Compare Propranolol vs. Bisoprolol

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Inderal
(propranolol)

Zebeta
(bisoprolol)

Lowers blood pressure and controls heart rate. Inderal (Propranolol) is good for treating many heart problems and other problems in the body, but it has more side effects than other beta blockers. You can't miss doses.Lowers blood pressure. Zebeta (Bisoprolol) is usually given to people who have taken other blood pressure meds unsuccessfully or have recently had significant heart problems.
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Coupons for Propranolol
Best available price for 60 (20mg) tablets of propranolol
Coupons for Bisoprolol
Best available price for 30 (5mg) tablets of bisoprolol
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
5.39Propranolol
Reviews for Propranolol
66%
of people (All ages) say Propranolol is worth it
62%
say it works well
15%
say it's a big hassle
Have you used Inderal (propranolol)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Bisoprolol
67%
-1% worse vs. Propranolol
61%
+1% better vs. Propranolol
28%
+13% better vs. Propranolol
Have you used Zebeta (bisoprolol)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
PropranololBisoprolol
  • Dizziness 5%
  • Fatigue 2%
  • Constipation 3%
More Propranolol side effects »

We haven’t found good data for Bisoprolol side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Bisoprolol »
How it works
PropranololBisoprolol
Inderal (Propranolol) is an alpha and beta blocker. It lowers blood pressure by slowing heart rate, relaxing blood vessels, and lowering the body's fight-or-flight response.Zebeta (Bisoprolol) is a selective beta blocker that works specifically on the heart. It lowers blood pressure by slowing down the heart and making it work less to pump.
Type of medication
PropranololBisoprolol
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
PropranololBisoprolol
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Liquid
  • Pill
Used for
PropranololBisoprolol
Risk factors for serious side effects
PropranololBisoprolol
  • Suddenly stopping Inderal (Propranolol)
  • Major surgery requiring anesthesia
  • Diabetes
  • Concurrent use of non-dihydropyridine calcium channel blockers, digoxin or clonidine
Detailed Inderal (propranolol) risks & warnings »
  • Diabetes
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Heart failure
  • Major surgery requiring anesthesia
Detailed Zebeta (bisoprolol) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Upsides and benefits
PropranololBisoprolol
  • A first-choice treatment to prevent chest pain (angina).
  • A first-choice treatment for heart failure, heart attack, heart valve disorders, and abnormal heart rhythm.
  • Also treats and prevents many non-heart problems, such as tremors, anxiety, migraines, and liver disease symptoms.
  • Good for protecting the heart and lowering blood pressure if you've had a heart attack.
  • Available in a generic version.
  • Also comes in combination with other medications to lower blood pressure.
Downsides and risks
PropranololBisoprolol
  • Taking a beta blocker might make you feel more tired or out of breath during exercise or normal daily routines. This gets better for most people, but for some might not go away.
  • Has more side effects than some beta blockers because it crosses into the brain and central nervous system.
  • Not a first-choice treatment for high blood pressure according to the latest guidelines, except if you have heart failure or heart disease. As a second choice, your doctor might add it to medicines you're already taking if your blood pressure is still too high.
  • Can hide symptoms of low blood sugar if you're diabetic.
  • You can't miss doses. Stopping Propranolol suddenly can cause your blood pressure to go up suddenly, which raises the risk of heart attack and stroke.
  • This isn't a first choice medication to lower blood pressure.
  • You can't stop taking it suddenly, or else you're more likely to have a heart attack or other problems with your heart.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
PropranololBisoprolol
  • Can cause dizziness in the first few days.
  • Check your blood pressure 1 week after starting this medicine, and tell your doctor if it hasn't improved.
  • Can cause insomnia and fatigue.
  • Can hide symptoms of low blood sugar. Be careful if you're diabetic.
  • Don't stop taking this medicine suddenly.
  • Zebeta (Bisoprolol) can make you feel dizzy the first few days you take it, so be careful driving and quickly standing up until you know how your body reacts to it.
  • Don't stop taking it suddenly without talking to your doctor.
  • If you have diabetes, Zebeta (Bisoprolol) can make it difficult to tell if your blood sugar is low.
  • Can cause headache, fatigue, and make you more likely to get colds or the flu.
Learn more
More about PropranololSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Inderal (propranolol)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about BisoprololSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Zebeta (bisoprolol)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it