefore considered safe, with appropriate dosage modifications.

#3 Effect on nursing mothers and pregnant women

The effect of the medication on breastfeeding women and pregnant women have not been studied till date. Therefore, there is no conclusive evidence to suggest that it can be taken without apprehensions of adverse effects. Breastfeeding women and pregnant women are advised to assess the possible risks from the medication and compare it with the expected outcomes to conclude, if it is necessary to take the medication. The possible generally known side effects of the medication can be taken as a reference to determine if it is safe or if it will have an impact on the health of the baby.

Commonly reported undesirable effects of Bystolic

Here is a compilation of some of the commonly known or reported side effects of the beta blocker. This is neither complete nor is it an exhaustive compilation of effects; this solely to help the users understand the broad categories of effects. Commonly occurring effects may not require medical attention and are known to resolve naturally, however, serious effects require some kind of medical interaction, often emergency treatment.

Effects such as swelling in the face, in the arms and the hands or lower limbs are possible common effects that may be experienced by a large number of users. There is also the possibility of pain in the chest or some kind of discomfort. The patient may sometimes find it difficult to breath normally, and could also have a lightheaded or dizzy feeling. There is possible sudden increase in weight among patients that is not attributed to any other condition. Many are known to experience a change in heartbeat rate, or a distinct tightness in the chest. As a contrasting effect to weight gain, patients are also known to sometimes lose weight without any known reason.  A distinct tingling sensation in the hands or the feet may be experienced.

How to deal with overdose

In the event of an overdose, it is necessary to seek appropriate treatment, by recognizing the symptoms of overdose. This includes a sudden reduction or total absence of body movement in the patient. The patient may experience anxiety, and could also experience chills or cold sweats. The nails on the fingers may turn bluish, and the lips may also turn bluish in the event of overdose. The patient may enter into a coma, or the individual may exhibit a confused state of mind. Cough, or a decrease in the amount of urine is also a possibility. The veins in the neck may end up dilated, and the patient may enter into depression.  There are other possible symptoms, and patients/caregivers are advised to understand all the symptoms and take suitable action on recognizing the same. This includes emergency treatment at a healthcare facility.

Side effects of Bystolic – possible drug interactions

Drug interactions are also a possible outcome when two or more medications are taken together, for two different conditions. The patient may be ailing from different diseases or conditions and it may be necessary to take different categories of medications for the different conditions. As a result of this, there could be a conflict of mechanisms of action or conflict between the properties of the compounds in the medications. Drug interactions are typically of three different categories. The first category refers to the increase in expected outcomes of either or both of the medications. The second category refers to the decrease in the potential outcomes of either or both of the medications.

The third possible interaction could an aggravation of the expected side effects of either or both the drugs. Depending on the effect of the interaction, or the severity of either condition, the specialist may either temporarily suspend or recommend discontinuation of one of the two medications. In the event that both the conditions are equally serious, or if there are no alternatives, patients are advised to alter the dosage and change the schedule of intake. Here is a look at some of the commonly known drug interactions of Bystolic with other medications. This is not a complete or exhaustive compilation and is only a reference about the categories of drugs that may interact with Bystolic.

Patients on medications such as cimetidine, clonidine, methimazole, ropinirole, and ticlopidine are to intimate the specialist about the drugs, as this could trigger interactions. Bystolic may also interact with other beta blockers such as atenolol, carvedilol, metoprolol and propranolol among others. When used in combination with antibiotics belonging to the category of terbinafine, the drug may cause interactions. It is also not to be taken with antidepressants like clomipramine, duloxetine sertraline etc.

Patients on other product such as health supplements, or herbal remedies, or alternative treatments are also to intimate the specialists about the specific treatments. Other possible interactions include effects when taken with chloroquine, the anti-malaria medication. The medication could also trigger effects when taken with other medications prescribed for treating heart/blood pressure problems. This includes amlodipine, diltiazem and verapamil, among others.  Other medications that could cause interactions include drugs for heart rhythm problems – amiodarone, propafenone etc. Patients on drugs for treating HIV/AIDS, such as delavirdine, ritonavir are to seek specialist assistance as the combination could cause effects. Similarly, medications used for treating psychiatric disorders, could also cause undesirable effects. This includes drugs like aripiprazole, clozapine and perphenazine.

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