Visken Side Effects
Generic Name: pindolol
Note: This page contains side effects data for the generic drug pindolol. It is possible that some of the dosage forms included below may not apply to the brand name Visken.
It is possible that some side effects of Visken may not have been reported. These can be reported to the FDA here. Always consult a healthcare professional for medical advice.
For the Consumer
Applies to pindolol: oral tablet
As well as its needed effects, pindolol (the active ingredient contained in Visken) may cause unwanted side effects that require medical attention.
If any of the following side effects occur while taking pindolol, check with your doctor immediately:More common
- Swelling of the face, fingers, feet, or lower legs
- Burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, "pins and needles", or tingling feelings
- chest pain
- difficult or labored breathing
- shortness of breath
- tightness in chest
- Decreased urine output
- dilated neck veins
- extreme fatigue
- fast, irregular, pounding, or racing heartbeat or pulse
- irregular breathing
- seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there
- troubled breathing
- weight gain
If any of the following symptoms of overdose occur while taking pindolol, get emergency help immediately:Symptoms of overdose
- Blurred vision
- pounding in the ears
- slow heartbeat
Some pindolol side effects may not need any medical attention. As your body gets used to the medicine these side effects may disappear. Your health care professional may be able to help you prevent or reduce these side effects, but do check with them if any of the following side effects continue, or if you are concerned about them:More common
- Joint pain
- muscle pain
- trouble sleeping
- unable to sleep
- unusual tiredness or weakness
- Itching skin
- muscle cramps
- stomach soreness or discomfort
- unusual dreams
For Healthcare Professionals
Applies to pindolol: compounding powder, oral tablet
Like some other nonselective beta-blockers, pindolol (the active ingredient contained in Visken) may inhibit myocardial contractility. This may be important in some patients with left ventricular systolic dysfunction or congestive heart failure. Other cardiovascular side effects include bradycardia, edema with weight gain (reported in up to 15% of patients in some studies), Raynaud's phenomenon, cold extremities, and AV heart block. Palpitations are reported in less than 1% of patients.
Due to the intrinsic sympathomimetic activity of pindolol, induction or exacerbation of arrhythmias is possible, particularly when higher doses are used. At least one case of enhanced ventricular ectopic activity has been associated with pindolol.
Abrupt withdrawal of pindolol can result in significant hypertension, angina pectoris, and acute coronary insufficiency with myocardial infarction. This may be particularly important in some patients with a history of coronary artery disease.
A 47-year-old man with idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy and premature ventricular depolarizations (PVDs) was stable on propranolol and digoxin (4 to 5 PVDs/min). Due to fear of negative inotropic activity, the patient was switched to pindolol during ECG monitoring. Fifteen minutes after the first dose of pindolol 10 mg orally, the PVD rate increased to 22 to 25/min, and six beats of nonsustained ventricular tachycardia (VT) were observed. Salvos of VT and ventricular couplets were observed. An idioventricular rhythm with a rate of 63 beats/min was also observed during episodes of sinus bradycardia. The serum digoxin level was 0.5 ng/mL; serum electrolytes were within normal limits. Pindolol therapy was not continued, and 10 hours later, the patient's ventricular ectopy returned to baseline.
Pindolol increases AV nodal conduction time, and may cause or exacerbate AV heart block due to digitalis or other reasons. The effect of pindolol on the AV node is less than propranolol.
Pindolol appears to cause orthostatic hypotension in a significant number of patients with autonomic dysfunction. In one study of seven patients with Shy Drager syndrome, two developed orthostatic changes and frank congestive heart failure at dosages of 15 mg three times a day.
Respiratory compromise has been observed in approximately 1% of patients. This may be very important in patients with reactive airways disease. While pindolol (the active ingredient contained in Visken) does have intrinsic sympathomimetic activity, its use in patients with bronchial asthma is limited.
A 35-year-old man with hypertension and type II diabetes mellitus developed lightheadedness and fell unconscious while skiing. Pertinent findings included hypothermia, hypotension, sinus bradycardia, "tented" T-waves on the ECG, and an undetectable blood glucose per fingerstick. The patient regained consciousness after intravenous glucose was given. He was accustomed to regular exercise, had not changed his pindolol (the active ingredient contained in Visken) dose (15 mg/day), but had not eaten a complete breakfast. The authors of this case report believe that, while the patient's glucose stores may have been low, the combined effects of exercise and beta-blockade on glucose metabolism caused the profound hypoglycemia.
Most data indicate (beneficial) significant decreases in total serum cholesterol and triglycerides and a significant increase of HDL cholesterol during pindolol therapy. Other data indicate significant increases in serum triglycerides and decreases of HDL cholesterol during pindolol therapy.
Endocrinologic abnormalities include hypoglycemia. Nonselective beta-blockers, such as pindolol, may inhibit catecholamine-mediated gluconeogenesis and mask the signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia, such as sweating and tachycardia. Data on the effect of pindolol on the lipid profile is controversial. Periodic monitoring of the lipid profile is suggested for patients with preexisting lipid disorders and in whom the consequences of hypercholesterolemia or hypertriglyceridemia are unacceptable.
Nervous system side effects include fatigue or unusual dreams in 5%, insomnia or dizziness in 3%, depression or headache in 2%, and nervousness or tremor in 1% of patients.
Rare cases of pindolol-induced tremor have been reported. While beta-blockers are known to suppress different types of tremors, the paradoxical appearance of tremors during pindolol therapy is attributed to its partial beta-agonist activity.
Gastrointestinal disturbances are unusual. Nausea or abdominal discomfort are reported in 2% of patients. Dry mouth or diarrhea are each reported in approximately 1% of patients.
In one placebo-controlled, double-blinded study of four beta-blockers in 30 healthy male volunteers, the nonselective beta-blockers, pindolol (the active ingredient contained in Visken) and propranolol, were associated with the greatest reduction in serum testosterone after one week of treatment. Pindolol was associated with the longest time to nocturnal penile tumescence. There were no statistically significant subjective complaints associated with these laboratory findings, however.
Genitourinary complaints are limited to decrease libido or impotence in approximately 1% of male patients.
Pindolol (the active ingredient contained in Visken) and carteolol, beta-adrenergic receptor antagonists with intrinsic sympathomimetic activity (ISA), have more commonly been associated with muscle cramps and elevated serum creatine phosphokinase (CK) levels than beta-blockers without ISA.
Musculoskeletal pain, usually presenting as muscle cramps, is reported in up to 3% of patients.
Renal side effects are not reported during pindolol (the active ingredient contained in Visken) therapy. Data show that the glomerular filtration rate and effective renal plasma flow are unaffected by pindolol.
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