Nebivolol is a type of drug called a beta blocker that works by blocking beta receptors in the heart. It causes the heart muscles to contract less often and less forcefully, making your heart beat more slowly and less blood to be pumped around your body. This can help to lower your blood pressure and manage hypertension. Nebivolol is also sometimes used to protect your heart if your have heart failure.
Brand Names and Doses
Nebivolol is the generic name of the drug – the name of the active component that works the effect in the body. You might know nebivolol better by its brand name, Nebilet, which is the name given by the manufacturing company.
Nebilet is available in three different doses: 1.25 mg, 5 mg or 10 mg.
Most people begin taking a low dose such as 2.5 mg daily to allow your body to get used to taking the drug and reduce side effects that may occur if your blood pressure suddenly decreases. The dose can be increased to 5 mg to increase the effect of the drug once your body has become used to the lower dose.
For heart failure, a lower dose of 1.25 mg should be introduced in the beginning. This can slowly be increased as need to a maximum of 10 mg daily.
What type of drug is nebivolol?
Nebivolol is a type of drug called a beta blocker, which is a group of medications that all work in a similar way. Other beta blocker drugs include:
Even though they are all in the same class, there are a few subtle differences between them.
What makes nebivolol stand out?
Nebivolol is a cardio-selective beta blocker that mainly inhibits beta receptors in the heart. This means that it is more targeted and has less of an effect on the receptors in the lungs, making it a better option for people with respiratory diseases such as asthma or COPD, although it should still be used with caution.
Nebivolol is mainly excreted from your body by being chemically changed into other substances in your liver. If you have poor liver function, you may need to take a lower dose of the medication than usual because your body will take longer to clear it from your body.
How does nebivolol work?
Nebivolol works by binding to certain receptors in the heart, called beta-adrenergic receptors, to change the way they usually help the body to function.
In a normal person, the receptors detect messages and tell the muscles in the area to contract together, causing the heart to beat and push blood out and around your body.
Nibivolol attaches to the beta receptors, making it more difficult for the messages to find their way to the receptor and tell the muscles to contract. This doesn’t completely stop the heart from functioning but it does slow the rate of the heart down. The muscles contract less often, leading to a slower heart rate, less forceful beats and, most importantly, lower blood pressure.
The most common side effects of nebivolol happen when the drug is working too well and you end up with low blood
pressure. Some signs of this are:
- Low heart rate (bradycardia)
If this happens to you, you should talk to your doctor about lowering the dose to get your blood pressure back into the normal range so that you feel better. Most people initially take a low dose of nebivolol and gradually increase it to help stop this from happening.
You may also feel nauseous, have diarrhoea or a cold sensation in your extremities like your hands and feet when you take oxprenolol. For a complete list of the side effects, you should see the medicine information leaflet.
Nebivolol is supposed be taken long-term to help manage blood pressure. If you suddenly stop taking it, the muscles in the heart will be able to contract with full force again and you may get rebound hypertension worse than in the beginning. Instead, your should slowly reduce the dose to give your body time to adjust to working without the medication before stopping completely.
If you have a low heart rate of less than 45-50 beats/minute, nebivolol is not likely to be the best choice for you because it causes the heart rate to go even slower.
Nebivolol can hide the signs of hypoglycemia, which is a common side effect of some diabetic medications involving a low concentration of sugar in your blood. Nebivolol hides the characteristics signs, such as a fast heart rate and tremor, so that you not may notice until it is too late.
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
Nibivolol is not recommended to be used in pregnancy because it may lead to a low heart rate in your baby. The safety of nebivolol for women who are breastfeed is not well known, so other medications may be a safer option.