Posted: 10/02/2017

Generic Alternatives for Bystolic (Nebivolol)

Blood_pressure_medications

What is Nebivolol? What are the benefits of taking a beta blocker?

If you are experiencing hypertension (aka high blood pressure) without a definite cause your doctor may put you on a beta blocker like nebivolol (the generic for the brand Bystolic). When your blood pressure is too high, a beta blocker can cause your vessels to relax, letting blood pass through more easily, slowing down your heart, and improving your blood flow. In addition to treating hypertension, nebivolol may be used to stop heart failure. There may seemingly be a lot of health risks and side effects to taking nebivolol, but you can avoid many of them if you properly communicate with your doctor about what other medication you are taking, what allergies you have, and if you are experiencing any side effects or symptoms of overdose.

 

What about the side effects?

Nebivolol may cause side effects like dizziness, fatigue, swelling, chest pain, difficulty breathing, weight gain, shortness of breath, weight fluctuation, wheezing, tingling in your extremities, headaches, sleeplessness, diarrhea, or rash. Fatigue is by far the most common of the reported side effects. You should consult your doctor if you are experiencing these. Additionally, you should tell your doctor if you have any allergies. Some of the minor side effects like rashes and diarrhea will ease as your body gets used to the medication. Drinking alcohol may increase the likelihood of occurrence of these side effects. Nebivolol can also lower your blood sugar. To avoid the feelings associated with that like dizziness, keep a source of glucose around like candy or orange juice. Tell your doctor if you are experiencing low blood pressure.

 

How will I know if I overdosed?

Overdose symptoms can include anxiety, confusion, blue extremities, sweating, loss of appetite, mood changes, nightmares, nausea, seizures, vomiting, coma, loss of consciousness, increased sweat and thirst, headaches, muscle cramps, shakiness, pale skin, dilated neck veins, and trouble breathing. If you are experiencing any of these, please contact a physician.

 

What drug interactions can I expect?

If you are taking nebivolol, you may experience some negative interactions with other drugs you are taking or food you are eating. That is why it is incredibly important to tell your doctor what other medications you may be taking. Nebivolol can interact negatively with antidepressants, atenolol (a drug used for chest pain), hypertension drugs like chlorthalidone, hydrochlorothiazide, guanethidine, and the bronchodilator theophylline, and mibefradil. Additionally, you can experience negative interactions by taking certain dietary supplements like COQ10, garlic, ginseng, St. John’s wort (a natural treatment for depression) and gingko.

 

What should I do if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

It is not recommended to take nebivolol if you are pregnant or breastfeeding as you may cause damage to your fetus or child. Nebivolol can be excreted into breast milk meaning it can get passed onto your baby and can reduce a fetus’ size and weight. Consult with your doctor if you are pregnant but need to be on this medication. Nebivolol is not recommended in people under the age of 18.

 

Thinking of switching or stopping your medication?

When taking nebivolol, you should be monitoring your heart rate and blood pressure. If the side effects from the medication are too great and you are considering going off of nebivolol or switching to another medication, you must taper the medication over 1-2 weeks and limit exercise. You could damage your body if you stop cold turkey, because you will be more at risk for the side effects listed in the above paragraph. Additionally, you should take your pill at the same time each day, with or without food. If you forget to take one, do not double the dose - just take one as soon as you remember. It may take about two weeks for you to see effects of the medication. Your doctor should not adjust the medication you are taking more frequently than every two weeks, and it is not recommended to take more than 40 milligrams daily.

 

When else should I not use nebivolol?

Other conditions and factors can contribute to your use of nebivolol. You should not take it if you are allergic to any of the ingredients, if you have a heart block, a slow heartbeat without a pacemaker, sick sinus syndrome, asthma, liver problems, uncontrolled heart failure, or if you have Raynaud syndrome.

 

How else can I save on blood pressure medication?

Nebivolol is a generic medication, meaning it has the same active ingredients but without any of the marketing behind Bystolic. Generics often cost less money than brand name drugs. Additionally, two beta blockers that are cheaper are shown to have had the same effectiveness as nebivolol. They are called Carvedilol and Metoprolol. A pack of Bystolic pills can cost up to $112, and some forms of Carvedilol and Metoprolol can be in the range of $10-15 per pack. If you have had congestive heart failure or myocardial infarction, you may be better off taking Carvedilol. Metoprolol can treat angina and prevent heart attacks. The difference between these two medications and Bystolic is Bystolic widens blood vessels, reducing blood pressure because your red blood cells will have a wider area to drift through. However, this special quality has not been proven to work significantly better than the other two medications that are listed above. If cost is truly a factor in your decision to purchase a type of medication, you might be better off with Carvedilol or Metoprolol. Consult with your doctor about which type might work best for you and be well.  

 
By Abigail Barr

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About the HelpRx.info Blog

HelpRx.info is staffed by experts in the prescription medication industry. Get the latest health, medical news and pharmaceutical news that can save you money and allow you to take charge of your healthcare. With frequent updates about the prescription drug industry as well as medicine news, you'll gain an insider look into the industry and learn more about how to get the best price on your prescriptions while not sacrificing quality.

About HelpRx

Our discounts provide you access to negotiated prices on your prescription drugs at your local pharmacy. We can provide these because we're partnered with OptumRx, a BIG pharmacy benefit provider that provides prescription coverage for MILLIONS of people like you.

About ScriptRelief

Script Relief, the creator of the NPSN card and HelpRx discounts, helps consumers save an average of 50%, and up to 75%, off their prescriptions.

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