Metoprolol is an active substance of the branded drug Lopressor, designed to treat high blood pressure and prevent stenocardia (chest pain).
Metoprolol is a beta-blocker. It acts by relaxing the blood vessels and slowing the heart rate, which improves blood circulation and lowers blood pressure.
Metoprolol may also increase the likelihood of survival after a heart attack. Doctors prescribe a prolonged form of the drug (Toprol XL) for the treatment of heart failure.
In some cases, the doctor may prescribe Metoprolol for an irregular heart rhythm.
In a study conducted in 2013, it was found that when used with amiodarone (another cardiac drug), metoprolol can effectively prevent atrial fibrillation (type of heart rhythm disorder) after heart surgery.
Sometimes metoprolol is used to treat conditions other than heart problems, such as headaches, migraines, movement disorders caused by medications for the treatment of mental illness.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Metoprolol in 1978 under the trademark Lopressor.
Today, it is still a widely used drug. Doctors annually write out more than 27 million prescription medications.
Metoprolol lowers high blood pressure and chest pain.
The effect appears after several weeks of using the drug.
If you have allergies, your reactions may be worse when you take Metoprolol. You also may not respond to the usual dose of adrenaline.
People with asthma, slow heart rate or heart failure should not use beta-blockers, including metoprolol.
Doctors should prescribe this medication with caution for the elderly and people with diabetes.
Before taking Metoprolol, be sure to tell your doctor if you have a slow heart rhythm or problems with blood circulation.
Your doctor also needs to know if you have one of the following options:
- Asthma or other conditions of the lungs
- Liver disease
- Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid gland)
- Chronic heart failure
- Certain Types of Irregular Heartbeats
You should also tell your doctor if you have a pheochromocytoma, a rare adrenal tumor that can cause high blood pressure and a fast heartbeat.
Tell your doctor if you are planning any operations, including dental.
Metoprolol for the treatment of anxiety
Like many other beta-blockers, metoprolol is sometimes used to monitor anxiety, including accidental anxiety in work and various anxieties.
Talk with your doctor before taking metoprolol or any other medication for anxiety. Maybe there is another medicine that is safer and better suited to you.
Metoprolol and pregnancy
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, whether you plan to become pregnant or breastfeed before taking Metoprolol.
There is insufficient evidence that metoprolol is safe during pregnancy, and pregnant women should take it only if there is an obvious need.
Metoprolol can also penetrate into breast milk, so tell your doctor that your baby is breastfeeding.
There is no evidence that metoprolol is safe or effective in children younger than 6 years of age.
Side effects of metoprolol
Common side effects of metoprolol include:
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Dry mouth
- Abdominal pain
- Rashes or itching
- Cold hands and feet
- Runny nose
Serious side effects can also occur.
If you have any of these side effects, stop taking Metoprolol and immediately consult a doctor:
- Inconsistent Breath
- Swelling of the hands, feet, ankles or lower legs
- Unusual weight gain
- Rapid, pounding or irregular heartbeat
Many drugs can affect the action of metoprolol, and metoprolol can also affect the work of other drugs.
It is very important that your doctor knows about everything that you are taking, even about illegal drugs and any vitamins, herbs or food additives.
Types of drugs that interact with metoprolol include:
- Antidepressants, including bupropion (Wellbutrin), fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem) and paroxetine (Paxil)
- Antimalarial drugs, such as hydroxychloroquine
- Medications used to treat heartburn or other conditions of the stomach, such as cimetidine (tagamet) and ranitidine (Zantac)
- Some medications from the heart, including clonidine (catapra), propafenone (Rythmol) and quinidine (Quinaglute, Quinidex)
- Antihistamines, such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl)
- Some HIV medicines, including ritonavir (Norvir)
- Some antifungal drugs, including terbinafine (Lamisil)
- Some drugs used to treat mental illnesses, including thioridazine (Mellaril)
Metoprolol and alcohol
You should avoid drinking alcohol while taking Metoprolol.
Alcohol can worsen the side effect, such as drowsiness and headaches.
Other Metoprolol Interactions
It is important to know that metoprolol may cause you drowsiness. Do not drive until you know how the medicine affects you.
Your doctor can also tell you to stick to a diet low in sodium. Be sure to follow these instructions.
Metoprolol is available as a tablet in standard doses of 50 and 100 milligrams (mg).
The preparation is also available as a sustained-release tablet in doses of 25, 50, 100 and 200 mg, both in general form and under the trade names Lopressor and Toprol XL.
Usually the first dose of metoprolol is 100 mg per day in one or two tablets.
Your doctor can gradually increase this dose. For people taking long-acting Toprol XL tablets, the initial dose is 25 to 100 mg once a day.
Do not take more Metoprolol than your doctor prescribed.
If you take too many medicines, the symptoms of metoprolol overdose may include:
- abnormal breathing or swallowing
- Swelling of the hands, feet, ankles or lower legs
If you or someone else has overdose symptoms, call the Toxicology Center at 1-800-222-1222.
If someone faints or does not breathe, call 911.
Missed dose of Metoprolol
Do not stop taking Metoprolol without discussing it with your doctor.
If you suddenly stop taking the drug, you can develop high blood pressure. Your doctor should gradually reduce the dose of the drug.
If you accidentally miss a dose of metoprolol, take the missed dose as soon as you can. However, if it is time for your next dose, skip this dose.
Do not make up for the missed dose, taking twice as much.