Metoprolol is employed either alone or in conjunction with other medications to manage hypertension, a condition characterized by elevated blood pressure. Its use helps in mitigating the risk of stroke, heart attack, and renal complications.
Metoprolol is also indicated for treating angina and enhancing survival rates post-heart attack. Categorized as a beta-blocker, metoprolol obstructs the activity of specific endogenous substances, such as epinephrine, in the cardiovascular system. By doing so, it brings about a reduction in heart rate, blood pressure, and cardiac workload.
Uses and Dosage
Metoprolol is available in tablet and extended-release tablet formulations intended for oral administration. The regular tablet is typically ingested once or twice daily after meals, whereas the extended-release tablet is consumed once daily.
Take metoprolol at the same time(s) every day to ensure medication adherence. To optimize treatment outcomes, follow the instructions on the prescription label and seek clarification from the physician or pharmacist regarding any ambiguities. The drug must be consumed as prescribed, without altering the dosage frequency or amount.
The extended-release tablet may be divided but must be swallowed whole or halved, without chewing or crushing.
The physician may initiate metoprolol therapy with a low dose and gradually escalate the dosage.
While the medication manages hypertension and angina, it does not cure these conditions. Metoprolol extended-release tablets are effective in heart failure management, but they do not cure the condition. It may take several weeks before experiencing the complete therapeutic benefit of metoprolol. Continue taking the medication even if symptomatically improved.
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention:
- dizziness or lightheadedness
- dry mouth
- stomach pain
- gas or bloating
- rash or itching
- cold hands and feet
- runny nose
Inform your healthcare provider immediately if you experience any serious side effects:
- shortness of breath
- swelling of the hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
- weight gain
- rapid, pounding, or irregular heartbeat
Prior to initiating metoprolol treatment, inform your healthcare provider or pharmacist if you are allergic to metoprolol, other beta-blockers (such as atenolol, propranolol), or any other substances. The medication may contain inactive ingredients capable of causing allergic reactions or other adverse effects.
Inform your healthcare provider or pharmacist about your medical history, particularly any history of specific heart rhythm disorders, breathing difficulties, liver disease, heart failure, severe allergic reactions requiring treatment with epinephrine, blood circulation disorders (such as Raynaud’s disease), mental or mood disorders, and a particular muscle disease (myasthenia gravis).
This medication can induce dizziness or drowsiness. Alcohol or marijuana use can intensify these effects. Until you are confident in your ability to perform activities that require alertness, such as operating machinery or driving, avoid engaging in them.
In individuals with diabetes, this medication may conceal the fast or pounding heartbeat typically experienced when blood sugar levels drop too low (hypoglycemia). This medication does not affect other symptoms of low blood sugar, such as sweating and dizziness. Inform your healthcare provider if you experience symptoms of high blood sugar, such as increased thirst or urination. Your healthcare provider may need to adjust your diabetes medication, diet, or exercise regimen.
Children may be at increased risk of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), particularly if they are vomiting or not consuming food regularly. To avoid low blood sugar, feed children on a routine schedule. If your child is unable to consume food on a regular basis, experiences vomiting or displays symptoms of low blood sugar (such as sweating, seizures), stop administering this medication and notify your healthcare provider immediately.
This medication should be used during pregnancy only if deemed necessary by the healthcare provider. It may pose a risk to the fetus. Discuss the potential risks and benefits with your healthcare provider.
This medication passes into breast milk, but it is unlikely to cause harm to a nursing infant. Consult your healthcare provider before nursing.
Form and Strength
Lopressor is available in the following forms and strengths:
How long can I safely take Lopressor?
Treatment with Lopressor is usually long term, possibly even for the rest of your life.
How long does it take your body to adjust to Lopressor?
Dizziness tends to be worse when you first start taking Lopressor and after any dose increase. It usually gets better in a few days or weeks as your body adjusts.