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Brevibloc Side Effects

Generic name: esmolol

Medically reviewed by Last updated on May 4, 2022.

Note: This document contains side effect information about esmolol. Some of the dosage forms listed on this page may not apply to the brand name Brevibloc.


Common side effects of Brevibloc include: dizziness, hypotension, symptomatic hypotension, and diaphoresis. See below for a comprehensive list of adverse effects.

For the Consumer

Applies to esmolol: intravenous solution

Side effects requiring immediate medical attention

Along with its needed effects, esmolol (the active ingredient contained in Brevibloc) may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking esmolol:

More common

  • Blurred vision
  • confusion
  • dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up from a lying or sitting position suddenly
  • increased sweating
  • unusual tiredness or weakness

Less common

  • Itching of skin
  • numbness and tingling of face, fingers, or toes
  • pain in arms, legs, or lower back, especially pain in calves and/or heels upon exertion
  • pale, bluish-colored, or cold hands or feet
  • weak or absent pulses in legs


  • Blue lips and fingernails
  • burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, "pins and needles", or tingling feelings
  • changes in skin color
  • changes in vision
  • chest pain or discomfort
  • convulsions
  • coughing that sometimes produces a pink frothy sputum
  • decrease in frequency of urination
  • decrease in urine volume
  • delusions
  • dementia
  • difficult, fast, noisy breathing, sometimes with wheezing
  • difficulty in passing urine (dribbling)
  • difficulty with speaking
  • feeling of warmth
  • feeling unusually cold
  • lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting
  • loss of bladder control
  • muscle spasm or jerking of all extremities
  • no heartbeat
  • pain, tenderness, or swelling of foot or leg
  • painful urination
  • paleness of skin
  • peeling of skin
  • redness of the face, neck, arms and occasionally, upper chest
  • shivering
  • shortness of breath
  • slow or irregular heartbeat
  • small clicking, bubbling, or rattling sounds in the lung when listening with a stethoscope
  • sudden loss of consciousness
  • swelling, redness, or burning of skin where the needle is placed
  • tightness in chest

Get emergency help immediately if any of the following symptoms of overdose occur while taking esmolol:

Symptoms of overdose

  • Dilated neck veins
  • extreme fatigue
  • irregular breathing
  • no blood pressure or pulse
  • stopping of heart
  • swelling of face, fingers, feet, or lower legs
  • unconsciousness
  • weight gain

Side effects not requiring immediate medical attention

Some side effects of esmolol may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects.

Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common

  • Hardening or thickening of skin where the needle is placed
  • nausea

Less common


  • Acid or sour stomach
  • belching
  • change in taste or bad, unusual, or unpleasant (after) taste
  • difficulty having a bowel movement (stool)
  • discouragement
  • feeling sad or empty
  • heartburn
  • indigestion
  • lack of appetite
  • lack or loss of strength
  • loss of interest or pleasure
  • shoulder pain
  • stomach soreness, discomfort, upset, or pain
  • stuffy nose
  • tiredness
  • trouble concentrating
  • weight loss

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to esmolol: intravenous solution


Very common (10% or more): Hypotension

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Bradycardia, atrioventricular block, pulmonary arterial pressure increased, cardiac failure, ventricular extrasystoles, nodal rhythm, angina pectoris, peripheral ischemia, pallor, flushing, chest pain, asystole

Rare (0.01% to 0.1%): Sinus pause

Very rare (less than 0.01%): Sinus arrest, asystole, thrombophlebitis

Frequency not reported: Accelerated idioventricular rhythm, coronary arteriospasm, cardiac arrest[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Diaphoresis

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Skin discoloration, erythema

Very rare (less than 0.01%): Skin necrosis (due to extravasation)

Frequency not reported: Psoriasis, angioedema, urticaria[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Nausea, vomiting

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Dysgeusia, dyspepsia, constipation, dry mouth, abdominal pain[Ref]


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Urinary retention[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Injection site reaction, infusion site reaction, infusion site inflammation, infusion site induration

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Infusion site burning, infusion site ecchymosis

Frequency not reported: Infusion site phlebitis, infusion site vesicles, blistering[Ref]

Nervous system

Common (1% to 10%): Dizziness, somnolence, headache, paresthesia, weakness

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Syncope, convulsion, speech disorder, light headedness[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Hyperkalemia, metabolic acidosis[Ref]


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Musculoskeletal pain[Ref]


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Visual impairment[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Asthenia, fatigue

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Chills, pyrexia, edema, pain[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Depression, anxiety, disturbance in attention, confusion, agitation

Uncommon (less than 1%): Abnormal thinking[Ref]


Uncommon (less than 1%): Dyspnea, pulmonary edema, bronchospasm, wheezing, nasal congestion, rhonchi, rales[Ref]


1. "Product Information. Brevibloc (esmolol)." DuPont Pharmaceuticals (2001):

2. Cerner Multum, Inc. "UK Summary of Product Characteristics." O 0

3. Cerner Multum, Inc. "Australian Product Information." O 0

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Some side effects may not be reported. You may report them to the FDA.