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Metoprolol

Brand names of metoprolol

  • Apo-Metoprolol
  • Betaloc
  • Co-Betaloc [CD]
  • Dom-Metoprolol
  • Gen-Metoprolol
  • Lopressor
  • Lopressor HCT [CD]
  • Lopressor OROS
  • Novo-Metoprol
  • Nu-Metop
  • PMS-Metoprolol
  • Toprol XL

Metoprolol belongs to the class of drugs called beta-adrenergic blocking agents and is employed to treat high blood pressure (hypertension), irregular heart rhythms, heart pain (angina pectoris), and also a number of medical conditions related to the nerves. Other medications belonging to this class comprise atenolol (Tenormin), propanolol (Inderal) and timolol (Blocadren). This medicament works by impeding the effects of our sympathetic nervous system, an element of the nervous system that regulates our involuntary actions (also called involuntary nervous system), by obstructing the beta receptors from binding to the sympathetic nerves. As the sympathetic nervous system is accountable for augmenting the heart rate, by obstructing these nerves from performing their usual actions metoprolol helps to lessen the pace at which the heart beats and, hence, is effective for curing unusually fast heart rhythms.

In addition, metoprolol also helps to decrease the strength with which the muscles of the heart contract and, in this way, brings down high blood pressure. As metoprolol works to lessen the pace of heartbeat as well as the strength with which it contracts, this medicament actually lessens the heart muscles’ requirement for oxygen. As one suffers from angina pectoris (heart pain) when the heart muscles’ demand for oxygen is more than the supply, this drug is also useful for curing heart pain. In August 1978, metoprolol was approved for sale and use in the United States by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Things you need to tell your physician before taking metoprolol

Ahead of taking metoprolol you should tell your physician as well as your pharmacist whether you have allergies to this medication or any of its components. Those taking metoprolol ought to be aware of the fact that in case they are allergic to various substances, their response may deteriorate even further when they take this drug. In such cases, the allergic reactions of the patients may possibly not react to the normal dosages of epinephrine injections.

Also tell them about the entire prescription as well as over-the-counter drugs, herbal remedies, dietary supplements, and vitamins you are using already or those you intend to use soon.

Discuss all your current medical problems with your physician before you start using metoprolol, especially if you are enduring a sluggish heart rate, blood circulation problems, heart failure and/ or pheochromocytoma (a tumour or lump that grows on top of a gland close to the kidneys, often resulting in hypertension and rapid heartbeat). If you have any of these conditions, it is likely that your physician will ask you not to use metoprolol. Also tell your physician about your entire medical history, particularly if you have suffered or are suffering from any ailment related to the heart or the liver; asthma or any other lung ailment; serious allergies; diabetes or hyperthyroidism (a condition wherein the thyroid gland becomes hyperactive).

Women intending to use metoprolol should tell their physician in advance if they are pregnant, or planning to get pregnant. New mothers should inform their physician if they are breast feeding. In the event of becoming pregnant while using metoprolol, you should call your physician immediately for his/ her advice and guidance on what you should do in such a situation.

If you need to undergo any kind of surgery, notify your surgeon, dentist and/ or physician ahead of time that you are using metoprolol. This medication results in drowsiness and, therefore, people undergoing treatment with metoprolol should avoid any activity that needs alertness, such as driving or operating machines, till they are certain about the precise impact of the drug on their body and perform such activities only when they are convinced that they can do it safely.

Usage

Metoprolol is known as a beta-adrenergic blocking drug and it is used in the treatment of gentle to restrained high blood pressure (hypertension) and also angina pectoris (heart pain). In addition, this prescription drug is also employed to regulate as well as prevent cardiac arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythms). In the event of a heart attack, physicians administer this drug in the form of an injection as an emergency treatment and use the oral form of the medication for maintenance.

How to use metoprolol

Metoprolol ought to be taken precisely as your physician has recommended. Never take this drug in extra or less dosage and use it for the period for which it has been prescribed. Take this medication daily at around the same time and ensure that you strictly abide by the prescription label instructions.

You may either take metoprolol along with food, otherwise, simply after taking your meal. In case your physician has advised you to do so, you may divide a Toprol XL (the brand name for metoprolol) into half and take each half of the tablet as a whole. Never chew or crush metoprolol tablets, as doing so would release excessive drug at the same time inside the body. Also never miss any dose or discontinue this medicament without consulting your physician beforehand. If you stop taking metoprolol all of a sudden, you may possibly deteriorate your condition further.

People taking metoprolol need to get their blood pressure taken frequently and, hence, it is important that you should visit your physician on a regular basis. When you have to undergo any kind of surgery, you should essentially inform your surgeon in advance that you are taking metoprolol.

It is worth mentioning here that metoprolol is just a component of a holistic medical program for treating high blood pressure and this program may possibly also incorporate exercise, diet and even weight control measures. In case you are taking metoprolol for treating high blood pressure (hypertension), it is advisable that you should follow the recommended diet religiously, use this prescription drug regularly as well as follow exercise schedules closely.

You need to continue taking metoprolol for treating hypertension even after you start to feel better after starting treatment with this medication. Usually, people having hypertension do not have any visible symptoms. It is possible that you may require taking this drug or some other medications for high blood pressure for your remaining life.

How metoprolol works

Metoprolol works by slowing down the pace of heartbeat as well as the strength with which the muscles of the heart contract by obstructing specific impulses of the nerves, which, in turn, brings down high blood pressure. By means of altering the impulses sent by the nerves to our heart, this beta-adrenergic blocking agent also aids in making the heart rhythm stable.

Side effects

Serious:
  • chest pain or tightness
  • irregular or slow heartbeat
  • mental depression
  • shortness of breath
  • swelling of the ankles, feet, and lower legs
  • wheezing
Common:
Less common:

Possible interactions

Herbal medicines or minerals:
Avoid using metoprolol with specific herbs, including kava kava, valerian and ginseng, as the first two may increase drowsiness, while ginseng has the potential to neutralize the benefits offered by this drug in treating hypertension. People taking metoprolol should also avoid goldenseal, licorice, saw palmetto, hawthorn, ma huang and yohimbe, because all these have the potential to raise the blood pressure. On the other hand, using garlic and the mineral calcium may work to bring down blood pressure. While the Indian snakeroot has been granted a German Commission E monograph for treating high blood pressure, it is advisable that you should always consult your physician before including this in your list of existing medications. People having high blood pressure should also avoid using Siberian ginseng root.
Foods:
Provided you take metoprolol with food, it will enhance the peak concentration of this medication as well as its peak effect. It is advisable that you restrict your salt intake while using metoprolol.
Alcohol:
You should either avoid alcohol completely or restrict its intake, because alcohol may intensify the ability of metoprolol to bring down the blood pressure, while enhancing the moderate anesthetising impact of using this beta-adrenergic blocking agent.
Tobacco smoking:
People with hypertension and undergoing treatment with metoprolol ought to stay away from smoking tobacco, for nicotine may possibly diminish the benefits of this drug for high blood pressure patients.
Exposure to heat:
Avoid exposure to hot surroundings while using metoprolol, as it may result in a drop in blood pressure and, at the same time, intensify the consequences of using this drug.
Exposure to cold:
While using metoprolol you need to be careful not to come in contact with cold surroundings, as this may enhance the lack of circulation to your extremities. In fact, the aged patients should exercise more caution to thwart hypothermia owing to exposing themselves to cold environments while taking metoprolol.
Occurrence of unrelated illness:
People taking metoprolol should be aware that even the occurrence of unconnected ailments may possibly bring down the blood pressure necessitating a change in his/ her dosage of this beta-adrenergic blocking agent. In fact, even minor health conditions like vomiting and queasiness may interrupt the usual dosing schedule of metoprolol. It is, therefore, advisable that you seek your physician’s help when you develop any unrelated ailment while taking metoprolol.
Heavy exercise or exertion:
If you are taking metoprolol for hypertension you would be better off if you keep away from exerting yourself by undertaking rigorous exercises or any other task, especially those that may cause too much exhaustion, drowsiness and muscle cramps. Remember, metoprolol has the ability to exaggerate the response of blood pressure to isometric work-outs.

Discontinuation

Never discontinue using metoprolol all of a sudden. Instead when you need to stop taking this medication, you should decrease its dose slowly over a period of one to two weeks. It is advisable that you consult your physician for further details in this regard.

Storage instructions

The beta-adrenergic blocking medicament metoprolol ought to always be kept at normal room temperature and in a place that is free from humidity and heat.

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